EXCLUSIVE: I’ve seen PR companies become part of ad agencies, and I’ve seen management companies become generators of film and TV content. But here’s a new one on me — a publicity firm branching full scale into the production business. Sunshine Sachs’ principals Ken Sunshine and Shawn Sachs, who do PR for a great client list that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Jason Statham, Natalie Portman, Tommy Mottola and Tyler Perry, have launched Madica Productions. This is a sister company that aims to be a full-service development and production house. Madica will develop content for digital, TV and film platforms, with a slate that will include nonscripted and digital content stemming from the firm’s diverse lineup of clients. The managing director of the spinoff company will be Jeff Tahler, who joined the firm as a partner after a six-year run as FremantleMedia SVP Acquisitions and Development for its Global Content Division.
Tahler oversaw the creation of Fremantle’s scripted studio and acquired programming that included Project Runway, The Apprentice, Oprah’s Big Give, No Reservations With Anthony Bourdain and Bellator MMA. Tahler also developed, produced, and funded scripted television projects, working with producers to sell over 25 projects. FremantleMedia’s first scripted show, The Wedding Band, premiered on TBS in November 2012. Prior to Fremantle, Tahler worked for eight years at Miramax Films in New York in posts that included VP Acquisitions and founder of the Family & Kids division, which he ran for three years.The idea is that a diversified PR agency brings in clients that are feeders to potential programming. With so many outlets available, why not help generate the actual programming?
“Madica Productions will offer another avenue for our clients and colleagues to tell stories that entertain, inspire and innovate,” said Sachs, CEO of Sunshine Sachs. “Under Jeff’s guidance, we look forward to developing Madica into an incubator for cutting-edge, smart, exciting content – the type of substance that has always inspired us during our day-to-day work at Sunshine Sachs.”
Said Tahler: “I have known both Shawn and Ken for my entire career and greatly admire what they have built over the years. When the three of us started discussing the vision for Madica, I quickly realized that this was an extraordinary opportunity to work alongside a dynamic team. We are eager to develop and produce the type of content that reflects our wide range of passions and interests. Today that can be anything from a short form digital series to a big budget feature film, and we will be developing stories for all platforms.”
Madica Productions has begun development on three untitled projects, including a midbudget feature film.