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Meet John W. Beach of Gravity Squared Entertainment

Today we’d like to introduce you to John W. Beach.

Hi John W., it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and worked in nearly every facet of the entertainment industry before finding my true calling in the literary departments at Paradigm and later ACME Talent and Literary, where I was instrumental in the sale of projects like Oliver Stone’s WORLD TRADE CENTER with Nicolas Cage and YOUTH IN REVOLT with Michael Cera.

After nearly six years in the literary agency side of the business, I started Gravity Squared Entertainment, a Los Angeles based Management and Production Company, managing writers and directors for film & television while also representing media rights for over 180 published books – many being Pulitzer Prize winners and New York Times Best Sellers.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Fortunately, it’s mostly been pretty smooth, though there have been some struggles along the way. As some of you might know, thriving in this industry takes years and years of hard work. But I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the amazing clients I’ve been so fortunate to work with. Clients like Judith Heumann – the mother of the disability rights movement; Kathy Sullivan – the first American woman to walk in space; and Homer Hickam, the prolific author of the book ROCKET BOYS, which was adapted to the 1999 film OCTOBER SKY w/ Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern.

As you know, we’re big fans of Gravity Squared Entertainment. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what would you say you specialize in?
I’d like to say I specialize in historical non-fiction, but I have film & tv projects in just about every genre. To me, it’s not as much about the genre, though…  it’s more about the translatable story and the characters involved. If there’s a well-rounded character, full of want and need, who redeems themselves in some amazing way… I’m all over that.

What sets you apart from others?
That’s a good question. First, I’d probably say nothing, then I’d say my passion for story, my relentless persistence to never give up on great content and my dedication to my clients and their content. A lot of agents/managers in this field tend to sometimes get lazy and just send a book or script out to a few places to see if it lands. That’s not me. I like to add value to my client’s content by adding writers, directors or other talents that might make the content more valuable to buyers. This is called packaging. I guess I’ve come full circle, right back to what I specialize in… packaging. I specialize in packaging.

What are you most proud of?
I’m for sure most proud of and excited about my client, Judith Heumann’s film, which is based on her memoir, BEING HEUMANN. We optioned BEING HEUMANN to AppleTV with David Permut and CODA’s Academy Award winner, Sian Heder, at the helm to adapt the book and direct the feature. You might recognize Judy’s name… other than having mentioned her earlier, she was also the breakout star of the Netflix documentary CRIP CAMP, which was produced by the Obamas and nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary in 2021.

I’ve also just recently submitted my client, Meta Akkus’ film, MAKE A WISH to the Academy Awards. That’s pretty exciting and stressful for that matter, to see how that process works. We’ll see how that plays out soon.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Other than my father, my mother is one of the most positive, supportive people I know. If not for her, I’d have no longevity in this business. She always tells me to be patient and stay the course. It’s so important to have positive role models in this business.

I’ve also had so many great mentors in this industry, but one that always seems to come full circle is the late, great Mickey Freiberg. Mickey, sometimes referred to as “The Cowboy”, was a super agent of his time, iconic in this business for his finesse with books, and he taught me the book process. I’ll never forget the day Mickey brought me the New York Times article about the last living Port Authority officers pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center. He said, “John, find these guys”, and I did just that, I found them. That later became Oliver Stone’s feature film, WORLD TRADE CENTER.

I’d also like to mention another great mentor to me, David Permut. David’s been a friend for over 20 years. You won’t find many other producers of this caliber. He’s quite literally, one the best in this business! While being a top-notch producer, he does it with such class and respect. I want to be like that!

Contact Info:

Image Credits

BEING HEUMANN published by Beacon Press in 2020 (Judith Heumann on cover) B&W Photo – Judith Heumann in 1977 while protesting Section 504 Gravity Squared Logo ROCKET BOYS by Homer Hickam, adapted into the 1999 film, OCTOBER SKY

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