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TAE/IRS bow two joint pix

Trans Atlantic Entertainment and IRS Media Intl., two diverse companies that teamed last year in a joint venture to finance and produce films, are about to put two projects into production: “Bruce Campbell’s The Man With the Screaming Brain” and “Circuitry Man II: Prince of Plugs.”

The projects are the first greenlighted films for TAE/IRS since producing the soon-to-be-released “The Music of Chance” starring James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, Joel Grey and Samantha Mathis.

Budgeted at about $ 3 million, “Brain” is scheduled to go into production in March. Campbell, who wrote the film, will also direct and star.

Described by Paul Colichman, IRS president and CEO, as “a modern-day Frankenstein story,””Brain” is about a scientist who combines the brains of a pimp and a yuppie businessman into one body (Campbell).

According to Paul Rich, TAE president and CEO, “This is a great picture for both companies, because it’s got all the elements of a bigger studio picture and a terrific script,” Rich said. “Bruce has his own following internationally among the horror-comedy cult.”

Campbell, who is making his motion picture directing debut, will soon be seen in “Army of Darkness,” which he also co-produced.

His lack of experience as a director doesn’t seem to bother Colichman.

“It’s our 16th first-time director,” said Colichman, whose IRS produced such critically acclaimed films by feature first-timers as “Gas Food Lodging” and “My New Gun.””We know how to handle first-time directors.”

The next project out of the gate for TAE/IRS, “Circuitry Man II,” is in preproduction and is set for release in spring 1994.

The film will be directed by Steven Lovy, who co-wrote the script with his brother Robert Lovy.

The story concerns the evil Plughead’s sinister plan to find the secret of immortality and with it, the power to control the world.

Another project still under consideration for the TAE/IRS venture is “Camouflage,” written by “One False Move” screenwriters Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson.

“Camouflage” is the story of a broken-down Hollywood detective who teams up with a young, down-on-his-luck actor who has decided to become a detective.

TAE is known for such films as the “Hellraiser” and “The Children of the Corn” series, and IRS has a reputation for high-quality, critically praised films.

“You’re going to see a complete mix of films, ranging from the highest-end art films to a horror picture and everything in between,” Colichman said of the partnership. “We’re making good films. We absolutely refuse to be slotted into one genre of picture because that’s what is easier for people to understand.”

“The quality of the films that I saw in ‘One False Move’ and ‘Gas Food Lodging’ represented to me what I wanted this company to be associated with,” TAE’s Rich said. “I figured that there was a new niche that could be created. We could make commercial films with their quality.”

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