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M3 Creative launches production arm

First project is genre pic 'Apple Cart'

On the heels of its foray into film production with “John Dies at the End,” M3 Creative is launching a marketing/promotion/production arm dubbed M3 Creative Film for genre pics in the $1 million to $10 million range.

First feature will be “Apple Cart,” touted as project that explores new ways of telling the classic 1970s and ’80s horror narratives such as “Reanimator,” “Evil Dead 2” and “Halloween” — though the logline remains under wraps. M3’s Andy Meyers and Brad Baruh are producing with lensing aimed for winter.

John Dies at the End,” written and directed by Don Coscarelli, has a closing-night slot at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section following Sundance and SWSX appearances. Meyers, Baruh and M3’s Roman Perez produced the film starring Paul Giamatti as a shadowy figure investigating a street drug known that causes users to drift across time and dimensions.

Magnolia picked up U.S. rights to “John Dies” recently for release next year.

Nine-year-old M3 produces a wide variety of content such as 30-minute daily shows, reality shows, interstitials and promos — along with handling part of the Blu-Ray documentary for “The Avengers.”

“This represents a strategic repositioning for the agency that we believe is required in a marketing-centric world,” said Meyers, who serves as CEO. “While our focus remains on our core business, we saw an opportunity to expand by applying our skills in an area that is complementary to our core strengths.”

Baruh said that the emergence of “John Dies” as a success story has generated interest from financers — adding that those sources of coin are not the traditional kind. “If you reach outside the industry, you can find fantastic partners,” he added.

M3 has been prepping what it touts as a “non-conventional” marketing campaign for “John Dies,” employing “free form” viral and behind-the-scenes narrative — techniques that will be employed for “Apple Cart” and other projects.

“By serving as true partners rather than the last stop in the creative stream, we can be involved from the beginning,” Baruh said. “This gives us the ability to lend our branding expertise to everything from demo targets and casting to script development and special effects, maximizing the chances of success for independent films vying in a highly competitive environment.”

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