Life just wasn't the same for Michael Green after the co-founder of top management company The Firm sold his stake to partner Jeff Kwatinetz in 2001. "I got bored of sitting on the beach," Green says from the Beverly Hills offices of The Collective, the full service production and management company he launched less than two years ago with his own money.
"I got back into circulation and was very bullish about content, and found myself being intellectually stimulated by the shifting distribution paradigm and the relationship between independent film and niche branding. So I started this company in an effort to partner with our clients and other creative types to build out content supply," says Green.
The Collective - which comprises Green, his partners Jeff Golenberg, Sam Maydew and Aaron Ray, and a team of about 30 - represents clients in all entertainment fields and will do what it can to exploit its talent roster across multiple platforms. On the film side, former ICM agent Shaun Redick leads the charge, packaging and representing projects and individuals, assisted by executive Nate Bolotin.
Clients include Forest Whitaker, John Leguizamo, Erika Christensen, Emile Hirsch and Michelle Rodriguez. Bolotin's connections enable the team to tap into talent pools from communities such as YouTube and other emerging niche arenas. In early August, the company bought management and production group Payaso Entertainment, which will serve as The Collective's English-speaking Latino division.
"We've packaged a couple of dozen films so far, and Powder Blue with Forest Whitaker and Jessica Biel is in production now," Green says.
"We'll put together the domestic deals on most of the projects we package, and we're working with all the top international sales companies."
On Powder Blue, The Collective arranged financing with Eleven Eleven Films and Grosvenor Park and is representing domestic rights. Redick and Golenberg are serving as executive producers alongside Bill Block and Kim Fox of QED International, which is handling foreign sales.
"One of the first moves we made was to target Shaun, who is only one of two or three guys around town who has that level of sales and financing experience," says Green. "I got him out of ICM and have used this platform to enable him to put together as many films as possible. It puts us in traffic - we deal with significant finances with the goal of raising our own fund so we can employ the artists we represent. To sit back and wait for a studio to hire people is insane."
"We've constructed things in such a way that we can work with all the agencies to package films," Redick says. "I don't see anybody at the agencies doing what we do, but we want to work with all of them and we share clients with them - it makes sense."
The goal, says Green, is to move into distribution. To this end he is keen to turn Salient Media, a home entertainment distributor part-owned by The Collective, into a theatrical distributor.
The Collective is currently packaging two projects, In Defiance Of Gravity and Daydream Nation, and is representing David Ross' The Babysitters, starring Leguizamo, at Toronto.