The natural dividing line between the feature film and documentary industries has become increasingly blurry, according to BNNtv.com president and CEO Steve Rosenbaum. In his opinion, that’s exciting news. In fact, it has inspired him to launch a new digital film division – CameraPlanet Pictures – that will produce fictionalized true stories and a limited number of ‘star-driven documentaries’.
Steve Carlis, former president of producer/distributor Shooting Gallery (Slingblade, You Can Count on Me), is the new president of CameraPlanet Pictures. (He is also the chief operating officer of BNNtv.com.) Rosenbaum explains how he and Carlis came up with the idea for the digital film division: ‘He had film projects that he thought had television back ends, and I had television ideas that I thought should be looked at by his film partners. It just became really clear that there was a business to be built.’
Rosenbaum says CameraPlanet Pictures will produce five films in its first year, at least one of which will be non-fiction. Though he was hesitant to release specifics, Rosenbaum did say that the factual project will feature a big Hollywood star and is very unusual. It will also have a hefty budget. Notes Rosenbaum, ‘We’ll look at anything from US$750,000 to $1.2 million. But, remember that we’re talking about projects that have to be on their face commercial. So, we’re hoping that the documentaries we do at CameraPlanet Pictures will be held to a different measure. They’ll need to be genres that have a history of commercial returns. We’re not throwing darts.’ The films will be made available for theatrical, television and international sales.