Walden Media co-founder Cary Granat has teamed with former Industrial Light and Magic exec Ed Jones to launch Bedrock Studios. It will pool resources from Reel FX, which Bernard ran, and Granat Entertainment with the goal to develop and produce family films in the $35M and under budget range. The shingle gets off the ground with several projects that include Turkeys, an animated buddy movie that will have Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson voicing the title birds as they discover a time machine and travel back to the first Thanksgiving. Ash Brannon is directing, John J. Strauss wrote and produces, and Pete Farrelly is exec producer. The company will also encompass several family film titles Granat acquired, including Rats of Nimh at Paramount, A Wrinkle in Time at Disney, and William Joyce’s Dinosaur Bob.
The notion of creating franchise films for $35 million or less seems daunting, but the partners say it isn’t impossible. “We’ve created a template where we can control the manufacturing of visual effects and animation, and be deeply involved in the creative process at a price,” Granat said. Jones said the model is a film like District 9. “The film was made for under $30 million, and when you have the facilities and the talent, it is possible,” Jones said. The studio has 250 artists in Dallas and Santa Monica.
The venture is so far privately financed, and the partners expect to raise money to co-finance their films, and made a deal with one studio to distribute them.
Bedrock will be involved in In The Beginning, the 3D story of creation as told through the Book of Genesis that John Fusco wrote and David Cunningham is directing. Paramount is negotiating to co-finance and distribute a film that fits the Bedrock model, since it carries a $30 million budget.