EXCLUSIVE: Cassian Elwes, who two years ago transitioned from WMA independent film head to producer and packager of indies, has made a partnership deal with Evolution Entertainment. Elwes and Evolution principal Mark Burg will team for Evolution Independent. While Evolution is best known for genre fare like the Saw franchise and for Two And A Half Men, Burg and Evolution president Mike Menchel will rely on Elwes to find highbrow independent film projects to invest in.
Elwes left WMA when that agency merged with Endeavor and Endeavor partner Graham Taylor took the reins of the department. He is still a fixture at film festivals, as a sales agent brokering distribution deals and also on behalf of a high number of films he has been producing. Having ready access to funding strengthens those efforts. Elwes said he continues relationships with financier/producers like Michael Benaroya.
“I thought after WMA I might never work again, and that has turned out not to be the case,” Elwes told me. “It has been two years, I just started the 15th movie I’ve produced, and I’ve sold eight others. Mike and Mark were willing to put their company resources to fund a certain number of films each year. We will do four or five this year, and beyond that, my guess is it will be even more than that. This is a fresh infusion of cash into a … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Twisted Pictures, the company behind the Saw series and other genre films, has made an output and distribution deal with Wild Bunch. The Paris-based distribution and sales company will acquire and distribute the worldwide rights in all media for Twisted Pictures, the genre label of Mark Burg’s Evolution Entertainment. The deal will run for three years, and Twisted Pictures plans to generate up to two films each year, with an emphasis on low-budget genre fare featuring new filmmakers. It’s a major step forward for Burg since he bought out co-founder Oren Koules’ 50% stake in Evolution last June and named Mike Menchel to run the production/management company as president. Evolution, longtime manager of Charlie Sheen, was a producer of Two And A Half Men and will be a producer on Sheen’s upcoming FX series Anger Management. Read More »
Management/production company Evoluton Entertainment has opened offices in New York for the first time. The office, called Evolution-East, will be run by Stephen Gates, who has been at Evolution for 11 years and will focus on lit talent and making inroads to theater, book and other intellectual properties for clients. “There is a wealth of opportunity here and quite a unique talent pool as well,” Evolution president Mike Menchel said. Evolution is in pre-production on the Charlie Sheen series Anger Management and recently wrapped the latest Texas Chainsaw Massacre offering, Leather Face 3D.