WIP turning up Volume

Nears prod'n pact with financier

Warner Independent Pictures is closing a five-year deal to co-finance and co-produce up to 30 films with new production outfit Volume One.

The move comes as WIP, the specialty film division of Warner Bros. Pictures, looks to add films to its pipeline under new president Polly Cohen. Under terms of the arrangement — which will cover as many as 30 films over a five-year period, whichever comes first — the companies will co-finance and share ownership on the titles.

The companies are looking to jointly produce films in the $5 million-$40 million range. Financing on the projects is likely to be split evenly. Both companies will develop projects to bring to the venture.

New York- and Los Angeles-based Volume One, run by financier Dean Leavitt and producer Gina Resnick, is in the process of raising funds for its share of the alliance. The company is expected to have a strong presence at May's Festival de Cannes as it ramps up the venture.

WIP declined comment on the deal. Leavitt did not return a call for comment.

Volume One, founded last year, is serving as an executive producer on Terry George's dramatic thriller "Reservation Road" for Focus Features. The outfit also optioned "And the Word Was," Bruce Bauman's novel about a man's struggle with tragedy.

Resnick's producing credits include the indie films "Imaginary Heroes," "Prey for Rock & Roll" and "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing."

Leavitt previously served as CEO of wireless and payment services company U.S. Wireless Data.

Since founding Volume One, Leavitt has met with several indie distributors about establishing potential film-financing deals.