×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Stromberg, Third Floor team for Hydra

Pre-vis studio will finance feature development

Hollywood’s newest production banner has many heads: established pre-vis company the Third Floor, Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg, “Avatar” concept artist and production designer Dylan Cole and veteran storyboard/comicbook artist Mark Moretti.

Appropriately, they’re calling the venture Hydra, and their hope is to become an alternative to studio development — a place where filmmakers can come to get their CG and live-action ideas off the ground just enough to entice studio partners for financing and distribution. Los Angeles-based company will use an inhouse fund to finance development, including a couple of projects already in the works.

Stromberg, who won back-to-back Oscars for his work as the production designer on “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland,” is making his directorial debut with Disney’s “Maleficent.” He was able to generate early momentum for the project and demonstrate his directorial style with a pitch-vis presentation.

“Many of the ‘pitch-vis’ trailers we’ve created for our clients have resulted in fully funded, greenlit productions,” said Chris Edwards, CEO of the Third Floor. “These successes convinced us to join forces with world-class filmmakers, production designers and other storytellers.”

Among projects in development at Hydra is “Safari,” a large-scale adventure pic in the vein of “Jurassic Park” and “Avatar” that Stromberg has committed to direct. Another is “The Otherworldly Adventures of Tyler Washburn,” a family film based on the children’s book written and illustrated by Cole.

“Now that I’m doing my own films and seeing what it takes to get something off the ground, I can tell you Hydra is an exciting next step for anybody who has an idea,” Stromberg told Variety. “With projects that have been sitting around a long time at a studio, it could rejuvenate those that would be potentially never be made.”

Hydra’s process enables simultaneous story and visual development, blending traditional screenwriting with high-end concept design, storyboarding and previsualization. While several like-minded companies in the videogame and book worlds are taking the transmedia approach, Hydra believes it’s the only company coming from a pre-vis background.

“Our goal is leveraging a lot of experiences that to us became the secret for getting a studio greenlight,” said producer Joel Newton, who will serve as general manager.”Everyone has been using us as the secret sauce, so that after a studio exec who’s inclined to say no sees the entire scope of the movie with a pre-vis trailer, it would get greenlit.”

The Third Floor’s former head of production, Nathan Santell, will head development for Hydra.

Hydra has a strategic partnership with the Third Floor, which has created pre-vis for hit movies including “The Avengers” and “Thor” for Marvel Studios, “Men in Black 3” for Columbia Pictures, “Alice in Wonderland” for Disney and “Avatar” for 20th Century Fox.

Santell, who previously served as director of development at Jaret Entertainment, met the Third Floor team while working on the “Resident Evil 5” videogame and worked through the ranks. Newton co-founded Artist Intl. and met Hydra’s founding trio when he left to focus on producing.

More Film

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Johnny BananasMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    'The Challenge' Veteran Crashes MTV Awards Acceptance Speech; Cut From Broadcast

    Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio pulled a Kanye West at Saturday’s taping of the MTV Movie & TV awards when “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” won over “The Challenge” in the Reality Royalty category. However, viewers didn’t get to see it. Producers of the show cut out Devenanzio’s speech from Monday’s airing, after the reality star took [...]

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards returned to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations with four apiece were front runners “Avengers: Endgame,” which took home the evening’s best movie award, and “Game of Thrones,” which won best show. The Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG” also scored [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Jon Ham Richard Jewell

    Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm Join Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s already star-studded drama “Richard Jewell.” Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother. The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair [...]

  • Where the Wind Blows

    Hong Kong's 'Where the Wind Blows' Sidesteps Protests For China Promo

    Hong Kong film director Philip Yung and his cast were in Shanghai on Monday to promote their upcoming film “Where the Wind Blows.” They revealed new details while cautiously sidestepping — for the most part — the awkward issue of last week’s massive civil protests in Hong Kong against a controversial bill that would have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content