EXCLUSIVE: Veteran entertainment lawyer and business strategist Jason Beekman has exited his role as VP and Head of Business & Legal Strategy at RadicalMedia to join director and former Imagine Documentaries showrunner Ryan Miller in co-founding new production company, Wise Child Studios.
Intended to marry the robust legal and business acumen of a larger studio with the distinguished creative vision and filmmaker-centric attention of a boutique shop, Wise Child will work with the industry’s best, from award winners to emerging talent, in the telling of thought-provoking and character-driven stories. The company is developing most of its projects from the ground up and will also handle post-production and sales for its titles.
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Having already built a robust slate across scripted and non-fiction series, features, and podcasts, Wise Child’s projects in development include an investigative series with AMC; the feature doc Up the River about a 1972 concert at Sing Sing Prison, headlined by BB King, with RadicalMedia and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI); the doc Color Bars on the life of Black broadcast journalist pioneer Max Robinson, with CNN’s Victor Blackwell and Emmy-nominated director James Adolphus; a true crime podcast with Campside Media; a scripted feature about “father of country music,” Jimmie Rodgers; and a scripted series about journalist and early AIDS activist, Randy Shilts.
Hires at company launch include Executive Producer of Unscripted, Constantina Konugres, and Executive Producer of Scripted, Miatta Lebilé.
Speaking to market conditions that will allow Wise Child to succeed, Beekman states that “the industry is primed for disruption and a different kind of production company, and that’s what we’re building from the ground up. We offer support as more of a creative incubator, adding significant value without the baggage of outsized overhead. We’re customizable and scalable per project.”
“In my time in the industry,” Miller adds, “I’ve seen too many great ideas from fellow creatives sidelined because of a ‘business as usual’ approach, and that ends up stifling potentially valuable IP and creating significant missed opportunities. We are excited to do things differently at Wise Child to propel these types of projects forward, capitalizing on unique opportunities and partnerships.”
Prior to co-founding Wise Child Studios, Beekman championed creatives by negotiating precedent-setting deals across scripted and unscripted projects for film, television, and digital platforms, as well as immersive experiences and live events. At this point, he has overseen the packaging, development, financing, production, delivery, sales and distribution of award-winning productions and content to nearly every linear network and streaming service.
Beekman’s work includes the Oscar- and Grammy-winning Summer of Soul directed by Questlove, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero, HBO’s Spring Awakening and American Utopia, Peacock’s Shadowland and Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss, Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer and Crime Scene directed by Joe Berlinger, the Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry-produced The Me You Can’t See on Apple TV+, AMC’s Sherman’s Showcase from EP John Legend, and History’s Lincoln and Roosevelt.
Miller comes to the studio with nearly two decades of experience an exec producer, showrunner, and director of documentaries. Before showrunning the forthcoming Disney+ series Choir and Netflix’s true-crime smash Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, he helmed high-profile series including the Emmy-nominated Chasing Life with Sanjay Gupta and Alex Gibney-produced Death Row Stories. Miller previously served as director on CNN’s Parts Unknown: Anthony Bourdain, Amazon’s The New Yorker Presents, and as senior producer on National Geographic’s Explorer.
Wise Child Studios is repped by CAA.
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