Trident adds inhouse prod’n arm

As part of its plan to develop into a mini-studio that will attract all kinds of producers and programming, Trident Entertainment has bowed an inhouse production division. The company will use the new arm to develop feature films, homevideos and TV series.

The nascent entertainment company – headed by execs whose collective experience covers music, comedy, sports and docus – has recently completed work on a homevideo series that will highlight pro football players and coaches.

The company has also wrapped the pilot for a music series that will spotlight some of country music’s biggest artists.

The sports vids, dubbed “All Pro Sports Football Series” and created, written and produced by Bruce Singman, Trident’s veep, are also being developed as a franchise property. The company expects the format to expand to other sports, such as baseball and hockey. Plans for vids of the two sports are already on the drawing board.

“We saw that the market place offered sports bloopers videos and educational tapes, but nothing that combined the two,” said David Salzberg, chief executive of Trident. “These will be fun to watch and will be positive and informative.”

The initial run of the 12 sports vids will feature such football luminaries as San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice and Kansas City Chiefs safety Ronnie Lott. A well-known coach – who has not yet been selected – will round out the vids.

Country highway

The music TV series, dubbed “I-40” for the highway that runs between Nashville and parts West, will be an innovative mix of news, performances, interviews and sketch comedy using a cast of regulars.

Created by Salzberg, Brian Stewart and William Harper, the first show will feature country music big guns the Mavericks as well as singer/songwriter Victoria Shaw, among others.

The success of the 3-year-old firm has afforded it a war chest to fund both production and corporate expansion.

“We are in a position to produce and finance inhouse our own projects, in the process bringing us closer to becoming a true mini-studio,” Salzman said.

As a result, Trident recently bowed an inhouse editing complex that will allow its filmmakers to create programming in a state-of-the-art facility. The shift to internal post-production will reduce expenses.

Trident’s several successful TV series include “Studio X (Infinite),” a music and newsmagazine show for the Spanish market that aired on Telemundo, and “Sports Club,” a weekly show for ESPN.

Trident is also developing “Rude Boys,” an action-adventure film written by John Keveanos, a scribe who’s penned TV and film projects for Disney, Paramount and HBO; and a sitcom for Jason Hervey, who came to the attention of Trident through his work as a producer of “Wide World Kids,” a Saturday morning program directed and produced by Harper that aired on NBC. Hervey also starred in “The Wonder Years.”

“Our goal is to provide independent producers a place to bring their product where they can work with people who are experienced in all facets of the business,” said Salzberg.

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