(Los Angeles, CA) – Sgt Major Keith L. Craig, aka The Hollywood Whisper, is a Media Mogul. The Porter + Craig Film and Media CEO are now at Cannes Film Festival to preview his films and search for new films to distribute, along with networking opportunities.
Sgt Major Keith L. Craig went from the military to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, where he helped bring in a record $3.7 billion as Theatrical Sales and Distribution Manager for their Central Division working on blockbuster films like the game-changing Black Panther, Lion King, and Oscar winner Coco. He also lent his expertise to Lucas Films’ Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, The Avengers, Captain America Winter Soldier, and Thor Ragnarok. Sgt. Major Craig, aka the “Hollywood Whisperer,” is poised to take film development and distribution to the next level with his new company, Porter + Craig Film and Media Distribution and its release of 50 films on broadcast networks, digital platforms, and in theaters.
Sgt. Major Craig co-founded Porter + Craig Film and Media Distribution company in 2021 with business partner Jeff Porter. Based In Beverly Hills, CA, Porter + Craig is a worldwide film and television sales company specializing in the financing, production, and distribution of commercial feature films. It also represents worldwide sales for its own films and third-party content with an annual slate of 50 to 100 films. This year they have 50 new titles to be released in May across digital platforms, including Amazon, Google Play, Apple, Vudu, and Roku, and in select theaters. In less than 30 days, Porter + Craig clients’ films will go global.
Porter + Craig’s client list includes theater chains AMC, Cinemark, and Regal Theaters, along with Broadcast Networks Starz, HBO, Showtime, and CW, and SVOD’s Hulu and NETFLIX, to name a few. “We recently completed a licensing deal with Starz for one of our films that we’re excited about being added to their fall lineup,” said Sgt. Major Craig.
The sought-after advisor’s road to success has been filled with fortitude and perseverance. Born in Mobile, Alabama, and raised by a single mom in the small town of Yantley, Alabama, the former football star, his sister, and his mother were once homeless. It was because of these humble beginnings that the three-time Bronze Star and Legion of Merit Recipient Award was determined to be successful. He said, “I learned early on that being a fierce leader was a mode of survival. Through my formative years, I developed the mental agility to drive physical strength, dedication, and determination to build my confidence and develop my future visions.”
That fierce determination would serve him well when he joined the army. At the age of 17, Sgt. Major Craig’s mother signed for her minor son to enlist in the army. He would go on to have a stellar career, serving 32 years in the military before making the bold move to Hollywood.
It was in the army that the “make it happen” Intelligence and Logistics Non-Commissioned Officer became an entertainment producer. He remembers, “I spent 25 years of my career headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, in the Frankfurt area. Organizations would bring over entertainment for the troops. But nine times out of ten, there was never anything for the diverse population. As a senior leader, I took the liberty to start my own entertainment company, and through a Hollywood connection, I brought in more diverse acts for my troops.”
Sgt Major Craig was all about keeping his troops happy, and the entertainment he brought in lifted their hearts and souls. As he approached 30 years of service and retirement and having risen in rank to Senior Advisor to the Commander of Europe, Southwest Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, something happened that would change the course of his life.
“My Headquarters was contacted, and we were advised that Disney wanted to bring a film over to show the troops while in the combat zone, Iraq, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, or Kuwait. I agreed to take on that mission because I knew how much it would mean to my soldiers, so I flew to Dubai to meet up with the Executive and escorted him to Afghanistan for the first screening. He later relayed that my actions of bringing everyone together and synchronizing the presentation were like a “Hollywood Producer,” which, upon reflection, I took to heart. And the rest is now becoming a part of my history,” said Sgt. Major Craig.
Fast forward a year later, Sgt. Major Craig was invited by that executive to visit Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in Burbank, CA where he was offered and accepted an executive position in distribution and sales at Disney. It was also at this time that he enrolled in UCLA’s Business of Entertainment certification program.
Sgt. Major Craig crafted distribution plans and strategies for Disney films building up a wealth of relationships across platforms. As the only African American distribution executive on the team that worked on Black Panther, he instituted strategies that reached diverse audiences. One closest to his heart was getting the groundbreaking film before the eyes of underserved children. This included partnering with celebrities to present free screenings to deserving students. High-profile entertainers Gabrielle Union, Serena Williams, Zendaya, Octavia Spencer, Kendrick Lamar & TDE, Travis Scott, T.I., and King T’Challa himself, the late Chadwick Boseman rented out theaters for the special screenings so that these young people could see the black superhero Black Panther in all of his glory on the big screen.
The super-connected Hollywood Whisperer is known as the go-to man for independent filmmakers, producers, directors, development deals, finance options, distribution, budgets, and more. He said, “I make it my mission to support and be an advocate for the filmmaker, especially independent filmmakers, and to make sure their films find the best homes for them. Even if a film has a limited release of 10 or 20 screens or less, theatrical release adds equitable value to it.”
Sgt. Major Craig‘s strong sense of advocacy for independent filmmakers happened at an Oscar brunch when comedienne and actress Tiffany Haddish stood up before a crowd of film studio executives and asked how they were going to better support independent filmmakers. The question fell on deaf ears. Four years later, Sgt. Major Craig is helping meet that need as CEO of Porter + Craig Film and Media Distribution.
Sgt. Major Keith L. Craig, aka the Hollywood Whisperer, Media Mogul, and CEO, is on a mission to increase opportunities and diversity in the film industry by being a champion of the independent filmmaker and as co-owner of Porter + Craig Film and Media distribution, with worldwide connections and influence, he is poised to do just that.
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