While attending USC, he met future director John Singleton, who hired Straus to work on the groundbreaking film Boyz N’ the Hood. He used this as a launching pad to sell his original screenplay, The Clown Prince to TriStar Pictures. Bill worked with four future studio heads on the project which engendered an interest in moving to the business side.
Straus earned a Masters degree from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program. An internship during his time in the program turned into a story department position at New Line Cinema where he worked for a few years before becoming an executive at the studio.
After leaving New Line, Straus set up his own production shingle with a deal at Sony Pictures-based Circle of Confusion. His first film, The Man, starring Sam Jackson and Eugene Levy, was released in 2005. He also served as a producer on Weapons starring Nick Cannon and Paul Dano and Red starring Brian Cox, Sundance Film Festival selections in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In 2011, Straus produced The Last Rites of Joe May, with The Steppenwolf Theatre’s film company, which starred the late Dennis Farina and was listed as one of Roger Ebert’s Best Films of the Year. Additionally, he set up the upcoming film Straight Out Of Compton and shepherded through different studios and production companies until the project found a home at Universal.
Straus returned to his hometown of Brooklyn, New York in 2011 and launched the domestic sales banner BGP Film. Among the titles he has represented as a sales agent are Bronx Obama, Buzzard, Uncertain Terms, Young Bodies Heal Quickly and Through a Lens Darkly, as well as many others. Buzzard was a fan and critic favorite at 2014 SXSW and Through a Lens Darkly, proved a huge hit with Sundance audience & critics as well. Straus has worked with other celebrated indie directors such as Nathan Silver and Ben Dickenson to name a few.
Straus’s carefully curated sales slate with critically-acclaimed films have led to newly launched Bridge Independent, a sales company with a distribution component to distribute select titles.
Straus lives with his family in NYC.
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