EXCLUSIVE: Toronto is a good place to launch movies, and also to hatch companies aiming to become players in the indie space. Capote producer Kyle Mann and Revolution #9 producer and high net worth entrepreneur Michael Risley have done the latter. They’ve formed Drive Productions, a development, production, and financing company that comes to the festival after raising $2 million to buy scripts and books to develop into genre fare. The company is based in L.A. and Vancouver, and they are on the ground here looking to make things happen.
“The quality of the script is paramount, however there has been a dangerous decline in development financing for projects with unforeseen potential,” Mann said. “Drive is looking to invest in innovative pitches, books, and scripts and is seeking to build relationships with distributors and talent agencies in order to help fill the development shortfall in the marketplace.”
The company has so far set up the college campus comedy The Arrangement, the darkly comic TV series Blackcomb, the thriller Beyond The Stars and a WWII thriller called Undaunted. Also in development are the psychological thrillers Backcountry and The Estate. Mann comes to the venture having produced films that include Wrecked and Kill For Me. He has Teen Lust premiering at the festival. Risley also has been a partner in Fuel Industries, a Digital Youth Agency that builds and maintains audiences for brands that include McDonald’s Europe, Nokia, and Mattel.