Home video division churns out genre fare
Warner Home Video has greenlit a second wave of “Raw Feed” fare.
All three movies are being produced back to back for around $5 million each. “Otis,” a horror comedy starring Daniel Stern and Illeana Douglas, began lensing early this week and will be followed by “Supermarket” and “Rest Stop 2.”
The brisk pace, which harks back to that of serials pumped out under the old studio system, enables Raw Feed to save coin on sets and personnel. The model calls for 15-18 days of shooting for each film, followed by a three-week break for casting and pre-production of the next project.
“It’s a blend between independent film and television,” said producer Tony Krantz, who is helming “Otis.”
Both Krantz and partner John Shiban have strong roots in TV — Krantz is exec producer on “24,” and Shiban served similar duties on “The X-Files” — and Daniel Myrick, the third principal, co-created seat-of-the-pants indie project “The Blair Witch Project” and also has worked on TV fare.
The principals are producing each other’s movies, then trading off directing honors.
“What we are doing is the equivalent of going into a second season,” Krantz said.
The first two Raw Feed discs have doubled Warner’s expectations, having shipped more than 1 million units combined; they are expected to become profitable when ancillary coin is added into the mix. For example, “Rest Stop,” the first Raw Feed project, has been airing on the Sci Fi Channel.
“Our object from day one has been profitability over a reasonable period of time,” said Jeff Baker, Warner Home Video senior VP and general manager for catalog. “We’re on the way, which is why we decided to acquire more.”
The arrangement gives Warner’s vid division more say than it usually has over the process, from start to finish.
“Actually, it’s been really exciting because we have greater control,” Baker said.
He said the second wave of titles is being produced even more quickly than the first. And that, he said, is where their TV background comes in handy.
“We gravitated toward these three guys not only because they’re talented but because they have a very deep background in TV,” Baker said.
“Otis” has a bigger-name cast than the first three Raw Feed projects, and the producers have not yet determined if they will follow suit on “Supermarket” and “Rest Stop 2.”