Music rights shop targets pic production

International music-rights company Cutting Edge Group is looking to broaden its scope into the production sector.

According to CEO Phillip Morris, the group wants to make music-based films through an executive producer role.

Cutting Edge has inked multi-picture deals with Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment and Exclusive Media Group (international sales arm to Hammer Films) whereby it invested in a slate of films for each company, providing creative and music rights services to titles.

“Because Cutting Edge has had success in investing in quality films through these partnerships, we’re now looking to help make some big, music-based films,” said Morris. “We are particularly looking to invest in new talent and first-time filmmakers, as it’s the next step toward broadening our horizons.”

The company set up the Resonant Music Fund in 2009 and raised £13.3 million ($20 million) in 2009, which it used to invest around $100,000 per pic in exchange for music rights that the group could then exploit across all media. The company is now raising a £100 million ($148 million) fund.

The Cutting Edge/Dark Castle deal saw the group oversee music supervision for such pics as “The Losers” and upcoming thriller “Unknown White Male,” starring Liam Neeson. Exclusive deal also yielded investments in upcoming Hilary Swank thriller “The Resident” and “Let Me In,” a U.S. remake of Swedish vampire pic “Let the Right One In.”

In addition to providing music-budget investment for titles, Cutting Edge serves as a music manager to film composers. Air-Edel, the music management side of the outfit, just added “Pan’s Labyrinth” composer Javier Navarrette to its roster. The composer’s talent will be promoted both in the U.S. and internationally via Air-Edel’s L.A. and London bases.

Navarrette’s upcoming films include “La Ultima Muerte” (The Last Death) and Sngmoo Lee’s “The Warrior’s Way.”

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