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Chinns switch on Lightbox

The award-winning producers behind feature doc Man On Wire have launched a cross-media production company and bagged their first commission from Xbox Entertainment Studios.

Simon and Jonathan Chinn have launched Lightbox, which will produce non-fiction programming for the small screen from bases in London and LA.

The cousins will begin their new venture with a series of docs for Xbox about the start of the digital revolution.

The first film in the series will be directed by Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers, Incident at Loch Ness) and investigates an incident in 1983 when Atari, faced with negative reviews of it ET – The Video Game, buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the ground near a small town in New Mexico.

Lightbox will film a dig taking place on the site with shooting beginning in January. The series will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014 and will be available globally in all markets where Xbox Live is supported.

Simon Chinn is best known for the two Academy Awards he won for the feature doc Man on Wire and, more recently, Searching for Sugar Man.

His current company, Red Box Films, will continue to run with his involvement and will be strongly aligned with Lightbox.

Jonathan Chinn is a respected non-fiction showrunner in the US and has previously picked up an Emmy for Fox and PBS series American High.

Simon Chinn said: “Our careers have taken different paths but we have always had a strongly shared sensibility and approach to non-fiction – mine at the more commercial end of feature documentary, Jonathan’s at the more thoughtful end of reality. Being able to work with top industry talent is what will set us apart.”

Projects are currently being developed for outlets ranging from broadcast network and cable stations to on-demand subscription services and online distribution platforms in both the US and UK, according to the company.


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