Chicago-based Luminair Media has tapped TicTock Studios topper Hopwood DePree XIV as its new president as part of a new partnership between the two Midwestern production companies.
The pact aims to give Luminair more of a presence in Los Angeles and drive more business to Michigan-based TicTock.
DePree, who recently produced Dustin Lance Black’s semi-autobiographical feature “Virginia,” will spend most of his time in Los Angeles scouting projects and financing for the two companies. Luminair and TicTock are eyeing a small handful of television and film projects, and could finance pictures with budgets up to $10 million. The pair also hope to come on board larger-budgeted fair with third parties to help with financing and production.
“We’re both Midwestern-based companies but functioning in L.A.,” DePree said. “It just makes sense to (work together) and try to bring more production to the Midwest.”
DePree is actively tied to Michigan’s film industry, which has struggled from cuts to the state’s generous tax incentives in recent years. Those incentives had boosted the local infrastructure and encouraged a number of production companies to base themselves in the state.
DePree, who will split his time between Los Angeles and Chicago as part of the new venture with Luminair, also serves as an adviser to the Governor’s office to help build the state’s film industry.
DePree’s other credits include producing “Tug” starring Sam Huntington and Haylie Duff, and “The Last Big Attraction,” which he directed and starred in.
With more than 30 years of production experience, Luminair is highly active in the branded content space for a number of Chicago-based companies. Clients include Starz, Disney and PBS, according to the company’s website.