Our Team

We have brought together an elite team of film, finance and technology executives who have led multiple funds, been directly involved in the financing and production of hundreds of films and held leading roles at Fox, MTV Films, Sony, PayPal, Expedia, JP Morgan, Bank of America and more.

Eric Leppo

MANAGING PARTNER

For over 20 years Eric has worked at the intersection of business and technology with particular focus in the media, insurance and finance industries. For the last ten years he has been building and deploying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence powered platforms into the market. The first was Google Ventures backed SpeakerText which utilized Machine Learning to create accurate and inexpensive metadata for videos created by marquee brands including ESPN, Google and Techcrunch, enabling search engines to index and rank the content so it could be more efficiently monetized.

After SpeakerText was acquired, Eric went on to co-found Silicon Valley Software Group (SVSG), a management consulting firm specializing in helping companies innovate with emerging technologies. Under his leadership, SVSG has created Machine Learning and AI enabled platforms utilized by hundreds of millions of people. He also leads SVSG’s technology due diligence practice area.

His clients include several successful startups as well as Cray Supercomputers (acquired by HPC), JD Power (acquired by XIO Group), Cadence Design Systems, Yahoo Japan and Samsung. His mission is to apply the market-disrupting technology of Cinematic Venture Partners to the independent film industry, minimizing risk and maximizing ROI for investors. .

Michael Beck

PRINCIPAL

Michael is a business strategist and technologist with 20+ years of experience in areas of finance, wealth management, healthcare, and cybersecurity, where he has accumulated experience across a variety of business types and supporting technology architectures.

Recent project work has included remediating data pipelines in support of reporting and risk systems for a premier consumer lending platform, proposing standardized platforms for enterprise artificial intelligence initiatives, improving surveillance of data movement to and from cloud-based environments, designing and implementing HIPAA-compliant analytics environments, developing systems for high-frequency/low latency trading solutions.

His prior work experience includes employment by and service to firms such as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bear Stearns & Co., York Capital Management, CRT Capital, JD Power, IBM, and Deloitte. He holds a BA and MBA from Columbia University, with additional coursework at Stanford and the Courant Institute. He is the author of five granted patents in the areas of rights management security and distributed cryptography.

Thomas Fanning

PARTNER

Thomas brings over 25+ years of producing and executive producing experience spanning over 20 countries and six continents to Cinematic Venture Partners. After graduating from Georgetown University Business School, Tom began his career as a producer. As Principal and Head of Production of FM Rocks, Tom grew revenues from two million dollars to over $45 million annually during the company’s fifteen year run.

In addition to working with the top artists and management companies, many of the directors Tom worked with have gone on to become some of the top directors in the film and television industry today including F. Gary Gray, Rawson Thurber, Tim Story, Benny Boom and Bille Woodruff. During his producing career, Tom also became the go-to producer for many recording artists turned directors, including Dave Grohl, Fred Durst, Irv Gotti, Sean Puffy Combs, and more.

In addition to being one of the most prolific music video producers in the industry, Tom later moved on to producing award-winning commercials and long forms for agencies like BBDO, Leo Burnett, and Ogilvy & Mather.

Tom is currently developing and producing a slate of film and television projects with several of the top studios and networks including Paramount, Live Nation, USA, Showtime, BET, MTV, Netflix, and Warner Bros. As of October 2020, he is producing two feature films that are currently in production and has two feature films that start pre-production in Spring 2021. All four of these projects are in the $1M-25M budget range.

Clifton Tibbets

CFO

During his tenure as Department Head of Motion Picture Deal Analysis and Senior Vice President at Twentieth from 2001-2017, Cliff secured $3B+ in funding from various investors for various film/talent deals. His role included leading all financial analysis of the green-lighting (investment approval) process, as well as closely partnering with the Strategy and FP&A teams. His film background includes finance roles at New Line Cinema, CBS Television and JPM Chase, as well as stints as a Line Producer.

Throughout his career as a financial executive in Hollywood, he has proven to be an engaged stakeholder with a passion for providing financial guidance and support to executive teams. He brings expertise and in-depth experience in business valuations, financial modeling, project financing and mergers and acquisitions. He holds a UCLA Anderson School of Management M.B.A. in Finance and Entertainment Management and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bentley University. He lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife and three children, and he enjoys writing novels in his spare time.

David Gale

ADVISOR

David ran MTV Films from 1995 to 2006 during which the division released 27 films, including Napoleon Dynamite, Hustle and Flow, Save The Last Dance and Tupac: Resurrection, generating more than $1B in box office revenues, and opening seven movies to #1 at the Box Office.

He is also known for the films Election, Varsity Blues, Beavis and Butt-head Do America, Jackass I and II, and The Original Kings of Comedy. David founded and is the former CEO of We Are The Mighty, a media brand focused on stories by military veterans for the military community and general audiences.

Sharon Amezcua

ADVISOR

Sharon is a Co-Founder of MCC Global NV, a merchant bank that was listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 2006. MCC offered a proprietary incubation and acceleration “de-risking” process that Sharon developed and implemented with her global team to build, accelerate and exit hundreds of emerging and established companies.

As Vice Chairman of Moore Clayton Capital Advisors, Inc. and Vice President of Equus II, MCC Global's fund management company and its NYSE-listed private equity fund, respectively, Sharon was instrumental in increasing the overall value and ROI of this highly regulated BDC. Founder of ESE Partners, LLC and Co-Founder of ESE Fund Ltd., a future financial services company and associated private equity fund that builds and invests in emerging and established companies in targeted sectors across the world.

She is also an active Board member of the British American Business Council and on the Advisory Boards of early stage companies in her portfolio and charities that she is passionate about.

Shariq Minhas

ADVISOR

Shariq is a technology executive who has helped grow successful businesses in several domains, including enterprise data aggregation (Jigsaw, acquired by Salesforce), online travel (Expedia, Hotwire), peer-to-peer ride sharing (Lyft), digital health (Carrot, 50M+ raised) and logistics (Deliverr, 70M+ raised).

Prior to focusing on technology, Shariq worked as an actuary, creating contingent payment models for insurance, pensions, and other financial risks. Shariq holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Carter Smyth

ADVISOR

For more than 25 years Carter has led teams to deliver breakthrough, innovative solutions for the Financial Services industry around the globe. At Bank of America, Carter led the technology departments for Investment Banking, Equity Capital Markets and Global Compliance.

At JPMorgan, he ran the technology group covering the Western US region. Carter has worked with a variety of hedge funds, investment management funds and family offices, utilizing technology to overhaul operations, trading and compliance.

Adam Joffe

ADVISOR

Adam is an executive with over 25 years’ experience in software development, technical operations, and data management/visualization. Adam served as VP of Data Management and Credit Technologies at PayPal from 2009-2012.

He served as CTO of Sony Online from 2000-2007 where he designed and built the Playstation Network infrastructure and is the former COO + CTO of Dividend Solar, which during his time there grew to become one of the largest solar loan providers in the United States.

Ted Paff

ADVISOR

Ted is the former co-founder and Managing Partner of Concert Capital Partners and has over 20 years of experience as an investor and investment banker that he brings to his advisory role at Cinematic Venture Partners. Prior to founding Concert, Ted was a General Partner of Acacia Venture Partners, a leading early-stage venture capital firm.

At Acacia, Ted led and participated in investments in technology-leveraged services, software and data management companies. Prior to Acacia, Ted was an investment banker with Alex. Brown & Sons. Ted holds a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Columbia University.

 

Service Providers


Deloitte

AUDITOR

Deloitte’s Audit professionals provide independent financial statement and internal control audit services, in accordance with the latest professional standards.

BDO

ACCOUNTANT

With 80,000 employees and revenue of $9.6B in 2019, BDO is the 5th largest professional services network in the world.

NAV

ADMINISTRATOR

NAV Consulting serves over 1,000 clients around the world with combined assets under administration of over US$100 billion.

Foley Hoag

LEGAL

Law firm headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in New York City, Paris, and Washington, D.C., specializing in private fund formation as well as regulatory and compliance matters.

 

Contact Us

+1 310.751.0704 | contact@cinematicvp.com