Digital entertainment company RSUB has made a mid-seven-figure investment in Michael Stipe’s twin film ventures, Single Cell Pictures and C-Hundred Film Corp. Under the RSUB deal, the two film production companies will now be housed under a parent company, Self Timer.
The first RSUB/Self Timer project to go under the Single Cell banner will be “13 Conversations About One Thing,” which will be helmed by Jill Sprecher (“The Clockwatchers”) and is now casting.
C-Hundred is also slated to produce “Backward Looks, Far Corners” from Christopher Munch (“Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day”), “Stranger Inside” from Cheryl Dunye (“The Watermelon Woman”), Lisa Collins’ “The Grass Is Greener” and Walid Raad’s “Hostage.”
RSUB will receive the Internet rights to all films produced. In addition, RSUB plans to take ideas for Self Timer’s upcoming films and expand them into other films, books, soundtracks or Internet shows.
“We’re not really looking at this as solely an investment,” RSUB prexy Michael Simon told Daily Variety. “That was the price of admission to become partners with Michael (Stipe) and his partners, who’ve done great work. They needed some cash, and now they get financial and digital resources.”
Both Self Timer subsidiaries have track records of critically acclaimed films, including Single Cell’s “Being John Malkovich” and C-Hundred’s “American Movie.”
“When I was in my 20s, I had the romantic notion of a salon where people would be able to volley creative notions inspired by each other,” Stipe said. “That’s what RSUB is. They’re a group of ambitious and creative people and they’re copasetic with the kind of stuff I work in. RSUB blows the field wide open in terms of distribution or dissemination.”
Although neither Single Cell nor C-Hundred has a studio deal, Stipe said the reception for “Malkovich” has “opened up a floodgate” in terms of the material that is being presented to his companies.
“I’m extremely grateful for what ‘Malkovich’ has done for us,” he said. “We’re expanding upward and onward.”
Stipe founded the Los Angeles-based Single Cell in 1995 with producing partner Sandy Stern. The company served as executive producer on “Velvet Goldmine,” and produced “Malkovich.”
New York-based C-Hundred was co-founded by Stipe and director-producer Jim McKay (“Girls Town”) in 1987. C-Hundred’s credits also include McKay’s “Our Song,” which screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and the most recent edition of Museum of Modern Art’s New Directors/New Films series.
Based in New York with a staff of 23, RSUB was formerly a division of Internet design and development company Razorfish Inc., and now creates and develops content such as live-action and animated shows for its Web site, including George Condo’s “Pod People.” It publishes books, e-zines and films. Company also serves as the record label for R&B artists Ticklah and Cooly’s Hot Box, and manages the Honeydogs.