- LOS ANGELES
Film studio Thunder Road Pictures and creative production studio Slash Dynamic are making a push into creating and producing branded entertainment in the motion picture, advertising and content spaces. Key to the strategy is the recent addition of Travis Hanour to the companies’ shared roster and the development of his feature Porter, which will be the joint venture’s first film. The companies are poised to begin pitching brands to participate in brand integration and production of bespoke partner content for Porter and other Thunder Road-owned films, and other marketing opportunities outside of the traditional ad space.
“This is the sweet spot intersection of our combined capabilities--creating seamless and holistic ecosystems blending entertainment and marketing, for both short and long form strategies,” said Tanya Cohen, founder of Slash Dynamic.
“This has been the vision since we created the partnership in July,” said Thunder Road founder Basil Iwanyk. “We’re excited to get working on our first joint project together. Travis is a gifted, versatile writer and director who came up as an ad agency creative director. If there’s anyone in Hollywood who’s ideally suited to help us get this off the ground, it’s him.” Hanour has helmed commercial projects for Nike, EA Sports, NFL, Jordan, Microsoft, Uniqlo, AMD, Intel, TaylorMade and Sonos, among other brands.
Hanour marks his return to Slash Dynamic. He had most recently been handled in the commercialmaking market by Moxie Pictures.
Hanour will work closely with Slash’s executive creative directors Dave Hedeman and Steve Rice to develop brand integration first for Porter and then for other upcoming projects, explained Cohen. “These guys all have ideal backgrounds to create something special. Dave and Steve came to us with major agency experience--most recently as executive creative directors at TBWA\Chiat\Day,” she said. “They think like CMOs, have worked on huge brand partnerships, and understand how to build marketing ecosystems where brands are integral to storytelling. That’s so critical to engaging and entertaining consumers.”
Additionally, director Darrin Prescott will serve dual roles with Thunder Road and Slash Dynamic, now bringing his talent for thrill and action from film to the marketing space. This marks his first production house affiliation. “Darrin has created some of the most iconic, edge-of-your-seat action scenes in film history,” said Thunder Road partner Erica Lee. “He leaves nothing on the table and it’s a natural progression for him to move into ad land productions.” Prescott is the noted second unit director of Baby Driver, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Widow, Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool 2, Drive, Ford v Ferrari, and the John Wick franchise. He also created Screen Actors Guild Award-winning car chase work for The Bourne Ultimatum.
The developments at Thunder Road and Slash Dynamic are part of a long-term plan to create a fresh structure in the ever-growing industry where the line between entertainment and marketing is often blurred or non-existent. “Consumers have grown to accept and even embrace that,” Cohen said. “But it’s tough to do well. You have to have the right brand partners, the right film properties and the right team to make it happen. Now we have it all.”
She explained that the venture will allow Thunder Road and Slash Dynamic directors to move fluidly between features, branded content and commercials, creating limitless opportunities for brands to work with in-demand directors and properties.
A prolific independent film company, Thunder Road has turned out films that have grossed over $3.8 billion worldwide and garnered Oscar, Golden Globe, Producer Guild Award, Writers Guild Award, Directors Guild Award and AFI Award nominations. Notable credits include: the Chad Stahelski helmed blockbuster John Wick franchise; the Oscar-winning A Star Is Born, directed by and starring Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper opposite Lady Gaga; the critically acclaimed drama The Town, directed by Academy Award winner Ben Affleck; Sicario, directed by Academy Award nominee Denis Villeneuve as well as its sequel, Sicario: Day of the Soldado; and Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River.
Recent projects include: Tarik Saleh’s black ops thriller The Contractor; Halle Berry’s directorial debut, Bruised; Ric Waugh’s disaster epic, Greenland; and Sophia Banks’ action thriller, Black Site.
Upcoming projects include Dev Patel’s directorial debut, Monkey Man; John Woo’s heralded U.S. action film return Silent Night; John Wick 4; and the John Wick spin-off TV series The Continental.