Jeron Smith, Forbes 30 Under 30 and CEO of Unanimous Media, the production company co-founded with NBA star Steph Curry has new ideas. He now wants to be an intermediary for film deals atÂ Sony Pictures EntertainmentÂ for the less represented talent, via a new joint venture.
The former North American Brand Director at Nike and Deputy Director for the White House, Smith and Sony Pictures Entertainment have formed The Incubation Lab, which Smith describes as a â€œculture-forward content incubator.â€ Smith, who recently spoke with Variety, said the goal of the project is to identify nontraditional storytellers, like athletes, musicians, designers, artists, and other influencers, and pair them with screenwriters and filmmakers to develop original intellectual property. Those will be pitched to Sony for movie development deals.
â€œThe demand for premium, resonant content has never been greater, yet despite their large platforms, some of the most creative minds donâ€™t have access to the resources or the relationships needed to get projects made,â€ Smith said.
Sanford Panitch, president of Sony Pictures Entertainmentâ€™s Motion Picture Group, said in a statement that the â€œmission of finding fresh voices and new kinds of storytellers is foundational as we navigate going forward. Jeron and Stephen have been great partners with a unique perspective on things. We look forward to the new projects that will undoubtedly come out of this.â€
The Incubation Lab already has its first film in the works with Sony Pictures, Smith said in a statement although he declined to identify who is behind it. Itâ€™s a hip-hop music film from â€œone of the biggest artists in the worldâ€ and a writer-director who has never worked with a big Hollywood studio before, according to Smith.
â€œItâ€™s a story that would be difficult to get through the studio system,â€ Smith said. â€œItâ€™s hard for anybody to make a movie, and thatâ€™s especially true for talent from underrepresented backgrounds.â€ He said the filmâ€™s principals are working with Maia Eyre, VP of creative production at Sony Pictures.