Shorts pair inks USA film, series deals

Smith, Horowitz 'Escape' to small, big screens

HOLLYWOOD — Proving that making short films can open large doors, filmmakers Gareth Smith and Michael Horowitz (“This Guy Is Falling”) have closed a feature deal with USA Films as well as a television series pact with USA Networks.

Pic and series will be produced by Todd Harris, the filmmakers’ manager, whose Todd Harris Entertainment has a first-look deal at USA.

Senior veep of production and development Matt Wall brought the feature project into USA Films. USA Networks’ Dan Pasternack brought in and will oversee the television project.

On the feature side, Smith and Horowitz will pen an original script based on their untitled pitch; they may also co-direct. Project is described as a futuristic action road trip comedy set in the year 2137.

Set initially at the U. of Miami’s extension on the moon, story centers on a young man who must race back to Earth to prevent his sweetheart from taking an intergalactic trip that will certainly keep her out of reach for some time.

For the small screen, the duo is writing a series, tentatively entitled “Escape,” that pivots around a guy trapped in a world that is an amalgamation of vidgames.

UCLA grads Horowitz and Smith met while working at the school’s paper, the Bruin. Their short “This Guy Is Falling” was acquired by Webcaster Atom Films at Sundance earlier in the year.

While waiting for their television and film deals to close, the filmmakers — known for their unique visuals — recently made a second short film, also untitled, which stars Tim Olyphant and Rebecca Gayheart. They plan on submitting that, too, to Sundance.

Horowitz and Smith are repped by a team of agents at the William Morris Agency as well as manager Harris at Todd Harris Entertainment. Howard Meyers negotiated on behalf of USA Films.

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