DICK FIGURES is the highest viewed and rated web series on YouTube with over 160,000,000 views, 40 episodes, and 1,000,000 subscribers through its distributor Mondo Media and boasts over 100,000 Facebook fans. Additionally, the show maintains a 99% positive score on YouTube. Those statistics are worth paying attention to, especially as they're now making the movie. Executive producer John Andrews is no stranger to big-screen animation having co-produced BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA. And creators Ed Skudder and Zack Keller have already raised over $250,000 toward the production budget through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Most interestingly, those donations are non-recoupable. Could successful donation-based campaigns be the next source of films for our financing & dealmaking community? We certainly found it interesting that they came to Slated next.
Given the high caliber of Slated’s community, it also comes as no surprise to see so many in the thick of recent festival dealmaking. Lydia Pilcher, for one. She’s the producer of THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, which was grabbed for North American distribution by IFC Films just days after opening the Venice Film Festival.
During the Toronto film festival we also learned that THE WAY, WAY BACK, a Slated comedy-drama ensemble headlining Steve Carell and Toni Collette, represented by sales agent Sierra/Affinity, was being circled by international buyers. Another of our films, GOD HELP THE GIRL, which marks the directorial debut of Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch, has secured deals with distributors in a raft of territories including the UK (Metrodome), Spain (Avalon), Middle East (Front Row) and Israel (United King). Both those Slated films are now fully funded.
New projects were also announced by Slated members during Toronto. Anthony Bregman and Kevin Frakes are teaming up on EVERY SECRET THING, a crime drama starring Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks. Meanwhile, David Linde is one of three producers on THE ROVER, the Aussie outback western starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. THE ROVER will be released by Village Roadshow in its native Australia as well as by many of David’s output partners that between them cover a large swathe of the worldwide marketplace.
Others catching our eye include Lucy Walker, the twice-Oscar-nominated British-born documentary filmmaker who arrives here with an UNTITLED project about snowboarding and the perils of the hot topic - traumatic brain injury. As it happens, Lucy shares a Brazilian connection with another new Slated member, Don Ranvaud who produced CITY OF GOD and THE CONSTANT GARDENER. These two globe-spanning films were directed by Brazil’s Fernando Meirelles. 02 Filmes, in which Meirelles is a partner, also backed Walker’s WASTE LAND.
We welcome too Amy Hobby. Amy’s producer credits include several Sundance narrative hits including SECRETARY, HAMLET and the Grand Jury prize-winning SUNDAY. She has several notable documentaries also to her name. among them the recent Toronto buzz film LOVE, MARILYN. That film was just acquired by HBO in a deal led by the pay-network’s Nancy Abraham. For good measure, Nancy also picked up another festival favorite with a strong Slated connection, CASTING BY, in a HBO deal that was brokered on the filmmakers’ behalf by Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment.