The UK production and funding group of director John Jencks and producer Jay Taylor, Electric Shadow Company, has an ambitious list. Titles include the production of Rupert Sanders’ reimagining of James O’Barr’s comic The Ravenstarring Bill Skarsgard and FKA Twigs, which FilmNation Entertainment presents to buyers at Cannes, as well as a host of projects under development, including Zoo of director Colin McIvor Beeswing.
Jencks (president) and Taylor (CEO) have been building Electric Shadow Company for 17 years. They met as teenagers, moving in the same social circles as west London. Jencks went on to study film at the New York Film Academy while Taylor produced the Channel 4 music program. Popworld, before making the transition to acting, working for The Weinstein Company and Working Title. Jencks returned from the United States and the couple reconnected and made a short film The vicious circle of success. In 2005 they formed their own team, Sane and Diddly, alongside producer Alexa Seligman (who later left the company in 2017), changing the brand to Electric Shadow Company in 2008.
“We were pretty good at production, we had that experience. But the other side of the business, marketing, we weren’t particularly up to date,” says Taylor. They cut their teeth with the self-financing function El Plecdirected by Jencks, before using the funding gap to make Amy Heckerling’s 2012 horror comedy Vamps. Features including The Hallow, Love me how you do it i swallows and amazons followed.
The hippopotamus – based on the comic novel by Stephen Fry and starring Roger Allam – had the elements of the innovative costume project, with the British distributor Metrodome attached, until, that is, the distributor entered the administration, leaving Jencks and Taylor to post the feature themselves. .
To keep money coming in, the company launched J Cubed Film Finance, with film financier Joe Simpson and several senior lenders. Through this, Jencks and Taylor began offering feature films with short funding. This model was a success, with J Cubed securing more than 30 offers in the space of 18 months, for titles included Out of the blue, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan i Guns Akimbo. Through Electric Shadow Company, the duo also helped fund Philip Barantini’s recent Bafta nominee. Boiling point.
But Electric Shadow Company had its own creative itch that needed to be scratched. “We started thinking,‘ We’re doing all this work to make other people’s movies, and we’re not doing our own thing, ’” Jencks recalls. Thus, the company has relaunched itself with a renewed interest in internal development and a focus on acquiring UK rights over the projects in which the whole is involved. employee time to six.
Isabel Freer is the head of development for all television and documentary functions, and is also responsible for obtaining new intellectual property to develop, finance and produce. Freer’s previous credits include Nick Hamm’s as a co-producer The tripand as an executive on The Uncertain Kingdom, a feature development fund launched by Jencks.
Kwesi Dickson has joined as head of production financing, having worked as a producer for MJ Bassett. scoundrel and Magnus Martens SAS: Red warningboth executive producers of Electric Shadow Company.
The Raven is currently in pre-production, while Beeswing is being developed with Northern Ireland Screen. The family comedy, inspired by a true story, is set in 1842 in a remote Scottish village, where future prosperity is linked to an old mare named Beeswing who wins the Ascot competition. Feature film production – co – written by Georgia Goggin, producer of Beautiful red dress – It is expected to start at the end of the year.
Documentaries are another key focus, with two co-productions in the works with the UK documentary series Rogan Productions, entitled Original sin i Hollywood Project.
“I don’t think there’s any kind of Electric Shadow project,” Jencks says. “If it’s one we’ve been involved with since the beginning, it has to work at different levels. I don’t think we would ever do that Fast & Furious a film that is purely visceral, but we would never make the most talked about French art film either. The joy of cinema is that it offers a vast breadth of human experience. “