Big Block expands in New York with two new divisions dedicated to multi-screen content, Big Block Live and Big Block Entertainment Group/BBEG.
Big Block has extended its reach with a major expansion to New York City and the creation of two new divisions dedicated to multi-screen content: Big Block Live and Big Block Entertainment Group/BBEG. Through Big Block Live, the studio will continue to specialize in branded content, live action production and design for commercials, broadcast, interactive and mobile platforms, while serving as a local interface for Big Block Design Group/BBDG and the studio’s VFX, DI (digital intermediate) and finishing services in Santa Monica. Big Block Live will also sign and represent its own roster of directorial talent. Big Block Entertainment Group is producing live theater for Broadway and other stages, feature films and television. Big Block Entertainment Group represents the most significant creative and financial evolution of the Big Block brand since its inception. The group will acquire the rights for the properties they will develop and will also co-finance their production partnerships.
Big Block Live will be headed by executive producer Mary Crosse, who was most recently executive producer at Click 3X, where she launched a live action division for branded content and established its first roster of directors. Prior to that she was executive producer at Lucky Branded Entertainment, a hybrid agency and film production company. She has more than a decade of experience at such top agencies as Draftfcb, Publicis, Havas and mcgarrybowen, producing work across the integrated space for global brands like Chase, Chevron, Del Monte, Disney, Kraft, The Wall Street Journal, Charles Schwab, Dos Equis, Intel and Jaguar. Crosse has spoken at SXSW Film 2012, Internet Week 2012, Social Media Week 2012 and 2013, Creative Week 2013 and ad:tech 2011.
Theatrical and feature film production at Big Block Entertainment Group is spearheaded by noted Broadway theater and film producer Scott Prisand. Big Block Entertainment Group recently revived Inappropriate, the critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical based on the journal entries and poetry of teenagers. The play is now at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles, with an eye to open in London next year. Big Block Entertainment Group has also acquired the stage rights to the musical version of Heathers, running now in Los Angeles and targeting a New York debut this spring. On the feature film front, Big Block Entertainment Group recently financed and began production on Ride, starring Helen Hunt, who also wrote and directed.
Among Prisand’s Broadway credits are Grace, Rock of Ages, Legally Blonde, Brooklyn and Broadway Dreams, as well as the feature films Rock of Ages, Jewtopia, Nic and Tristan Go Mega Dega, Beware the Gonzo, Barry Munday, Sympathy for Delicious and Hesher.
Working alongside Prisand on Inappropriate and Heathers is Broadway producer Jamie Bendell, who also worked with Prisand on Grace. Bendell, a singer and songwriter with multiple music releases, brings to Big Block additional experience in music public relations and booking.
Also operating under the Big Block Entertainment Group banner is Big Block Television.
Specializing in unscripted and alternative programming, Big Block Television’s current slate has over a dozen projects in active development in both Reality and Game Show genres, with a possible eye to expand into branded content and scripted territory in the coming months.
Big Block Television will be headed by television industry veterans Billy Cooper and Andrew Greenberger. Cooper has more than a decade of experience in reality and live television, having produced such shows as Pitbulls and Parolees, My Fair Brady, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, Little People, Big World, Forever Eden, Paradise Hotel and American Idol. Greenberger has equally impressive depth of experience in reality television having served as executive producer at Sirens Media, Big Table Media, Shed Media US, 495 Productions and 44 Blue Productions.
Big Block Television is represented by Seth Lawrence of Rebel Entertainment Partners and attorney Bill Abrams of Abrams, Garfinkel, Margolis, Bergson, LLP.
Big Block has experienced steady growth since its opening in Santa Monica in 2011, in spite of a challenging economy and turbulent times for the visual effects industry. The studio’s executives worked closely with The New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment to take advantage of the city’s favorable conditions and production incentives before building out the new location.
Scott Benson, President at Big Block and CEO of Big Block Media Holdings, said, “We saw a significant opportunity to thoughtfully and strategically expand our company, leveraging our experience in branding, design and live action for the integrated space in a way that will powerfully augment our theatrical, feature film and television properties.”
“Being in New York provides us with the opportunity to have a presence in the world’s media and finance capitol and to take advantage of the tremendous artistic and technical talents the city has to offer,” he continued.
Kenny Solomon, Managing Director at Big Block, said, ”Mary, Scott, Billy and Andrew are very capable and highly respected. Their leadership skills and creative talents are precisely what clients and investors look for. They exemplify the attributes, accomplishments and drive that a venture of this magnitude requires.”
Source: Big Block
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.