New company will work across multiple platforms
Robert Evans has linked up with Henri Kessler, Liam Weir, Layne Bednar and Steaphan Weir to launch Pacific Transmedia Corp., a film fund and transmedia company that operates across multiple platforms.First production is the $130 million-budget “UFO,” based on the 1970s British TV series, with veteran visual effects supervisor Matthew Gratzner making his directing debut. PTC will sell the film at the Cannes Film Festival this month with cast being set and lensing starting in November. “UFO,” penned by Ryan Gaudet and Joseph Kanarek, revolves around SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization), a secret military operation battling an alien race that’s been kidnapping and killing humans for decades and using the body parts. Project was announced last summer; Kessler and Avi Haas are producing with Evans exec producing. PTC’s goal is to produce two to three films per year over the next five to six years. It’s obtained initial funding through private investors and said it is in the process of raising $350 million in deployment capital in equity and debt. The company also plans to tap public capital markets through a primary public offering later this year. Kessler told Daily Variety that the company’s doing so not just to raise funds but also to provide transparency. He said that the Producers Guild of America’s recognition of “transmedia” as a new production credit last month had galvanized the launch of the company after several years of planning. “That announcement made us believe that we were on the right track — and that we should use the word ‘transmedia’ in our name,” Kessler said. PTC develops, finances and produces intellectual properties for platforms including films, video games, games, books, music, mobile applications, and merchandising. “Our eyes are on the future of entertainment,” Kessler said. “So much of filmed entertainment today is so much more than film; they are franchises, multimedia entertainment and marketing platforms. With the emergence of transmedia as a viable trajectory, Pacific Transmedia plans to have a basis in film with a complete transmedia component, complemented with our own P&A.” Ellen Wander of Film Bridge Intl. will handle foreign sales for PTC. PTC also has two other projects in development — Eric Watson’s directorial debut “Anika,” a $15 million budget coming of age drama written by Ramon Fernandez; and $35 million-budget 3D sci-fi thriller “NYC2123,” based on the Playstation graphic novel created by Chad and Paco Allen, with John Hampian and Daniel Ortiz penning the script.