MajorJazz was founded by Michael Richter and James Shifren to acquire, develop, and produce prestige and elevated genre (a.k.a. prestige popcorn) projects for film and television. Richter is an award-winning writer and producer (Torn, Presque Isle), and a seasoned technology and media executive (Facebook, eBay, PayPal, Fin). Shifren is a Sundance award-winning producer (Sangre De Mi Sangre, Cold Souls, Live Free or Die), and experienced hedge fund principal. MajorJazz is currently producing Borough of Churches, a gritty police drama set during crack-era Brooklyn, written by Michael Richter and David Kukoff, and The Black Room, a paranormal-horror story written by Grady Hendrix and Nicholas Rucka.
Michael is an award-winning writer and producer, and the former Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook.
Michael wrote and produced Torn, starring Emmy-nominee John Heard, Dendrie Taylor, and Faran Tahir. Torn received a theatrical release after it won the award for Best Feature Film at the Oscar-qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival. He also co-produced Around June, starring Samaire Armstrong, Brad Henke and John Gries, and served as the Executive Producer of Presque Isle, directed by Rob Nilsson.
In addition to Borough of Churches and The Black Room, Michael is currently producing Kate Hamill’s Vanity Fair at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where he is member of the Board of Trustees. Before Vanity Fair, Michael produced Edward Albee’s Seascape, directed by Tony Award-winner Pam MacKinnon.
In 2015, Michael co-founded and served as the Chief Creative Officer of Aftershock Comics, which won the New Publisher of the Year Diamond Gem Award after its inaugural year. Prior to that, Michael was an early employee at both Facebook (where he was the Chief Privacy Officer and an inventor on nine of Facebook's patents), and eBay (where he was the head of the litigation department). Michael started his legal career as an entertainment and media attorney.
James is an award-winning film producer and media and entertainment investor. James served as Executive Producer of 2007 Sundance Winner SANGRE DE MI SANGRE and as Executive Producer of COLD SOULS, PRETTY BIRD, AND LIVE FREE OR DIE. James is also a Founding Principal at Buckland Partners, a family of long/short equity funds for public market investing and a co-founder of Great Road Holdings, an investment partnership for private equity and venture capital investing.