Tony Friscia has been named the 26th International TV Distribution Hall of Fame honoree, and will be featured in VideoAge‘s L.A. Screenings LATAM Issue, out in print and digital on Monday, May 14.
Friscia is considered the “father” of the “Ultimates,” an accounting tool he utilized to guide content sales all over the world for the Hollywood studios, well before the practice became a requirement of the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the 1980s.
The New York City-born Friscia is not your typical “on-the-field” distribution pioneer — the type who traveled the world carrying reels of films and a 16-mm projector. Instead, his contribution to the industry was making the content distribution business into just that, a business.
Throughout his 43-year career in the film and TV distribution sector, Friscia worked for eight U.S. studios, including 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, and Warner Bros. Since 2005, he’s run his own consultancy and distribution company, which is based outside of Los Angeles.
Through his unique ability to dissect films and TV shows into tiny fragments, only to then assign them dollar values, Friscia helped the studios and producers maximize sales for their shows.
The “Ultimates,” his accounting tool, are also where complex (and fairly abstract) U.S. studio production contracts began to take real form that translated into actual dollars.
Finally, since Friscia has dual citizenship — U.S. and Italian — that qualifies him to be named both in the U.S. and in the European sections of the Hall of Fame directory.
Friscia (pictured above) holding one of the four Oscars that Orion Pictures won with movies for which he worked the financials.