Deborah Sheppard is a film and marketing consultant and producer who started her career in advertising before moving into major studio distribution, where she gained a reputation as a high achieving and experienced senior executive.
As Marketing Director for 12 years for United International Pictures and Paramount Pictures UK, she presided over the campaigns for 420 releases across multiple genres, launching around 100 animated favourites, major live action franchise blockbusters and festival fare. She helped achieve $4.2bn at the UK box office during her time at the studios.
She left Paramount in 2012, and using her extensive knowledge of distribution, has worked as a consultant or producer’s representative with various independent distributors and producers in the UK and overseas, to get their films into the marketplace, often via hybrid/self-distribution models (WE ARE MANY and THE HIPPOPOTOMUS to name a couple).
She has supported others in finding distribution outlets, or achieving their finance objectives and audience definition through script development/general consultation and marketing asset creation. She was the distribution strategist and Associate Producer on the recent Neil Armstrong documentary, ARMSTRONG and has also created strategies for a number of other documentaries and narrative features, including RAVERS (horror), STUDIO 17: THE LOST REGGAE TAPES (doc). She is currently working on distribution and release opportunities for Edinburgh and Raindance festival drama, HURT BY PARADISE.
Deborah runs regular short training courses for Raindance and other institutions and offers bespoke consultations and training programmes.
She is also developing her own production slate of films, including animation, crossing a variety of genres and targeting specific audiences, so is extremely aware of the challenges posed by independent production and the changing distribution environment in the UK and internationally.