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Reliance Big Entertainment teams up with Imagine Entertainment for Screen Writers Lab - Mr.AB - 12-16-2010


MUMBAI: Anil Ambani's Reliance Big Entertainment has joined hands with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment in a unique initiative that has the potential to bring new screenwriters in the business of cinema.

The two companies will set up a "writers lab" that will employ 10 Hollywood screenwriters for a year to generate film and TV scripts on various genres. It may be recalled that Imagine and Reliance Big Entertainment had also inked a first-look film development deal in November last year.

The new creative venture is called Imagine-Reliance Writers Lab. Under this initiative, the hired screenwriters will not only get a salary but also financial incentives under a collaborative system. Karen Kehela Sherwood, who has been an executive at Imagine Entertainment for 24 years, will run the lab. She will oversee both the film development department of Imagine and also assign projects for the writers group.

Reliance ADAG's media and entertainment business head Amitabh Jhunjhunwala said, "When Ron and Brian brought this unique concept to Reliance, we immediately recognized its tremendous value and potential. We are delighted to expand our existing relationship with Imagine and look forward to working with them on this new venture."

Universal Pictures and Reliance will get the first right over the screenplays that will be churned out of the arrangement.

"Basically at its core, the idea of this is meant to take away the loneliness from the creative process that writers face. We are adding a collegial environment to authorship - a support system and guidance - and we will help get their work made into movies. "With TV shows, one person writes a scene, somebody else does another, and then you run them through and figure out who gets credit. There are better examples of creative groups working together in architectural and advertising firms, or even magazines, where ideas are bounced around. I see this as closer to a magazine situation than a TV show,” Howard said.

Prior to this, Reliance ADAG has forged relationships with Hollywood biggies like Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider. The company also recently acquired Stuart Ford's IM Global, which now handles all international sales for Reliance's films.

Reliance Big Entertainment has also previously inked development deals with Jim Carrey, Nicolas Cage, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts amongst others.

The screenwriters who will take part in the lab are Margaret Nagle, Michael Fitzpatrick, Lee Patterson, Glen Lakin, Michael Perry, Stacey Harman, Jason Mantzoukas, Scott Aukerman and Daniel Casey.