The core film executives at Elisabeth Murdoch's UK company Shine Entertainment are launching independent production outfit Ice Productions following the closure of Shine's film arm.
Shine has handed over the rights to its film slate to its former head of film, Erica Motley, who will head Ice. The former HBO executive is joined at the new London-based company by her development executives from Shine, Claire Bennett and Irene Ilias.
"We are going forward on all our projects," Motley said. "We are talking to other companies about a first-look deal."
Murdoch launched Shine as a TV and film company after stepping down as programming head of BSkyB, but her film ambitions were hit by the satellite broadcaster's closure of its film arm Sky Pictures in 2001. Shine, which had expected to fully finance its pictures as part of an output deal with the broadcaster, first maintained its film operation but decided to focus on its core business of TV in a review last year.
"Shine originally decided to continue but a decision like [BSkyB's] does have an impact indirectly," Motley said. "Originally, they were our partners; we were completely shocked by their decision."
Shine, jointly owned by Murdoch and former Carlton Television production director Waheed Alli, remains a backer on projects carrying over to Ice. Amongst the projects Ice is taking over is a slate of horror films with Greenroom Digital, the production company of The Hole director Nick Hamm and his brother Jon. Hamm is still attached to the projects, as is UK support body the Film Council.
"We don't feel like much has changed from a creative standpoint," Motley said.