Content Lands International Sales Rights to Defy Media and Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s SFX Driven Sc-Fi Film “Higher Power”
Footage to be Shown For the First Time at AFM
Los Angeles, CA – Content Media closed a deal today with DEFY Media, the top digital producer and programmer for 13-34 year olds, to partner on “Higher Power” – the new SFX driven Sci-Fi feature film from Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer of the blockbuster “Transformer” franchise, “Salt,” and the “GI Joe” franchise.
With mind blowing special effects and a compelling new character “Higher Power” is “X-Men” meets “Chronicle” – the story of a true everyman who risks his life to save his daughter, and ends up with powers beyond his wildest imagination.
International distributors will get their first glimpse of “Higher Power” at the upcoming American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, where Content’s Film President Jamie Carmichael and Content’s Head of Sales, Harry White, will debut the first footage of the much anticipated film. CAA co-represents U.S. distribution rights with Content.
Content financed the movie with multi-platform powerhouse DEFY Media, whose unparalleled reach to a key millennial audience of more than 125 million monthly viewers, coupled with the company’s ability to directly engage with consumers across its multiple top ranking brands and social channels, adds marketing clout for “Higher Power” on a level rarely seen in the independent film world.
Directed by Matthew Santoro (visual effects artist for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “300”), from a script by Julia Fair (“Alien Raiders”), “Higher Power” stars Ron Eldard (“Sleepers”, “Black Hawk Down”, Super 8”), Colm Feore (“The Chronicles of Riddick”, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), Jordan Hinson (“Kevin From Work”, “Eureka”, “Hank”), Austin Stowell (“Whiplash”, “Dolphin Tale”, “Love and Honor”) and Jade Tailor (“Karma”).
Producers are Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Greg Siegel, Evan Cholfin and Ross M. Dinerstein of Campfire. Content’s Jamie Carmichael is Executive Producer.
Content’s Carmichael said, “Matt has created a mind blowing Sci Fi thrill ride with “Higher Power”, and we are extremely excited to have such accomplished partners as Defy, Campfire and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.”
DEFY Media President Keith Richman commented, “We’re thrilled to team with Content Media on “Higher Power”, further expanding long-form content offerings that deliver on the passions of our audience, and giving distribution partners the unique ability to leverage our powerful global media network to fuel the film’s release.”
“Higher Power” is the latest addition to Content Media’s impressive international sales slate, which includes Dennis Hauck’s neo-noir detective thriller “Too Late,” starring Academy Award®-nominee John Hawkes; Joel David Moore’s “Youth In Oregon,” starring Frank Langella, Billy Crudup,Christina Applegate; Amy Berg’s “Janis: Little Girl Blue” selected at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals; the supernatural horror “Don’t Knock Twice,” from The Machine team stars Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Boynton and Nick Moran; the Maria Callas biopic “Callas,” starring Noomi Rapace with Niki Caro directing; the uplifting emotional drama “Life at these Speeds” starring Billy Crudup and Graham Rogers; Academy® Award winning director Mike van Diem’s return romantic comedy “The Surprise”; the star-studded romantic drama “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” starring Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel, Orlando Jones, with Paul Reiser and Mary Steenburgen; the action/thriller “Pandemic” starring Rachel Nichols, Mekhi Phifer, and Missi Pyle, and Alfie Allen; the spy thriller “Newcomer” starring Anthony LaPaglia; the 2015 Cannes Classics selection “Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans,” the extraordinary, moving and white-knuckle documentary about one of the greatest movie stars of all time; Adam Rehmeier’s intense action feature “Save a Bullet For Me”; the smash hit HBO documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief” from Academy Award® winning director Alex Gibney; the intense horror film “The Diabolical” starring Ali Larter; the supernatural heist thriller “The Trust”; and Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” voiced by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
It’s October – and that means all month long we’re joining our Made Man brand to GENTLEMAN UP. For the second year in a row this supercharged campaign inspires men to shape up, dress up, man up, and most importantly, help less fortunate gents do the same. And, once again, funnymen Rob Riggle and Tom Lennon are on board adding their comedic genius to tackle a variety of manly ’issues’ (say no to Man Buns and Vaping – please!) all for a good cause. In support of our partner Career Gear, a great organization doing great work for men in need, we rallied together urging friends, family, partners and the industry to go #FormalFriday with us on October 9. By simply elevating your fashion game and ‘socializing’ your style, DEFY committed to donating $1 to Career Gear for every social post tagged. Thanks to Made Man and DEFY’s team efforts, many top digital influencers donned their dapper selves all across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (including our very own SMOSH, SMOSH Games and Clevver teams) along with friends and partners from Huffington Post, CAA, Bonobos, Dodge, and many, many more who dressed the part and took part this year. Keep watching at http://www.mademan.com/gentleman-up/ and look out for Made Man’s new series “Mantervention” premiering later this month to see what happens when host Gavin McInness tries to save some unwitting men from their worst habits. Its time to Gentleman Up!
DEFY Media Ramps up Development and Distribution Team, Adds Key Hires with Growing Programming Slate
Top Digital Programmer Bolsters Team with Addition of Former TV Executives; 10 New Scripted and Non-Scripted Formats Recently Greenlit with Original Shows for go90, YouTube’s Comedy Series from SMOSH, and Reality Comedy Series Hosted by Gavin McInnes
(Los Angeles, CA) October 13, 2015- DEFY Media today announced the appointments of Christopher Willey to VP of Development and Alex Lin to Director of Development, reporting into DEFY’s Chief Content Officer Barry Blumberg. Willey brings over 15 years experience in film, TV and digital development holding executive roles at Paramount Pictures, Walden Media, MTV Networks, and most recently as head of development for Conde Nast Entertainment. Lin comes to DEFY from his tenure at NBC Entertainment, serving as Manager of Comedy Development, where he developed and produced scripted comedy programming, nine of which went to series.
The hires come as DEFY is aggressively ramping up development of original programming for its top digital brands while also expanding distribution across new and emerging platforms such as the recently debuted go90 mobile platform and Comcast’s Watchable. Production is now underway for three original series set to launch on go90 in early 2016, each under leading DEFY brands Clevver, Screen Junkies, and Made Man. The hire of SVP of Business Development Thao Hoang, who joined DEFY in May from Viacom, came on the heels of growing new platform opportunities for DEFY content in both licensing and original production.
DEFY is also in production for the much anticipated SMOSH original YouTube series which is set to debut early next year. Other deals in development include projects attached to comedians Trevor Moore (working title America High Five) and Theo Von (working title Blind Dates).
“Chris and Alex are instrumental hires as we ramp up development and production to meet the increasing demand for our content as we expand our distribution with new partners in SVOD, OTT and other streaming platforms,” commented Barry Blumberg, DEFY’s Chief Content Officer. “We fully expect them to play key roles as we build on the must-watch programming our company has become known for.”
DEFY recently announced a deal with WME to package its slate of original projects for television and other formats and is currently working with RatPac entertainment to develop several concepts.
DEFY current produces over 35 weekly series, 29 of which average over 500,000 views per episode. In sum, DEFY-produced content generates over 600 million video views monthly and reaches 125 million viewers across their 60 million YouTube subscribers, 80 million unique web visitors and consumers of their mobile and OTT apps, which have been downloaded over 22 million times. The company recently marked record video views for the month of July fueled by the success of several recently debuted programs such as “Every [Blank] Ever,” which introduced a new cast to the SMOSH brand fold, Clevver’s “Beauty Break”,” and “DIY Prop Shop”.
Programs recently put into production include:
Go90 (90 + total episodes, launching early 2016 )
- “Super Fan Builds” – Hollywood’s top prop makers surprise Super-Fans with one-of-a-kind, iconic recreations of an element from their favorite franchise
- “Clevver Weekly Hollywood Rundown” – An energetic take on the week’s entertainment news and celebrity gossip
- “100 Things” – Aussie Sebastian Terry’s journey to find purpose in life has grown into a global movement of people chasing their dreams. This inspirational series follows him as he helps others achieve something on their “100 Things” list
DEFY brand programming
- Prank It FWD: Season three of the celebrated positive prank series that started a movement across the globe returns for the holidays
- MADE MAN :“Mantervention” – Hosted by Gavin McInnes (Vice co-founder, “How To Be a Man”), this tough-love series attempts to save unwitting guys from their worst habits
- YouTube comedy series slated for 2016
- “Every [Blank] Ever” – SMOSH’s new cast throws a big, fat magnifying glass on the ridiculous tropes and hilarious stereotypes from movies, music, technology, video games, and popular culture
- SMOSH Games Animated –Popular SMOSH Games moments are uniquely animated by the fans
- Cell Outs –SMOSH Games crew goes mobile for game play – get their view on the latest and most popular games
- Clevver: Cheat Day –Quirky hosts take a break from trying to eat healthy and try the weirdest and most indulgent foods out there
- Gurl: Real Gurl Advice – Interviews with real college girls giving their high-school-selves great advice about dating, sexuality and life
DEFY’s current weekly popular series include:
SMOSH: Lunchtime with SMOSH, SMOSH Babies (animated), Every [Blank] Ever; SMOSH Games: Game Bang, Honest Game Trailers, Grand Theft SMOSH; ScreenJunkies:Honest Trailers, Movie Fights; Clevver: Beauty Break, Totally Clevver, Dirty Laundry, Debateable; AWEme: DIY Prop Shop, Man At Arms: Reforged, Epic How-To; Break: Prank Bank; The Escapist: Zero Punctuation.
ABOUT DEFY MEDIA
DEFY Media is the top digital producer and programmer for 13-34 year olds, and the largest owner of YouTube channels and leading media brands across the comedy, lifestyle and gaming verticals. Each month, DEFY-produced content generates 600 million video views and reaches 125 million viewers across our 60 million YouTube subscribers, 80 million unique web visitors and consumers of our apps, which have been downloaded over 22 million times. DEFY Media brands include Smosh, recently named by Variety as the top brand for 13-17 year olds, Break, known for its top program “Prank It Forward®”, and Screen Junkies, home to the highly influential digital series “Honest Trailers”. The world’s top brands partner with DEFY to build immersive advertising solutions that deliver unparalleled access to this influential audience. With uniquely integrated capabilities in content development, studio production, distribution and promotion, DEFY Media is built for content delivery in the digital age. Please visit us at www.DEFYMedia.com.
Congratulations to our team at ScreenJunkies for passing 50 episodes and celebrating their first year of Movie Fights. Over the past year dozens of fighters including some of the biggest voices in movies and entertainment coverage have joined to be one of three battling each week to debate and be crowned Movie Fights champion. Recent star guest fighters included Elijah Wood who fought about which was the best Lord of the Rings movie and shared his impressive vault of movie knowledge.
Moderated and judged by host and Honest Trailers creator Andy Signore, Movie Fights has quickly become a favorite of movie fans around the world attracting over half a million viewers every week. The 90-minute program has also taken their show on the road with three live editions in the last year at San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World Chicago, and most recently New York Comic Con where they have packed standing room only venues to see the show described as “Real Fights About Fake Movies.”
ScreenJunkies asked their fans to name some of their favorite moments of the first year. Here’s what they had to say: WATCH IT HERE!