WE ARE AN AWARD WINNING PRODUCTION COMPANY
WE MAKE: COMMERCIALS, FEATURE FILMS, SCRIPTED &
DIGITAL CONTENT, LIVE SPORTS AND AWARD SHOWS.
California Drought PSA
LOGODIRECTOR: MARK TEITELMAN
ESPN / Levi's / Vernon Davis
Colin's Football Show - Get Ready
Pepsi Halftime - Twice in a Lifetime
VISIONSDIRECTOR: JAMES WAHLBERG
Foot Locker - Kyrie Irving
The Truth About Emanuel
COMMERCIALS Jamie Babbit
Jamie Babbit has directed three feature films including the cult film But I'm a Cheerleader and the erotic thriller Breaking the Girls. She has also directed numerous television shows including Revenge, Go On, Smash, United States of Tara, Nip Tuck and the L word. Her films and television episodes have garnered numerous prizes including a Sundance Jury prize.
Girls "Free Snacks"
Looking Season 1
MontageCLIENT / Various hit TV shows
COMMERCIALS Matteo Bonifazio
Matteo was born in Italy to an Italian father and an American mother. Because of his father's work, he traveled a lot during his childhood years, living in different countries. He graduated at the Architecture University in Genoa and started collaborating with MTV Networks, shooting pan-European promotions and ads in London and Milan.
This experience has given him the opportunity to shape and develop his very personal and unique direction. His eclectic and dynamic style shows that he has his pulse strongly rooted in the youth generation of today: party people, skaters, hip hop, break beat, body poppers, and fun times – it’s all on his reel.
Matteo directed commercials for different prestigious clients such as: SONY, REEBOK, REPLAY, VODAFONE, PHILIPS, CAMPARI, FIAT, FILA, COCA COLA, VW, HYUNDAI, NIVEA, MCDONALDS and AMERICAN AIRLINES to name a few.
ANDY MURRAYCLIENT / Rado
RUGBYCLIENT / Adidas
MaxibonCLIENT / Maxibon
Sound WaveCLIENT / Coca-Cola
COMMERCIALS Jeremy Haft
Jeremy Haft has directed nationally released feature films, television shows, numerous commercials, music videos, and two hit videogames. Whether it’s action and drama for Lionsgate Films, MTV and World Wrestling Entertainment, comedy for ESPN, Corona Beer and Krispy Kreme, dance fun for Ubisoft, Disney and Katherine McPhee or family entertainment for Mattel, Hot Wheels and Spinmaster, Jeremy delivers in all genres.
Calling All The MonstersCLIENT / Ubisoft/Just Dance Disney Party Video Game
MTV Surf GirlsCLIENT / MTV REALITY SERIES
Katharine Mcphee "Connected" Music VideoCLIENT / Mattel
COMMERCIALS Richard Sears
Richard Sears has a diverse directing background spanning from comedy to visual storytelling. He has a knack for emotionally connecting audiences with character' stories, whether real people or actors. His extensive film-making career has forged more than 100 commercials and memorable branded content campaigns for clients including Toyota, University of Phoenix, Nissan, AT&T, Burger King, Sprint and Ole Miss. His work has charmed agencies like DDB Chicago, Chiat Day LA, Campbel Mithun, Pereira & O'Dell, The Ramey Agency, BBDO, Y&R and Wong Doody.
Sears was born and raised in Ventura, CA and attended San Francisco Art Institute. He started working on film sets in high school and has done every job on set from P.A. to Camera Assistant to Director. His big break came in 1995 when his student short film, "An Evil town," adapted from a Charles Bukowski short story, won the Cannes Le Semaine de la Critique. Ad creatives at Weiden & Kennedy saw the short film and awarded Sears his first commercial gig, directing a campaign for ESPN. Sears went on to film the cult classic feature comedy "Bongwater" in 1997 with an up-and-coming cast that included Luke Wilson, Jack Black, Brittney Murphy and Scott Caan. This solidified his directing career and led him to clients such as Shout, Dairy Queen, Nike Magic the Gathering, Neosporin and Bausch & Lomb. He also directed Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher in a project for the Department of Homeland Security, working to combat worldwide human trafficking.
Sears is currently developing several entertainment projects and has just wrapped the dark thriller "Bottom of the World" which is set for release in 2015. He is also attached to shoot "The Fifth Column" with Sony Studios and the independent film "Sequestered."
Sears lives in Santa Monica with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he surfs, coaches Little League and continues to tinker with experimental film-making. His recent short film (JIM BEAM: Strange Night) lensed on an iPhone, won festival accolades and garnered nearly 100,000 views on YouTube and other outlets.
Fueling Good Road TripCLIENT / CITGO
Ready To LeadCLIENT / Bank of the Ozarks
Amazing PeopleCLIENT / Toyota
The Phoenix Lecture SeriesCLIENT / University of Phoenix
COMMERCIALS Mark Teitelman
Mark "T-Man" Teitelman is a producer and director with a broad array of projects that have spanned many different genres within the commercial realm. He has worked for clients like Mattel, ESPN, NBC, ABC, University of Phoenix, MTV, FOX, and then NFL Network to name a few. In addition to his Emmy-winning commercial work, Mark also produces Thursday Night Football NFL games on the NFL Network, and is in charge of 30-40 live televised sporting events a year.
LOGOCLIENT / Spinmaster
"Drake vs Blake" Opening Skit 2014 ESPYS
Just Kick ItCLIENT / VW
NeighborsCLIENT / ESPN
Star Wars Fantasy DraftCLIENT / ESPN
COMMERCIALS Branson Veal
Branson Veal was raised by a hippy couple that lived above an art house movie theater in Portland Oregon. By the age of 9 he was working as the projectionist assistant at the theater below. He started making movies on Super 8, increasing millimeters as the years went by. He first broke into the advertising industry as an intern that was given the chance to direct a Public Service campaign for the Portland Opera. The campaign went on to win Clios, Andys, The One Show, CA and more. In his first year directing, he was honored in The New Directors Showcase at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Branson's clients include Nissan, ESPN, Toyota, Nike, Gatorade, Hyundai, Budweiser and Rocco's Bail Bonds. He prefers boxer briefs over tighty-whiteys.
FlyCLIENT / Symetra
Travel WellCLIENT / Concur
Juke - Pregame ShiftCLIENT / Nissan
Children's Film Festival SeattleCLIENT / Children's Film Festival Seattle
COMMERCIALS James Wahlberg
James Wahlberg is a multi-faceted director who brings a unique range of filmmaking experience to a variety of media platforms. Wahlberg first established himself as an animation director, then diversified successfully into live action, gaining a reputation for visual story telling; understated comedy; dialogue; as well as combo work featuring a blend of strong actor driven performances and effects. He's directed a wide variety of commercial projects for clients such as AT & T, Budweiser, Bud Light, California Tourism, Dish Network, Disney, EA Games, Fox Network, H& R Block, Kellogg's, Kraft, Proctor & Gamble, Mazda, Mattel, McDonalds, Microsoft, Miller Lite, Nestles, Nintendo, Nissan, Samsonite, Seagate Technologies, Squirt, and Travelocity.
Wahlberg's recent long format credits include directing Nickelodeon's TV series "The Fresh Beat Band" for which he was recently nominated for an Emmy. He served as executive producer on the viral video "Santa versus Jesus" that led to the creation of the Comedy Central series "South Park". Wahlberg produced the show's pilot, "Cartman Gets An Anal Probe'. He also produced Derek Cianfrance's feature film, "Brother Tied'.
Wahlberg began his career in illustration and design before expanding into animation with Burbank based Hanna Barbera, where he cut his teeth on several television series blocking action, timing performances, and laying out backgrounds for shows destined to be completed in Asia. Wahlberg went on to make his solo mark in the film industry as the founder and lead director of Celluloid Studios, an award winning animation studio working in a variety of diverse mediums. Celluloid created a vast number of innovative commercials and alternative programming, and was home to the buzz-generating video Christmas card "Santa vs. Jesus'", conceived by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
As his work expanded beyond the boundaries of animation, Wahlberg founded Visitor, Celluloid's Santa Monica based sister company established to handle live action production. Through Visitor he created scores of campaigns featuring the combination of performance and effects driven story telling he's best known for. Wahlberg was also a founding partner in Fusion Idea Lab, a Chicago ad agency best known for it's innovative work for Anheuser-Busch, FOX Network, Expedia, Orbitz, and Motorola.
VISIONSCLIENT / McDonald's
EggoCLIENT / Kellogg's
Free Agent GoCLIENT / Seagate
ImagineCLIENT / Land O' Lakes
Premiered in competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival!
Starring Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario, Jimmi Simpson, Alfred Molina and Francis O'Connor, MRB produced this film about a troubled girl (Emanuel) becoming preoccupied with her mysterious new neighbor (Linda), who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to baby-sit Linda's newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper.
Produced by MRB and directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, this political activism biopic is based on a true story. Starring Jason Biggs and Joel David Moore, the film explores what happens when a dedicated and oddball activist tries to realize his vision by seeking political office.
This cutting-edge documentary marks the first sports-based full-length feature film in 3D, and follows the best extreme sports stars as they compete at the Summer X Games. The film, produced by MRB Productions and distributed by Disney, was released in theaters for a limited one week only event.
At the inception of MRB, Matthew Brady Produced this thrilling biopic about the serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, played by Jeremy Renner. The film tells the emotionally riveting and true story of the man who turned his darkest fantasies into a horrifying reality.
MRB produced this documentary that followed the band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden and the band's tour manager, Kiefer Sutherland during their 2006 European tour. Broadcast on VH1 and in the UK on Sky One, it was also released on DVD internationally.
Director: Chris Mantzaris
This 10-part web series created by and starring Kiefer Sutherland explores the nature of good and evil through the interactions between a hit man and a priest. The MRB-produced show premiered exclusively on Hulu and was later released on DVD by Sony Pictures Television.
MRB produced the live broadcasts of Thursday Night Texas High School Football. The broadcasts included 11 regular season games and culminated in the first round of playoffs at Cowboys Stadium. All games aired on Verizon Fios for ESPN.
The Hero Dog Awards is an annual national award show broadcast on Hallmark Channel and created by the American Humane Association that recognizes America’s Hero Dogs and celebrates the devoted relationship between dogs and people. Now in its third year, MRB Productions has produced every season of the show.
This mockumentary comedy show, produced by MRB Productions, focuses on a dysfunctional disk jockey who interviews celebrities as they guest star as themselves, including Ray Romano, Tony Hawk, and Charlie Day. Two seasons of the show originated on VH1 and later played on Comedy Central.
Digital Content / Long Format
Congrats to Mark Teitelman on the Opening Skit For The 2014 ESPYs Awards feat Chris Brown.
Director: Chris Mantzaris
An opening for ESPN's coverage of the NBA Draft, this promo is Emmy nominated, and the winner of NY Festival's world medal. This features the big names of the NBA Draft getting ready for the PLAY of their lives - their professional careers.
MRB produced the NFL promo campaign for Thursday Night Football on NFL Network, starring international superstar Priyanka Chopra performing her single “In My City”. This was shot in all thirteen home-game cities and opened every Thursday night.
This spot opened the BCS championship games on ESPN and featured the artist B.o.B. performing "I am the Champion."
Airing on ESPN and ESPN2, MRB Produced this spot with Shaun White and opened the 14th Winter X Games. Shaun White talks about winning his first Olympic gold medal in Torino.
We deal in imagination.
We bring inventive stories and inspired imagery to media platforms around the world. Whether producing a commercial, a feature film, television, digital, live sports or an award show, MRB evolves to embrace a project’s specific needs. We're passionate about what we do and committed to being exceptional.
MRB's most recent feature, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, was in competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and stars Jessica Biel. Released in theaters this summer and now on Netflix and DVD is MRB's political activism biopic, Grassroots, starring Jason Biggs.
In Television, MRB has a decade of experience producing the pre-taped segments and VIP program for ESPN's ESPY Awards, in addition to producing the Hero Dog Awards for the Hallmark Channel. Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central and the Webby award winning series The Confession, starring Kiefer Sutherland.
MRB's commercial repertoire includes a longstanding relationship with Mattel and collaborations with Periera & O'Dell, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Publicis, for clients such as McDonald's, Pepsi, Mattel, Lay's, Foot Locker, Samsung, NHL, Smirnoff, Wal-Mart, and University of Phoenix.
In the video game space, MRB partners with Ubisoft to produce the Just Dance Kids series.
Italian-born director Matteo Bonifazio has joined MRB Productions' roster for exclusive representation in the United States as a commercial director. He has directed work for Sony, Reebok, Vodafone, Campari, Fiat, Fila, VW, Hyundai, McDonald's and American Airlines. He started his career collaborating with MTV Networks, shooting pan-European promotions and ads in London and Milan. He recently relocated from Spain to London, where he can be closer to the U.S. market.
DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report
New York Times
The Bellingham Hearld
Jamie Babbit has signed on to direct an upcoming episode of Lena Dunham's hit HBO series Girls. Babbit is repped for commercials by MRB Productions, Hollywood. Her episodic TV credits span such shows as Pretty Little Liars, Drop Dead Diva, Smash, Revenge, Rizzoli & Isles, The Middle, Cougar Town, Castle, Bunheads, and Go On....
May 24, 2013, --- Jamie Babbit has signed on to direct an upcoming episode of Lena Dunham's hit HBO series Girls. Babbit is repped for commercials by MRB Productions, Hollywood. Her episodic TV credits span such shows as Pretty Little Liars, Drop Dead Diva, Smash, Revenge, Rizzoli & Isles, The Middle, Cougar Town, Castle, Bunheads, and Go On. Feature credits include Sundance darling, But I'm a Cheerleader, starring Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall; the Edie Falco and Elisha Cuthbert thriller, The Quiet; and a Jury Prize winner at SXSW, The Itty Bitty Titty Committee. Babbit is on a directorial roster at MRB that includes Stephen Gyllenhaal, Jody Dwyer, Mark Teitelman, Branson Veal, Chuchie Hill and Jeremy Haft....The directing team crush+lab--consisting of director David Solomini, producer Alexander Kafi and creative director/stylist Paula Tabalipa--has come aboard the roster of East Pleasant, a production company founded in 2004. The studio is active in commercials, films, web projects, episodic TV, music videos and documentaries. Company principals include exec producer Michelle Cuccuini Hicks and directors/founders Damien Drake, Stash Slionski, Xander Strohm and David Weinstein....
Tribeca Film and Well Go USA Entertainment have joined forces to pick up North American rights to the Jessica Biel starrer “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes.”
Biel, Kaya Scodelario, Alfred Molina and Frances O’Connor star in writer-helmer Francesca Gregorini’s pic about an unstable young woman (Scodelario) who becomes obsessed with a neighbor (Biel) who looks just like her dead mother. Film bowed at Sundance earlier this year and has gone on to play a couple of more stops on the festival circuit.
Tribeca Film, the Gotham-based distributor loosely affiliated with the Tribeca Film Festival, and Plano, Tex.-based Well Go target a late 2013 theatrical run to go along with multi-platform on-demand release.
Gregorini, who also wrote and directed the 2009 pic “Tanner Hall,” and Matthew R. Brady (“Grassroots,” “I Trust You To Kill Me”) produced the film, with the distributed deal pacted by Tribeca Film’s Nick Savva with Kevin Iwashina and Abby Davis (both of Preferred Content) and GKSD Law’s Jonathan Gray, all three negotiating on behalf of the filmmakers.
“Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes” joins a Tribeca slate that includes “The English Teacher” and “Hansel and Gretel Get Baked” and a Well Go roster that includes “And While We Were Here” and “Tai Chi Hero.”
Myriad Pictures has acquired international distribution rights to the Jessica Biel-starrer Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes. The film, written and directed by Francesca Gregorini, premiered this year at Sundance. Kaya Scodelario, Alfred Molina, Aneurin Barnard, Jimmi Simpson and Frances O’Connor also star. The film centers on Emanuel (Scodelario), an acerbic but sensitive teen who lives with her father and stepmother. When Linda (Biel), a young and hip mother, moves in next door, Emanuel becomes intrigued by Linda’s striking resemblance to her late mother, who died giving birth to Emanuel. Emanuel begins to babysit for Linda’s newborn daughter, but as Emanuel and Linda spend more time together, they develop a bond that becomes deeply entwined in a surprising secret Linda harbors. Myriad will screen the film for international buyers at next month’s Cannes market. Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes was produced by Matthew R. Brady and Gregorini, and executive produced by Jonathan Gray, Paul Schiff, Kenny Goodman, Kevin Iwashina, Michael Sackler, Julia Godzinskaya, Alice Bamford, Olga Segura, Juan Carlos Segura G, Alex Sagalchik and Brent Stiefel.
The American Humane Association has tapped Hollywood, CA-based MRB Productions to produce its 3rd Annual Hero Dog Awards show. The two-hour special will tape live at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 5 and air this fall on the Hallmark Channel as part of its advocacy campaign Pet Project. Two-time Emmy Award-winning founder of MRB Productions, Mathew Brady, along with Luke Watson will once again be executive producing. Animal lovers are encouraged to nominate their own heroic canines at www.herodogawards.org in eight different categories. Nominations close April 30 and online public voting starts May 7.
Nominations Now Open; Voting by the Public Commences May 7
Black Tie Awards Gala Tapes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 5; 2-hour Special to Air on Hallmark Channel this Fall as Part of Network’s Advocacy Campaign, “Pet Project”
STUDIO CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hallmark Channel and American Humane Association announced today the return of the “American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™,” a unique program designed to honor our canine allies and the incredible range of contributions they make to our lives every day. The 2013 Hero Dog Awards constitutes one element of a newly expanded relationship between American Humane Association and Hallmark Channel’s animal advocacy campaign “Pet Project”, which is designed to celebrate pets and the joy they bring to our lives, while shining a spotlight on the epidemic of pet homeless in our country.
“For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love”
“For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane Association. “We launched the Hero Dog Awards in 2010 to repay this devotion and honor the timeless, vital bond between people and animals, and the public has responded with a tremendous outpouring of support. Last year, more than 3 million votes were cast by the American public and the campaign continues to grow. We invite everyone to take part by nominating and voting for those who over time have proven again and again to be not only our personal and national heroes, but our best friends.”
“Hero Dog Awards, the only program of its kind, has become a tradition for Hallmark Channel and is such a special way to celebrate our four-legged heroes and, through their inspirational stories, educate the public about how vital they are to virtually every aspect of our lives, work, and well-being,” says Bill Abbott, CEO and President, Crown Media Family Networks. “As the country’s leading advocate for the welfare of animals, American Humane Association is an ideal partner for this program — and as we work to step up our own pet initiative, ‘Pet Project,’ we are so pleased to have the opportunity to expand our relationship with them as their media partner and build on the incredible work they do.”
Presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc. and produced by Emmy® Award-winning MRB Productions, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards will tape October 5 before a live audience at a black tie, star-studded gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on October 5 and will air as a 2-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall. Dog lovers are encouraged to visit www.herodogawards.org to nominate their own heroic canines in any one of eight categories: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Guide Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs, a category recognizing ordinary pets who do extraordinary things. Nominations close April 30 and online public voting commences May 7. Each category will eventually be narrowed down to one finalist, and the eight category winners, along with their human companions, will be flown to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony, where each dog will be honored with a moving video tribute and one dog will be named American Hero Dog of the Year.”
Finalists for the 2012 Hero Dog Awards included: War veteran and internet sensation, military working dog Sgt. Gabe, who completed 210 combat missions in Iraq and was instrumental in the detection of 26 explosives and weapons finds; hearing dog Tatiana, who alerts her owner, afflicted by a potentially fatal form of asthma and an inner ear disorder called Meniere’s Disease, when she is going to have an attack; Tabitha, a guide dog for the blind, who helped restore the confidence and independence of her human partner, who lost her sight as an adult; Jynx, a law enforcement dog who saved the lives of several officers during an ambush shooting; service dog Stella, a happy-go-lucky standard poodle who brings joy every day to the patients she visits at healthcare and residential care facilities; Holly, a pet who became her owner Shanna’s service dog when it was discovered that she was able to detect Shanna’s epileptic seizures and warn her in advance of their onset; Soot, a rescued black Labrador who went on to some rescue work himself as search and rescue dog, saving the life of a diabetic hiker who had gotten lost in the woods; and Daniel, known as the “Miracle Beagle” who, against all odds, survived a gas chamber at an Alabama shelter and now travels the country with his owner Joe to encourage state legislatures to outlaw gas as a form of euthanasia at animal shelters.
The 2012 Hero Dog Awards were hosted by popular television, film, and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, while the inaugural program in 2011 was hosted by Carson Kressley. A full talent search for the host of the 2013 “Hero Dog Awards” is currently underway. Other celebrity participants in the 2011 and 2012 Hero Dog Awards programs include Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Fonda, Burt Reynolds, Pauley Perrette, Michael Vartan, Faith Ford, Joey Lawrence, Jason Lewis, Naomi Judd, Lisa Vanderpump, Victoria Stillwell, Chelsea Handler, among many others.
To watch all 16 tribute videos honoring the 2011 and 2012 Hero Dog Award category winners, please visit: Hero Dog Awards Tribute Videos.
The Hero Dog Awards highlights the powerful relationship between dogs and people and helps raise much-needed resources to support the vital work of American Humane Association – the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals. Generous sponsors of the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards include the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., Hallmark Channel, MRB Productions, national online sponsor and therapy dog category sponsor Zoetis, Law enforcement/arson dog category sponsor State Farm, print media sponsor Modern Dog Magazine, category sponsor Paul Mitchell Schools, and Best Producer Sponsor Merial. The “National Spokesdog” for the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards is Super Smiley, a two-time shelter dog, animal actor, and animal advocate whose mission is to help all the shelter pets get adopted and to share the message that dogs are healers, teachers and heroes.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation’s leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television’s most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, Frasier, and Happy Days. The channel is also home to a range of lifestyle programming, anchored by Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show shot in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot, and Marie, a one-hour talk show hosted by iconic entertainer, Marie Osmond. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of original films, classic theatrical releases, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library.
About Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project
Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project is a multi-faceted initiative devoted to celebrating pets and the incredible joy and enrichment they bring to our lives. To carry out our mission, we’ll be bringing you compelling original programming, social media outreach, and a resource-rich website. Through public service announcements, local grass-roots events, and strategic partnerships with such national non-profit organizations as American Humane Association, Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project also aims to shine a spotlight on this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness and provide the public with the information and resources they need to find their new best friend.
For more information, please visit http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/petproject
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
Lois Pope is one of America’s leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation’s first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 30,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.
About MRB Productions
Launched in 2001 by Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer Matthew Brady, MRB Productions has quickly become one of Hollywood’s go-to production companies, garnering 15 Emmy nominations and 2 wins for its visually striking content. In features, MRB's political comedy, GRASSROOTS, starring Jason Biggs, opened theatrically in the US and Europe and is also available On Demand. EMANUEL AND THE TRUTH ABOUT FISHES, a psychological thriller starring Jessica Biel, premiered in competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. In television, MRB is the production company behind two seasons of FREE RADIO (VH1 and Comedy Central), THE OTHER MALL (ABC Family), and the annual HERO DOG AWARDS for Hallmark Channel. MRB also produces content for HBO, ESPN, NBC, ABC, NFL Network, and Longhorn Network. In the digital space, MRB’s work ranges from comedy shorts on Funny or Die to the critically acclaimed Webby Award winning THE CONFESSION, starring Kiefer Sutherland, produced exclusively for Hulu and distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television.
Paydirt Pictures has added young Danish director Emil Kahr to its
roster. Kahr won the Silver at the Cannes Lions Young Director Awards
in 2012 for his graceful and poignant Nikon spot "Until Now," a
progression from an earlier piece shortlisted for the same award in
March 29, 2013, --- Paydirt Pictures has added young Danish director Emil Kahr to its roster. Kahr won the Silver at the Cannes Lions Young Director Awards in 2012 for his graceful and poignant Nikon spot "Until Now," a progression from an earlier piece shortlisted for the same award in 2010. Kahr has directed projects for top brands like Nike, Cartier and Opel, and worked with agencies such as Mazarine Paris, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Grey. Recent work includes spots for Knob Creek and Thai Airways....Director Jody Dwyer has joined the commercial roster of MRB Productions, a Hollywood shop specializing in television, features, new media and commercial content. Dwyer, trained as a film editor in London, has worked in Europe, Asia and Australia, and has over 20 years of directorial experience. Dwyer has quite an extensive roster of successful projects under his belt, such as Coca-Cola's "Bungee," Hungry Jack's "Jailbreak," and Acuvue's "Comfort." His feature film Dying Breed premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. Dwyer joins a roster of directors at MRB that includes Stephen Gyllenhaal, Mark Teitelman, Jamie Babbit, Branson Veal, Chuchie Hill and Jeremy Haft....Director/DP Nicolás Puenzo has joined Venice, Calif.-based Carbo Films for U.S. commercial representation. Growing up in a household with an Oscar-nominated director as a father and feature film and commercial directors for siblings, Puenzo has been involved with filmmaking since birth. He began directing commercials at 24 and has helmed spots for the likes of Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Unilever, MasterCard, Honda and Chevrolet. Alongside his brother, director Pepe Puenzo, he co-founded Puenzo Hnos (Puenzo Brothers), a commercial production company with offices in Buenos Aires and Santiago. Nicolás Puenzo also started 3DN, a Buenos Aires-based visual effects studio....Schuyler Vanden Bergh joins R&R Partners to take over as creative director on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority account. Previously, he worked at TBWA/Chiat/Day, where he handled Nissan/Infiniti, Energizer and XM Satellite Radio; Team One, where he handled Lexus and FlexJet; and Vitro, where he handled ASICS sportswear....Envision Media Arts (EMA), headed by president/CEO Lee Nelson, has just wrapped principal photography on its newest feature film, FREEZER. EMA is currently in postproduction on the film. Mikael Salomon directed from a script by Tom Doganoglu and Shane Weisfeld. Nelson and David Buelow are producers for EMA....
Director Jody Dwyer has joined the commercial roster of MRB Productions, a Hollywood, CA-based production company. Dwyer has worked in Europe, Asia and Australia and has over 20 years of experience as a director. Some of his commercial work includes, Coca-Cola's Bungee, Hungry Jack's Jailbreak and Acuvue's Comfort.
The Salt Lake Tribune
London in April will look a bit like January in Park City - with rain instead of snow - with the lineup of the second Sundance London Film and Music Festival.
Many of the notable titles that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival will get their UK or European premieres at the event, set for April 25-28 at the O2 Arena in London.
Among the artists who are expected to attend Sundance London: actor/director Lake Bell, comedian Mike Birbiglia, comic Jimmy Carr, members of The Eagles, filmmaker Barbara Kopple, musician Peaches, and the man himself, Robert Redford.
Here's the lineup:
- "Blackfish," Gabriela Cowperthwaite's documentary about a killer whale responsible for the deaths of three people - including a top trainer at SeaWorld.
- "Blood Brother," Steve Hoover's documentary (which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance) about his friend Rocky Braat, an American wanderer who found purpose as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage for HIV-positive children.
- "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes," Francesca Gregorini's drama about a teen (Kaya Scodelario) who becomes fascinated with her new neighbor (Jessica Biel) and her newborn baby.
- "God Loves Uganda," Roger Ross Williams' documentary about the chilling influence of American evangelical activists on the African nation of Uganda.
- "In a World...", Lake Bell's writing and directing debut (and winner of this year's Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award), in which Bell plays a would-be voice-over actor trying to break into the business' men's club - a group that includes her father (Fred Melamed).
- "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," director George Tillman Jr.'s drama about two boys in the Brooklyn projects, hiding from police and foraging for food.
- "The Kings of Summer" a comedy (titled "Toy's House" at Sundance) directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Michael Starrbury, about three Ohio teens who build their own house - and their own rules - in the woods. "Muscle Shoals," Greg "Freddy" Camalier's documentary about Alabama's FAME Studios, birthplace of the Muscle Shoals sound, and the studio musicians that everybody from the Rolling Stones to Paul Simon wanted to record with.
- "Running from Crazy," Barbara Kopple's documentary that profiles actor/model Mariel Hemingway as she searches to understand her family's history of mental illness and suicide.
- "Touchy Feely," writer-director Lynn Shelton's latest character-driven comedy, about a massage therapist (Rosemarie DeWitt) who suddenly develops an aversion to bodily contact - just as her dentist brother (Josh Pais) is inundated with patients seeking his "healing touch."
- "Upstream Color," writer-director Shane Carruth's surreal drama about a couple (played by Carruth and Amy Seimetz) who find themselves inexplicably linked to the life cycle of an ageless organism.
- "History of the Eagles, Part One," director Alison Ellwood's profile of the American supergroup. A Q-and-A with members of The Eagles will follow the screening.
- "Peaches Does Herself," in which the sexually unapologetic musician directs, writes and stars in her own electro-rock opera about her rise to stardom, her love affair with "a beautiful she-male," and her journey toward self-discovery. Sundance London will also host a performance by Peaches.
- "Sleepwalk With Me," comic Mike Birbiglia's 2012 directing debut - in which he plays a fictionalized version of himself, beginning his stand-up career and dealing with a relationship and a debilitating sleep disorder - receives its European premiere. Comedian Jimmy Carr will moderate a Q-and-A with Birbiglia.
- "In Fear," director Jeremy Lovering's thriller about a couple (Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker) terrorized while driving on a country road.
- "The Look of Love," director Michael Winterbottom's biopic of British porn magnate Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan), who gained riches but lost those closest to him.
- "The Moo Man," directed by Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier, which follows a year in the life of farmer Steve and his herd of cows - and what happens with the queen of the herd, Ida, falls ill.
- "The Summit," Nick Ryan's documentary about mountain climber Ger McDonnell, one of 11 people to die in one tragic trip on K2.
- "The Apocalypse" by Andrew Zuchero.
- "Black Metal" by Kat Candler.
- "The Date" by Jenni Toivoniemi. (Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction at Sundance.)
- "Irish Folk Furniture" by Tony Donoghue. (Short Film Jury Award: Animation.)
- "Jonah," directed by Kibwe Tavares ("Fishing Without Nets," 2012 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize winner), written by Jack Thorne.
- "Reindeer" by Eva Weber. (Short Film Special Jury Award.)
- "Until the Quiet Comes" by Kahlil Joseph. (Short Film Special Jury Award.)
- "Whiplash" by Damien Chazelle. (Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction.)
- "The Whistle" by Grzegorz Zariczny. (Short Film Grand Jury Prize.)
- "The Art of the Score: An Afternoon With David Arnold," a conversation with the composer behind "Casino Royale," "Tomorrow Never Dies," "Independence Day," "Stargate" and other films - and the musical director for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in London.
- "Screenwriting Flash Lab," a discussion of success and failure (mostly failure) by major U.K. and U.S. screenwriters. The panel includes writers Tony Grisoni ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"), Peter Straughan ("Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"), Lynn Shelton ("Your Sister's Sister"), as well as Sundance's Michelle Satter and Paul Federbush. Producer Mia Bays will moderate.
- "Senses of Humor and Humour: U.S.-U.K. Comedy," a comparison of comedic styles from both sides of the pond. Among the panelists: Comic Mike Birbiglia, actor/filmmaker Lake Bell, and others to be announced.
Meet Sundance producer - Matthew R. Brady
Matthew R. Brady is the producer of Sundance feature, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, which is playing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at this year's fest. Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina and Kaya Scodelario star in the film.
Here's the synopsis:
Emanuel [Scodelario], an acerbic but sensitive teen, lives with her father and stepmother. She's on the verge of another birthday-a day she has never cared for since her mother died giving birth to her-when the mysterious Linda [Biel], a young and hip mother, moves in next door. Intrigued by Linda's striking resemblance to her late mother, Emanuel begins to babysit for Linda's newborn daughter. As Emanuel and Linda spend more time together, they develop a bond that becomes deeply entwined in a surprising secret Linda harbors.
Brady is an Emmy award-winning producer. His production company, MRB Productions produces content across all media channels and specializes in independent features, television shows, sports promos and commercials. Matthew is our guest blogger today and talks about why he wanted to produce Emanuel and how the story and business model of Muriel's Wedding, inspires his work. Please welcome, Matthew R. Brady.
I was so thrilled to be asked to participate in a blog, especially about one of my favorite companies - Miramax. I think the dream in Hollywood is to make a film and have a company like Miramax select it for distribution. It's one of my dreams anyway!
I am not a director, writer, or an actor. I am a businessperson and filmmaker. When I look at a script, I ask if this is a story that I would want to tell, and simultaneously from a business perspective, is this a story people will want to pay money to watch. I ask myself how I can make this a win-win, financially and aesthetically, for everyone - our creative participants and our financial participants as well. A film can be fantastic, yet no one sees it, and the exact opposite can happen, in which a film is terrible and yet everyone sees it.
In addition to being the producer of Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, I also own a production company, MRB Productions. MRB is a company where, at the bottom line, we get film and television projects made. Clients or friends come to us with an idea, script, or concept, and a dollar amount attached (sometimes realized, sometimes not), and it's our job to make their dream a reality. We find locations, crew, lights, cameras, and help to negotiate all deals - and do everything and anything we need to do to get the film made.
When a mutual friend introduced me to Francesca Gregorini [writer/director] and she handed me the script for Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, it was exactly what I wanted - something that was indie, different, exciting, not overtly commercial, but a story to which anyone could relate. One of the main messages of this film is essentially about the lengths that people will go to escape a significant loss - and who can't relate to that? And the lead characters are these three amazing women. The women are all so different, but the audience can identify with at least one if not all of them. They see a little bit of themselves in each one of them.
When I think back to one of my favorite Miramax films, it's very easy for me to remember how I was inspired by movies like Muriel's Wedding. I can compare both the story and business model behind Muriel's Wedding to Emanuel and in some ways, my hope for Emanuel's success trajectory. (Albeit our film is in no way a musical or a comedy, quite the opposite entirely, yet there are still many parallels.)
In Muriel's Wedding, you are struck by this adventure inside a woman's psyche - a woman who might be a little bit nuts and living in a fictional town somewhere in Australia. Even though this woman is an eccentric misfit (to put it mildly), you can totally identify with her. Who doesn't want to flee after a crisis - escape their family, move to the big city, change their name by one letter, and start anew? Something terrible happens and the lead character has to escape to help heal herself. Anyone who has ever had a crisis can identify with that primal need. Or even just a bad day or embarrassing situation. We've all wanted to escape at some point.
That's a very big connection between that movie and ours. Our movie is filled with the theme of escape - either in one's own head or physically moving towns and starting a whole new identity-where no one knows your past story, what you went through, and how much you had been suffering.
The story of Emanuel, like Muriel's Wedding, is relatable. I was also inspired by the fact that Muriel's Wedding takes place in the fictional town of Porpoise Spit, somewhere in Australia, where everyone knows everyone else's business - and you can't quite get away from the people in your life. Emanuel takes place in no particular town, but is similar in that way. That's what drew me to this movie - it's everywhere and nowhere, all at once. I like these kind of movies because it reminds me of the little town in Connecticut where I grew up. Everyone knows your business and you can't escape your mistakes. I am inspired by movies that I can relate to, and that's what drew me to Francesca's script.
If you think about the time period when the film Muriel's Wedding came out, you realize they discovered a relatively unknown - Toni Collette. The director of Emanuel, discovered a similarly, relatively unknown actress, Kaya Scodelario. Kaya is beyond fantastic. Kaya is a huge, incredibly talented star that is just waiting to break out. I hope this film does for Kaya's careers what Miramax and Muriel's Wedding did for Toni's.
You can't talk about Muriel's Wedding without talking about the music - this amazing ABBA sing-along music, which is so addictive. Emanuel's music is totally different, but equally important. The music makes the movie in both cases. Emanuel's music is French, Swedish, and indie - all very unique, with fantastic original composition by Nathan Larson. At one of our first test screenings, two people asked me where they could buy the soundtrack! I've read stories about how hard they had worked to get ABBA and I now know how hard it is to get great music in an indie film - you really need to get a lot of people believing in you when you don't have the budget.
On the business side, Muriel's Wedding was made for about 3 million dollars, but had mass appeal and has grossed almost 60 million dollars for the studio that helped to create it. That's exactly what I hope for with Emanuel, and all my future projects - to do a movie for a smaller budget, that is within our means and limited risk for all financial participants - and have it turn into a box office success story! I really want to make sure MRB is doing films that are a win for everyone- both in front of and behind the camera. I want our stars to succeed, our directors to win awards, and our investors to make money - like Miramax has done with its film library.
I think every indie film producer dreams of a company like Miramax to pull their film from obscurity at a festival like Sundance, and give the world a chance to see it. I can only hope for the same with Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes.
I want to continue to make films, not only to tell interesting and unique stories, but because I want to help participate in a business model that works - a great script, talent, and distribution plan. I also want the people at my company to succeed financially and creatively, so they can pursue their own dreams and make their own Emanuel's.
Miramax is a great model for a company that rewards passion for telling unique stories. The risk involved in funding a film about an overweight girl that is obsessed with weddings and ABBA was astronomical - yet it worked. Our film also has an extremely unusual tag line which is as follows - "A troubled girl becomes preoccupied with her mysterious new neighbor, who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to baby-sit Linda's newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper"
We created a great film - a film that we hope people will enjoy - and now, as I sit on the plane heading home from Sundance, the fun part begins. I hope everyone reading this gets a chance to see our film.
The Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-27 in Park City, Utah.
Thanks to our Guest Blogger, Matthew R. Brady. Next up: Meet Yen Tan, writer/director of the feature film, Pit Stop.
Pop Goes The Week!
Matt Brady produced Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, a 2013 Sundance selection about a woman's increasing curiosity when a neighbor resembles her deceased mother. Before he headed off to the film festival, mingling with fellow filmmakers and countless goodie bags, he chatted with Pop about his uniquely captivating first feature film.
The obsession theme has been done
time and time again in cinema. For every "Match Point," there are a
million disastrous scripts in the works. So, how do you make "Emanuel
and the Truth about Fishes" fresh?
When we got the script for "Emanuel," our project coordinator, Dee Farmand, read it and said, "You have to read this script! We have to make it. It's the best script I've read in years!" - then I read it and knew she was right. We had to make it. With most scripts, people always have things they bump against, but with Emanuel, the whole team at MRB unanimously loved Francesca's writing and her script.
This is your first foray into
producing feature films. Primarily, you have a commercial production
background, having produced countless sports spots and other commercial
content. How has the transition been into film?
When we started "Emanuel," we were just coming off the heels of producing Stephen Gyllenhaal's indie "Grassroots" starring Jason Biggs and Cedric the Entertainer. It was a similarly low-budget movie, so the transition wasn't hard at all; we'd already done it before! The biggest challenge with film versus commercial is the length of time involved (two years versus two months) and the proportionally smaller budget. But of course, you still need to deliver the same quality.
You started your production
company, MRB Productions in 2001 and have already won two Emmy Awards.
How did it feel to win the first one? When you found out you won, what
was the first thing you said, and who was the first person you told?
I couldn't believe it when she called our name at the Emmy Awards! I was 26 years old and running my company out of an office that used to be a coat closet for another company. It was a huge moment of pride! I immediately called my parents and they couldn't believe it. I went to the Emmys with my best friend from high school, Deborah Snell, who worked at NBC and also won an Emmy that night. We ended up being featured in our hometown paper, The Source. Having a story in your hometown paper can be much more rewarding than a story in Variety!
How do you work on a film meant to be so mysterious and pull it off? How do you tease the audience in the right increments?
The film has a magnificent mysterious and magical quality to it that is largely thanks to the way Francesca wrote and directed it. She and our editor have a rich background in music which helped them build tension in all the right places that really gets you hooked into this magical other world.
For the worst sticks in the mud in
the universe, and you know these people are out there in the world, why
should people who might only watch big budget releases like "Men in
Black" give indie cinema a chance?
Indie film gives film-going audiences a chance to see something they would never see from a big studio. If you look at films like "Transamerica," "Boys Don't Cry," and "The Crying Game" - you get the chance to cover topics that would never have mass appeal, yet are stories that need to be told. And when these stories are told, audiences loves it. Popcorn blockbusters are great, but indie films that demand a two-hour coffee discussion afterwards are my passion, and "Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes" is one of those films.
Jessica Biel once said people do
not give her powerful roles because she is pretty. How did you challenge
her as an actress in this movie, and how will her character affect
This movie is a win for both Jessica Biel and for us. It's a chance for her to step outside of the role she traditionally plays, and she knocks it out of the park! As a viewer, you immediately forget you are watching Jessica Biel and you see her as Linda, the mysterious neighbor. For me, watching a movie I worked on - it's very hard to forget what happened that day on set and actually get into the story. But, our cast is actually so good that they immediately draw you in. I'm very proud of this film and very impressed by Jessica Biel's diverse talent.
You had "The Confession" made
exclusively for Hulu. What is this new medium like for both the viewers
and the production team? Have you noticed any shocking things that may
eventually make web releases on par with a traditional cinema release?
The work from a production standpoint is the same across all mediums, Internet, TV, and film. Just because something is made for digital doesn't mean the quality needs to suffer. In fact, the quality of "The Confession" was so well done that it was purchased by Sony after its run on Hulu and sold on DVD as a full-length feature. There are some people that like to watch movies on their TV or iPhones, but there is still a big community that wants the social experience of seeing a movie together in a theater. I watch a ton of programming on Hulu, but there's that special something about the atmosphere of the cinema.
What are you looking forward to doing at Sundance this year other than work related to your movie?
I'll be on the slopes!
Sundance Red Carpet: Chatting about 'Emanuel and The Truth About Fishes'
The cast of "Emanuel and The Truth About Fishes" including Jimmi Simpson (left to right), Sam Jaeger, Kaya Scodelario and Jessica Biel, join director Francesca Gregorini on the red carpet just prior to the Sundance Film Festival screening of the movie.
Daily Film Festival Coverage
The Sundance Film Festival's red carpet was hive of activity over the weekend and we were able to catch up with the stars, director and producers of the buzz-worthy "Emanuel and The Truth About Fishes."
"This is not a good film for kids," winks producer Matthew R. Brady while walking the red carpet in Park City. "Emanuel is not a train."
"But every once in a while there's a project that people in Hollywood get excited about and ‘Emanuel' is one of those films," he said.
"Emanuel and The Truth About Fishes" has been one of the impossible-to-get-tickets of the Sundance '13 lineup.
"I liked the script because it's a departure from formula; it's fresh and unique in that it starts in a strange place and goes off in an even weirder direction," Brady said. "It's a dark story but then it's also about what it means to be compassionate and I think somehow we've lost that."
The story revolves around the life of a cynical teen, Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario), who lives alone with her father while bemoaning an approaching birthday - a day deeply symbolic since it coincides with the day of her mother's death.
A hip, young mother, Linda (Jessica Biel) moves in next door and as Emanuel begins to babysit for Linda, she's entirely smitten by Linda's resemblance to her own dead mother.
"Emanuel and The Truth About Fishes" is a darkly woven tale, tightly constructed between strands of dark humor and the surreal. The film is written and directed by industry veteran Francesca Gregorini.
Business News Daily
Hollywood Producer Prepares for Sundance Debut 6:10 AM ET | By: Elizabeth Palermo, BusinessNewsDaily Contributor 20 Jan 2013 inShare3
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When Matthew Brady couldn't find the job he was looking for in Hollywood, he created his own.
Brady started MRB Productions, a production company in Los Angeles, in 2001, after years of working on sets all over L.A. His time spent learning the ins and outs of TV and film production helped him realize there was a need for a new kind of company: one that catered to directors who knew what they wanted to create but needed help getting it made.
Brady's company quickly became a go-to production agency for directors in Hollywood and beyond. Starting out with commercials and promos, Brady and his team have won two Emmys for their work on the NFL's "Monday Night Football" teases and have been nominated for multiple Emmys for their work on opening segments for the NFL and the National Basketball Association.
MRB is also behind the popular Web series "The Confession," starring Kiefer Sutherland, as well as Stephen Gyllenhaal's 2012 biopic "Grassroots," starring Jason Biggs. Most recently, Brady worked as the producer on the set of "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes," an independent drama starring Jessica Biel and Kaya Scodelario, which will screen Friday (Jan. 18) at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Brady says the secret to his success has been simple. "The company I have now, I created based on a need. I had never heard of it and I never read about it in a book. I create synergy with my clients because we provide a service that they don't want to do," he said.
As it turns out, there are quite a lot of things directors don't want to do and Brady does well. On any given day, you might find him managing post-production on one project, traveling to the set of another, and attending a party for a third, he said. He does this while simultaneously making phone calls, scouting new locations and paying taxes.
Fortunately, Brady says, he's excellent at multitasking.
"I am able to jump from one thing to another with ease," he said, "and that's a good quality with this type of work."
Even while juggling several projects at once, he and his team are able to enjoy themselves.
"I want to be the type of company that people want to have dinner with, not the type where you never want to see the people again once you finish the project," Brady said.
This positive attitude seems to go a long way for Brady, who gets new jobs on a regular basis through a bevy of established clients. For instance, Brady met Francesca Gregorini, director of "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes," through Jamie Babbit, a director he'd worked with while producing commercials. And he met Gyllenhaal through his attorney.
In a town where word of mouth is king, maintaining professional relationships is good business, and it keeps Brady moving from one gig to another at lightning speed.
With a large overhead and no consistent schedule, MRB pins its success on the ability of Brady and his team of producers to keep moving from one project to the next. Brady says he likes the breakneck pace.
"What we do is something that begins, shoots, and ends in a specific amount of time. A year later, you are never dealing with the same thing, which I love," he said. "But this type of environment is not ideal for someone that appreciates steadiness and reliability."
Certain jobs do require him to slow down. His recent foray into the world of film means bigger projects to finish and much longer production times. In movies, he said, production is never-ending.
Despite the change in pace, Brady is enthusiastic about MRB's ventures into film.
And where he is today is a very good place to be. His company's two Emmys come on top of two Webbys and an International Broadcasting Award. Of equal satisfaction to Brady is that his company's output is viewed by millions of people.
"The film and TV business is amazing because people get to see and admire your work, and since some of my biggest clients are sports networks, sometimes 20 million people see our work," Brady said.
"Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes" will start out being seen by a small but elite audience Friday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Brady is thrilled that the film was selected over so many contenders for screening at the festival.
"It's so nice to work so hard on something and have other people recognizing it," he said.
Film Music Reporter
Nathan Larson has composed the score for the indie drama Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes. The film is written and directed by Francesca Gregorini and stars Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson and Aneurin Barnard. The movie centers on 17-year old troubled girl and her obsession with a new neighbor's resemblance to her dead mother as the girl agrees to babysit the woman's lifelike doll. Gregorini is producing the project with Matthew R. Brady and actress Rooney Mara is co-producing with Tatiana Von Furstenberg. Gregoroni has previously collaborated with composer Roger Neill on her previous feature Tanner Hall. Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.
Larson whose previous film scoring credits include Boy's Don't Cry, Margin Call and The Messenger is also scoring the upcoming thriller Plus One. The film is directed by Dennis Illiadis who previously helmed the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left and centers on a mysterious phenomenon that disrupts the party of the decade, with the evening quickly descending into violent chaos. Ashley Hinshaw, Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller and Natalie Hall are starring in the movie. Tim Perell (Last Chance Harvey, Shortbus) is producing the film for his Process Film production company. A release later this year is expected. Also coming up for Larson is the thriller Girls Against Boys. The movie is written and directed by Austin Chick and stars Danielle Panabaker as a student who, after a brutal sexual assault, teams up with a fellow nightclub bartender. Nicole LaLiberte is co-starring in the film, which premiered at last year's SXSW Film Festival and has been picked up by Anchor Bay Films for a limited theatrical release this February.
Poster Debut: Kaya Scodelario in 'Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes'
Rising U.K. actress Kaya Scodelario (Skins, Moon, Wuthering Heights) stars as a teenager who strikes up a friendship with her mysterious neighbor (Jessica Biel) in the drama Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, which premieres in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Movieline's
got your first look at the poster for the surrealism-tinged thriller
featuring Scodelario, who will be one to watch this month in Park City.
Scodelario's been an intriguing new talent since breaking out on the original Skins, the kids-behaving-badly hit U.K. series that inspired Project X-esque mayhem in suburban England and inspired a terrible American knockoff series on MTV. She appeared in Duncan Jones' Moon and briefly in Clash of the Titans, but earned critical acclaim last year as Catherine in Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, and for a good while had considerable fan support vying to play the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games which eventually went to Jen Lawrence.
Emanuel should help Scodelario bolster her presence stateside (she also appears in the as-yet unreleased in the U.S. drama Now Is Good, AKA The One Where Dakota Fanning Has Cancer And A British Accent), and it also adds some zest and indie cred to co-star Biel's filmography following a varied year marked by the indie horror The Tall Man, the sci-fi remake Total Recall, awards hopeful Hitchcock, and the Gerard Butler vehicle Playing For Keeps.
Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson, and Aneurin Barnard also star in the pic from director Francesca Gregorini, who previously co-wrote and co-directed the girls school drama Tanner Hall. Check out the full hi-res poster debut below and stay tuned for Movieline's coverage of the Sundance Film Festival, held January 17-27.
A troubled girl Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario) becomes preoccupied with her mysterious new neighbor (Jessica Biel), who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to baby-sit Linda's newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper.
More info at the Sundance Film Festival website.
MRB Productions, a leading Hollywood-based producer of television, feature, new media and commercial content, founded by two-time Emmy Award-winning producer Matthew Brady, has announced it has promoted six members of its staff. Ava Yazdani has been promoted to Production Manager, formerly serving as a coordinator; Brittany Progulske, formerly a production manager, has been promoted to producer; Dee Farmand, who formerly acted as special projects manager, has been promoted to producer; Erica Weiss, formerly an assistant to producer, is now production co-ordinator; Katie DeLucco, who previously served as an assistant to executive producer, is now special projects co-ordinator; and Tone Hoeft, formerly a production and development coordinator, is now creative manager.
1/18/2013 5:30 pm
Library Center Theatre, Park City
1/19/2013 9:30 pm
Peery's Egyptian Theater, Ogden
1/20/2013 9:15 pm
Salt Lake City Library Theatre, Salt Lake City
1/21/2013 11:30 am
Library Center Theatre, Park City
1/23/2013 12:15 pm
Eccles Theatre, Park City
1/25/2013 8:30 am
MARC, Park City
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
2012, 96 minutes, color, U.S.A., U.S. Dramatic
Emanuel, an acerbic but sensitive teen, lives with her father and stepmother. She’s on the verge of another birthday—a day she has never cared for since her mother died giving birth to her—when the mysterious Linda, a young and hip mother, moves in next door. Intrigued by Linda’s striking resemblance to her late mother, Emanuel begins to babysit... »
Cast and Credits
Director: Francesca Gregorini
Screenwriter: Francesca Gregorini
Executive Producers: Jonathan Gray, Paul Schiff, Kenny Goodman, Kevin Iwashina, Michael Sackler Julia Godzinskaya, Alex Sagalchik, Olga Segura, Alice Bamford
Producers: Matthew R. Brady, Francesca Gregorini
Coproducers: Rooney Mara, Tatiana Von Furstenberg
Cinematographer: Polly Morgan
Editor: Antony Langdon
Principal Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson, Aneurin Barnard
Contact: Jonathan Gray / email@example.com / 212-966-6700
Matthew Brady is a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer who runs his own company, MRB Productions, which launched in 2011.
MRB Productions has quickly become one of Hollywood's go-to production agencies for top-notch television, feature, new media and commercial content.
We caught up with Matthew to find out more about the company, discuss the challenges he's faced in making it a success and to see what advice he has for others who want to start their own business.
How are today? What have you been doing before this interview?
Doing great! I've been booking travel for the Sundance Film Festival, where our latest movie was just accepted!
You run your own company MRB Productions. Tell us about it.
MRB Productions is a boutique production company working in every media platform. We started by producing promos for ABC and ESPN and since then have grown, doing features, docs, TV, and commercials! We grew because we've always been the production company that gets projects done on time and on budget.
What you made you decide to start the company?
I saw a unique need no one was filling. My clients were directors that didn't want to produce. They hated setting up shoots, dealing with permits, finding insurance, etc. It really hurt the creative because their energy was split: they couldn't focus on directing and catering at the same time! And our method really worked. Within our first few years we won an Emmy and my team expanded to deal with all the producing needs.
Originally you started out making sports promos but you now work across a variety of industries. Why did you decide to expand?
As our clients moved on to other things, they brought MRB with them because of our fantastic working relationship. We were doing these attention getting promos at a fifth of the budget of a regular commercial, and as the viral world exloded, we shifted our talent to promos and commercials. When ad agencies saw how satisfied our clients were with the finished product, they gave us their big commercials too!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?
When I started out in this business, a lot of people had a big list of things they weren't willing to do. And now, a decade later, most of them still live in their same apartments! I find that the people who excel are the ones willing to do anything. The " I don't clean windows" attitude doesn't work in our business because the bottom line is that to be successful, you need to be an amazing producer who is willing to take out the trash if he needs to.
Tell us about the some of the challenges you’ve faced on your road to success and how you overcame them.
Most of our challenges are relate to budget – we never have enough money to do what we need to do and have to call in a lot of favors. But every time someone does us a favor, I keep a list so we can return the favor when we have a job with a bigger budget. Your directors always want more and you have to manage what they want versus how much money you have to spend.
Which piece of work that your company has done are you most proud of and why?
I'm most proud of MRB's recent feature we produced that just got into Sundance! It was VERY hard work! We had A-list talent, but not enough money to match. And we faced every production challenge you could ever have on this film, from rain storms to talent dropping out, but we made it and it's fantastic! I'm so excited for it to hit theaters.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Two major highlights: The first was when I won two Emmys! It was more than I ever could have hoped for at the time. The second was producing the film Dahmer with Jeremy Renner. It was the first movie I produced and I remember being ecstatic when I walked by the poster and saw my name on it!
What advice would you give to people who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Don't let anyone else fool you. It really is just about hard work and making good connections.
What will you be doing for the holidays this year?
My family is coming to town and we will be tourists in our own city. I'm always jet-setting and I really do find it quite enjoyable to stay in LA over the holidays – it's the one time our town has no traffic!
Find out more about MRB Productions by heading over to www.mrbproductions.com
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes accepted in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
New York Times
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes gets into the 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes at the Sundance Film Festival
Jessica Biel talks about her acting in Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
Skit from the 2012 Hero Dog Awards
Skit from the Hero Dog Awards
Grassroots plays at Denver
Kristin Chenoweth hosts the 2012 Hero Dog AWards
Jewel performs at 2012 Hero Dog Awards
Kristin Chenoweth hosts the 2012 Hero Dog Awards
IFC Films acquries the rights to the Jamie Babbit directed film, Breaking the Girls
A review of the movie Grassroots
The 2012 Hero Dog Awards makes the emmy ballot.
Obrigado, Brasil made the shortlist for Cannes!
Samuel Goldwyn acquires Grassroots
Grassroots gets acquried by Samuel Goldwyn
The Hollywood Reporter
The highlights of this year's SIFF
The Confession wins Best Drama at the Webby Awards
Grassroots closes SIFF
Grassroots is chosen to close the Seattle International Fim Festival.
The Hollywood Reporter
SIFF announces Grassroots will close out the film festival.
The Confession is nominated for a Webby.
Viral video for the 2012 Hero Dog Awards spreads across the net.
Campaign starts for the 2012 Hero Dog Awards
MRB signs a new commercial director.
Acclaimed director Stephen Gyllenhaal has been honored for a second time by the Directors Guild of America in the category of "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series," for his direction of the hit Lifetime original movie, "Girl Fight," starring Anne Heche. Gyllenhaal is up against Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Alicia Keys for the award.
After a decade of producing some of America's most eye-catching commercial and entertainment content, Hollywood, CA-based MRB Productions, founded by two-time Emmy Award-winning founder and CEO Matthew Brady, has gone international with its new Brazilian JAMBOX music video ad campaign featuring Snoop Dogg and Brazil's hottest rap artist Marcelo D2, and directed by Spanish director Chuchie Hill.
Jambone's latest advert for the Jambox speaker, featuring rappers Snoop Dogg and Marcelo D2, was directed by J6 Films' Chuchie Hill.
After a decade of producing some of America's most eye-catching commercial and entertainment content, Hollywood, CA-based MRB Productions, founded by two-time Emmy Award-winning founder and CEO Matthew Brady, has gone international with its new Brazilian JAMBOX music video ad campaign (http://jawbone.com/snoop), featuring Snoop Dogg and Brazil's hottest rap artist Marcelo D2, and directed by Spanish director Chuchie Hill.
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has named nominees for best commercial director of 2011
Jambone's latest advert for the Jambox speaker, featuring rappers Snoop Dogg and Marcelo D2, was directed by J6 Films' ‘Chuchie Hill'.
The ad was produced by US production company MRB Productions from a creative idea by San Francisco based advertising agency Pereira & O'Dell.
Shot in both LA and Rio, the advert features the creation of 'Obrigado, Brasil' track, made possible through use of the Jambox speaker.
Following the successful November 2011 broadcast premiere of the Hallmark Channel's 1st Annual Hero Dog Awards, the American Humane Association extended its contract with Hollywood, CA-based MRB Productions to produce its 2nd Annual Hero Dog Awards show, for 2012. Matthew Brady, the two-time Emmy Award-winning founder of MRB Productions, and Luke Watson will be executive producing again.
Century City News
The Manville News
Hallmark Channel honours our remarkable four-legged friends with American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards
The Hollywood Reporter
Funny or Die
Funny or Die
The Sacramento Bee
Dog who saved owner's life during 9/11 Terror Attacks named 'Top American Dog Hero' at Inaugural American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards presented by Cesar Canine Cuisine
Top Secret Writers
Ewan McGregor, Betty White, Kristin Chenoweth and Jillian Michaels will jin Whoopi Goldberg as celebrity judges for the Inaugural American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards
Mary Brennan just sent out a press release announcing that "How I Met Your Mother" star Cobie Smulders, "Six Feet Under" actress Lauren Ambrose, Cedric the Entertainer and Tom Arnold will co-star with Jason Biggs ("American Pie") and Joel David Moore ("Avatar") in Stephen Gyllenhaal's quirky political comedy "Grassroots."
Jason Biggs and Joel David Moore ("Avatar") star in Seattle-based indie political comedy "Grassroots" with Peggy Rajski producing through Matthew Brady's MRB Prods.
LA Business Journal
MRB Productions, a Beverly Hills entertainment company, has promoted Claudia Castillo to head of business affairs. Previously, Castillo was head of accounting at MRB
LA Business Journal
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 08, 2010, --- Actor, producer and director Fred Savage has directed a commercial titled "Testers" for Ubisoft's Red Steel 2 videogame. The job marks Savage's spot directorial debut and was produced via MRB Productions, Beverly Hills, for Ubisoft's in-house San Francisco agency.
Savage is no stranger to the director's chair. He has been helming and producing film and TV for more than 10 years. Savage has been nominated for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award three times for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's TV Programs, the latest nom coming this year for the Disney pilot Zeke & Luther.
Savage, well-known for his portrayal of Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years, most recently directed and produced episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX and Party Down on Starz.
"Having honed a comedic voice in the episodic world, it was great fun to challenge myself to deliver that same sense of humor in 30 seconds. In the end, funny is funny and the similarities between the two worlds makes me look forward to future adventures in the commercial world," said Savage.
MRB, headed by president/CEO Matthew Brady, and Fred Savage plan to work together on future commercials.
Brady noted that Savage brought some notable talent onto the Ubisoft shoot, including DP Pete Smokler whose credits include the feature mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap and the pilot for The Office.
On a rare rainy evening in Los Angeles, Octber 14, 2009, PGA members and their guests braved the elements to attend a preview screening and Q&A with Academy Award nominated, Peabody Award-winning producer/director and PGA member Mike Tollin.
Return to Mexico City is a documentary about americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their actions during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
BEVERLY HILLS, October 28, 2009, --- Director Marty Weiss, whose career spans assorted spots and films, has come aboard the roster of Beverly Hills-headquartered MRB Productions.
Weiss first established himself as a spot director, helming hundreds of domestic and international commercials before parlaying that into longer form projects such as Vampires: The Turning for Sony/Screen Gems Entertainment, and The Pre-Nup, a comedy starring Larry Miller and Alex Borstein. The latter hit the 2007 film festival circuit, including the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the Santa Barbara Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Festival, and The World of Comedy Film Festival, Toronto.
Not a rookie on the film festival scene, Weiss has many festival awards under his belt including a Best Director nod at the New York Film Festival. His spotwork has garnered several Clios, Cannes Lions, Addys, and One Show Pencils, as well as AICP Show recognition.
Weiss began his career in Chicago producing commercials for clients like Anheuser Busch, Budweiser, McDonald's and even produced a series of spots for filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. After moving to Los Angeles, he directed commercials exclusively through Sony Picture Entertainment's Pavlov Productions, The Bedford Falls Group/Trailhead, and then Cucoloris Films. He directed via the latter shop from 2000 to the end of '03 when he began casting for Vampires: The Turning. Weiss went to Thailand to prep and shoot that film and was in post until its release in early '05.
At that point he hooked up with The Directors Network, Los Angeles, a talent agency which freelances directors through other production houses. That relationship (which included such spot projects as a package for Herbal Essences shot in Venezuela for Leo Burnett and Macondo Films out of Spain; a Little Caesar's campaign for Agency Oz of Michigan; and a Blue Cross/Blue Shield assignment for Michael Flora and Associates, Troy, Mich.) ran through late '06 when Weiss startedThe Pre-Nup.
From '07-'09 Weiss directed two movies for Spike TV, Backwoods and Xtra Credit. The former starred Haylie Duff, Ryan Merrima, Danny Nucci and Mark Rolston, and debuted last year. Xtra Credit, with a cast headed by Micah Alberti and Marina Black, is slated to air later this year.
Weiss' spot directorial credits in recent time include his having freelanced three packages for Cincinnati Bell for Gee, Jeffery and Partners and Kandoo Films, L.A.; a campaign for Spike TV show "Pros vs. Joes," as well as various promos for CBS, Style Network, and Fox.
Weiss now joins a spot directors' roster at MRB that includes Mark Teitelman, Jamie Babbitt, Jeremy Haft, and Branson Veal. MRB is headed by president/CEO Matthew Brady.
For film and television projects, Weiss works through his company Martini Shot Films, and is represented by CAA and the Arlook Group.
UK-based distributor Target Entertainment Group has sold a number of programming packages totalling 500 hours to international broadcasters.
The company, which recently announced it was going through a recession-forced restructure and losing MD Ian Jones, has sold Double Act Productions' crime series Miami SWAT (11x60') to Discovery Networks for its feeds in France, Italy, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The global economic crisis is hitting the slopes: Overall U.S. Snow Sports sales declines 5% in dollars and 3% in numbers of units sold for the 2008-09 season
By Kristin Brzoznowski
LONDON: Target Entertainment Group has sold a range of programs, spanning more than 250 hours, to broadcasters in Australia and New Zealand.
A package of drama titles went to New Zealand's Rialto Channel, including She's Gone, a Size 9 Productions for ITV; Pinochet in Suburbia, a 90-minute Tiger Aspect drama for BBC Two and HBO; Shooting the Past, produced by Talkback for BBC Two; After the Deluge, from Cox Knight Productions/Apollo Films/Network Ten for Australia's Network Ten; and the Seven Times Lucky's self-titled, one-off drama Seven Times Lucky.
The soon-to-launch Comedy Central New Zealand acquired season one and two of the VH1 comedy Free Radio, produced by MRB Productions. XYZ Networks (Channel V) picked up three factual-entertainment shows from U.S. music channel Fuse. They are Redemption Song, produced by Zig Zag Productions; Live Through This, produced by Jupiter Entertainment; and Rock and Roll Acid Test, from Superfine Films.
Australia's Foxtel went for a package of more than 90 hours of factual and factual entertainment, including seasons six through eight of Beach Patrol, the crime and investigation series produced by Evolution for TruTV. It also included three programs from Two Four Broadcast: the factual-entertainment series Conversations with a Serial Killer for Living, the factual series Boozed Up Brits Abroad for Bravo in the U.K. and factual one-off I Sleep with Strangers, also for Living. Foxtel also acquired all 35 episodes of Giant Film and TV's travel and adventure factual series Cops, Cars and Superstars: Bullrun, plus stv productions travel and adventures series Merchant Navy.
TVNZ took on seasons three and four of The Clinic, an Irish drama series produced by Parallel Pictures for RTE, and My Holiday Hostage Hell, a Prospect Pictures factual series for Living in the U.K.
Glen Hansen, Target's Los Angeles-based senior VP of sales and programming, for U.S. (West Coast), Australia and New Zealand, said: "Australia and New Zealand have always been major markets for Target and I'm delighted to have concluded these extensive packages so early in 2009."
Jen Matteis, Source Community Desk Chief:
Determination is perhaps the secret to success for Matt Brady, the owner of a successful California production company. Growing up in Madison, Matt always knew what he wanted to do.
"Even when I was younger, people were saying, ‘You've got to get to California and get into movies,'" Matt says.
In 1996, not long after graduating from Daniel Hand High School, Matt moved to Los Angeles to follow his dreams—but not in a haphazard way. Matt grounded his Hollywood dreams in pre-arranged job interviews and a healthy dose of persistence.
"I didn't waste any time," Matt recalls. "I got here on a Monday and started working on a Tuesday."
From interning with Entertainment Tonight to working as a personal secretary for actor Randy Quaid, Matt moved his way up in the industry, culminating with the launch of his own production company in 2001.
As president of MRB Productions, there is no question that Matt has found both traditional and personal success. Through the company, Matt works to produce independent features, television shows, television specials, and commercials.
"One of my biggest clients is ESPN," Matt says. "I've done the openings for Monday Night Football (MNF), The X Games, the NBA Finals."
Matt and his company have enjoyed a fair dose of acclaim—both honorary and notorious.
"I won my first Emmy five years ago," says Matt, who also won Emmys for the NBA Finals and for a MNF opening featuring Dennis Hopper.
As for notorious, Matt's company was responsible for the MNF spot where Nicollete Sheridan dropped her towel in front of wide receiver Terrell Owens.
"The whole nation was in an uproar the next day," he recalls. "It was billed as the most controversial spot of 2004."
In addition to Matt's work producing MNF openings, which included one featuring President-elect Barack Obama, MRB recently co-produced its first feature film, I Trust You to Kill Me starring Kiefer Sutherland. MRB's numerous other productions include Super Bowl Opens with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford, along with commercials for Hyundai, Sprint, and Hot Wheels.
As if that weren't enough, Matt is also the executive producer of Free Radio, a VH1 comedy series now in its second season.
From working with celebrities to traveling the world (one recent production brought Matt to Sweden to shoot the opening of the World Figure Skating Championships), Matt's dreams have lived up to his expectations—and they have also brought him home. Last month, Matt returned to Connecticut to shoot the opening introductions to the NFL Network games. Not just another shoot, this meant a chance to visit his parents, Michael and Eloise.
In general, production—whether working under budget, in other countries, or here in Connecticut—hasbrought Matt the satisfaction of knowing he's doing exactly what he wanted to do—and to fulfill someone else's Hollywood dreams on the side.
"I really enjoy production," he says. "It's my job as the producer to execute the director's dreams. I absolutely love it."
Check out a clip from Free Radio on youtube. For more on Free Radio, visit Free Radio's website.
Matt's Connecticut NFL shoot featuring the Pilobolus Dancers is visible here.
The Waterford Times
Here's a pitch: A local kid spends his high school days dreaming of working in the entertainment industry.
Eventually, he packs up, lights out for Los Angeles, works hard, founds his own production company. He gets to work in places all over the world, including, well, a studio 30 miles from where he grew up. He comes back home and ends up learning a valuable lesson about the strength of the human heart. Cue song by Dashboard Confessional, roll credits.
A little too Garden State, perhaps? Well, gross simplifications and poetic license aside, that's Matt Brady's story.
Brady, 31, is a Madison native, who really did dream of moving to Los Angeles, and yes, eventually founded his own production company.
"You know, it's really exciting to be in this industry," he said. "It's also really exciting for me to be home in Connecticut, working."
Brady, now the head of MRB Productions, spent two days last week at Sonalysts Studios in Waterford working on a new ad for the NFL Network, one of his company's sports-affiliated clients.
In addition to the NFL Network, Brady has worked with Monday Night Football and the National Basketball Association.
You might remember the "MNF" spot where Nicollette Sheridan dropped her towel in front of wide receiver Terrell Owens—that was Brady's production.
From the beginning, Brady also wanted to work behind the scenes, rather than in front of the camera.
"Everyone sees your work," he said. "Plus you never know where you're going to be; two weeks ago we were shooting in Mexico City."
Brady traces his interest in entertainment to a party he attended while working for a catering company in Connecticut. He struck up a conversation with a guest who was a casting director.
"She told me to move to Los Angeles and get it out of my system," Brady said.
He moved to California in 1996 and eventually worked on Entertainment Tonight, and was actor Randy Quaid's personal assistant.
Brady's new ad for the NFL Network features the Pilobolus Dance Theater group, the ensemble from Washington Depot whose silhouette shapes—essentially shadow puppets on a grand scale—were part of last year's Academy Awards presentation. It's scheduled to air on the network's Nov.6 broadcast of the Cleveland Browns-Denver Broncos game.
Brady said that commercial production has undergone several changes in the decade since he started.
"There was no Internet," he noted.
Plus, as technology improves, production costs have gone down.
"What was once a $300,000-a-day shoot," he said, "can be as little as $150,000 a day."
But as the production costs have gone down, Brady's clients expect more out of the ads.
Also, Brady said a new element in commercials is user generated content, where companies ask everyday people to send in ads, via the Internet.
Despite the volatility in the industry, Brady said it's "an exciting time to be doing this."
Brady also sees the potential for his native state in the entertainment industry. "Costs, like hotel rooms and catering," he said, "are much cheaper here." Plus, Brady said, the proximity to New York makes getting specialized equipment easier.
But, for Brady, there is more to shooting in Connecticut than low costs. "I get to see my family," he said. "Plus I get to go to Friendly's. We don't have those on the West Coast."
Precious... MRB's newest jewel - MRB welcomes Director Lori Precious
As segment producer for Monday Night Football, Matt Brady infiltrated sports' biggest boys' club -- and
lived to tell about it.
By Jessica Hundley
Remember that Super Bowl XXXVIII opener with Arnold Schwarzenegger? What about that infamous "Towelgate" teaser, where Nicollette Sheridan dropped her towel for Terrell Owens? If so, you have producer Matt Brady to thank.
Brady is an old-school Hollywood success story—a sweet kid from the suburbs arrives in La-La Land hoping to make it big… and actually does. A former celebrity assistant and location scout, Brady, 30, is the head of MRB Productions, a television production company that's become known for its openers, spots, and teasers for such clients as ESPN, the ESPY Awards, and Monday Night Football. Brady has been nominated for four Emmys and won two, and he's made his name amid the sweat and testosterone of the locker room—not exactly the most likely spot for a gay producer. But forging fresh ground with little inhibition is one of Brady's fortes.
So tell us a bit about how you got started. Growing up on the East Coast, what made you want to work in Hollywood?
I grew up in Connecticut. And by the time I got to college, in Virginia, I was all "small-towned" out. I decided I was going to move to L.A. for the summer, and so I called every company I could and sent my résumé to every entertainment temp agency in town. I came in on a Monday, and on Wednesday I interviewed to be a personal assistant to Randy Quaid. That was my first job. It was supposed to be only for a week, but it ended up being a year and a half. It was fun; it was like boot camp for the Hollywood uninitiated. It wasn't a sit-back-and-relax job, but I learned so much and I learned firsthand. It wasn't like being a [personal assistant] in an office where you're on the 25th rung. Randy and his wife were producing, working on so much stuff, and when you work for a celebrity, you're the direct liaison. So I had big agents and big managers calling me. It was a trial by fire. On the other hand, I moved here on a Monday and a week later was the Mission: Impossible premiere, and Randy and his wife gave me their tickets. I remember being on Rodeo Drive searching for an outfit for the premiere and just thinking, I can't believe it! I'm really here! I instantly thought, There's no way now I'm ever going home. People might think I just got lucky somehow, but I planned it and I worked my ass off.
And from there, how did you end up getting so involved in the world of sports programming?
I started working the opening segments for the ESPYs and the ESPN short films, the pre-tapes that air during the show. One of the main bosses left and went to Monday Night Football, and he asked me to come on and produce all the short format— which was amazing because there are all these celebrities involved and a huge viewership, and every week it was something new. Twenty million people are watching. It's been great and it honed my producing chops very quickly—you would find out the talent and the location and then, a few days later, it was on the air.
It seems an unlikely world to find you in. Have you had any problems being out in a world where that's somewhat unusual?
I have been so lucky; I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like I'm the token gay in a lot of those situations, because it's not unfriendly by any means, but it's not a very gay environment. I mean, some of the shoots tend to lean that way because of the hair and makeup and stylists, but when I'm at ESPN in the football meeting, [there are] definitely not a lot of other out men in the room. I try to be…I don't know if "role model" is the right word, but a lot of people just don't know any gay people, and that's the issue—like "I don't have any black friends." I want everyone to think, He's so cool, and so maybe that other gay guy is cool too. I haven't had any bad coming-out experiences. I'm also not making out with guys on set in a pair of chaps. I'm definitely not the Norma Rae of the gay producing world, but if I do a good job and everyone likes me, maybe things will change at least a little bit. Search
Production companies come in all different shapes and sizes as well as varying visions for their futures. Nothing is more aptly true than for MRB Productions which initially entered the advertising arena through the promo fray, but who is now quickly making headway as well into the more traditional commercial market.
Owned and operated by Matt Brady, MRB flourished from the beginning with network promos. With a bit of further investigation into the advertising marketplace, Brady quickly assessed the field and noted, after speaking with an array of directors, that a vast majority of production companies were turning down low-budgeted projects. Already well versed in the tighter budget scenario (promos are traditionally kept to a much smaller scale), Brady felt as if he had found another niche to showcase his talent. "My fact finding mission proved beneficial," states Brady. "We continued to shoot our promos as well as larger budgeted jobs, all the while picking up projects hovering around $100K, thus allowing my directors to further enhance their reels." Applying his expertise from the promo world to all levels of the commercial realm, Brady was able to capitalize on expanding his repertoire. "I guess my attitude in general," says the producer, "is that even when the budgets are small, they give MRB great opportunities."
Moving forward – and as the advertising community encompasses other high tech avenues to hark its wares, MRB appears to be ahead of the curve. "We've been very fortunate" says Brady, "in that we've been able to increase our reel with a varied spectrum of projects. Not only do we have promos and commercials coming through the door, we're now doing virals and pilots as well." Adverse to being stuck in one direction, Brady sees the potential in his talent to transcend all advertising means and to excel in all arenas. Thus it is because of his eye towards the future that the producer is always looking to develop his directing pool. "When I started out, we were in demand for sports and comedy. Now my contacts are looking to me for cars. It's ever-changing, and never dull. Through my experiences you pretty much have to have a good showing of talent in order to secure the boards."
With the viewing audience having more pull than ever before over the direction of advertising, Brady admits that that fact alone is also helping him assess the evolution of the industry. "The public is helping advertisers tool their ads to what they want to see. Every popular commercial is popping up on YouTube – which in itself is a great measuring stick – advertising's own Nielson rating for spots, so to speak." No matter the level of manipulation, Brady's team understands the value of getting people to talk about their ads. "If you get a buzz about something, whether a promo, commercial, or film, you've definitely delivered a finished product with legs."
Case in point is the promo for ESPN staring 2008 president candidate Barack Obama. A very formidable Obama addresses the camera in a piece that would lead one to believe that the message is all politics. What a delight to find out that in the end, the same metaphorical rhetoric can be applied to football. "The Obama spot received a myriad of opinions from the press – both good and bad. But then if you look at the new measuring stick you'll find that it got over 80,000 hits on YouTube. That's a prime indicator of what the viewing public wants to see."
To accommodate said audience, MRB Productions has armed itself with a diverse roster of talent. Directors such as Rico Labbe, Mark Teitelman, Mike Wang, Jeremy Haft, Gary Califano, Brian O'Connell, and Branson Veal, along with a reel sporting clients ESPN, NFL, DirecTV, Foot Locker, Heineken, NBC, Precor, Krispy Kreme, and ABC Sports, just to name a few. (And it should be noted that MRB walked away with two Sports Emmys earlier this year from the National Television Academy for Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction for NBA Finals and Outstanding Open/Tease for NBA Basketball Hall of Fame, both directed by Mark Teitelman.)
With so much at stake in all things advertising, what direction does Brady see for his bunch? "I want to kick butt! I have a great team now and almost a complete roster. I know I'd love to expand it to include one director in every possible genre. Just so that each time an opportunity came our way, we could excel by catering to their every need. Bottom line, I'm looking at getting it perfect." Newsletter Sign Up Your Email Here To receive your email version of the Newsletter. Register Online Services Source Creatives Scenes on Demand Research & Clearance Newsletter Advertise With Us A Division of DG FastChannel
Director Jamie Babbit has joined MRB Productions, the Beverly Hills-headquartered shop headed by president/CEO Matthew Brady. Babbit, whose best known for her work in TV and film, was last repped for spots by the former Propaganda Independent, which specialized in handling feature/TV directors for commercials. (Propaganda Independent was a division of now defunct Propaganda Films.)
Babbit managed to direct a Rock The Vote spot for MTV during her brief Propaganda tenure. When the company closed in late 2001, she went on to build her career in longform. Her primetime series credits include Gilmore Girls (WB), Nip/Tuck (FX), Malcolm in the Middle (FOX), Alias (ABC), Ugly Betty (ABC), Popular (WB), The L Word (Showtime) and The Riches (FX).
On the feature front, the Babbit-directed Itty Bitty Titty Committee won best in competition recently at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. Her other feature endeavors include But I'm A Cheerleader and The Quiet. She is no stranger to short form either as reflected in Stuck, a short which earned honorable mention distinction at the '02 Sundance Film Festival.
Babbit joins a lineup of directors at MRB that includes Mark Teitelman, Rico Labbe, Branson Veal, Michael Wang, Brian O'Connell, Gary Califano, and Jeremy Haft.
MRB Productions was launched in '01 by Brady and specializes in commercials, independent features, television shows and specials. The company found instant success after its inception with short comedic features for ESPN's ESPY Awards. Other recent projects include: "Live Free or Die Hard" SportsCenter commercials with Bruce Willis, Kiefer Sutherland's indie feature, "I Trust You to Kill Me," the 2006 ESPY Shorts, featuring Will Ferrell and Lance Armstrong, the Super Bowl XL open with Harrison Ford, the 2006 NFL Draft open on ESPN, the Super Bowl XXXVIII open with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 2007 NBA finals open on ABC, and work with DirecTV, Sony, Upperdeck, MGA Entertainment, NFL Network and the X Games.
Company Receives Six Nominations Recognizing Work by MRB Directors Mark Teitelman & Rico Labbe
Beverly Hills, CA / PRNewswire Press Release
Commercials & promos produced by MRB Productions received six Sports Emmy nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, including recognition of MRB Directors Mark Teitelman and Rico Labbe, it was announced this week by Matt Brady, President and CEO of MRB.
MRB received a clean sweep in the "Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction" category, scoring all four nominations. The four selections in this category include:
"The 2006 NFL Draft" on ESPN directed by Rico Labbe
"Monday Night Football" teases for the Washington Redskins vs Minnesota Vikings game and the Green Bay Packers vs Philadelphia Eagles game, both on ESPN
"Monday Night Football" transformation open featuring Ben Stiller on ESPN
"NBA Finals" tease open on ABC directed by Mark Teitelman
All four nominated pieces were produced in part by MRB Productions, guaranteeing a win in this particular category.
MRB also received two nominations in another category, "Outstanding Open/Tease" which include:
Super Bowl XL piece "Oh The Places You Will Go" featuring Harrison Ford on ABC, directed by Mark Teitelman and produced by Matt Brady
"NBA Basketball Hall Of Fame" piece on ABC, directed by Mark Teitelman and produced by Matt Brady
Both Teitelman and Brady have taken home trophies in this category before.
"Working with these directors has been such an amazing opportunity because they are a unique triple threat -- achieving excellence in commercials, television, and features. We are thrilled and honored that the Academy has chosen these six pieces to be recognized with Sports Emmy nominations," said Brady.
MRB's other recent commercial clients include work for Young & Rubican, Campbell-Ewald, The Woo Agency, Triple Double, MGA Entertainment and all 4 TV networks. Outside of commercials and promos, MRB recently co-produced its first feature film entitled I Trust You to Kill Me, starring Kiefer Sutherland. The film was met with rave reviews and released both theatrically and on VH1. In addition, MRB produced all "Monday Night Football" opens this season for ESPN, including one featuring 2008 Presidential candidate Barack Obama.
MRB Productions was launched in 2001 by Emmy Award winning Matthew Brady and specializes in commercials, television & independent features.
MRB's award winning team of directors consists of: Mark Teitelman, Rico Labbe, Branson Veal, Michael Wang, Brian O'Connell, Gary Califano, and Jeremy Haft.
New York Post
Fresh off a swing to New Hampshire, Barack Obama last night addressed the question on everyone's lips: Are you ready for some football?
Obama, a hot-shot Illinois senator and rising Democratic presidential rival to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, jumped into sports fans' living rooms by introducing the Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams. Playing off the political world's breathless anticipation of his White House candidacy, Obama, in a pretaped segment, did a tongue-in-cheek monologue a split second after ESPN's cameras showed Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, in his first full year as a starter, coming out of the dressing room.
"This is a contest about the future - a contest between two very different philosophies," Obama said. "In Chicago, they're asking, 'Does the new guy have enough experience to lead us to victory?' " added Obama, sitting in his office next to an American flag. "Tonight, I'd like to put all the doubts to rest. I would like to announce to my hometown of Chicago and all of America that I am ready - for the Bears to go all the way, baby!" Then Obama slapped on a Bear cap and flashed an ear-to-ear grin. The Bears won the game.
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, a potential presidential candidate, planned to end weeks of speculation Monday and tell a national audience... he supports his hometown Chicago Bears. Having some fun with all the political hype, Obama mocked the frenzied interest by taping the introduction to ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game between his hometown Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams. "So tonight I'd like to put all the doubts to rest. And tonight, after a lot of thought and a good deal of soul-searching, I would like to announce to my hometown of Chicago and all of America that I'm ready..."
"For the Bears to go all the way!" the Illinois senator said in a text released by his office.
In a teasing news release, his office said Monday afternoon that Obama would make an "announcement" before the game "about an upcoming contest of great importance to the American people." Obama spent Sunday in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire where he drew huge crowds, a crush of media and fueled talk of a White House bid. "This is a contest about the future. A contest between two very different philosophies. A contest that will ultimately be decided in America's heartland," Obama said during the taped introduction. "In Chicago, they're asking, does the new guy have enough experience to lead us to victory? In St. Louis, they're wondering, are we facing a record that's really so formidable? Or is it all just a bunch of hype?" The Bears (10-2) faced the Rams (5-7) in St. Louis. Although the game is on cable, last week's contest between Green Bay and Seattle drew 12.7 million viewers, good exposure for any candidate.
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, a potential presidential candidate, taped the introduction to ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game between his hometown Bears and the Rams.
"So tonight I'd like to put all the doubts to rest. And tonight, after a lot of thought and a good deal of soul-searching, I would like to announce to my hometown of Chicago and all of America that I'm ready... "
"For the Bears to go all the way!"
Obama's office teasingly said Monday afternoon that Obama would make an "announcement" before the game "about an upcoming contest of great importance to the American people."
For first-term Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to get the avalanche of media attention he did while addressing New Hampshire Democrats a week ago was impressive. To appear the following night on "Monday Night Football" was even more so.
Obama's hometown Chicago Bears were playing the St. Louis Rams. The game was being watched in 8.5 million homes, and Obama, widely seen at this early stage as a potential top competitor to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) for the Democratic presidential nomination, had all the viewers to himself.
Over the years, the show has had public figures make cameos on the nights of big games.
"We try to find a unique way to open our telecast, and certainly with Senator Obama representing Illinois and Chicago and being so hot, so to speak, we thought it would be a great opportunity," said Jay Rothman, the show's producer.
About a week and a half before the spot appeared, an ESPN producer called Obama's office to see if he would take part. At first, ESPN suggested doing it in the form of a mock political advertisement. But Jon Favreau, the senator's speechwriter, knew the spotlight would be on his boss's possible ambitions in the days after Obama's New Hampshire speech. So Favreau suggested rewriting the script to play off the speculation.
On Monday afternoon, Obama's communications staff sent out a tantalizing advisory that Obama would make an announcement "about an upcoming contest of great importance to the American people." As that night's broadcast got underway, the camera focused on Obama sitting at his desk in his Washington office. "I'm here tonight to answer some questions about a very important contest that's been weighing on the minds of the American people," he began. "A contest about the future... a contest that will ultimately be decided in America's heartland.
"Tonight, I'd like to put all the doubts to rest. I'd like to announce to my hometown of Chicago and all of America that I am ready" -- and he paused to put on a Chicago cap -- "for the Bears to go all the way, baby."
They did. The question now is, will he?
A VH-1 rockumentary produced by Matthew Brady & Pliny Porter
"I Trust You To Kill Me," directed by Manu Boyer is a rockumentary from First Independent Pictures and Jude Cole and Kiefer Sutherland's Ironworks Music label. It follows Kiefer Sutherland taking his indie record label act, Rocco DeLuca & the Burden, on their first international tour through London, Dublin, Reykjavik and Berlin. The critically acclaimed film marks Sutherland's first appearance in a feature documentary.
"I Trust You To Kill Me," chronicles a highly personal journey of a rock band & their less than qualified road manager (Sutherland), and shows the hopes, successes and disappointments of a band trying to find their audience. Shot guerilla style in High Definition color and black and white, the multi-camera crew captures the excitement and commotion of the live performances as well as interactions between the band, fans and locals.
"The tour in Europe, and the film that has resulted, "I Trust You To Kill Me," was an amazingly personal experience," says Sutherland. "I am thrilled that VH1 has responded to the film so positively. I feel it is the perfect home for this documentary and their audience will relate to the journey this film depicts."
Rocco DeLuca & The Burden released their debut album, "I Trust You To Kill Me" this year and their current single, "Colorful" has just entered the AAA Top 30 chart and is aimed to be a top 10 record.
The city of New York has, at last count, more than eight million residents. At least four of them are complete and utter jackasses: the film critics from four of that city's biggest publications, all of whom last week viciously lambasted I Trust You to Kill Me,a new documentary about a whirlwind, winter 2005 European tour undertaken by Long Beach/OC rockers Rocco DeLuca & the Burden.
The band is signed to Ironworks, a record label founded by LA music producer Jude Cole and business partner Kiefer Sutherland, who basically built the fledgling operation around Rocco and his Burden. The band's star-powered connections gave some members of the smarmy New York press ample opportunity to attack what they see as self-obsessed, self-important Southern California musicians and actors; you can practically taste the foam from their lips as they assault the making of a 105-minute film about an unknown, unproven band.
True, this is a documentary that wouldn't exist without the Kiefer connection (the French filmmaker who shot it, Manu Boyer, is married to Sutherland's current love interest on 24, Audrey Raines, also known as Kim Raver). And the film is as much about Sutherland as the band, particularly his ongoing evolution (or perhaps devolution) from overgrown kid into mature adult. He turned 39 during the filming, and it's hard to shake the suspicion that his endorsing of the band, while wholly genuine and passionate, is also his peculiar version of a midlife crisis; instead of a Ferrari or a supermodel, he's got a rock band.
But I Trust You to Kill Me is also a surprisingly funny, revealing and eminently watchable look at the perils and pitfalls that any independent band faces on the road. This one just happens to be managed—on this short tour, at any rate—by one of the planet's most recognizable faces.
Boyer does a good job of capturing both the passion and talent of DeLuca and his band, as well as Sutherland's personality. Rarely does a major Hollywood mover and shaker seem so real and open, whether he's opining on why he thinks DeLuca is a musician worth investing in or blearily scrambling around for the cell phone he's lost, yet again, after a drunken night in a pub. As the film progresses, it begins to take shape as less a story about a band—although that story is told—and more about why it's being shot in the first place. The answer? Sutherland needs it to exorcise (and exercise) his particular demons."
In the documentary, which opens in Los Angeles for a one-week run on Friday (no Orange County screenings had been booked at press time), Sutherland serves as the tour's road manager. He lugs amps, sets up gear, leads toasts, puts out fires and pulls the occasional A-list string to ensure his pet project doesn't play to empty houses. The crew follows Sutherland and company into their dingy hotel rooms, small clubs and after-show parties, showing them in all their intense, puffy-faced, drunken splendor.
On the surface, there doesn't seem to be much remarkable here. There isn't enough time to allow DeLuca's music to really grab the uninitiated, and the documentary kind of tells us everything we already know: life on the road for a rock band is tedious and exhausting, punctuated by occasional moments of exhilaration.
But there's much more going on, including a rather interesting take on what connects Sutherland and DeLuca: tarnished relationships with their parents. True, they come from vastly different backgrounds. Sutherland hails from impossibly pedigreed stock (his maternal grandfather invented Canada's version of Medicare, his father's clan legally owns a big chunk of Scotland), and he is, apparently, on good terms with both parents. DeLuca, in contrast, has only met his mother once and hasn't seen his father in years. But Sutherland's parents divorced before he was old enough to talk, and his father was constantly on the road shooting films. DeLuca's father was a traveling musician, and his mother abandoned him at birth.
The film posits that the two are kindred spirits and tempts the viewer into playing armchair psychoanalyst, especially during one revealing scene when DeLuca is sound checking for that night's gig and delivers a lyric along the lines of "don't try to fix me, I was broken from the start.” It's a phrase that reinforces the restless turbulence, underlying anger and occasional melancholia that fuel so much of DeLuca's music. The camera then cuts to a mesmerized Sutherland, himself a veteran of drunken carousing and soul searching. Both are still looking for their dad, and performing for him, on some level.
That's a heavy theme in an otherwise lighter film that is, at its heart, about a struggling band on the road. It shines brightest when conveying the incredibly chaotic nature of a rock tour at the grassroots level. Whether it's DeLuca refusing to play a New Year's Eve gig at a supper club or Sutherland passing out fliers and cajoling patrons in Dublin pubs to please see the band, it's clear that the road to success is paved in anything but gold.
DeLuca and the band have played at least 100 gigs and toured the U.K. twice in the eight months since the film was shot. He admits that now it's like other people are up on the screen when he watches I Want You to Kill Me. The passion is the same, but they've grown immeasurably as individuals and as a band.
In short, they're still working at it. And the film reinforces the importance of doing the work—on your terms. That's a positive message whether you're a struggling musician trying to make it in one of the most merciless of industries, or a successful movie star.
I TRUST YOU TO KILL ME WAS DIRECTED BY MANU BOYER AND PRODUCED BY MATT R. BRADY AND PLINY PORTER.
Los Angeles Business Journal
MRB Productions Inc., until now best known for creating slick promos and openers for the Super Bowl, ESPN's X Games and "Monday Night Football" is making the jump into mainstream fare by way of the local mall.
Last week, the small production company began shooting a pilot for ABC Family called "The Other Mall" a snide comedy about an also-ran shopping center. Completed in four days at Burbank Town Center, "The Other Mall" has a humor sensibility similar to NBC's hit comedy series "The Office."
"The one thing about my job is that it's pretty much the same, whether we're doing sports promos, feature films or television," said Matt Brady, MRB's chief executive. "We still secure locations, crews, lights and cameras. The thing about television and film work is that there is a lot more accolades and recognition that goes with it."
MRB is still hard at work on the promos, teasers and openers for the upcoming football season, but the Emmy-winning production company is also making its move into the film world.
The company recently completed the rock 'n' roll documentary "I Trust You To Kill Me." The film is about Long Beach independent band Rocco DeLuca & The Burden. One scene from the film has already drawn a good deal of attention via the Internet. In it, Kiefer Sutherland, who is the band's road manager, drunkenly body slams a Christmas tree in a London hotel lobby. The documentary makes its mainstream debut next month and will play at Landmark Theaters locally, Brady said. He downplayed the "24" star's role.
"It's actually not as dramatic a moment as you might expect," Brady said of the lobby assault on what appears to be a Douglas fir. "He's really the nicest man on the planet - very polite and respectful."
A Motion Picture Group presentation of an MRB Prods. production.
Produced by Pliny Porter, Matthew Brady. Directed by Manu Boyer.
With: Rocco DeLuca & the Burden, Kiefer Sutherland
Review by Joe Leydon
Deftly mixing alternating tracks of playful rowdiness, thoughtful introspection, ferociously slamming rock and not-so-quiet desperation, helmer Manu Boyer scores impressively with "I Trust You to Kill Me," arguably the best rockumentary since "Some Kind of Monster." Surprisingly compelling pic accompanies Kiefer Sutherland on tour as road manager for Rocco DeLuca & the Burden, up-and-comers signed to the actor's Ironworks Music indie label. But even though Sutherland figures prominently, and confides revealingly, doc's theatrical and homevid prospects may rely more heavily on whether DeLuca and his group can achieve breakout chart and concert-hall success.
Frequent performance sequences showcase the dynamic DeLuca -- wailing Robert Plant-style vocals to sliding Dobro guitar riffs -- as a soulfully intense talent who fuses jazz, rock, blues and folk elements to potent impact. Off-stage, however, the sad-eyed singer-songwriter comes off as far more reserved, if not downright melancholy, as he candidly discusses his ambivalence about the music industry, and recalls an unhappy childhood spent neglected by distant parents.
Without ever pushing too hard, helmer Boyer pointedly suggests that Sutherland's own mixed feelings about his famous father, Donald Sutherland, may have led him to view DeLuca as something of a kindred spirit. Sutherland virtually admits as much during interview sequences shot in moody black-and-white.
Pic is appreciably livelier when it is more colorful, literally as well as figuratively, while detailing the difficulties faced by any unknown band -- even one backed by a widely recognized film and TV star -- during its first international tour.
"I Trust You to Kill Me" (the name of group's first CD) is consistently amusing, and occasionally hilarious, as it follows DeLuca and bandmates Ryan Carman (drums), Dave Beste (bass) and Greg Velasquez (percussion) through a series of demanding gigs in small clubs scattered throughout London, Dublin, Reykjavic and Berlin. A highlight is their performance of "Soul," the best tune on their debut CD, which nearly blasts the paint off the stage in a Berlin basement club.
At every stop, Sutherland exploits his celebrity as star of worldwide TV phenom "24" to grant timely interviews that will enable him to plug the band. And whenever that proves inadequate, he's not ashamed to simply patrol the streets outside a club and give away tickets to amazed passers-by who can't believe they're seeing who they're seeing.
Sutherland's avid support for the band borders on the obsessive -- at one point, he gets an elaborate tattoo to express his zeal; in fact, his willingness to risk look ridiculous on camera emerges as his most engaging trait during the pic.
Cynics might be tempted to dismiss "I Trust You to Kill Me" as a feature-length promotional tool. But pic can be enjoyed, and respected, by auds who care little for DeLuca's music. At its frequent best, the artfully crafted doc earns respect as an insightful and arresting behind-the-scenes look at what any band must endure to make that first lunge at the brass ring.
Camera (color/B&W, DV), Francois Buren, Jerome Blois; editors, Jennifer Tiexiera, Erin Nordstrom; sound, Dave Wagg. Reviewed at Nashville Film Festival (Music Films in Music City), April 23, 2006. Running time: 105 MIN.
Los Angeles Business Journal
Los Angeles Business Journal
Independent rep Grace Silverstein of Reel Grace has been named to handle the West Coast for MRB Productions, Beverly Hills. She succeeds Michael Bennett, who has become MRB's head of marketing. The MRB directorial roster includes Mark Teitelman, Rico Labbe, Michael Wang, Brian O'Connell, Gary Califano, Branson Veal and Jeremy Haft.
Director Branson Veal has signed with MRB Productions, Beverly Hills. Veal was most recently on the roster of Mirror Films, Hollywood. His earlier production house affiliations include Tombo, Hollywood, New York-based cYclops productions, and now defunct Harmony Pictures. He came over from the agency side of the business, having served as VP/executive producer/art director at McCann Ericson, Seattle.
MRB Productions, Beverly Hills, has secured independent reps Rob Russon and Elyse Emmer to handle the East Coast. Russo will cover the overall East Coast market while Emmer's focus will be on promoting MRB's division specializing in toy commercials. MRB's directorial roster consists of Mark Teitelman, Rico Labbe, Michael Wang, Brian O'Connell, Gary Califano and Jeremy Haft.
Rob Russo to East Coast representative, MRB Productions, in addition to independent representative and agent. Also, Elyse Emmer to East Coast rep, in addition to head, The Emmer Group.Rob Russo to East Coast representative, MRB Productions, in addition to independent representative and agent. Also, Elyse Emmer to East Coast rep, in addition to head, The Emmer Group.
MRB Productions, Beverly Hills, has added director Michael Wang. He joins a directorial roster that includes Mark Teitelman, Rico Labbe, Jeremy Haft, Brian O'Connell and Gary Califano. Wang's previous production house affiliations include V12, Santa Monica, Trio Films, Venice, Calif., and now defunct Cognito Films. At the latter, he directed Bud Light's "Centerfold" for Dieste & Partners, Dallas; the spot was short-listed at the 2001 Cannes International Advertising Festival.
L.A. Times Calendar Live
Sunday's Super Bowl will likely be the last time viewers will hear Hank Williams Jr.'s "Are You Ready for Some Football" on a football telecast. Next season, ESPN has "Monday Night Football" and will probably go with a different opening.
Matt R. Brady, the president of MRB Productions, and director Mark Teitelman, produced a special version of "Are You Ready for Some Football" for Sunday's telecast.
While some companies advertising in the Super Bowl are counting seconds, MRB Productions is counting minutes.
This Sunday the Hollywood production company boasts both a show opener and a game opener, each with embedded marketing, according to a company principal.
"This is most likely the final opening ever featuring Hank Williams Jr. singing," said Matt Brady, MRB's executive producer, filling in for MRB director Mark Teitelman, who typically shot the Williams pieces, but was shooting his own open. "I think it's one of the best openings ever, amazing pyro[technics], dancers, good spirits."
Brady's opener includes a GMC Yukon in a background of singers, dancers, confetti and fireworks, and Williams lip-syncing to lyrics tailored to the game itself. GMC was a major sponsor of ABC's Monday Night Football this past season.
Teitelman traveled to five cities in the last two weeks to shoot an opener based on a Dr. Seuss verse featuring former National Football League stars Roger Staubach, Bart Starr, Jerry Rice, Franco Harris and Joe Montana. Each of the players will recite stanzas from "Oh, the Places You'll Go," written by Theodore Geisel as a commencement address. The poem includes incidental allusions to football such as "And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winningest winner of all," said Teitelman.
The open also features Harrison Ford, whose movie Firewall premieres Feb. 10 and is a likely candidate for Warner Bros. to advertise during the game. Ford and the players were shot on green screen and composited into a virtual Suess-like computer-generated environment by Eric DeHaven at the effects shop Rhythm & Hues in Marina del Rey, Calif.
"If he had to be dressed as a character from the movie, for instance, we would have to say no," said Teitelman, who shot the controversial promo for Desperate Housewives in which Nicolette Sheridan disrobes in front of NFL player Terrell Owens in a locker room. "The idea or conceit of the piece is the most important. It has universal appeal. I'm optimistic that it will look different than everything else that will air on Sunday."
Teitelman came up with the concept of the poem read by athletes. "Somebody gave me the book when I graduated high school, and then I thought it was stupid present," he said. "I was cleaning up years later and came across it, read it and was blown away. It's wonderful."
Brady said his roster of six directors has become a "boutique in sports-themed commercials" for clients like Upper Deck and DirecTV because MRB directors (which include former NFL player Rico Labbe) have a touch with athletes. "With a few exceptions, it's hard to get a good performance out of them," said Brady. "Rico and Mark specialize in that."
A promo in which Nicollette Sheridan 41 (who plays Wisteria Lane vixen Edie), greets Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens, 30, in the locker room, clad only in a towel, which she promptly abandons. Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy called the spot insensitive, and Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC - which has fielded more than 50,000 comments - tersely said he wondered "if Walt Disney would be proud."
This year marks the 20th anniversary of boxing on Showtime, and the pay cable network kicks off 2006 with a world championship doubleheader Saturday at 9 p.m. In the main event from Madison Square Garden, Zab Judah defends his undisputed welterweight title against Carlos Baldomir. The co-feature cruiserweight title fight has champion Jean-Marc Mormeck facing O'Neil Bell.
With Bob Costas missing the final three episodes of HBO's "Inside the NFL" because of his duties at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Bryant Gumbel is filling in.
Martina Hingis' success at the Australian Women's Hardcourts tournament enables Tennis Channel viewers to see her in the semifinals today at 5:30 p.m.
The pregame Rose Bowl skit featuring Will Ferrell and Matthew McConaughey was not an ABC production. It was produced by MRB Productions and directed by Mark Teitelman.
According to published reports, the PGA Tour's television negotiations are close to being concluded, and it appears that ABC will no longer be televising golf after the current contract expires following the 2006 season.
Maybe parents shouldn't let their kids watch pro football anymore. First, Janet Jackson gives 'em an eyeful during the Super Bowl - now this! Minutes before Monday Night Football - at 6 p.m. on the West Coast - ABC aired a promo featuring a locker-room tryst between Desperate Housewives' Nicollette Sheridan and Philadelphia Eagle Terrell Owens that was too hot for primetime...
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