Smithsonian Ready For Its Hollywood Close-Up With Storied Media Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Smithsonian Enterprises, the media and business division of the Smithsonian Institution, has signed with Bungalow | Storied Media Group, which will now rep the revered institution and its affiliated brands in the feature film development, finance and distribution community.  Digging into the riches that the Smithsonian holds, they will begin collecting film-worthy stories from the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers around the world, as well as from Smithsonian Magazine, Air & Space Magazine and Dinosaur Wars anyone?

“The Smithsonian Institution is an incredible treasure trove of fantastic stories from history, art, science and nature that deserve to be shared with film audiences globally,” said Mark Bauman, SVP of Smithsonian Enterprises. “Given Storied Media Group’s reputation for quality, we are confident that we can generate great films worthy of the Smithsonian name.”

This is said to be the first time in decades that Smithsonian Enterprises has aligned itself with a representative within the Hollywood community. And, in signing for representation, it joins a growing list of SMG clients who are looking to do the same: The New York Times, 60 Minutes, New York Magazine, The McClatchy Newspaper Group and The New Republic.

Todd Hoffman, who launched the management/production company in 2013 after a strong run at ICM Partners, said in a statement to Deadline that, “Given its global distribution and reputation, as well as its rank as the most trusted brand in America, we are confident Smithsonian branded content will produce amazing stories for the big screen. The Smithsonian is literally a national treasure and it’s with great excitement and pride that we commence our new relationship.”

The Smithsonian Institution is a non-profit trust that was created by an act of Congress of the United States in 1846. Smithsonian Enterprises was formed in 1999 by the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents to consolidate and bring professional management to the commercial activities of the Institution. Smithsonian Enterprises operates media and content businesses through a variety of distribution platforms, including print and online magazine publications and books, as well as the Smithsonian Channel.

SMG’s TV/film clients include Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), Aaron Korsh (Suits), Bob Nelson (Nebraska) and Stan Chervin (Moneyball).

In its first two years, Bungalow Media + Entertainment, under CEO Robert Friedman’s leadership, had four projects greenlit: its first feature film The Confirmation, written and directed by Nelson and starring Clive Owen, Jaeden Lieberher, Maria Bello, Patton Oswalt and Tim Blake Nelson; the documentary We the People: The Market Basket Effect; its first unscripted series 36 Hours for The Travel Channel, based on the Sunday New York Times travel column; and its first scripted half-hour comedy Highston, written by Nelson and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris which is in preproduction at Amazon.

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