True Hollywood Stories

Box-Office Smash

By Michelle Prather

Entrepreneur: Tanya York, 30

Company: York Entertainment Inc.

Description: Independent home video/DVD production and distribution company

Location: Encino, California

Year started: 1990

Family ties: York's trek from London to L.A. at age 17 wasn't like your typical runaway-heads-for-the-Sunset-Strip music video. Her mom's invitation to give the States a chance prompted York to leave London's social scene. She says she wasn't seeking fame in Hollywood: "I took some acting classes, but only so I could go back [to the UK] and tell my friends how cool it was."

Tanya's ladder: Various film jobs in the extra, production and makeup departments followed. By age 19, she had produced three films.

The green mile: "It's what every Hollywood producer is trying to find," says York. Money, that is. She needed a million-plus to embark on a solo career--and private investors gave it to her. She then gave the public feature films like Frogtown II and Rollerblade Seven.

Bigger is better: York formed a partnership with Maverick Entertainment Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, so huge chains like Blockbuster Entertainment would carry their line of 45 films. She attends film festivals and previews movie submissions with her "opinionated" 10-year-old son. Says York: "This is what I've trained in for the past 10 years--I'm very comfortable."

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: True Hollywood Stories.

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