Action International Pictures

Action International Pictures

Action International Pictures (AIP) also known as West Side Studios, is a film production and distribution company founded in 1986.Infobox Company
name = Action International Pictures

type = Independent
foundation = 1986
location_city = Culver City, CA
location_country = USA
location =
key_people = David Winters, David A. Prior and Peter Yuval.
area_served = Worldwide
industry = Filmmaking, Distribution
products = Films, DVDs
services = Distribution
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent =
owner =
divisions = West Side Studios, Alpha Beta Films Intl.
subsid = Handmade Films
slogan =
homepage =
dissolved =
footnotes =
intl =

AIP was founded by David Winters, David A. Prior and Peter Yuval. It also provided video distribution for many international films. Winters bought out his partners in 1992.cite web |url=
title= AIP renamed West Side Studios
accessdate=2008-10-05 |author= Richard Klein|date= |work=Fri., Feb. 26, 1993
publisher= Variety

Founding of the Studio

The year of its creation, 1986, was a turning point for David Winters. After being over-ruled on a casting decision for "Thrashin'", Winters made the professional decision to control all aspects of future projects. AIP was organized by Winters with partners; Prior and Yuval.

Although Josh Brolin was ultimately cast in Thrashin', Winters' choice was a "pre-21 Jump Street", Johnny Depp [ Winters, David (1986)."Audio Commentary Track", "Thrashin",DVD, MGM Home Video] [cite web
url =
title = Thrashin'
accessdate = 2008-09-29
accessdaymonth =
accessmonthday =
accessyear =
author = Adam Tyner
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
date = 5 Aug 1993
year =
month =
format =
work =
publisher =
pages =
language =
archiveurl =
archivedate =
quote = something that (the) cast found so astonishing that they apparently called Depp's girlfriend in the middle of the commentary to find out if it's actually true.
] . Winters had previously been a partner in the successful Winters-Rosen organization in the 1970s Ornstein, Bill Winters-Rosen Set-up Grows "...a slate of 4 prime-time series, 1 daytime series and a package of 26-30 prime-time specials ..." "Hollywood Reporter". Dec 23, 1970, p1]


According to the Internet Movie Database, AIP produced 17 films and distributed 41 films and videotapes between 1988 and 1994, and were involved in a total of 46 films in this period. Fifteen of these films were written and directed by Prior. Winters directed three of the films, including "Space Mutiny", and produced 28 of them. Yuval wrote, directed, and produced two of the AIP films ("Dead End City" (1988) and "Firehead" (1991)) and directed two more.

Like many low-budget film productions, AIP's original films used many of the same cast and crew in many of the films, including David Prior's brother Ted as an actor and writer; the apparently versatile William Zipp as actor, writer, director, producer, and stunt man; and an occasional well-known actor like Cameron Mitchell (featured in "Space Mutiny" and three other AIP ventures). Popular Television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000 web documenter, would ultimately joke that one AIP film, Space Mutiny was "infested" with "the Mitchell family" referring to Cameron's two children also appearing in that film. [cite web
date= 2008-10-06
title= Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt

Affiliated and Associated Companies

Cross ownership and buy outs make exact wording of this section a challenge. The common figure in all, is David Winters.

West Side Studios

Winters bought out his partners in 1992, and re-branded AIP as West Side Studios. This was acknowledged as a nod to his 30 year association with West Side Story, as well as to de-emphasize action films ibid] . Prior would continue to direct for the company he sold.

Handmade Films

"This is just an overview for the main article see Handmade Films".

Winters also purchased major interest in Equator Films of the UK, which he took public in 1999 [cite news
first= Neil
last= Thaper
title= AIM newcomer set for big things after UK aquisition
format= print
work= The Mail
location= London
page= 11
date= 1999-07-18
language= English
quote= . . . Equater's two biggest share holders are David Winters and Patrick Meehan . . .
archiveurl= |archivedate=
] . Through which they purchased George Harrison's former Handmade Films. The 100 plus Library of Handmade include Life of Brian and Time Bandits. cite web |url=
title= HandMade plc
accessdate=2008-10-05 |work= |publisher= Financial Times |date=
] Equator films, Plc, the company known now known as Handmade, plc is currently traded under the symbol HMF:LSF

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Nine years after initial release in 1988, the "Action International" film: Space Mutiny had the distinction of being lampooned by
Mike Nelson, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, on the popular Mystery Science Theater 3000 TV showcite book
title= An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica: An Episode Guide and Analysis of the 1978 Science Fiction Television Series and Its Short Lived Sequel, "Galactica: 1980"
first= John Kenneth
last= Muir
publisher= McFarland
origyear 1999
isbn= 0786404418
pages= p146
chapter= In 1997, Mike, Crow and Servo watched Space Mutiny
] , as well as featured on the home video release of that showcite web
url = Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4
title = “The MST3K DVD List:The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4”
publisher = Satellite News
accessdate = 2008-10-05
] .

External links

*imdb company|0146287
*imdb company|0126586|Alpha Beta Films International
*imdb company|0103514|Handmade Films
*imdb company|0059275|West Side Studios

* [ Mystery Science Theater 3000 Official Site]


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