The indie romantic comedy Outsourced, produced by Seattle-based ShadowCatcher Entertainment, is now a prime-time comedy series which will air on NBC. NBC confirmed that Outsourced has been ordered as a Fall series and will premiere on Sept. 23 at 9:30 on Thursday night following The Office. In fact, it is the only pickup by NBC for the fall. Ken Kwapis, one of the main directors on NBC’s The Office, directed the pilot and will also helm the first episode. Ken is also producing with showrunner Robert Borden (George Lopez and The Drew Carey Show), who was tapped as the writer. ShadowCatcher producers, Tom Gorai and David Skinner, are executive producers.
We are proud to say that the producers have been clients of ours with Outsourced and we continue working with them long after our mutual success with Outsourced. Congratulations are in order for the long road this film has traveled. Who knows, maybe it will go the way of another former clients of ours, Fran and Kaz Kuzui who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“NBC’s announcement marks a big step for ShadowCatcher and recognizes the great work done by the film’s director John Jeffcoat , writer George Wing and everyone associated with the production of Outsourced. We always believed that our film would play well around the world, but it’s a welcomed bonus to know that it has now found a home on prime time television”, says David Skinner founder of ShadowCatcher (Smoke Signals).
For Tom Gorai of the ShadowCatcher team, the series confirms ShadowCatcher’s recipe for success, “tell a good story that people connect with and the opportunities will take care of themselves.”
The Seattle natives appreciate the significance of a Seattle-based production succeeding at the highest levels of Hollywood. Observes Skinner: “Outsourced was patterned after one of our favorite films, Local Hero, which is just what this project has become.”
Based on the film directed by John Jeffcoat and written by Jeffcoat and George Wing, Outsourced is a comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash. The series centers on the all-American company Mid America Novelties that sells whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon — and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India. Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway’s “The Gingerbread House”) is the new company’s manager who learns that he’s being transferred to India to run the operation. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world. But as strange as America seems to his eclectic sales team, Todd soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job.
The cast includes Rizwan Manji (“Privileged”), Sacha Dhawan (BBC’s “Five Days II”), Rebecca Hazlewood (BBC’s “Doctors”), Parvesh Cheena (“Help Me Help You”), and Anisha Nagarajan (Broadway’s “Bombay Dreams”), Diedrich Bader (“The Drew Carey Show”) and Jessica Gower (Network Ten’s “The Secret Life of Us”).
Outsourced is produced by Universal Media Studios in association with ShadowCatcher Entertainment. Robert Borden (“The Drew Carey Show”) is the executive producer/writer. Ken Kwapis (“The Office”) developed the project and serves as executive producer/director. Representing ShadowCatcher as Executive Producers of the series are the film’s executive producer, David Skinner, and producer, Tom Gorai.
ShadowCatcher Entertainment LLC is an independent production company that develops and produces character-driven feature films, documentaries, animation, television and multi-media programming for worldwide entertainment markets. Based in Seattle, the Company collaborates with studios, networks, film and theater producers to produce a wide variety of programming.
Official Company Website: www.shadowcatcherent.com
NEWS FLASH: A Not So Still Life, the Ginny Ruffner story, premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and shared the Audience Award for Best Documentary.
ANOTHER NEWS FLASH: ShadowCatcher is a producer in the successful Broadway musical, MEMPHIS, which won Best Musical at the recent Tony Awards, as well as Best Score, Best Book and Best Orchestration.
A Company History
2010: NBC films the sitcom pilot based on Outsourced and subsequently orders the series, which airs on September 23, 2010; completed its first documentary feature, A Not So Still Life, The Ginny Ruffner Story, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on June 11.
2009: begins filming its first feature documentary. The subject is the extraordinary Seattle artist, Ginny Ruffner; options the Matthew Shepard project for the development of the book and a subsequent screenplay, both of which will be written by Steve Jimenez; invests in the Broadway musical, Memphis.
2008: options and develops Dave Marko’s spec script, Green Monster; options the story rights for Randy Grim, whose rescue of abused dogs in the Saint Louis community has earned him national recognition, and hires Richard Friedenberg to write Dog Crazy.
2007: options Barry Unsworth’s novel, Losing Nelson, which is adapted by Lew Carlino, and to which Damian Lewis (Keane, Forsyth Saga) is attached to play the lead; hires Dave Hunsaker to write an original screenplay based on events in the life of Edward S. Curtis, the renowned photographer and ethnographer of the American Indian, currently titled: North End of the World.
2006: produces two films: Outsourced, which was filmed in Mumbai, India, and Seattle; American Pastime, which was shot in and around Salt Lake City.
2005: begins working with the experienced film and television producer, Norman Stephens; options Dave Hunsaker and Alessandro Camon’s coming-of-age story, Inside Passage, for which Hunsaker has written the screenplay, currently titled Whistler in the Dark, to which Carroll Ballard (Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf) is attached to direct; hires Mr. Hunsaker to write The High Road, a fictionalized account of the adventures of the legendary Datsun hero, Yatuka Katayama, his Datsun 510 and crazy crew at the second running of the Baja 1000 in 1968.
2004:invests in The Araca Group’s production of Match (starring Frank Langella, Ray Liotta and Jane Adams); enters into an agreement with Lydia Pilcher to adapt Alice Hoffman’s novel, The Probable Future; Executive Produces on a Mike Hoffman film, Game Six, with Michael Keaton, Robert Downey, Jr. and Bebe Neuwirth; script by Don Delillo; options Jeannette Haien’s novella, The All of It, which has been adapted by the respected screenwriter, Lew Carlino.
2003: sells the screenplay, The Skeleton Key, to Universal Studios, the Iain Softley film starring Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, Peter Sarsgaard and John Hurt; expands its film projects with the development of American Pastime, as well as investing in a new Broadway production of the classic musical, Fiddler on the Roof, which opened at the Minskoff Theatre starring Alfred Molina.
2002: invests in the successful Broadway revival, Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune, and taking an Associate Producer role in two Off-Broadway shows, Debbie Does Dallas and Tuesdays with Morrie.
ShadowCatcher produced the next two feature films in 1998: The Book of Stars and Getting To Know You, both of which were bought for worldwide distribution. ShadowCatcher produced its first feature film in 1997, the award winning Smoke Signals, which was purchased by Miramax.
As the co-founder, owner and manager of ShadowCatcher Entertainment, David is responsible for the Company’s strategic and financial planning, as well as overseeing the development, financing and production of the company’s film projects. He has worked as an Executive Producer on Smoke Signals, The Book of Stars, Getting To Know You, Game 6, Outsourced, American Pastime and is currently serving in that role on A Not So Still Life, the Ginny Ruffner story..
Tom is ShadowCatcher’s producing partner. His feature film producing credits include Arlington Road (Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins) and Going All the Way (Ben Affleck, Jeremy Davies). Tom has also produced the documentaries Father’s Daze, Single Video Theory, and American Mullet, and served as Executive Producer on No Maps for These Territories, a feature length documentary about William Gibson, the “father of cyberspace.” Tom is responsible for attracting and developing many of the Company’s feature film projects and was the lead producer for Outsourced and a producer on American Pastime. He is the lead producer for A Not So Still Life, the Ginny Ruffner Story.
Norman has joined the ShadowCatcher team as an independent producer working out of Reno, Nevada, and Los Angeles. With a background as a Broadway producer, literary agent and senior studio executive (Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs for Warner Bros. Television, and Executive Vice President, Film and Television, Village Roadshow Pictures) he now focuses on independent television/cable movies and theatrical films. He produced the Orson Welles-scripted The Magnificent Ambersons for A&E Network; Executive Produced Benedict Arnold, starring Aidan Quinn and Kelsey Grammer, also for A&E.; Executive Produced Bang Bang You’re Dead for Showtime, which won five Emmy Awards, including Best Family Movie and recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in television programming. Norman also produced of the remake of Sybil, starring Jessica Lange, Tammy Blanchard and JoBeth Williams, directed by Joseph Sargent. He is currently producing the National Geographic film,
I, Darwin, in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
The Produced Films
A Not So Still Life Worldwide: ShadowCatcher Entertainment
ShadowCatcher’s first feature documentary focuses on the world of the extraordinary artist, Ginny Ruffner, whose reputation is well-established in galleries, museums, private collections and public art installations around the world. But it is her indefatigable spirit that has influenced so many in and out of the art world. Working out of her legendary studio in Seattle, Ginny’s imagination, creativity, perseverance, and generosity make her a force of nature that leaves an indelible impression on everyone that comes into her life. Directed by Karen Stanton, produced by Tom Gorai and executive produced by David Skinner.
Outsourced Domestic: ShadowCatcherEntertainment
Foreign: Cinemavault Releasing
When his Seattle company sends 32 year old Todd Anderson to an Indian call center to train his replacement, he is understandably less than enthusiastic. But the tale that unfolds leaves our young hero very much changed, as he experiences the odd and the ordinary in a country that has more to teach Todd about life than this young man could ever imagine.
This original romantic comedy by George Wing (50 First Dates) and writing partner/director, John Jeffcoat, stars the multi-talented Josh Hamilton (Alive, House of Yes, Sex and the City, as well as the upcoming films, Margaret, Neal Cassady, Diggers, Tonight at Noon), who recently starred in the Lincoln Center production of Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia. The beautiful Ayesha Dharker (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, The Terrorist) plays the female lead of Asha in this predominantly Indian cast.
American Pastime Warner Bros. Home Video, 2007
Winner of the Audience Award in its American premier at the recent Asian American Film Festival in San Francisco, this early 1940’s drama weaves a rich story of a Japanese-American family, whose love of family, country, music and the game of baseball helps them survive the indignity and injustice of the internment camps. Desmond Nakano (Last Exit to Brooklyn, American Me) is the director and co-writer, starring Gary Cole, Masatoshi Nakamura, Judy Ongg, Jon Gries, Aaron Yoo).
Game Six Kindred Media
Nicky is living the dream: his new drama opens on Broadway the same night that his beloved Boston Red Sox play the New York Mets in the sixth game of the World Series. All he needs is a good review from New York’s famous critic and a Red Sox victory to win the World Series. Firmly convinced that neither will happen, Nicky learns through friends and strangers that life can be full of surprises. Starring Michael Keaton, Robert Downey, Jr. and Bebe Neuwirth, this indie dramedy is directed by Mike Hoffman (Soap Dish, One Fine Day, Some Girls), produced by Serenade Films (Leslie Urdang and Amy Robinson) and written by the well-known writer, Don Delillo. The film premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and opened in New York City on March 7, 2006.
The Skeleton Key Universal Studios
This “hoodoo in the Bayou” psychological thriller is written by the well-known screenwriter, Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road, The Ring, The Brothers Grimm), directed by Iain Softley
(K-Pax, The Wings Of The Dove, Hackers) and stars Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Four Feathers, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Alex & Emma), Gena Rowlands, John Hurt and Peter Sarsgaard.
The Book Of Stars Domestic: ShadowCatcher Entertainment
Mary Stuart Masterson, Jena Malone, Delroy Lindo, D.B. Sweeny and Karl Geary star in this hauntingly beautiful story of two sisters, who are torn between their love for each other and the realities that confront them. Through the creation of a magical book, the younger sister offers the promise of hope and redemption in a world that seems to provide neither to those most in need.
Getting To Know You Mainline
17-year-old Judith McIntyre is waiting impatiently in an upstate New York bus station with her older brother, Wesley, when she meets Jimmy, a quirky storyteller. As the two troubled strangers create stories about their fellow travelers, they discover that in the process of fantasizing about the lives of others, they are forced to expose hidden truths about themselves. Accepted into Dramatic Competition at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, Getting To Know You was written by Lisanne and Tristine Skyler, with Lisanne Skyler directing. The film stars Bebe Newirth, Heather Mattarazzo, Zach Braff and Michael Weston.
Smoke Signals Miramax
ShadowCatcher’s first production weaves a tale of fathers, friends and forgiveness that captures the Native American experience with this powerfully universal story. Winner of both the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, Smoke Signals became the second highest-grossing independent film for that year. Written by Sherman Alexie and directed by Chris Eyre, the film stars Adam Beach, Evan Adams and Irene Bedard.
Films In Development
The All Of It – Lew Carlino (The Great Santini, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, Resurrection) adapts Jeannette Haien’s eloquent and complex novella, in which Father Declan comes to a seaside cottage nestled in the wild Connemara coast, assuming that it is simply a matter of giving final rites to a dying man. But the good Father’s duty becomes far more complicated, when Kevin Dennehy’s passing requires that Enda Dennehy confide a long held secret. As Enda spins the past into the present, so begins a transforming love story for both the teller and the mesmerized Declan, who periodically takes refuge in the solitude of fly-fishing on the rain-swollen Ballynahinch River. Originally published in the United Kingdom in 1986, this intimate story has become a well-loved classic around the world. Robin Gurland and Norman Stephens will work together as lead producers, while David Skinner and Tom Gorai will be Executive Producers.
Whistler in the Dark – When thirteen year old Andy Egan is told that he has one month to prepare for a life threatening operation, he chooses to go to the Alaskan woods to hunt a grizzly bear with his father. His family’s adventure introduces Andy to a native culture, mystical valley and gigantic bear that change their lives forever. The story was created by Dave Hunsaker and Alessandro Camon. The screenplay is being written by Mr. Hunsaker, who lives thirty miles outside of Juneau, Alaska. Carroll Ballard (Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf, Fly Away Home) is attached to direct. Norm Stephens will head the producing team.
Losing Nelson – Barry Unsworth’s haunting novel tells the story of the reclusive Charles Cleasby, a biographer of the infamous Lord Horatio Nelson, who has become the idolized hero of the obsessive writer. But Cleasby’s private life begins to break down through his working relationship with his secretary and her son, both of whom force Cleasby to confront the truth behind the Nelson legend and his own tortured past. The screenplay has been written by Lew Carlino. Damian Lewis (Dreamcatcher, Keane, Forsythe Saga) is attached as the lead.
The North End of the World – Dave Hunsaker takes us into the land of the Kwakiutl Indian with the renowned photographer, Edward S. Curtis, in the year 1914, when this self-trained ethnographer filmed his groundbreaking film, In the Land of the War Canoes. In the course of filming old traditions, Curtis uncovers the legendary Hamatsa ritual and discovers certain truths about not only this theatrical and dangerous tribe, but also his own life that will change his future forever.
Green Monster – An original screenplay by David Marko, WEST LIBERTY takes a charming, yet slightly absurdist clash of romance, big business in the big city and the renewed appeal of small-town heartland America. Smart, beautiful and ambitious, Melody Benton may have discovered the answer to replacing oil dependence, but can she balance her brilliant innovation, dreams and ambitions, and still survive a romance with the richest man in the world? This is a classic heroine’s journey for the 21st century.
Dog Crazy- Two books about the well-known animal humanitarian, Randy Grim, have been optioned for development into a movie based on Randy’s fearless work rescuing feral dogs in the abandoned landscape of East St. Louis, Missouri. This story will explore one man’s humanity to man’s best friend, which give unconditional love and want nothing in return except a safe haven. This is the story of a thrilling and heartwarming adventure and the man who faces his own fears by rescuing packs of feral dogs. Richard Friedenberg (A River Runs Through It, The Education of Little Tree) will write the screenplay.
The Matthew Shepard Project- The brutal slaying of a young, gay man in Wyoming sparked international controversy and the creation of The Laramie Project, first as play and then as an HBO movie. Steve Jimenez was one of the producers of 20/20’s groundbreaking journalism in 2005 that researched and broke a more accurate portrayal of this famous crime. Steve picks up where he left off by writing a book that brings truth and closure to this misunderstood saga of meth amphetamine dealing, a firestorm of local and national politics and the misguided assumptions of the media that rushed to judgment. Steve will also write the screenplay based on the book.