LOS ANGELES AND LONDON – July 2, 2020 – MGM Television announced today a new partnership with K2 Studios, a leading global producer and distributor of documentary films for IMAX®, Giant Screen and other specialty theaters, to produce premium nature, wildlife, science and adventure programming. The deal includes co-production of eight new premium documentary TV series, distribution of K2 library content and a first-look deal for new K2 content. The partnership is part of MGM’s push into factual, documentaries and specials first announced late last year by President of Unscripted & Alternative Television, and Orion Television, Barry Poznick. The studio’s new factual division is based out of London and is headed by Executive Vice President, Richard Bedser. The division is focused on creating premium factual content and partnering with top-tier documentary talent from around the globe.
“From the first time I watched a K2 film, I was determined to get in business with them. Their experience in IMAX® and other Giant Screen formats is unparalleled,” said Poznick. “MGM has long wanted to focus on the factual documentary space and this is the perfect partnership to help grow our new division. We’re excited for all of the possibilities that lay ahead.”
K2 Studios President Mark Kresser added, “We are thrilled to join forces with MGM, arguably the most storied studio in Hollywood, with an unmatched history of success for nearly 100 years in both film and television.”
Kresser will continue to oversee all production and distribution for IMAX® / Giant Screen markets, and will executive produce the initial eight TV series in partnership with David Gross’s Definition Studios, which will also handle post production in Australia. Ryan Kresser, co-founder and longtime CEO of cable television network Havoc Television, will head up K2’s newly expanded TV division, while K2 founder and CEO Bob Kresser will continue to focus on Giant Screen film development.
Starting with Adventures in Wild California in 2000, K2 has executive produced, produced or distributed 16 titles for IMAX® and other Giant Screen theaters worldwide including two of the highest grossing IMAX® format documentary films of this century, Fighter Pilot, which played for 15 years at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and Journey to Space, released in 2015 and narrated by Patrick Stewart, which is still exhibited at the Kennedy Space Center and Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Other K2 Giant Screen titles include Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D starring 11x World Champion surfer Kelly Slater, and Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas. Recent releases include Mountain Adventure: Out of Bounds featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Torah Bright, Secrets of the Universe, profiling the particle accelerator at CERN in Switzerland, and the first K2 release of the MGM partnership, the Sam Neill-narrated Sea Lions: Life By a Whisker, which will continue its rollout this summer as theaters reopen post-Covid.
K2 was represented in the transaction by Aaron Meyerson, Media Specialist at Qualia Legacy Advisors. Meyerson will continue as an advisor to K2 and the venture. MGM’s President of Television Operations Brian Edwards negotiated the deal on behaf of the studio.
About Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
About K2 Studios
Originally founded in 1997 as a documentary television producer, K2 Studios has become a global leader in the production and distribution of documentary films for IMAX®, Giant Screen and other specialty theaters, bringing a wealth of experience in all aspects of production, film financing, global distribution and marketing. Since 2000, K2 has executive produced, produced or distributed 16 Giant Screen films, with an additional 10 titles currently in production or development with partners including Definition Studios and award winning filmmakers such as Nick Robinson (Wild Pacific Media) and Michael Dalton-Smith (Digital Crossing Films). K2 is also a leading global distributor of unscripted 4K and 8K content for TV and streaming platforms, including the world’s largest library of films originally released in IMAX® and other Giant Screen theaters. K2’s sister company, cable TV network Havoc Television, carried by over 100 US cable operators in over 55 million homes, has produced and distributed extensive television programming in the genres of action sports, music and related culture including over 3,000 hours of groundbreaking live interactive television for DIRECTV. K2 has generated over $55mm in sponsor revenue for brand integration into its films and TV programming. For more information, visit www.k2studios.us.
Qualia Legacy Advisors
Qualia Legacy Advisors is a Los Angeles based boutique advisory firm focused on entertainment and media. Qualia provides mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory, private capital raising services and other financial and business advisory services to companies in film, television, digital media, music, live events, publishing, media technologies and related service businesses. For more information, please visit www.qualialegacy.com.
Sam Neill, best known for his work on the Jurassic Park films, now lends his voice as the narrator of
Sea Lions – Life by a Whisker, a Definition Films production released by K2 Studios.
Sea Lions - Life by a Whisker is a classic coming-of-age tale filled with hope, humor, and wonder – a heart-warming journey of a sea lion pup named Otto, and the man that has dedicated his life to trying to save her species. A fierce campaigner for ocean conservation and the ban of single use plastics, Neill is the perfect fit to tell the Whiskers story.
We are on the heels of the world premiere of MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE: OUT OF BOUNDS at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. We had two of the film's three stars, Olympian Torah Bright and epic free skier, Sammy Carlson attend. The audience could not keep silent throughout the show. It was a huge hit. Seattle’s King 5 Morning News program featured film personality Torah Bright, Director Caspar Mazzotti and Executive Producer Mark Kresser – see clip below:
The film blends climate and high mountain science together on an epic journey trekking some of the planet's most pristine places. Our winter athletes take audiences on some eye-popping edge-of-your-seat rides along the way.
The film is rich in STEM content. The educators guide (available to download by clicking here) helps build upon the solid educational themes. Pacific Science Center is extremely pleased with the STEM content and educational focus of the film. They felt the balance between educational content, action thrills, and beauty was spot on.
Click the graphic above to view a rough cut of the official theatrical trailer. For more information, visit the official website at www.mountainadventurefilm.com.
K2 Studios is proud to be screening brand new giant screen films at the 2019 GSCA Conference this September. Secrets of the Universe, Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia, Out of Bounds: An Epic Mountain Journey, and Sea Lions: Life By A Whisker will all be part of the prestigious lineup of films showing at the industry event.
For schedule times and more information, visit https://www.giantscreencinema.com/Events/2019-Conference/Schedule
The long-anticipated release of Secrets of the Universe has taken place with the World Premiere at the National Air and Space Museum at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater on July 10th. The film will start its official run on July 12th. Secrets of the Universe is a sweeping, 3D Giant Screen science adventure that immerses audiences in the greatest mysteries of our time – puzzles spanning from the infinitesimal to the infinite; a journey guided by some of the most brilliant minds, seeking to answer life’s greatest questions, using the greatest science machines in history. The answers await at the collision points of intellect and imagination, of theory and experiment, of the tiniest particles and most powerful forces in the Universe.
The film has been in development/production for over 7 years. According to Executive Producer Mark Kresser, "It took an incredible amount of thought to develop a story that was engaging and accessible for a broad audience. We wanted to give people a clear understanding of why they should care about particle physics, given where the scientific discoveries could lead. We also wanted to use the film to ignite passion among the future scientists of tomorrow, connecting to ethnic and gender-diverse audiences. This was extremely important to the National Science Foundation, who provided significant support to jumpstart the film, as well as unprecedented access to the Large Hadron Collider and LIGO research projects."
Preliminary research conducted by veteran National Science Foundation researchers, among both adult giant screen theater audiences and target school age children, indicated substantial interest in the topics explored in the film, in particular the Large Hadron Collider. Title testing was extremely encouraging, with Secrets of the Universe outperforming some of the most popular giant screen film titles.
In addition to the National Air and Space Museum, “Secrets” will also be premiering at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and The Clark Planetarium with several additional exhibitions in coming months. The film will be made available in all digital formats, plus 15/70mm 2D for domes, and a fulldome version. “Secrets of the Universe” has consistently tested very highly as a title, and topic, in several rounds of audience research undertaken in 2012/13, and again in 2018/19 (both through NSF, as well as additional research firms).
A comprehensive age-appropriate educators resource guide and extensive interactive website have been developed and can be found at www.secretsoftheuniversefilm.com. We also have a formal outreach initiative in collaboration with the National Teacher's Association, and a number of other education groups, to drive awareness and interest in the film.
In addition to a resource-rich website, which is also available as a mobile app, a generous grant from the National Science Foundation was used to develop and fund a social media outreach campaign, and original supplemental content to drive interest in the film.
Other strategic partners that will be supporting the film in various ways include University of California Davis, and Futurism, with other partnerships in development. For educational outreach we will be working AAAS, APS, NSTA, among others.
The Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, the world's largest theoretical physics institute and our main science advisor for the film, will provide targeted support for key major markets. They are influential in this field and can help to generate significant interest and drive awareness and attendance.
Secrets of the Universe will help to inspire audiences and seed the imaginations of our future science leaders! Award winning veteran IMAX filmmaker Stephen Low calls it “one of the most challenging of the 17 films I have made, but ultimately, I feel it will be the most rewarding”.
We're pleased to announce that five of our in-production films will be previewed at the Giant Screen Cinema Association Conference and Trade Show in September:
- Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia
- Cool Cities
- Secrets of the Universe
- Wingsuit Flyers
- Out of Bounds
The Films in Production program will be held 3:00 - 5:15pm, Friday September 21st in the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX theater. To view the full schedule of the 2018 GSCA Conference, please visit www.giantscreencinema.com/Events/2018-Conference/Schedule.
AUSTRALIA'S GREAT WILD NORTH and MOUNTAIN QUEST will screen at the 2018 GSCA Conference and Trade Show!