Producer Tracey Edmonds, the woman behind BET reality shows “College Hill” and “Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown,” has been named president and chief operating officer of Our Stories Films, the production company launched last month by BET founder Robert Johnson’s RLJ Cos. and the Weinstein Co. to create family-friendly features for urban audiences.
In the new gig, Edmonds will be responsible for acquiring new projects and shepherding them through development and production. As previously reported, Our Stories plans to release features – mainly in the $10 million-$15 million budget range – via Weinstein Co’s genre arm Dimension Films and on DVD through the company’s Genius Product partnership.
For a long time, the African-American creative community has wanted to have a studio where greenlight authority rests with an African-American,” Johnson said. “I’m happy that Harvey and Bob (Weinstein) have joined me in making this vision a reality.”
Films are to begin production “around the end of this year or the beginning of next,” said Johnson, who plans to start with two pictures a year, increasing to three and possibly four eventually.
I’m not necessarily looking for ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ type movies,” Johnson told Variety. “I’m looking for funny — that’s it,” simply because comedies are cheaper to produce and usually make more money than dramas. To keep production costs low, Johnson plans on asking top talent like Denzel Washington or Danny Glover to accept backend payment deals.
Edmonds’ resume as a film producer goes back to the 1997 movie “Soul Food,” which she later turned into a successful television series for Showtime. Through her film production company e2 Filmworks, Edmonds produced Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Punks” and executive produced Christopher Scott Cherot’s “Hav Plenty.”
When looking for someone to lead Our Stories, we identified an executive who has a track record of innovation and success, the respect of the industry and a strong understanding of, and relationships with, both business and talent,” Harvey Weinstein said.
[tags]BET, Tracey Edmonds[/tags]