Siren Studios and Solution Entertainment Raise $50 Million Equity Film Fund

3:41 PM PST 05/09/2013 by Alex Ben Block
Courtesy of subjects
Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel

The two movies being financed are "Laggies" with Keira Knightley and "The Forger," starring John Travolta

In an effort to create a fully integrated independent studio, Siren Studios and The Solution Entertainment Group have raised a $50 million revolving equity film fund to finance six to ten movies a year and be in a position to provide finishing funds for other films.

The first two movies greenlit through the fund are Laggies, which is expected to star Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina) and The Forger, starring John Travolta.

“When Lisa Wilson and I launched The Solution in 2012, one of our goals was to be a one-stop finance, production and sales operation,” says Myles Nestel. “The partnership with Siren Studios on this new fund opens the doors still further to those ambitions and our aim to be a 21stcentury approach to the old studio system.”

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“Siren has spent the last 8 years delivering on production, and more recently post-production services, for some of the industry’s top talent. Having acquired and developed over $50 million of studio infrastructure in the heart of Hollywood, the fund was the last piece to truly become a force in the paradigm shift happening in entertainment,” says Siren’s Craig Chapman.

Laggies,  about a woman who dodges her boyfriend’s proposal of marriage by taking off for a week with a young friend, is being produced with Anonymous Content. It starts production June 2 in Seattle, and is being directed by Lynn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister). Also in talks to join the cast are Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz. It is written by Andrea Siegel.

Moretz is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment, WME and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Laggies is being produced by Anonymous’ Steve Golin, Alix Madigan-Yorkin and Rosalie Swedlin as well as The Solution’s Nestel, and Siren’s Craig Chapman and Kyle Jackson. Executive producers are Siren’s Brandon Nutt, The Solution’s Wilson and Anonymous’ Paul Green.

The Forger, about a former child art prodigy and second-generation petty thief (Travolta) who arranges to buy his way out of prison to spend time with his ailing son, starts shooting in August.

It is written by Richard D’Ovidio and produced by Al Corley, Bart Rosenblatt, and Eugene Musso along with Prospect Park’s Rob CarlinerJonathan Dana and Randi Michel are executive producers with The Solution’s Nestel and Wilson. Anson Downes and Linda Favila are co-executive producers. Siren Studio’s Chapman, Jackson and Nutt are also executive producing the film.

“This harkens back to the old studio system,” says Nestel, a former investment banker. “We are able to provide physical production facilities as well as financing, production and worldwide sales.”

Nestel says they want to co-finance six to eight movies a year with budgets up to about $15 million each, and will also be investors in larger budgeted movies. At Cannes, they will have funds available to provide about 20 percent of a film's budget to finish it, in return in most cases for worldwide rights.

Domestic distribution is being handled by UTA and CAA on Laggies. For The Forger, domestic rights deals are being handled by ICM and WME with Code Entertainment.

The Solution and Siren Studios are also partnering in Synchronicity Entertainment, a genre label. It’s current slate includes Cooties, starring Elijah Wood and Smiley, a recently completed horror film starring Caitlin Gerard, Harvey Keitel and Ben Barnes.  Ruzanna Kegeyan is Synchronicity’s president of international distribution.

Wilson was formerly head of sales at GK Films.

This summer, they are opening Siren Cube, a state of the art virtual production studio with 13,000 square feet of shooting space, digital camera technologies, LED lighting, a fiber optic control room, and 3D imaging in Los Angeles, to go with three other stages.  

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