The Gotham-based company run by Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub has been behind such pics as “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Sunshine Cleaning” and “Safety Not Guaranteed.”
Saraf said the move into television was a natural at a time when the market for programming is expanding and business models are changing in a way that is creating openings for indie players. The company aims to develop scripted and unscripted projects, including possible adaptations of Big Beach features.
Pasternack will be based in Gotham but will also work closely with Big Beach’s new L.A.-based wing, Beachside, focusing on micro-budget features and digital content.
“It really felt like this is the right time for us to dive in to television in a focused way,” Saraf told Variety. “There are so many exciting innovations going on in television.”
Big Beach, launched in 2004, had long planned to get into TV. The partners met with Pasternack recently and found him to be a good fit in “sensiblity, temperament and taste,” Saraf said. “It was an immediate meeting of the minds.”
Pasternack has served as VP of development and production at AMC Networks’ cabler IFC since 2010. He’s also held development posts at Studios USA, Granada TV, the Fred Silverman Co. and worked as a producer on the Showtime series “Beggars and Choosers” and FX’s “Starved.”
During his tenure at IFC, Pasternack shepherded the buzzy comedies “Portlandia” and “Comedy Bang! Bang” and the offbeat miniseries “The Spoils of Babylon,” which was just picked up for another installment.
“My time at IFC was truly special to me, but this is an opportunity I couldn’t let get away. I’m thrilled and honored to be entrusted to help move the company into television,” Pasternack said .
With Pasternack signing on to run TV, Big Beach’s Molly Breeskin will move over to the TV side as a creative exec after spending the past three years as an assistant to Saraf.