Former Covert Media CEO, Annapurna Productions COO, and QED co-founder Paul Hanson has collaborated with Elan Freedman of Surge Licensing, development executive Ian McGloin, and content financing executive Asa Greenberg, to launch Capacitor Studios.
The new IP-focused entertainment company is a joint venture with NY-based Surge Licensing, a leading IP agency, central to the strategy.
Backed by capital from Europe and Asia, the new venture is a next-generation studio that will create and scale entertainment and consumer product franchises. The company takes a holistic, 360-degree approach to IP that integrates consumer products licensing with TV/OTT series and feature film production.
Capacitor is launching with a slate of episodic and feature titles for children’s, family, and YA audiences, in partnership with leaders from the toy, traditional publishing, digital publishing, video game, and hobby game industries.
Capacitor’s initial projects include an animated series based on the global toy brand, Feisty Pets, with Michelle Raimo Kouyate attached as a producer. One of the company’s first feature titles is an animated and live action hybrid based on the designer vinyl toy phenomenon, KidRobot. Matt Ember and Tom Astle (Home) adapted the screenplay and Cleo award-winner and commercial veteran, Rob Rugan is roped in to direct it.
Kouyate is the former Sony Animation Production president, where she oversaw Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and prior to that, she was an executive producer on Puss in Boots for DreamWorks Animation.
Hanson states, “It all starts with great storytelling that turns audiences into rabid fans. That passion drives a desire for further engagement with a brand or franchise, potentially including toys and other consumer products, video games, hobby games, and publishing. With world-class production and licensing groups under the same roof, we are uniquely suited to deliver tons of value to the global marketplace.”
Hanson will serve as CEO, segueing from Covert Media. Previously, Hanson was COO of QED International and COO of Annapurna Pictures. Asa Greenberg, who was entertainment group head of a mid-market hedge fund and an executive producer on Blade Runner 2049, will serve as the company’s Head of Corporate Development. Ian McGloin, a seasoned entertainment executive, formerly of Scott Rudin Productions and Dreamworks’ Wild Child Films, will serve as Head of Content Strategy.
Elan Freedman of Surge Licensing, the agency behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, will oversee the company’s IP, franchise and brand management activities. Mark Freedman, founder of Surge Licensing and architect of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, will oversee all licensing activities as the company’s joint venture partner.
Freedman added, “Independent IP creators, including those with tremendous brands, have been disconnected from the global entertainment world, leaving licensors with very few strategic options. By blending our collective backgrounds in IP, consumer products and content, our team is poised to address the needs of living and breathing brands and translate them into media and merchandising powerhouses.”