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Goodwin joins UK production company Western Edge; busy slate includes golf, Dumas projects

EXCLUSIVE: Third Star production company lines up adaptation of Dumas novella The Corsican Brothers.

Vaughan Sivell of UK production company Western Edge Pictures (Third Star) has added Franki Goodwin as a partner in the company. Well known in the industry for her work at design and digital agency Franki & Jonny, Goodwin will work as an assets producer on all the company’s productions.

This type of promotional and multi-media content would traditionally be created for sales and distribution outfits, but Western Edge wants to put transmedia and marketing plans in place from the very start. Goodwin will work on assets that can be used across multiple platforms, from graphic novels to webisodes to social media assets.

Goodwin says: “[Working across media] gives films a chance to grown an audience. Instead of just being hired by sales and distribution, you need to be an assets producer from the start.”

Sivell tells Screen: “We want her up front and centre as an asset producer. It’s going to be vital to make our films in the future, it’s more of a one-stop shop.”

He adds: “We learned a lot from the passion of the audience for Third Star. You can listen to that fanbase that you are in touch with.” Hattie Dalton’s Wales-set Third Star, which Sivell wrote and produced, starred Benedict Cumberbatch.

Goodwin comes on board as the company has a packed development slate of features (which will be partially funded by the company raising its own EIS finance).

The first to shoot could be A Round Around The World, a feature documentary about golfing, featuring celebrities playing one hole at different courses around the globe. Sivell says the “buddy movie” will also highlight the green golf movement, or “golf with conscience.”

Anthony Wonke will direct the $2m-$3m project. The project is also being envisioned for multiple platforms, for instance a possible 18 webisodes — “we’re thinking about it as a multi-platform project,” Goodwin notes.

WEP is also in negotiations to produce A Visit To America, written by Owen Sheers (Resistance), a film noir about a private detective in 1953 Manhattan who has to follow visiting Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Sivell himself has adapted another project on the slate, based on Alexandre Dumas novella The Corsican Brothers. The first-person travelogue is set in 1840. “It’s an out-and-out adventure, and young and sexy,” says Sivell. “It has murder, sex, revenge, and ghosts.” That film will be budgeted at $20m-$30m, with no director attached yet.

Sivell has also written an original script, Ninevah (working title), which the company envisions as a franchise about a female detective, a seemingly normal museum worker who becomes involved in deadly international intrigue. “She’s had a very strange upbringing with her brothers and father at a stately home, they would dare each other to do stuff, everything she’s done has been a training for this kind of eventuality,” he says. Goodwin adds that this film could be developed with a graphic novel component as well (an idea also being considered for Corsican Brothers).

He has also written The Repulse, a comedy about a ship of space officers having one last adventure together.

Western Edge is also looking for submissions for new talent and new writers, and has Tania Kenny as head of talent. To foster new talents and projects, the company has started gathering creative types across multiple fields for its WEP Weekenders.

Sivell also continues to be a screenwriter for hire, and just completed a script for director Henry-Alex Rubin. Sivell is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates in the UK and Anonymous Content in Los Angeles.

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