Former Lionsgate Film Exec Erik Feig Launches New Production Banner
Picturestart sets sail with unique arrangements with Warner Bros., Scholastic and Endeavor Content, among others.
Erik Feig, one of the former heads of Lionsgate’s motion picture group, has launched Picturestart, a media company that aims to create, co-finance and produce a broad array of content for all platforms.
And befitting a man whose early career was in film financing and acquisitions, Feig’s new venture comes with first-look and co-financing arrangements with such companies as Warner Bros. Pictures, Nordic Entertainment Group, Scholastic, Endeavor Content and Bron Ventures.
The company says “Discovery of Voice” will be the dominant theme of its storytelling. Simply put, the stories will be coming-of-age–style stories where the protagonist finds his or her voice and identity.
This is something that Feig proved adept at as he snatched up rights to — and adapted during his time at Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate — book series such as Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent, all featuring young women finding empowerment, or books such as Wonder, Warm Bodies and Perks of Being a Wallflower, featuring males of varying ages finding their way in the world. Feig was also instrumental in the development and making of movies such as La La Land, The Hurt Locker, 50/50 and the Step Up franchise.
But "Discovery of Voice" does not mean a focus only on YA and youth culture. It also, per the company’s announcement, means “telling diverse stories with diverse creatives in film, television and digital productions across all distribution platforms, channels, and markets. Picturestart’s content is designed for broad audiences and also deep fandom communities."
“Great storytelling that digs into who we are, who we want to become, who we love, and why we live is relatable to everyone no matter your stage or age in life,” said Feig in a statement. “Creating a company that focuses on working with groundbreaking and innovative artists to tell transformative stories is something I am passionate about on a creative and business level and I am thrilled to be able to now focus on this robust category with both more precision and more scale and with the best-in-class of financing, distribution, and marketing options.”
Picturestart's partners are impressive. Warner Bros. has a significant equity investment in the company, pacting with it for a unique first-look arrangement for co-developing, co-financing, and distribution of feature films. Nordic Entertainment Group has an equity investment that gives it right of first refusal for the Nordic rights to certain television projects.
Publishing mainstay Scholastic is giving the company access to its IP for development into other forms of media. Endeavor Content will act as co-financier and strategic adviser on select projects, while a partnership with Bron Ventures will see that company act as co-producer and co-financier on certain projects as well.
Feig’s new shop is already staffed up with several key execs. Ryan Lindenberg, formerly of prolific TV shingle Berlanti Productions, where he oversaw Riverdale and You, will be executive vp production. Lucy Kitada, previously at Michael De Luca Productions, where she packaged and oversaw The Babysitter’s Club reboot, will also act as exec vp production. And Jessica Switch is coming from Studio 8 to serve as vp production.