Netflix Executive James McGough Named COO of PictureStart

PictureStart was launched by former Lionsgate co-president Erik Feig in May

Netflix executive James McGough has been named chief operating officer of PictureStart, the newly launched production studio led by former Lionsgate co-president Erik Feig, the studio announced on Wednesday.

McGough will provide strategic counsel, oversee finance, business affairs and physical production. Feig launched PictureStart in May with the focus of co-financing and producing content around the theme of “Discovery of Voice.” McGough will report to Feig.

“I truly believe in what Erik and his team have created with PictureStart and the platform they are giving to ‘discovery of voice’ storytelling,” McGough said in a statement. “I’m excited for this opportunity to build upon Erik’s vision.”

McGough joins PictureStart from Netflix where he oversaw the content strategy and analysis team for the streamer’s original film division. While at Netflix, he was responsible for key strategic initiatives as well as operations related to slate programming strategy, greenlighting, deal analysis, and user behavioral analysis.

Netflix lost original film boss Matt Brodlie to Disney new streaming platform, Disney+, earlier this week.

Feig previously worked with McGough at Summit Entertainment when McGough served as senior vice president of corporate and business development. Feig was president at Summit Entertainment before moving over to be co-president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group.

“I am thrilled to work with James again as we’ve hit the ground running with PictureStart’s content slate,” Feig said in a statement. “James will provide operational and strategic experience that is unparalleled during a pivotal time in the media landscape.”

Prior to Netflix, McGough served as founder and principal of Latus Advisors where he provided financial and strategic counsel to media and entertainment based companies including Legendary Entertainment, Miramax, QED International, as well as executive produced or provided financial consulting services on projects including “When We First Met,” “The Duff” and “Fury,” to name a few.

McGough also served as COO of Wonderland Sound and Vision after he departed Summit Entertainment in 2012.

Though launching last month, PictureStart already has a diverse slate of projects in various stages of development, including the action-packed epic true story about Japan’s first African samurai, “Yasuke,” starring Chadwick Boseman; the musical “Grease: Summer Nights” in collaboration with Temple Hill for Paramount; the film adaptation of bestselling teen classic “Eleanor & Park;” and the high-school-cheating caper remake of the Thai hit “Bad Genius.”