Digital company resurrects private equity investment
BERLIN — Lux Digital Pictures, a new German film company, is reanimating the dead in its first feature production, a 3-D remake of “Night of the Living Dead,” and resurrecting the possibility of private equity investment following the demise of film funds.The Berlin-based Lux Digital partnered with the pic’s producer-director Jeff Broadstreet, coming on board to completely finance “Night of the Living Dead 3-D.” Producers describe the film as “a homage” to George Romero’s 1968 zombie classic — a title that is in the public domain. Launched last year by Ingo Jucht, Lux Digital is backed by several equity investors, a setup that may prove increasingly interesting to German investors who no longer have the possibility to invest in tax-sheltering film funds following the government’s recent clampdown on the market. Investors can still invest directly in production companies, however. “After the closure of the media funds, such a structure is one of the few opportunities left to investors who are really interested in film production,” says Jucht. Lux Digital is developing two other projects: “Earth Creature,” a sci-fi thriller penned by “Night of the Living Dead 3-D” scribe Robert Valding; and “Summer Love,” a teen romance set in 1970s Cuba written by David Schmoeller. Jucht is looking for a Latin American or Spanish co-production partner for “Summer Love,” a story about an American teen who falls for a Cuban girl while visiting the island with his father. Industry vet Tom Coleman is advising Lux Digital, which is focusing solely on English-language productions budgeted at around $2 million. “The investments will be capped, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be part of projects with budgets of up to $5 million,” says Coleman, adding the company is looking to remain fiscally disciplined by backing projects that make economic sense: “‘Night of the Living Dead 3-D’ is clever and commercial, it has a brand name you know and it’s in 3-D.” Plus, Coleman adds, Lux Digital, as the name implies, is keen to use digital when possible. “We can deliver a professional-looking product at very low cost using high-definition digital cameras.” Lux Digital is currently shopping the pic to international distributors.