October 31, 2012 – Academy-Award nominated director and producer Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Blade Runner) and Scott Free London are partnering with Orchard Media and Focus Features International on a slate of six genre low-budget feature films over a period of three years. Ridley Scott will executive produce and present the slate which will be focused primarily on horror, thriller and science fiction. The films will be in association with Northern Ireland Screen and will shoot primarily in Northern Ireland using resident crew, cast, services and facilities. Focus Features International will handle world-wide sales.
Ridley Scott said: “Our target is to create a structure that enables filmmakers to push boundaries and to excite audiences. Our proposed model of filmmaking allows us to give directors the opportunity to really innovate through narrative, production techniques and distribution strategies.”
Focus Features International’s Alison Thompson commented: “There’s an appetite and market for high-concept low budget films – that combined with Ridley Scott’s pedigree will be very attractive to international buyers.”
Scott Free London’s Liza Marshall and Jack Arbuthnott said: “This slate is a fantastic opportunity to work in a genuinely liberating and creative way to make distinctive, commercial films.”
The deal was brokered by Orchard Founder Adam Kulick and Chris Billows, Orchard’s Head of Media. They commented: “We believe this is a very exciting opportunity for talent, distributors and investors. Filmmakers often spend a great deal of time and energy raising and closing financing. By funding the slate up front we can allow filmmakers to focus entirely on the creative aspects of the filmmaking process.”
Head of Production for Northern Ireland Screen, Andrew Reid, said: “We have been looking for a model which would allow us to forecast future production in Northern Ireland over the next few years. Orchard and Scott Free brought us a compelling proposition to complement our other large incoming productions, such as Game of Thrones. It also potentially provides an outlet for developing Northern Ireland creative talent.”
For Scott Free London, Liza Marshall will produce and Jack Arbuthnott will oversee development and co-produce. For Orchard, Chris Billows will produce and oversee development and Adam Kulick will executive produce.
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