This article originally appeared on The Wrap website.
‘Ghoulies’ Writer-Producer Jefery Levy Launches Production Company
by Joshua L. Weinstein
Jefery Levy, who wrote and produced the 1985 low-budget hit Ghoulies while at UCLA’s graduate school, is launching his own production company, and plans to make three, $3 million films a year for the next five years.
Levy, who has produced and directed dozens of episodes of television shows including Ghost Whisperer, CSI and Roar, plans to finance the company himself, with the help of a few investors.
He already has acquired rights to Secret Lives, based on the Japanese novel by Nobel laureate Junichiro Tanizaki. Levy wrote the script and plans to start pre-production in January.
Another movie on his slate is Crossroads, written by Paul Quinn. The writer is Aidan Quinn’s brother.
The company, XMarksTheEarth, has already spent about $500,000 developing screenplays.
Levy told TheWrap that his idea is to make small-budget films which can then become television shows.
“I do want to get back in the TV business,” he said. “It’s a very good business.”
Levy, who is married to Juicy Couture co-founder Pamela Skaist-Levy, helped launch the careers of stars such as Heath Ledger and Vera Farmiga, who starred in his 1997 television show “Roar.”
“I have been involved with a lot of career discoveries,” he said. “People ask me, ‘How are you going to get all these actors to do these tiny little movies?’ That’s how. I know them. I’m banking on that.”
Levy said the company will make small dramas and will adapt books.
“I’m not doing any comedies,” he said. “I’m a little nervous about doing comedies in terms of selling them.”
He said he doesn’t yet have distribution and likely will release most of the movies on video on demand, though he’d like at least a few theatrical releases.
“I only have funding for the first year’s movies,” he said. “The plan is that I will finish the first movie or the first two movies, be in production on the third, and we’ll sell the package, which will enable us to go into the second year.”
He said that the time is perfect for his idea.
“It’s such a cool, cutting-edge time,” he said. “You can make everything with digital cameras. You can own the entire means of production. All the cameras, all the post-production stuff, everything.”