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Benton, Brunskill launch SUMS with interactive thriller Phone Book

EXCLUSIVE: Angus Wall will direct segments of the interactive feature from Raw Shark Texts author Steven Hall.

Financier Bob Benton of Bob & Co and ex-Ruby Films producer Andy Brunskill are launching SUMS Film and Media with multi-stranded interactive thriller Phone Book.

David Fincher’s two-time Oscar winning editor Angus Wall (The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tatttoo) will direct segments of the BFI Film Fund-backed feature based on a short story by Raw Shark Texts author Steven Hall.

Hall will adapt central strands of the film with additional screenwriters contributing storylines. A numbers of filmmakers, yet to be announced, will contribute to the direction.

Hall’s story Stories For A Phone Book Page charts the intertwining of disparate characters whose lives converge after a series of mysterious events. SUMS’ spin on the project will see characters’ stories accessed through a tablet or smart phone interface that will feed into and out of the feature.

According to Benton and Brunskill, SUMS will focus on content for “new digital platforms, traditional theatrical releases, and the integration of the two.”

Other SUMS development projects include a teen gang war epic based on the non-fiction book Teenage: The Creation Of Youth 1875-1945 by Jon Savage and The Winter Ghosts, a co-production with Ruby Film and Television to be adapted from the original Kate Mosse novel by Rory Kinnear (We Need To Talk About Kevin).

Bob & Co’s Benton said: “Andy is one of the brightest of a new generation of 360 degree entrepreneurial producers. His new entity SUMS gives us a route to take today’s hottest filmmaking talent into the growing demands of the digital world for exciting, fresh content. Phone Book is a perfect example of this new approach in action.”

Andy Brunskill added: “As a young company we’re forward thinking, whether it’s working with the hottest new talent, developing cutting edge material, or exploiting the latest platforms. Phone Book is an ideal calling card as it encompasses all three.

“The great thing about it is it’s interactive and offers a new level of viewer experience, but not in an overly ‘techy’ way: the concept as a whole is simple and comes from a traditional character-driven filmmaking background. In this instance the platform itself is part of the creative and will evolve simultaneously with our growing stable of talent and content.” 

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