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This Oughta Be Good

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | December 16, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | December 16, 2010 |

The SyFy Channel, best known for its lack of proper vowels and dozens of so-bad-they’re-good movies that cleanse TK’s palate after a good centipedeing. Naturally, they’ve decided to spin off that talent into the world of the big screen, where the budgets are bigger, the CGI’s a bit better, and the gratuitous nudity doesn’t have to be covered by any legal minimum of square centimeters.

A lot of press is spinning this from the angle of hoping that we get the “Battlestar” SyFy channel and not the “Sharktopus” SyFy channel. I disagree entirely. Look, the good big budget science fiction is going to get made no matter what. The good cheap indie science fiction is going to get made no matter what. But you know what gets left out? The quality B-movies. The fun, scenery chomping, unintentionally hilarious bits of science fiction that take just enough money to do that they’re out of the hands of the little guy, but the big guys aren’t going to waste the money on. No. If the big guys drop the money it has to be serious and somber regardless of how stupid it is.

I’ve been to see most of the science fiction movies of the year, and you know which ones are the most fun? The half funny and half serious ones that don’t work half the time, but are mesmerizing for the other half. Maybe I’m just a sucker for mediocrity, but if this gets me an extra couple of science fiction films in theaters every year in that entertaining sweet spot, I’m all for it.

At the very least, it’ll keep Eric Roberts in blood and cigarettes for a few years.

Full press release with awesomely cringe inducing market speak below.


NEW YORK and UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - December 15, 2010 - Syfy Ventures and Universal Pictures are joining forces to create Syfy Films, a new film company that will develop and produce Syfy branded theatrical motion pictures to be distributed by Universal. The new entity will leverage Syfy’s genre expertise to produce human and relatable theatrical releases from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, supernatural and horror. Beginning in 2012, Syfy Films will distribute one to two films a year through Universal Pictures. The announcement was made today by Dave Howe, President Syfy and Chiller, Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley.

“We know there is an incredible consumer appetite for genre content as proven by the top grossing box office films,” said Howe and Stern. “Partnering our brand with the theatrical talent of Universal Pictures, a premier motion picture company, will allow us to exploit our combined expertise and resources to create commercially successful quality films that have the potential to become great franchises for the whole company.”

“Syfy has been incredibly successful in finding ways to produce compelling entertainment for a specific audience,” said Fogelson and Langley. “Joining together to find moderately budgeted projects that we can develop using their expertise and their brand is a great opportunity for both of our companies.”

Mark Stern and Donna Langley will jointly oversee the operation. Universal and Syfy are currently looking for a production executive to run Syfy Films which will be based on the Universal Lot. That executive will work closely with the Universal and Syfy creative teams to find projects that they can develop by leveraging Syfy’s experience in developing genre programming. Universal will be responsible for distribution, marketing and publicity. Syfy will actively promote each film across Syfy’s television, online and mobile assets.

(source: Cinema Blend)

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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