Schreiberg, Hartmann, Brown-Marmel will run shingle
Indie production house Triage Entertainment (“Iron Chef America”) is partnering with Improv partner Levity Entertainment Group to create a new company focused on creating comedy content across multiple platforms.Shingle — dubbed Levity Prods. — will be run by Triage’s Stu Schreiberg and Levity’s Robert Hartmann and Judi Brown-Marmel. Hartmann and Brown-Marmel, through their stake in the Improv, are among the top comedy bookers in the country and have had a long association with the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. In conjunction with the creation of the new company, former Stone & Co. exec Matthew Marcus has joined both Triage and Levity Prods. as VP of business and creative development. Announcements of the partnership and Marcus’ hiring come on the eve of this weekend’s inaugural Las Vegas comedy fest, which Levity helped book. Schreiberg said Triage sought out the partnership with Levity as part of its desire to have its hand in as many aspects of the production business as possible. Triage already is active in everything from reality skeins like “Iron Chef” to specials like CBS’ “Survivor” finales and NBC’s upcoming Jamie Foxx concert special. What’s more, the company was looking to create content that would play in the emerging markets of VOD, cell phones and portable video devices like the iPod. “The way Triage has been successful has been through diversification,” Schreiberg said. “We wanted to find programming that can play on plasma screens and 2-inch screens. And comedy translates well in both, from large events to intimate stand-up.” Triage hooked up with Levity because of the company’s deep roots in the stand-up marketplace. “I could go to Judy and tell her a topic and she could tell me the names of 17 comedians who do that topic,” Schreiberg said. Brown-Marmel said Triage “made a lot of sense for us because they can produce a show for just about any kind of budget, for any kind of buyer. “We always felt like we had these great assets and relationships in comedy, but we never had a full-service production arm,” she added. “Our vision is to take these assets and build them into content.” Marcus will play a key role in meeting that goal. He’ll oversee all new projects in development while also exploring ancillary deals related to the programs. “Matthew’s experience will help us capitalize on the multiple revenue streams available to Levity Productions,” Schreiberg said. “He’ll also be a valuable asset to Triage Entertainment’s core business of non-fiction programming.” Marcus said the diversity of Triage and Levity meant he’ll “have the opportunity here to develop projects for both traditional and non-traditional distribution.” Exec spent six years at Stone & Co. as senior VP business development and marketing. He worked on skeins such as “The Mole” and “The Man Show”. While Levity also has a management arm, the company won’t necessarily focus on moving its clients into Levity projects. “We’ve produced for a number of non-clients. It’s not just about our list,” Brown-Marmel said. “When we’re first tracking a lot of comics, they’re nobody’s clients.” Schreiberg’s partners in Triage are Stephen Kroopnick and John Bravakis.