EXCLUSIVE: After making his directing debut on the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, Mike Fleiss has made a deal to make his narrative directing debut on an untitled low-budget horror film. He is partnered on the project with Steven Schneider, producer of the Paranormal Activity films and Insidious. Fleiss, whose documentary opens this week, has certainly gained experience in making low-cost/high-gross genre films. He was a producer on Hostel and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and his latest, Shark Night 3D, opens in nine days. Fleiss is also the TV producer behind The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and other reality series. The Fleiss-Schneider film is described to me as a big idea with a low price tag, which seems to be the best way to make genre nowadays. It’s being packaged and will be sold by WME Global to start production by year’s end. Fleiss is also working on a narrative film based on dolphin activist Richard O’Barry. He was the hero of The Cove, the shocking documentary that covertly filmed the carnage in a cove in the small former whaling village of Taijii. Fishermen annually herd thousands of dolphins into the cove, and slaughter them in a frenzy that actually makes the waters run blood red. The film created a global uproar. WME Global will package that film as a follow-up film for Fleiss to direct.
Simon Cowell and his X Factor producers won best entertainment show at tonight’s Royal Television Society awards in London. And BBC hit Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, beat ITV’s Downton Abbey to win best drama series. But Piers Morgan lost out to radio DJ Reggie Yates as best presenter. David Tennant, nominated for his role in the one-off BBC TV drama Single Father, was beaten by Jim Broadbent for his star turn in Channel 4’s Any Human Heart. And Mad Men failed to win for best international show, which went instead to the Japanese dolphin-fishing expose The Cove. Steven Moffat, showrunner on the latest series of Doctor Who, received a special Judges’ Award. Guests at tonight’s awards show, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, included Tennant, Simon Callow, Greg Wise and ITV presenters Ant and Dec.
Miranda BBC Productions for BBC Two
Alan Bennett and the Habit of Art A Lone Star/National Theatre Production in association with Arts Council England and More4
The Secret Life of the National Grid BBC Productions for BBC Four
Science & Natural History
Wonders of the Solar System BBC/Science Channel co-production for BBC Two
Between Life and Death BBC Productions/BBC Wales for BBC One
Welcome to Lagos KEO north for BBC Two
Features and Lifestyle Series
Pineapple Dance Studios Pulse Films for Sky1HD
Nations and Regions Programme
Breaking the Silence
EXCLUSIVE: Mike Fleiss, who created The Bachelor and other reality hits before branching into films, has acquired feature film rights to the life story of Richard O’Barry. He is the dolphin preservationist and the central figure in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. O’Barry started his career training the dolphins that starred in the TV show Flipper. When one of them died in captivity–and maybe had lost its will to live–O’Barry began a life long quest to free dolphins from captivity. He came to the forefront in the documentary, in which director Louie Psihoyos covertly filmed the carnage in a cove in the small former whaling village of Taijii. Fisherman annually herd thousands of dolphins into the cove, and slaughter them in a frenzy that actually makes the waters run blood red. The film created a global uproar.
Fleiss and Lincoln O’Barry will produce under Next Films and BayRock Media, and Next Films’ Chris Briggs will also be a producer. WME Global’s Graham Taylor will package and sell distribution rights. Fleiss is teamed with Next Films on Shark Night 3D, Hostel 3 and the documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne.
Below is an upsetting film which illuminates O’Barry’s crusade: