Richard Middleton began working in the film business in 1993 as an assistant coordinator on the independent film Sleep With Me, starring Craig Sheffer, Eric Stoltz and Meg Tilly. Not content with starting above the bottom, Middleton reversed course and worked as a production assistant (and driver) on such notable films as Pulp Fiction and The Crossing Guard. The goal of working as many production positions as possible was actively in play. Middleton segued into creative development in 1995, working first as an assistant in production at Trimark Pictures, and then as a creative executive at Arnold Kopelson Productions in 1996 where he developed such projects as Devil’s Advocate, U.S. Marshals and A Perfect Murder.
Middleton packaged his first feature project in May 1997, entitled The Curve. The film, written and directed by Dan Rosen, and starring Dana Delaney, Matthew Lillard, and Keri Russell, premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Thinking the producer’s life was pretty easy, Middleton spent the next three years and his remaining life savings trying to set up more projects, all to no avail. (Note: several of the projects Middleton tried to set up eventually got made by other producers, which further cemented the truism “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”)
In 2001, Middleton decided to focus his efforts on producing and production managing other producers’ projects. He’s completed 30 feature films and TV shows, with a number of films selected for the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, including May, The Last Word, I Love You Phillip Morris, and The Artist, the latter winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture at the 2012 Academy Awards.
He hopes this trend of 30 produced projects every fourteen years continues. Middleton is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.