UPDATED: Independent music marketing, talent management, and music publishing company Primary Wave has acquired Evolution Management. Evolution will be merged into Primary Wave’s Talent Management division as part of a major expansion of Primary Wave’s existing in-house film/TV development, management and production operations. Managers joining Primary Wave from Evolution include founder Mark Burg, Michael Menchel, Tiffany Kuzon, Brad Kaplan, Margot Menzel, and Ben Press, as well as, Stephen Gates, Sekka Scher and Dan Patack in the New York Office. That represents the majority of Evolution’s senior staff. Of the rest, partners Amy Slomovits and Brady McKay just left for Haven Entertainment, Stephen Marks joined Rain Management and Evan Corday went to the Cartel. The new company will operate under the Primary Wave moniker and move to expanded offices in 2015.
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“Mark and I have been friends for decades and over the years, we’ve completed many successful business deals together,” said Larry Mestel, CEO of Primary Wave. “This was an inevitable partnership and now as a formal alliance, we will combine our companies expertise and relationships in music, TV and film.”
In addition to talent management, Evolution also produces, develops and finances films and television. Evolution recently financed Aint Them Bodies Saints, starring Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Casey Affleck and Grace Unplugged starring A.J. Michalka, James Denton and Kevin Pollack. Burg has produced over 40 films, most recently the Saw franchise. He has also executive produced client Charlie Sheen’s Two And a Half Men and Anger Management. Menchel most recently produced One Chance directed by David Frankel and he and Burg are producing the upcoming Granite Mountain Hot Shots written by Ken Nolan and to be directed by Scott Cooper. Feature film Cook, to be directed by Bruce Beresford and written by client Susan McMartin, is executive produced by Brad Kaplan and starts shooting this month in Los Angeles. Kaplan along with Tiffany Kuzon also produced the feature Submurged, written by client Scott Milam and starring client Jonathan Bennett, as well as The Tour, an urban thriller for Lionsgate written by Nancy Norman, and Havenhurst directed by Andrew Erin.
On the television side Menchel and Burg are producing Prison Town for FTVS/Cinemax starring Laurence Fishburne and Rocket City written by Tom Fontana and executive produced by Dr. Mehmet and Lisa Oz for Lionsgate Television and are executive producing White City at Amazon Studios written by Oscar-winning screenwriter and client Ron Bass.
“Larry Mestel is a winner in the music and music publishing business,” Burg said. “His expertise in music merged with our team’s extraordinary reach and expertise in film and television will make for an exciting place to work.” Berg added that he is “committing substantial funds to produce more film.” “We will be the only management company that I know of that will finance our own movies, which will allow us to utilize our clients in the company’s productions, just as we did with Saw.”
Primary Wave’s roster of film and TV talent includes Jane Lynch. The partnership is expected to allow Primary Wave Music’s clients to tap the Evolution managers’ reach in film and TV. Primary Wave’s roster includes CeeLo Green and Melissa Etheridge, plus, Cypress Hill, Eric Benét, Tank, Natalie Imbruglia, The Go-Go’s, Trevor Jackson, Ginuwine, Cris Cab, producer/DJ Audien as well as writers/producers Ryan Hadlock, Jon Levine, Mag and Mitch Allen among many others.
Primary Wave TV has overseen a development and production slate of over a dozen scripted and unscripted projects and has placed 3 shows on the air including TBS’ The Good Life and extended the CeeLo Green brand into film and TV, most recently a guest appearance on Anger Management, which Burg helped facilitate with Mestel, Green’s manager.
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