Fox Searchlight has won the first big spec auction of the year, and will pay high six figures for Keeper of the Diary, a hotly contested spec by Mayday 109 scribes Sam Franco and Evan Kilgore. The spec tells the story of Otto Frank’s struggle to find a publisher for the diary written by his daughter Anne Frank before she perished in the Holocaust. He was aided by an ambitious young woman who, fresh out of the Doubleday typing pool, became a junior editor trying to find her way by combing through the slush pile for publishable manuscripts. She and Otto Frank found each other and their perseverance led to the publication of one of the most enduring documents of the Holocaust. That woman, Barbara Zimmerman, became a publishing legend at Doubleday and was the founder of the New York Review of Books.
The film will be produced by Matti Leshem and Lynn Harris under their Weimaraner Republic Pictures banner, whose last big spec was The Shallows. Five studios were in the mix on this one; I’ve heard the included Paramount, Amblin and that Studiocanal was into it with The Picture Company. The bidding went on all day until Searchlight locked it down just now. Paradigm brokered the auction along with Mia Chang and Jeff Portnoy, who manage the scribes and attorneys Eric Feig and Matt Jacobs. Read more
In a near-seven-figure deal, DreamWorks has acquired Highway One, a spec script by The Shallows scribe Tony Jaswinski, with Denise Di Novi attached to direct the female action thriller. The film will be produced by Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem through their Weimaraner Republic banner. Read more
Fall is the season for Oscar movies; cheap summer thrillers are long forgotten. However, it’s a good time to honor the sleeper success that is “The Shallows.” Today is the film’s DVD release, the final platform for a little $17 million movie that stars Blake Lively, a shark, and a coral reef, and grossed $116 million worldwide. Read more
From Jaume Collet-Serra, director acclaimed thrillers “Unknown” and “Non-Stop,” comes Columbia Pictures’ suspenseful tale “The Shallows” where a female surfer finds herself in the feeding ground of a great white shark.
In “The Shallows,” Nancy (Blake Lively) is seeking solace after the death of her mother. Though she’s been a driven medical student, Nancy has also found peace on a surfboard, and now has located what she’s looking for – the secret beach that was a special place for her mom. Though she knows it’s dangerous to surf alone, she risks it when her travel companion bails – even calling home to let her tight-knit family know that she has found this special place. As she surfs in this beautiful, hidden place, she thinks it will be a chance for her to reflect.
“Unfortunately, she has stumbled into the feeding ground of a great white shark,” explains Matti Leshem, who produces the film with his wife and producing partner, Lynn Harris. “The shark attacks her, but it’s just doing what comes naturally. She is never more than a couple hundred yards from shore – she could swim to it – but the shark is in between her and safety.”
The director orchestrating the combat is Jaume Collet-Serra. “Every movie he’s made has had an extraordinary amount of suspense,” says Lynn Harris. “He gets great performances from his actors, and he understands every scene and every frame from the point of view from the audience – what’s going to be the most satisfying experience for them in that moment.”
Read full story here
Great article in Forbes about the importance of release dates!
Very excited for you to see our first teaser from The Shallows, the first movie I produced with Lynn Harris Leshem !
These days the power of celebrity is often measured by their social media strength, and E! takes a unique, hilarious look at that reality with the network’s first scripted digital comedy series “Hashtaggers.” Starring Kimberley Crossman, Peet Guercio, Patty Guggenheim and Carl Tart, the series features a completely dysfunctional group of people who work together at a social media agency geared to celebrity clientele – but their actions consistently wreak havoc on the stars involved. On Tuesday, February 8th, E! News will sneak peek an episode of “Hashtaggers,” and then all nine episodes will be available on E! online and across E!’s social media platforms and distribution partners.
Excited to have Protagonist’s CSO Mary Forrest moderating a panel on On Demand Services at Silicon Beach Fest this Thursday, June 25th. The panel will discuss how new apps are letting users use their phones to order food, groceries, valets, gas and pet walkers near them.
CEOs and senior execs of these On Demand startup will discuss with Mary how to build an “on demand” business, from developing a user friendly app, to managing fulfillment and delivery resources, to covering LA’s large geographic area.
This new business category, completely driven by mobile technology, has the potential to change the way consumers choose products and services.