Carlis lands on CameraPlanet

Unit to churn out 4-6 features a year

Gotham-based TV producer BNNtv.com said Tuesday former Shooting Gallery prexy Steve Carlis has come on board to lead the group’s fledgling digital film operation, CameraPlanet Pictures.

The division will turn out four to six reality-based commercial features a year with budgets in the low-to-mid seven figures. Five are slated for the first year.

Carlis and BNNtv CEO Steve Rosenbaum said they anticipate two or three theatrical releases each year, with others heading straight to TV or homevid. They plan to ink a theatrical distribution deal this summer.

BNNtv.com, founded in 1984, is a big producer of nonfiction programming with strong ties to TV clients such as CBS News, A&E, VH1, MSNBC, CNN, HBO, History Channel and Court TV.

Company created “MTV News Unfiltered.” It produced or partnered on episodes for series such as HBO’s “Real Sex,” Court TV’s “Crime Stories” and A&E’s “Inside Story” and “Investigative Reports.”

BNNtv founded Web unit Cameraplanet.com a year ago to showcase reality shorts that can be expanded to TV and, now, to film. William Morris recently signed on to rep the site and package its video content into a weekly TV show for U.S. and international distribution.

‘Ripped from headlines’

The digital films, like the TV and Web fare, will be “fact-based fiction, ripped right from the headlines,” Rosenbaum said.

Carlis joined Shooting Gallery in 1993. Shooting Gallery recently merged with Canadian investment firm Itemus Corp.

BNNtv.com is private, and profitable, Rosenbaum said, predicting revenue this year just shy of $15 million. Company is likely to announce three strategic investors, one for each of its businesses, by late summer.

Separately, the company said Cameraplanet.com was selected as a featured content provider for Microsoft’s WindowsMedia.com.