‘Man on Wire’ Producer Launches Studio, Signs Film Deal with Xbox

/ Dec 19, 2013


In a sign that Xbox Entertainment Studios is ready to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and premium TV channels, the company has been greenlighting an array of original content from critically-acclaimed filmmakers. The latest is a documentary film series from Lightbox, a new non-fiction content studio from Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn and his cousin, Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn.

This multi-film project is Lightbox’s first, which will begin with a documentary feature that investigates the events surrounding “the great video game burial of 1983” — when Atari Corporation buried millions of unsold cartridges of “ET the Video Game” in the middle of the night in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. The film, which will debut in 2014, will be directed by Zak Penn, who scripted “The Incredible Hulk” and received story credit on Marvel’s “The Avengers.”

The overall goal for the Xbox film project is to investigate and shed some light on how our current “digital age was born.” Lightbox plans to hire a different director for each project, with films generally running anywhere from an hour to full feature length.

Aside from the Xbox deal, Lightbox, which is headquartered in London and Los Angeles, plans to develop projects for broadcast network, cable, and online platforms in the both the US and UK.

“With so many new distribution opportunities now available, our ability to combine the highest quality content with broad commercial appeal will, we hope, make us stand out for a whole array of buyers hungry for the best in non-fiction programming,” said Jonathan Chinn in a statement.

Lightbox is repped by CAA and Jeanne Newman at Hansen Jacobson LLP.

Simon Chinn has won two Academy Awards, one for “Man on Wire” and the other for “Searching for Sugar Man.” Jonathan Chinn won an Emmy for “American High,” which was produced for Fox and PBS.

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