With a trio of animated projects coming up and a development deal for a live-action film with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment in hand, Peak Entertainment is on the way to transforming itself from a small British indie studio into a bicoastal TV and film production hub on a growth spurt.
Soon after Peak was acquired by New York’s Palladium in April 2003, the newly public prodco put three new animated kids TV properties in the pipeline for completion in spring 2005, each targeting a different demo and relying on a unique investment model.
Presales to GMTV in the U.K. and Network Ten in Australia helped complete the financing picture for girl-skewing property Faireez, while boys action-adventure toon Monster in My Pocket was off to the races when the 80% raised by Peak’s investment holdings was coupled with a 20% kick-in from Canadian co-pro partner Mainframe Entertainment. And rounding out the threesome is The Wumblers, a 52 x 11-minute preschool show that’s being financed through VC firm Broadmoor Capital and produced by Cosgrove Hall in conjunction with Peak’s American partner Silly Goose.
Peak sales and marketing director Phil Ogden says the company plans to manage international sales and merch rights for these properties itself, allowing it to better spread the risk between projected broadcast revenues and the initial licensing returns.
Branching out into teen feature film work should help Peak grow its portfolio even more. The high-octane live-action footage in Tattoo, which stars an ex-Navy Seal who calls on the power of his many tattoos to help him get out of trouble, will be given a comic-book feel when it’s laden with animated special effects. ‘I call it a mix between Spider-Man and The Mask,’ says Ogden.
Stan Lee is on-board to work the concept up into a complete treatment with storyboards and scripts, and he’ll also team up with the William Morris Agency to pitch Tattoo to major Hollywood studios. Ogden says the initial bare-bones plan is to release the project as a feature film in 2006 – in conjunction with a merch program managed by Peak – and then follow up with a TV series afterwards. As with its toons, Peak will hang onto all ancillary rights to Tattoo, with POW! initially focusing on the film production. LS