The partners have been quietly working together for some time, setting up TV development projects at multiple networks, as well as the music competish series “Majors and Minors,” set to bow next week on the Hub kidvid cabler.
Company has set up shop on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood with ambitious plans to operate five divisions: TV, film, music, music publishing and technology. For now, Boardwalk is privately funded. The goal is to bring on strategic partners and financiers on a project-by-project basis.
In the case of “Majors and Minors,” RCA Records, publishing company Bug Music and BMI are helping to finance the series, which follows a group of 12 aspiring musicians as they are mentored by stars including Brandy, Avril Lavigne, Will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Leona Lewis.
On the film side, Tim Bogart is finishing up a work on the script for “Spinning Gold,” a biopic of his and Evan’s late father, Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart, who was one of the most high-flying music biz execs of the 1970s.
The Boardwalk Records imprint overseen by Evan Bogart issued its first release in July in partnership with MTV and Hype Music: an album by the San Francisco-based artist Wallpaper (aka Eric Frederic), who is also signed to the publishing division.
The partners aim to bring Boardwalk’s music acts into its film and TV projects and vice versa, which in turn will help draw music-related equity partners to their productions. Some of the hopefuls on “Majors and Minors” may wind up being signed by Boardwalk Records or Boardwalk Publishing.
The Boardwalk Technology division offers an ADR service designed to give producers mobile access to dialogue-replacement services.
Randall and Tim Bogart have been mulling the idea of joining forces ever since they first met while working on a pilot for Lifetime seven years ago. The two clicked and realized they had similar goals of taking an entrepreneurial approach to developing TV and film projects. The timing was finally right in the past few months for the threesome to hunker down and set up a formal business structure. The Boardwalk name is a nod to the company Neil Bogart launched after Casablanca.
“When Gary and Evan and I sat down together, we realized we were all on three parallel tracks of wanting to launch creative companies led by artists themselves,” Tim Bogart said.
“We all have a history of being entrepreneurial when it comes to putting financing together for our projects,” Randall said.
Randall is an exec producer of A&E’s “The Glades” and was also recently an exec producer on TNT’s “Saving Grace.” Before turning to full-time producing in the 1990s, Randall was an exec at Warner Bros. TV and Orion TV as well as prexy of Spelling Television.
Tim Bogart also worked as a TV exec in the early 1990s before transitioning to writing and directing for film and TV. His credits range from kidvid fare (Fox Kids’ “The Jungle Book”) to indie pics (“Love and Sex,” “The I Inside”) to telepics (ABC’s “The Extreme Team”).
Evan Bogart has worked in artist management and as an exec at Interscope Records. He’s also served as a producer and tunesmith for such notables as Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears.
The Neil Bogart biopic is, naturally, a passion project for the new venture. Tim Bogart said he’s turned down requests for years to tell the tale of his famously fast-living father’s rags-to-riches success as a disco-era impresario. He made superstars out of Kiss, Donna Summer and the Village People, among others, before dying of cancer at age 39.
The plan is to line up independent financing for the feature, with the goal of getting it into production by the end of next year.
TV projects in various stages are percolating at ABC, Fox, NBC, Starz and Showtime, according to Randall.