On the heels of the success of “La La Land” and “Pitch Perfect,” London’s Cutting Edge Group is launching a new multi-million-dollar production fund, Cutting Edge Originals (CEO), to develop, finance and produce music-driven films.
Motion Picture Capital, a U.K.-based financier and producer, has committed to raising financing for each of CEO’s films, with the first round of funding underway, Cutting Edge Original chief James Gibb said in Berlin.
CEO’s inaugural slate includes a remake of Sweden’s Oscar-nominated “As It Is in Heaven” and a “very big” musical set in Detroit, Gibb said. The goal is to make two to three English-language films a year, with the first going into production this summer. Motion Picture Capital will come on board to both finance and produce the films alongside CEO.
Cutting Edge Group invests in 30 to 40 films a year in exchange for music rights. The company financed, produced and supervised the music for “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle’s previous film, “Whiplash.” It has slate deals with Thunder Road (“John Wick,” “Sicario”) and Cross Creek (“Hacksaw Ridge,” “Everest”).
“We felt there was a gap in the market,” Gibb said of the decision to establish CEO, adding: “We have the relationships in both the music and film businesses to produce a slate of quality music-driven commercial films.”
Leon Clarance, the head of Motion Picture Capital, said: “We’ve been looking at new opportunities, which could enhance our presence in the most exciting parts of the current film world.” One is “the growing global demand for smart and moving music-driven films.”
Cutting Edge Group recently embarked on a strategy to acquire music rights to the library films of leading independents and mini majors. The company has acquired a significant stake in Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment’s music library and announced a deal at the American Film Market to administer and monetize music rights to 50 Lakeshore library titles.