14 April, 2010 | By Wendy Mitchell
New production and international sales company Locomotive Group has taken on rights pre-Cannes for The Hot Potato.
The project, which Locomotive Distribution president Colleen Seldin describes as a British caper/thriller in the vein of In Bruges or The Italian Job, will star Ray Winstone as well as his daughter Lois Winstone.The plot is about a few London East End guys in 1969 who accidentally find a stash of weapons-grade uranium and try to sell it. The film will shoot at the end of 2010 with writer/director Tim Lewiston and his production company Wardour Pictures (formed with Peter Joly and Tony Townsen).
New York-based Locomotive, which is attending MIPTV this week, will start active pre-sales discussions on The Hot Potato at Cannes Market. They hope to have a UK distributor on board as one of the first key pre-sales.
Locomotive was launched in September 2009 by Group president Gabriel Gornell (a TV production veteran) and former Miramax executive Seldin, who met through mutual industry friends.
Gornell says: “We’re two companies with a single vision.” Seldin handles sales, marketing and distribution, while Gornell does the creative producing; they do overlap as needed.
The sales arm will handle most of the production side’s projects, but will take on third-party films and TV shows as well.
Gornell says: “The creative side can lend creative services to productions being sold, and the sales side can come in with market expertise for productions at an early stage. It’s a true boutique approach.”
Here at MIPTV, Locomotive has taken on two new TV projects: children’s animated nutrition series Bubble Bubble Cook and a new children’s series called Job Jumpers. The latter, from Moray Black Productions and Emmy winning producer Len Stone, is about kids getting hands-on experience with exciting careers. Seldin noted the latter will have formats potential in other territories.
The documentary slate includes Brian Jamieson’s Nancy Kwon story To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen‘s Journey.
Locomotion also has a number of titles from Mpower (for whom Seldin was formerly a consultant). Those are Rwanda-set documentary As We Forgive, scientific exploration documentary Star of Bethlehem, and award-winning drama The Stoning of Soraya M. starring Shohreh Aghdashloo.
Another forthcoming Locomotive project from Mpower is Robert Kirbyson’s Snowmen, a family friendly coming-of-age story about three boys who want to be remembered for their record-setting stunts. Ray Liotta co-stars.
The company’s other projects include a one-off Kenny Rogers 50th anniversary concert and tribute (taped recently for broadcast later this year), and Gornell’s Tyrannosaurus Sex (already broadcast in the US on the Discovery Channel).
Going forward, Seldin notes, “We’re trying to keep a mix of different genres, different formats.”
Gornell adds: “We want strong creative partners, good stories and smart distribution plans.”
Locomotive expects to add more film titles to its slate ahead of Cannes Market.
NEW YORK — In an unusual deal, content producer Locomotive Distribution and the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut have entered a multi-year strategic alliance to develop and produce live event weekends that will center around special music, sports and variety show productions to be broadcast on TV.
Locomotive president Gabriel Gornell and Joseph Jimenez, senior vp, casino marketing at Foxwoods, said Locomotive will produce and tape for broadcast three events per year at the MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods in front of live audiences.
The first event is a previously announced Kenny Rogers concert — “Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years” — which tapes April 10. It will include performances by Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and Sheena Easton, among others. It will also feature taped performances from Tim McGraw and others.
Locomotive will offer international rights for broadcast and DVD at MIPTV in Cannes next month.
The second event weekend will have a baseball theme. In cooperation with Rawlings, the company behind the annual Gold Glove Awards, the weekend will celebrate baseball’s best and culminate in a star-studded ceremony.
“Together we will develop amazing televised talent that will leverage our visibility as a pinnacle for national entertainment,” explained Jimenez about Foxwoods’ focus.
“We’re producing more than just event television,” emphasized Gornell. “We’re producing destination event weekends that center around a TV special.”
Gornell founded Locomotive last year with Colleen Seldin. The company develops and produces films, TV programming and live TV events in a multitude of genres. Its “Tyrannosaurus Sex” aired on Discovery Channel in February.
How about dinosaur sex? he half-joked.
Soon after it was one of their most talked about specials even making the prestigious Entertainment Weekly Top 10 “Must List” at number 3!
February 15, 2010
How did a ferocious T.rex woo his lady? How did a Stegosaurus couple negotiate sex with all those deadly plates and spikes? On Valentine’s Day, Discovery Channel answered those questions and more with something truly romantic: dinosaur sex.
The special “Tyrannosaurus Sex” premiered at 10 p.m. Sunday night on The Discovery Channel, exploring the field of dinosaur reproduction. The show, created by production firm Locomotive Entertainment Group is based on new research and interviews with paleobiologists (scientists who study the biology of ancient life). And it includes brand new CGI effects that bring life to one of the last mysteries of these great beasts.
“We wanted to develop a dinosaur special that touched on something we hadn’t seen before,” director Gabriel Gornell told FoxNews.com. “There have been a lot of findings of late with regards to egg patterns, nesting patterns and rituals and so on, but the actual sex? It’s an area that hasn’t really been explored.”
The million dollar question has to be, just how graphic will “Tyrannosaurus Sex” get?
“It’s something they never showed us in the “Jurassic Park” films, that much I can tell you,” said Gornell. “How big is the dinosaur penis? We go there,” he joked.
Gornell is quick to explain that while the topic may be entertaining, the images and scenes in the show are all based on interviews with scientists and years of solid research.
Locomotive worked closely with several scientists, including Ken Carpenter, the chief preparator and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Kristy Curry Rogers, assistant professor of vertebrate paleontology from Macalester College in Minnesota.
“Ultimately we had to make sure that everything we were doing was spot on,” Gornell says. “It’s one thing to have the sizzle of animating dinosaurs having sex, but what takes it to the next level is when the information is there. It really is a learning experience for the viewer.
There have been many interesting findings in recent years, agrees Hans-Dieter Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology with the Smithsonian Institute’s Department of Paleobiology in Washington D.C.
“We now have evidence that some species of dinosaurs looked after their babies after they hatched from the eggs. At least one species had nests that were brooded by one parent. (There are several skeletons actually preserved squatting on top of their eggs!)” he told FoxNews.com.
How accurate can the series be? Sues points out that paleobiologists today have enough evidence to distinguish males and females in some species, including T. rex.
“The females of T. rex were apparently larger than the males. More and more discoveries show that many dinosaurs were very similar to birds in aspects of their biology — and that presumably included their mating behavior,” he explained.
The Discovery Channel’s recent series “Clash of the Dinosaurs” revealed just how accurate depictions based on current research can get, using the latest three-dimensional renderings and computer graphics to present present the most realistic images of dinosaurs yet.
The Discovery Channel is celebrating Valentine’s Day with “Tyrannosaurus Sex,” an hour-long special that probes the courtship rituals and mating habits of dinosaurs.
“‘Tyrannosaurus Sex’ doesn’t just answer the questions, it shows dinosaur sex in all its glory with state-of-the-art CGI animation,” reads a press release.
“The scenes created for the special are all based on fact,” it continues. “Interviews with scientists on the cutting-edge of paleontology bring new life to one of the last mysteries of these mighty giants.”
Viewers will be treated to colorful CGI simulations that attempt to solve 65 million-year-old mysteries such as, how did the Stegosaurus practice safe sex with those deadly plates and spikes? How does a female Titanosaur handle her male partner whose body is as long as a four-story building is high? And in what way, exactly, does one woo a Tyrannosaurus?
Kenny Rogers To Mark 50 Years In Music On TV
By Associated Press
February 5, 2010
Country music veteran Kenny Rogers is marking 50 years in the music business with a star-studded TV special.
“Pretty courageous, isn’t it?” Rogers, 71, said in a phone interview, laughing.
“The whole idea is to get together with some friends of mine,” he added. “I really don’t want it to be a tribute. That’s not what my deal is. It’s kind of a celebration.”
Friends including Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Lionel Richie and Wynonna Judd are already signed on to take part in “Kenny Rogers – The First 50 Years,” which will tape on April 10 at the MGM Grand At Foxwoods in Connecticut.
The special will take viewers through the six decades of Rogers’ hits, including “The Gambler,” “Lucille,” “Lady” and the Dolly Parton duet “Islands In The Stream.” Entertainers who have known Rogers throughout the years will host segments of the show. Rogers will also perform, and he hopes that producers build in some unscripted time.
“I’m at my best when they turn me loose and just let me do something,” he said.
There will undoubtedly be pictures and videos spanning six decades as well. Rogers is ready to embrace his fashion history. He started out in a jazz band wearing three-piece suits, but then changed it up when he joined The First Edition in 1967
“I had never had a beard, and I parted my hair on the side like everybody else did,” he said. “Then when I got in The First Edition, I was the oldest one, and they were saying, ‘You may be too old for this group,’ and I said, “Whoa, whoa, hold on. Give me a chance here.’ So I went back and parted my hair in the middle, which was a little more contemporary. I put an earring in my ear, and then I grew a beard, and I wore those brown, rose-colored glasses to kind of give me an identification for that era.”
While he has adapted to changing fashions, Rogers said the secret to long-term success is to be genuine.
“Everybody is three people. We’re who we think we are, we’re who the audience thinks we are, and we’re who we really are, and the closer those three people are together, the longer your career can last,” he said. “You can be a jerk, if you’re a jerk all the time. But I think you have to be what you represent. The audience doesn’t like to be fooled.”
As for his next 50 years, Rogers is clear about his goals.
“Musically, I think I’m capable of making hit songs. Will they get played? Radio has said to me four or five times since my big success, ‘Do a great song, and we’ll play it.’ They did it with ‘The Greatest.’ The did it with ‘Buy Me a Rose.’ They did it with ‘I Can’t Unlove You.’ So I think I just have to find that song they can’t say ‘no’ to, and I will constantly be trying to do that.”
The network airing “Kenny Rogers – The First 50 Years” will be announced later. The special will also be syndicated internationally.
Rogers has sold over 105 million albums, earned dozens of awards, including three Grammys, and is ranked 8 on the R.I.A.A.’s list of top selling male artists of all time. His television movie, “The Gambler,” is one of the highest rated TV movies of all time.
© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
New York-based prodco Locomotive Group announced its launch on September 30, and has already been well received at this year’s MIPCOM with a slate of projects in the pipeline. It helps that this is not a rookie team. Gabriel Gornell, president of the Locomotive Group, Inc., and Colleen Seldin, president of Locomotive Distribution Corp., are industry veterans who are taking advantage of a global market by forming a new prodco/distrib boutique.
At MIPCOM, the new company received an enthusiastic response, according to Gornell. ‘Everyone is embracing our message and story,’ he continued. The story is that Locomotive is comprised of both a creative and production unit and a distribution unit, and in the team of Seldin and Gornell, has an estimable pedigree. Seldin has 10 years of experience as SVP of international distribution for Miramax, while Gornell has exec produced programming for History Channel, A&E and HBO, among others.
Currently, Locomotive already has one production under its belt. It’s a cleverly titled Discovery Channel premiere, Tyrannosaurus Sex, which offers up a CGI take on dinosaurs’ romantic side. They plan to complete production in early December. ‘We’re excited to launch with a production with Discovery,’ says Gornell. Locomotive’s players have a background in CGI and animation, which helped serve the company’s first commission, and also boast past histories with the network.
Post-MIPCOM, with the interest in a couple of other projects, Seldin says they’re hopeful they will have more than one or two projects in production in the next month or so.
‘It was exciting and gratifying to know now that what we’ve been working on is so well received,’ says Gornell. ‘The coordination between the creative and production side of our company and the distribution part was understood and the benefits of both sides were clearly understood; it’s something that people are excited about.’
Some of Locomotive’s other offerings include Big Blue and Real, Hot and Burlesque. Initially Big Blue was meant to be a multi-part adventure series following skipper Roy Finlay as he attempted a record-breaking 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic.
‘Because we’ve been shaking the trees a little bit, the current world record holder made the decision that he doesn’t want to be left out of this and he basically challenged Roy to do it head to head,’ says Gornell.
This moves the production ahead to December of 2010, from an earlier estimated completion date of February 2010. This will mark the first official oceanic rowing open.
Locomotive began shooting Real, Hot and Burlesque, a mature non-fiction series following burlesque dancers in a burlesque competition, last June and is still looking for a broadcast partner. ‘It was really embraced by various territories and we haven’t actually taken it to the obvious U.S. partners yet, but by the end of the month we should know where it’s going and how we’re doing it,’ says Gornell.
Gornell and the creative production team are at work producing male-skewing TV and Seldin gives her input as to what works and what doesn’t based on her distribution experience. Seldin is already distributing fiction and non-fiction films for the company, and continues to slowly build up Locomotive’s catalog.
‘The good news is that out of MIP and our other announcements, people are contacting us about distributing their properties, whether they’re for movies or television,’ says Seldin. ‘We’re actively closing deals on other properties.’
MIPCOM even managed to change the company’s distribution strategy in a major way. Gornell says the takeaway from the market was that documentaries are hot right now, as docs came up in every one of Gornell and Seldin’s conversations. ‘Based on the current level of interest in the unscripted space, that’s a category from the acquisition and distribution standpoint we are absolutely going to be pursuing and embracing, and that’s actually impacting our distribution strategy,’ says Gornell. ‘Prior to MIPCOM, on the distribution side, we weren’t actively looking at the documentary space.’
New York City-based production company Locomotive Entertainment Group has announced that it is open for business. Locomotive is a boutique house that is made up of Locomotive Creative Service, which develops and produces programming, and Locomotive Distribution. The group is headed up by Gabriel Gornell, an experience creative and producer who has worked with A&E, Discovery, HBO, History, MTV, NBC, ESPN, and National Geographic Channel, among others. The distribution arm is led by former Miramax executive, Colleen Seldin, Locomotive is currently in production on a broadcast special for Discovery Channel called Tyrannosaurus Sex, which will premiere in the fourth quarter of 2009. Locomotive will be at MIPCOM.
“Tyrannosaurus Sex,” a CGI look at the romantic life of dinosaurs, will debut on Discovery Channel in the fourth quarter. Locomotive is also creating a toon version of Kenny Rogers holiday musical “The Toy Shop” for the smallscreen.
Gornell, Locomotive’s president, says the company will begin expanding into film development next year.
“We’re certainly launching with TV as our focus out of the gate,” he said.
Gornell, who most recently exec produced the History Channel series “Battles BC,” formed Locomotive in February with Seldin onboard. Seldin, previously senior VP of international distribution for Miramax, will focus on international sales, marketing, branding and festivals for Locomotive.
Gornell also exec produced “The Art of War” for the History Channel. He has also worked with A&E, HBO, MTV, NBC, ESPN and National Geographic Channel. Seldin spent 10 years at Miramax, where she orchestrated the international release of pics including “There Will Be Blood,” “Finding Neverland” and both installments of “Kill Bill.” She also oversaw sales and day-to-day operations for homevideo and TV overseas. She previously worked at New Line and Sony Music.