OUR TEAM

DERIK MURRAY

FOUNDER, CEO

 

Derik Murray, the founder and creative force behind Network Entertainment, began his career creating rich, evocative images as an advertising photographer and television commercial director before focusing his attention on high profile television, film and publishing projects. Derik’s credits include producing the Academy Award shortlisted Facing Ali, a feature documentary with Lionsgate Entertainment, and I Am Bruce Lee, which made its U.S. television premiere on Spike TV where it garnered the highest ratings for a documentary in the network’s history. Derik also produced I Am Steve McQueen, produced and co-directed
I Am Evel Knievel, I Am JFK Jr., I Am Chris Farley (which surpassed I Am Bruce Lee ratings for Spike TV), and Johnny Cash - American Rebel for CMT. 

Derik executive produced and co-directed the seven-part series Facing for National Geographic, produced and co-directed I Am Heath Ledger, which premiered in April 2017 at the Tribeca Film Festival. Derik recently produced and executive produced I Am MLK Jr., I Am Paul Walker and I Am Richard Pryor for Paramount Network, and produced a four-part docu-series PUNK, which made its U.S. premiere on Epix in March 2019 - executive produced by legendary fashion designer John Varvatos and punk pioneer Iggy Pop. Most recently, Derik produced I Am Patrick Swayze, which premiered at the 2019 San Antonio Film Festival, winning the Grand Prize Award, leading into its U.S. premiere on Paramount Network. 

Upcoming projects include a multi-part series with YouTube Premium on Artificial Intelligence which is executive produced by Robert Downey Jr., three new I AM titles for Paramount - Jackie O, Burt Reynolds and Alfred Hitchcock - and BEAUTY, a multi-part documentary series with Quibi which is executive produced by Tyra Banks. 

Derik also orchestrated the acquisition of the rights to Sidney Poitier for a feature documentary, which will be narrated by Denzel Washington, as well as the rights to produce a feature documentary on Sly Stone (Sly and the Family Stone). 

Derik’s accomplishments over the past 20 years have earned him the trust of an impressive list of top broadcasters, advertising agencies and publishing houses. His roster of notable publishing projects include large format pictorial books Arnold Palmer - A Personal Journey, Joe Montana with Dick Schaap and Muhammad Ali - In Perspective

Derik’s work has been recognized by the Academy Awards, the Emmys, Realscreen Awards, the Gemini Awards, Leo Awards, the Los Angeles Film Festival, Washington D.C. Silver Docs, Seattle International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Houston International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Banff Television Festival, and the International Film and Television Festival of New York. 

 

 

PAUL GERTZ

PRESIDENT, COO

 

After receiving a B.A. in Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Paul Gertz went on to attend the University of Southern California, simultaneously earning his Law Degree and M.B.A. before starting his career as the Associate Director of Business Affairs at leading animation producer Ruby-Spears Productions. George Lucas then recruited Paul to Skywalker Ranch in Northern California to become the Director of Business Affairs for Lucasfilm Ltd. Paul was responsible for the business affairs of Industrial Light & Magic,
Skywalker Sound, THX and Lucas Licensing & Merchandising, and was also the production lawyer on the films Tucker, Willow, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.


Paul returned to Los Angeles as the Senior Vice-President of Production at famed animation house Hanna-Barbera, where he executive produced his first feature film, the $16 million Once Upon A Forest. He went on to produce three more award-winning feature films: The Pagemaster, a $35 million 20th Century Fox production, Cats Don’t Dance, the $45 million Warner Bros. release which was awarded an Annie for Best Picture of the Year, and 20th Century Fox’s $85 million animated science fiction fantasy Titan A.E. As Executive Producer and Head Writer of Gene Roddenbery’s live action television series Earth: Final Conflict, Paul wrote the majority of the 22 episodes in the first year. The Emmy nominated series finished the season as the #1 new show in first run syndication, and Paul led the $1.1 million per episode production for five full seasons. Paul’s writing credits also include Through the Moebius Strip, a CGI animated film based on the designs of the renowned artist Moebius (“Star Wars” and “Alien”), and he was commissioned to write an episode of David E. Kelley’s Emmy Award winning legal series The Practice.


Paul was Executive Vice President at the internationally acclaimed Rainmaker Animation studios, where he executive produced several Direct to DVD feature films based on Mattel’s Barbie and Max Steel brands, as well as an animated version of Jerry Lewis’ The Nutty Professor.


Since joining forces with Network Entertainment to produce high-quality unscripted productions for international television and theatrical distribution, Paul has executive produced the Academy Award shortlisted theatrical documentary Facing Ali, and I Am Bruce Lee, which made its U.S. television premiere on Spike TV where it garnered the highest ratings for a documentary in the network’s history. Paul also executive produced I Am Steve McQueen, I Am Evel Knievel, I Am Chris Farley, Johnny Cash - American Rebel, The Cowboy, I Am JFK Jr., I Am Heath Ledger, I Am Sam Kinison, I Am MLK Jr., I Am Paul Walker, I Am Richard Pryor, I Am Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley – Anything for a Laugh. On the series front, Paul executive produced a series for National Geographic Channel called Facing, and a series called Punk for EPIX, which was also executive produced by legendary fashion designer John Varvatos and punk pioneer Iggy Pop.

 

Paul is currently executive producing a multi-part series for YouTube Originals on Artificial Intelligence alongside Robert Downey Jr., as well as BEAUTY, a multi-part documentary series for Quibi which Paul is executive producing with Tyra Banks.

 

Paul is also executive producing Network’s full slate of upcoming projects, including three new I AM titles for Paramount - Jackie O, Burt Reynolds and Alfred Hitchcock.

KENT WINGERAK, CPA, CA

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS AFFAIRS

 

Kent began his career in the film and television industry as the Vice President of Business Affairs at WIC Entertainment, the development, licensing and Canadian programming and investment division for one of Canada’s largest national broadcast entities, WIC Television. At WIC, Kent was responsible for the analysis, structuring, negotiation and domestic distribution for over 200 hours of the company’s Canadian production activities.

 

Following this, Kent was Executive Vice President at Peace Arch Productions, one of Canada’s largest publicly listed film and television production entities. Serving as one of the company’s senior executives in the areas of business affairs, development, finance, production and distribution, Kent was a key component of the Peach Arch management team where he was instrumental in the company’s commissioning of over $90 million in production volume, ranking it the fifth largest in Canada.

 

Kent also independently produced and executive produced Now & Forever, a critically acclaimed feature film and winner of several international film festivals, and executive produced The Impossible Elephant, a feature film and winner of the Toronto International Film Festival for children’s YTV Silver Sprocket Audience Award.

 

As the Senior Vice President of Business Affairs at Network since 2003, Kent is a key member of Network’s executive team where he oversees the negotiation, structuring and contractual arrangements for all of the company’s development, financing, production, licensing and distribution activities. Kent has executive produced and spearheaded the business affairs for the company’s growing slate of productions including 
I Am Sam Kinison, I Am Heath Ledger, I Am JFK Jr., The Cowboy, Johnny Cash - American Rebel, I Am Chris Farley, I Am Evel Knievel, I Am Steve McQueen, I Am Bruce Lee, Facing Ali, the television series Facing and two seasons of Making the Cut, three Life and Times documentaries, The Stanley Cup Odyssey and Anne Murray: The Music of My Life, which he produced for Network. Kent’s 20 years of experience as a business affairs executive in the film and television industry is integral to the success of Network’s ongoing production initiatives.

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