Universal Music Group’s film and TV production and development division Polygram Entertainment is producing four new music-themed feature documentary projects, to be released in theaters and on television networks and streaming services in 2019.
Bee Gees (pictured) will explore the musical legacy and personal relationships between the members of legendary pop group the Bee Gees.
The film is authorized by Barry Gibb and the families of Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb, who made up the band.
Bee Gees is produced by The Kennedy/Marshall Company, White Horse Pictures and Diamond Docs. It is produced and directed by Frank Marshall. Also producing are Nigel Sinclair, Mark Monroe and Jeanne Elfant Festa. Steve Barnett, president and CEO of Capitol Music Group, Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of UMPG, and David Blackman, head of Polygram Entertainment, will serve as EPs alongside White Horse’s Nicholas Ferrall, Cassidy Hartmann, Paul Crowder and Kennedy/Marshall’s Ryan Suffern.
Meanwhile, The Go-Go’s follows punk rockers the Go-Go’s, the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play their own instruments, write their own songs and have a number one album. The film uses access to the band and archival footage to cover the rise of the band in LA’s punk scene.
The film is directed by Alison Ellwood. Corey Russell and Trevor Birney serve as producers. David Blackman and Daniel Inkeles will serve as EPs for Polygram, with co-producer Eimhear O’Neill. The Go-Go’s is fully financed by Polygram Entertainment and presented and produced by Polygram, Universal Music Publishing Group, Fine Point Films and Fadoo Productions.
Showtime has acquired U.S. TV rights, and Sky Arts has picked up UK television rights
“More than ever, this is the perfect time to celebrate the many barriers shattered by The Go-Go’s,” said David Blackman, Universal Music Group’s head of film and television development and production, in a statement. “Their attitude, deceptively smart lyrics and pop rock hooks sound fresher than ever.”
Elsewhere, Ice Cold explores the role and importance of jewelry in the hip hop genre and is directed by Karam Gill.
Finally, From Scratch: How Mixtapes Changed Music Forever (working title) explores the controversial history of mixtapes while reuniting New York DJ’s Tony Touch and Doo Wop to produce a new mixtape celebrating hip-hop label Def Jam’s 35th Anniversary.
UMG’s Barak Moffitt and Daniel Seliger and Def Jam CEO Paul Rosenberg serve as EPs. Director Omar Acosta, Nick Quested, David Kennedy and “Mix Tape King” Tony Touch serve as producers.
“The backbone of rap music is the DJ, and hip-hop is a D.I.Y. culture that has always operated outside of the lines,” said Rosenberg in a statement. “The original ‘playlist’ was the mixtape — an unregulated, outlaw, IRL street version. The stars of the mixtapes are often the DJ as much as the artists themselves. With over three decades of this sometimes-black market industry fueling the course and dialog surrounding the music and culture it embodies, From Scratch presents a forum to really dissect, analyze and praise this art-form and give credit where it’s due.”