Hummingbird Productions — the Nashville-based company known for its music and sound effects heard in high-profile television and radio commercials, will collaborate with Orlando, Fla.-based Star Partners, Inc., on It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story.
Allen J. Schwalb, Star Partners founder and president/CEO, and Bob Farnsworth, founder/CEO of Hummingbird, jointly made the announcement of the partnership Tuesday.
Star Partners will finance the new film, which will carry an estimated budget between $25 million and $32 million.
Farnsworth (pictured) and Martha Bolton (who, earlier in her career, served as Bob Hope’s first female comedy staff writer) have written the screenplay for It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, which will work as a sequel to the beloved 1946 holiday film classic It’s a Wonderful Life. That film was directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
Scheduled for release during the 2015 holiday season, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story will answer the questions: “Whatever happened to George Bailey?” “Did Mr. Potter really got away with stealing $8,000?” and “Did George ever get to build those bridges?”
Actress Karolyn Grimes, now 73, who played George Bailey’s young daughter “Zuzu” in the original film, has already been signed to reprise her role.
Discussions also are underway with additional original cast members Jimmy Hawkins, (Tommy Bailey) and Carol Coombs, (Janie Bailey), as well.
The producers behind the new project are currently interviewing potential directors, with casting slated to begin in February 2014. The majority of the film is expected to be shot in Louisiana.
“So many of us have watched the original It’s a Wonderful Life a dozen times and cried a dozen times,” Farnsworth said. “Our goal with this new film is to present it as a gift to the American public — one to be ‘unwrapped’ in movie theaters during Christmas 2015.”
Schwalb met Farnsworth at Film-Com, the annual financing and distribution market that takes place in Nashville each April.
"It's A Wonderful Life — The Rest of the Story is without question the most meaningful and marketable property that Film-Com has ever facilitated,” said Andy van Roon, Film-Com chairman and general manager. “And the connection of two high-integrity individuals like Allen Schwalb and Bob Farnsworth has a providential quality to it. It makes us wonder if the spirit of George Bailey, or Frank Capra, may be out there guiding the process."
Sweet Talk Publicity — the Nashville-based entertainment and music media relations boutique firm that represents, among others, Florida Georgia Line and Will Hoge — has hired Elice Cuff as publicity manager. Previously, Cuff served as an associate producer for the CMT Radio Network. Read more here at musicrow.com.
Disney Music Group has announced it will exclusively handle music licensing for Nashville-based Bigger Picture Group. Read more here at musicrow.com.
Nashville-based Zavitson Music Group has unveiled software that streamlines service in a single dashboard for managing cataloging, registering, pitching and song revenue collections.
Called MusicPubWorks (MPW), the cloud-based web application merges the creative and business components of the music industry, while providing a high level of user autonomy, the company said in a release.
“MPW was developed by music professionals for music professionals,” said Russ Zavitson, founder of Zavitson Music Group. “Our goal was to build a tool that functions on a variety of levels, from the most comprehensive to the most basic. Regardless of how you are tied to the business, there is something in this software that will make your job easier to perform and help you be more effective performing it.”
Zavitson said the software eliminates redundancy while increasing productivity and activity measurement for industry professionals. Rather than relying on multiple, disparate systems with limited compatibility, MusicPubWorks brings everything onto a single dashboard.
A tiered structure provides both cost-efficiency as well as various levels of engagement respective to a professional’s role and needs within the industry, he said. The software includes custom branding for each user, allowing larger organizations as well as independent songwriters, to maintain brand standards.