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 directorial talent. BBEG produces live theater for Broadway and other stages, feature films and television. The group will acquire the rights for properties they will develop and will also co-finance its production partnerships.
Big Block Live will be headed by executive producer Mary Crosse, who was recently executive producer at Click 3X, where she launched a live action division for branded content and established its first roster of directors. Previously, she was executive producer at Lucky Branded Entertainment, a hybrid agency and film production company. She has more than a decade of experience at agencies including 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.
Theatrical and feature film production at Big Block Entertainment Group is spearheaded by Broadway theater and film producer Scott Prisand. BBEG 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 hopes of opening in London next year. BBEG 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, BBEG 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.
“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,” said Scott Benson, president at Big Block and CEO of Big Block Media Holdings. “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.”
Also operating under the BBEG banner is Big Block Television. Specializing in unscripted and alternative programming, Big Block Television’s current slate has more than a dozen projects in active development in both reality and game show genres, with an eye to expand into branded content and scripted territory.
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.