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Lionsgate strikes partnership with online film production company Massify

October 20, 2009 |  5:37 pm

Curt Marvis Lionsgate has struck a partnership with an online community of filmmakers in hopes of finding new story ideas.

The newly formed Lionsgate Incubator Project will work with Massify -- a kind of Linked-in for the film world, with a network of 45,000 filmmakers, actors and crew -- to develop novel concepts for shorts and feature films. The first project is to come up with a male-focused comedy short, with the kind of appeal of films like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "The Hangover." 

The professional filmmakers in Massify's network will conduct a virtual pitch session, developing brief plot summaries and shooting scripts. The community will vet the concepts and select the best of the submissions -- with Lionsgate overseeing development.

"We're casting as wide a net as possible, saying you can come in and have the opportunity to pitch one of the major players in Hollywood," said Massify Chief Executive Geoff Pitfield.

The project will be staffed from Massify's pool of directors, cast and crew. The studio hopes these concepts ultimately will become feature-length films.

"There is a revolution of new ideas in filmed entertainment online," Curt Marvis, president of digital for Lions Gate, said in a prepared statement. "We intend to be at the forefront of accessing this enormous and largely untapped source of fresh talent and original new voices."

Lions Gate isn't the only studio to seek to mine the Internet for new voices. Other companies in the  animation business have tried a similar approach of creating virtual pools of talent to make films.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Curt Marvis. Credit: Berliner Photography.