Former DC Films head Walter Hamada has officially launched his new horror production banner, 18hz Productions.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Hamada rung in 2023 by establishing the Paramount-based 18hz Productions following his departure from the Warner Bros.-owned DC Films last year. Former Paramount executive Nathan Samdahl will serve as senior vice president of 18hz Productions, with Nick Romano acting as creative executive.
“Nathan’s work on hit genre movies like Paramount’s Smile, 10 Cloverfield Lane and A Quiet Place as well as his extensive filmmaker relationships make him the perfect addition to the team. I’m lucky the stars aligned and I was able to get him,” Hamada said in a statement. “Nick is a true horror fan and his passion for the genre is contagious. Together they will be instrumental in making 18hz the home for horror.”
18hz Productions derives its name from what is known as the “ghost frequency,” which falls just below the range of human hearing (20hz and above). According to THR, the 18hz frequency has been proven to cause fear and paranoia. Hence, the decision to name a horror-focused production company after it. Hamada’s 18hz Productions currently has the goal of releasing “several low-to-mid-budget films” per year, across both theatrical and streaming.
Walter Hamada Left Warner Bros. in 2022
Hamada has a long history with horror, having joined New Line Cinema in 2007 — just before the company merged with Warner Bros. in 2008. While at New Line, Hamada executive produced such horror films as Friday the 13th (2009), The Conjuring (2013), Annabelle (2014), The Conjuring 2 (2016), Lights Out (2016) and It (2017).
In early 2018, Warner Bros. tapped Hamada to serve as president of DC Films, at which point he executive produced such comic book movies as Aquaman (2018), Joker (2019), Birds of Prey (2020), The Suicide Squad (2021) and The Batman (2022), among several others (including still-unreleased films like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash and Blue Beetle).
However, the newly-merged Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to pull the plug on DC’s near-finished Batgirl movie proved to be the beginning of the end of Hamada’s time at the studio. Hamada was reportedly not consulted on the matter, having only learned of the HBO Max film’s cancellation at a test screening for fellow DC feature Black Adam.
Hamada reportedly agreed to remain at DC until Black Adam‘s theatrical release, though he ultimately resigned from the studio two days before it hit theaters in October 2022. The following month, Hamada inked a deal with Paramount to oversee the studio’s mainstream horror films, thus leading to the formation of 18hz Productions. Meanwhile, DC Films has since been restructured into DC Studios, with James Gunn and Peter Safran taking the reins as co-studio heads.
18hz Productions Signs Some Key Names
As for the other players involved with Hamada’s new horror label, the first hires at 18hz Productions mark the aforementioned Samdahl’s return to Paramount. Samdahl spent years as a Paramount executive, working on such films as 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and A Quiet Place (2018). Samdahl was also instrumental in the making of director Parker Finn’s 2022 horror film Smile, which proved to be a big hit for Paramount. However, Samdahl was let go from Paramount last spring amid company layoffs.
Finally, Romano (much like Hamada) is formerly of New Line, where he worked as a creative executive for Nikki Ramey and Celia Khong. Romano began his career in 2018 in the ICM Partners mailroom before becoming Motion Picture Literary Assistant to Bryan Diperstein and Harley Copen. He also holds a B.A. in screenwriting from Brooklyn College.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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