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Former Lionsgate executive Erik Feig gets Warner Bros. backing for new company

Former Lionsgate executive Erik Feig gets Warner Bros. backing for new company
Erik Feig, founder of Picturestart, which has secured backing from Warner Bros.

Former Lionsgate film executive Erik Feig has secured financial backing from Warner Bros. and other companies for a new entertainment firm focused on youth-oriented productions and developing new creative voices, he said Thursday.

Investors in Feig’s West Hollywood-based venture Picturestart include AT&T-owned Warner Bros. Pictures, education company Scholastic and talent agency owner Endeavor, the company said.

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Financial terms were not disclosed.

Feig, 48, was previously president of Santa Monica studio Lionsgate’s motion picture group, where he oversaw production of young adult franchises including “The Twilight Saga” and “The Hunger Games” and championed the acclaimed hit musical “La La Land.” He stepped down last year amid a broader management shakeup at the struggling studio.

Before Lionsgate, he helped run Summit, which Lionsgate bought in 2012.

Feig said his new company is focused not only on young-adult films and shows, but also on finding fresh, diverse voices and ideas that can break through with specific audiences in today’s competitive marketplace.

“Creating a company that focuses on working with groundbreaking and innovative artists to tell transformative stories is something I am passionate about on a creative and business level,” he said in a statement.

As part of the deal with Picturestart, Warner Bros. will have first right of refusal to co-develop, co-finance and distribute Feig’s movies. Picturestart aims to produce four to six films a year, in addition to four to six TV series.

One of its first projects is a prequel to “Grease” for Paramount Pictures.

Feig expects to soon have 18 employees, up from his current staff of 13. Additional investors include broadcaster Nordic Entertainment Group and Vancouver, Canada-based financier and producer Bron Studios.

Launching a production company is a common move for former studio heads looking for a second act in Hollywood. Warner Bros. recently invested in Spyglass Media Group, which is run by former MGM chief Gary Barber, for example.

Producers, including ex-studio veterans, have plenty of opportunities now that entertainment giants are looking for more content to compete with streaming services such as Netflix, which are inking rich deals with big-name talent.

Former Sony Pictures movies head Amy Pascal on Wednesday moved her production company to Universal Pictures. She stepped down from her executive role at Sony in 2015 and took a production deal with the Culver City studio, producing films such as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

Her move to Comcast Corp.-owned Universal ended a three-decade career with Sony.

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