Richard Johns

Founder

Born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, Richard went to Oxford University to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1983. His first job was at Procter and Gamble in Brand Management, and after a couple of years in advertising and launching new products he left to co-found one of the UK's first independent TV production companies, Quay Productions, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Newcastle was a great playground and school for Richard in film-making. Initially producing commercials and then both scripted and non-scripted programmes, Richard rapidly discovered a passion and skill for spotting distinctive talent, harnessing the best writers and directors to achieve both commercial and critical success. Quay became a successful business leading to a sale to sister company Waterfront Productions. In his early TV career Richard produced ground-breaking drama for the ITV franchises Tyne Tees, YTV and Granada, discovering a raft of new writers and directors. Then, teaming up with then first-time film director Bharat Nalluri and novice screenwriter Neil Marshall he produced his first feature KILLING TIME on a shoestring, selling it for 18 times its cost of production to Columbia TriStar for all worldwide rights.

Richard then put together the team and finance to produce thriller-drama DOWNTIME. From young actor-turned-scriptwriter Caspar Berry and his second partnership with Bharat Nalluri, he brought on board Executive Producers Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley, with Channel 4 Films, Scala and French co-producer Ima Films to make a highly distinctive feature film that received international acclaim. Richard went on to produce and co-produce a string of high-profile independent British, American and international features including double Academy Award-nominated thriller SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE starring John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe and Eddie Izzard in a co-production with Nicholas Cage’s Saturn Films; Orlando Bloom/Billie Piper comedy vehicle THE CALCIUM KID with Working Title; psychological drama LIKE MINDS with Eddie Redmayne, Tom Sturridge and Toni Collette; and many others from individual film-makers with powerful voices.

Leveraging his producing achievements Richard then focussed his energies on building a new business with a portfolio of strong film and TV assets. In 2009 he co-founded Corona Pictures with partner Rupert Jermyn, creating a company with a focus on creating high value TV and film content for global audiences. Initially Corona produced teen horror TRUTH OR DARE, followed up rapidly by the darkly comic thriller THE LIABILITY starring Tim Roth, Peter Mullan and Jack O'Connell, securing extensive global sales and distribution. Corona then pulled off a significant distribution deal with FremantleMedia, who bought 25% of the new scripted TV division in a first-look and equity investment. The company has created a raft of major UK and international scripted assets which are in active development with broadcasters across the world. Corona’s focus most recently has been on developing original scripted projects in partnership with major on-screen talent.

In 2018 Corona merged its film and TV activities under the banner CORONA CONTENT, and now has a diverse slate of highly developed drama and feature film projects it is actively bringing to market, working in partnership with broadcasters, distributors and co-producing partners around the world. It is also launching a new talent division to further explore and pioneer new screen work from previously unheard voices.

Complementing his content creation activity, between 2008 and 2010 Richard was also Co-Director of the Bournemouth Skillset Screen and Media Academy, the largest higher education film and media educator in the UK and a leading body in the Skillset Academy network. There his mission was to build links between the Media School at Bournemouth University and the Film School at the Arts University of Bournemouth, to create an integrated approach, adding value to the student experience such as work placements and keynote lectures, and to maximise opportunities for graduates across both institutions. Richard is a long-time member of BAFTA and the Production Guild of Great Britain, and an alumnus of Ateliers du Cinema Européen. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Media School, Bournemouth University, past chair of the New Producers Alliance, and a former board member of BAFTA North.

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