You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Double Visionbox

Digital prod'n house forms 2 low-budget units

Former Samuel Goldwyn exec John Bard Manulis and producer Michael Kastenbaum have launched digital production company Visionbox Pictures, a low-budget outfit that offers filmmakers creative rights and equity ownership for edgy projects.

Through its two divisions, low-budget Spotlight and microbudget the Lab, Visionbox will use both traditional and interactive new-media applications to produce genre, franchise and niche features as well as Webisodes.

Spotlight, which will budget most pics under the half-million mark, plans to make up to six features annually with emerging and established filmmakers.

In post is Harry Shearer’s corporate satire “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” starring Michael McKean, Morgan Fairchild, Henry Gibson and George Wendt, and the romantic drama “Falling Like This,” written and directed by Dani Minnick and starring Brian Vaughan (“Almost Famous”), Patricia Clarkson (“The Green Mile”), John Diehl (“Anywhere But Here”) and Karen Young (“Joe the King”).

Spotlight slate

Up next for Spotlight division this fall is the black comedy “Eurotrash,” written by Tony Peck and Joseph Brutsman (“Free Money”) and directed by Brutsman. This will be followed by the supernatural thriller “The Order,” written by Lee Muhl and to be directed by C.M. Talkington (“Love and a .45”).

Visionbox plans to simultaneously produce a series of mythologically related Webisodes, a licensed comic book and interactive game in conjunction with the project.

Lab work

The Lab has its roots in Kastenbaum’s Zero Pictures, which has produced more than 15 features since its 1997 inception, including Noah Stern’s Sundance selection “The Invisibles” starring Portia de Rossi.

“The Lab is the microbudget incubator of Visionbox,” Kastenbaum said. “It’s a discovery zone for new talent, a nurturing ground for cool ideas and a place for established filmmakers to test boundaries or refresh their muse.”

Next up for the Lab are the socio-political comedy “Revolt” by writer-director Peter Glantz and the cross-cultural comedy “Island of Mirrors” written by and starring Edgar L. Davis about the experiences of an African-American actor teaching conversational English to private-school girls in Japan.

Visionbox co-chairman and CEO Manulis most recently served as head of filmed entertainment for Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Roll of credits

Under his own continuing banner, Foundation Entertainment, his producing credits include “The Basketball Diaries,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg; “Swing Kids,” starring Christian Bale; “Daybreak,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr.; “Foxfire,” starring Angelina Jolie; and the upcoming “Tortilla Soup,” starring Hector Elizondo, Elizabeth Pena and Raquel Welch. He recently produced the Umbilical Brothers’ “THWAK” for Off Broadway and in Los Angeles.

Prior to launching Zero, Visionbox co-chairman and president Kastenbaum worked in development at Epic Pictures and as an executive on productions including Curtis Hanson’s “Bad Influence,” Emilio Estevez’s “Men at Work” and “Double Impact,” starring Jean Claude Van Damme.

More Film

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" in

    Writers Guild Makes It Official: This Is the Most Wide-Open Oscars Race Ever

    For the record, we’re in uncharted territory this Oscar season. While we still have the costume designers’ ceremony to get through on Tuesday, the Writers Guild Awards put a bow on the major guild kudos circuit Sunday night. The results have yielded what is, unequivocally, the most wide-open Oscar field in history. The major guild [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content