The faces are familiar, and the names are too: Chris McGurk, former vice chairman of MGM; Tom Pollock, former honcho of Universal; and Rob Friedman, a marketing guru late of the Sherry Lansing regime at Paramount, the New York Times reports.


Tom Pollock, who formerly led Universal Studios, has received backing from Merrill Lynch and other investors.


All these executives, once top members of Hollywood's power elite, are being given a new lease on life as they raise money for various filmmaking ventures, backed by the latest wave of money to come sweeping through Hollywood: private capital from hedge funds and individuals flush with cash.


Last week, Mr. McGurk announced that he would head up a new studio, Overture Films, to make and distribute 10 feature films a year, each with a budget of about $25 million. In August, Mr. Pollock and his partner, the director Ivan Reitman, signed up with Merrill Lynch and two other investors to produce 10 movies over the next five years, in the same budget level. And Mr. Friedman is negotiating with Michael Blum, a managing director at Merrill Lynch, to raise up to $1 billion for a studio that would both make and distribute movies, according to three people close to the negotiations (both Mr. Friedman and Mr. Blum declined to comment).


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