Paul Feig to Create Shortform Projects for Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi
The 'Bridesmaids' director is also launching his own fine spirits brand, Artingstall's Brilliant London Dry Gin.
Paul Feig, who created the cult classic TV series Freaks and Geeks and directed the 2016 female-led reboot of Ghostbusters, has shortform projects in the works for Jeffrey Katzenberg's new streaming service Quibi.
"I've talked to Jeffrey and we have a couple projects we're in stages of development on," the Bridesmaids director told the Banff World Media Festival during a keynote conversation Tuesday moderated by Alison Brower, deputy editorial director for The Hollywood Reporter.
Feig touted the upcoming premium shortform venture, which Katzenberg is launching with former HP head Meg Whitman. "It's exciting that shortform is getting another crack. It was kind of dead for a long time, because there was no market for it. Now, because there's so much stuff out there, this shortform content you watch on your phone that you watch for 10 minutes, that's really important now," he said.
The prolific comedy multihyphenate is also on the verge of launching his own gin spirits brand this fall. "I'm gin-obsessed. Have always been. And I thought, 'Can I ever make my own gin?,' and it all happened," Feig explained.
The brand is known as Artingstall's Brilliant London Dry Gin, with Artingstall being Feig's mother's maiden name. It won the Best Gin and Double Gold awards at the recent WSWA (Worldwide Spirits Wholesalers Association) convention.
Feig is also relishing the upcoming marketing for his Artingstall gin, much as he sports an image as a fine suits man and a film and TV director. "All we're doing is creating images and visuals. I like the world to look nice. That's why I love to dress up," Feig said.
The director also discussed his activism and alignment with female characters and talent in film and TV. Feig is an ambassador for ReFrame, a nonprofit organization from Women in Film and the Sundance Institute to encourage more women filmmakers in Hollywood.
"The whole aim is to break the default setting. It's that banality of not thinking that creates the situation, that people just hire the same people and don't hire a woman or a person of color. It's really just about changing that mindset and making people aware," he argued.
Feig also took issue with a Hollywood consensus that there's not a lot of female directors around to hire. "No, there's not that many female filmmakers that you consider to be legitimate. They're there. They just haven't been given the chance to do things that are legitimate in your eyes," he insisted.
To give women filmmakers a leg up creatively and commercially, Feig and Laura Fischer launched the digital content company Powderkeg as an incubator for female directors. "We need to advocate. But I have to see them [female filmmakers] do it," he explained.
The result is the production of six short films from an inclusive group of ethnically diverse female helmers. "They crushed it. We did a screening of all six films at Paramount and they're inundated with meetings and we have to figure out how to sell the six short films," Feig said.