Docs branches out

New York-based prodco has scooped up the Shooting Gallery's Steve Carlis and launched a digital film division. Five projects are already on the slate - some fiction and some factual, but all big budget.
May 3, 2001

The natural dividing line between the feature film and documentary industries has become increasingly blurry, according to 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 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.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.