THE DEALMAKER: Former Harvard Business School classmates and Media Rights Capital founders and CEOs Mordecai (Modi) Wiczyk and Asif Satchu’s 5-year-old company is about to see the results of a period of intense dealmaking, with 10 television shows and five movies skedded to roll out over the next 12 months and the launching of advertising-sponsored online series “Seth McFarlane’s Cavalcade of Comedy.”
Films include Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno,” to be distributed by Universal; “Shorts,” written and directed by Robert Rodriguez; “The Box,” with Cameron Diaz; and Ricky Gervais’ “This Side of the Truth” — the latter three are distributed by Warner Bros.
MRC has also announced a three-pic deal with M. Night Shyamalan. “There are about eight other deals we won’t announce until we’re ready to start selling,” says Wiczyk, a former agent at Endeavor, which provided some seed money to launch MRC.
Shyamalan’s deal is typical of MRC in that the filmmaker will co-own the movies’ copyrights and retain artistic control. MRC’s big selling point since its inception is the ability to give talent more earning power by owning pieces of their projects. It seems to be meeting a need on both ends: In an environment of belt-tightening, studios are more willing to take a finished product even if it means they won’t own the negatives.
The company is fast becoming one of the largest suppliers of TV programming, with shows on ABC (“The Goode Family), Fox (“Outnumbered”), HBO (“The Life and Times of Tim”), Lifetime (“Rita Rocks,” “Libertyville”), Comedy Central (“Crod Mandoon) and the CW (“In Harm’s Way,” “Surviving Suburbia,” “Valentine, Inc.,” “Easy Money”). MRC also created a joint venture with Elisabeth Murdoch’s ShineReveille for international sales and distribution of TV content.
KEY DEALS: Three-pic pact with WB; five-hour block on the CW Sunday nights; innovative pact with Seth McFarlane/ Google for Web series “Cavalcade of Comedy.”
Dealmaker dos: “Do what’s original.”
DEALMAKER DON’TS: “Don’t worry about precedent. Everything has been done before and seen before.”
TOP DEALMAKERS ENCOUNTERED: Jerry Perenchio, Peter Chernin, Rupert Murdoch, Les Moonves