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Wheelhouse buys into Campfire

Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Group has acquired a majority stake in US producer Ross Dinerstein’s production company, Campfire.

Ross Dinerstein

Dinerstein will continue to run the company on a day-to-day basis and will also maintain creative control following the deal, financial details of which were not disclosed.

Campfire’s projects include the recently announced Heaven’s Gate docuseries for HBO Max and CNN, as well as Netflix true-crime docuseries John Grisham’s The Innocent Man, based on Grisham’s only non-fiction book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town. The firm is also behind Emmy-nominated Netflix shortform scripted series Special.

Among the company’s many scripted features are the recently released Rattlesnake; thriller 1922, based on the Stephen King novella; and comedy The Package, all for Netflix, as well as IFC horror movie The Pact and forthcoming thriller movie Airborne, starring Alexandra Daddario.

The deal was brokered by Wheelhouse Group chief strategy officer Ed Simpson, WME and Endeavor Content.

The Campfire team will continue to include executives Ross Girard, executive VP of production, and Rebecca Evans, VP of non-fiction content. Dinerstein will remain CEO.

Brent Montgomery

Expanding Campfire’s production footprint, Wheelhouse and Campfire will now collaborate on storytelling opportunities in formats ranging from feature docs, non-fiction series and podcasts to scripted drama and comedy.

The team will also work with Wheelhouse Group partner Jimmy Kimmel, whose Kimmelot production banner is also part of Wheelhouse Group.

“As we realise our core mission of joining content, top talent and brands and supporting them with investment, Wheelhouse Group is assembling an unbeatable team of creatives and entrepreneurs,” said Montgomery.

Dinerstein added: “I am very proud of Campfire’s diverse slate of projects across all mediums and platforms, and now with Wheelhouse Group as our partner, we will be able to accelerate our growth while continuing to focus on telling the stories that are just a bit left of centre but still reflect and exalt the human condition, whether doc or scripted.”

Upcoming Campfire projects also include two premium documentaries for FX: The Most Dangerous Animal of All and Women in Comedy, both set to premiere in 2020, plus 10 more projects in various stages of production with partners including Netflix, HBO Max and CNN.

The Campfire deal comes after Wheelhouse last month acquired a majority stake in live event, scripted and unscripted production company Den of Thieves.

Wheelhouse, led by former ITV America CEO Montgomery, has been in rapid expansion mode since its launch last year, bringing in A+E Networks veteran Sean Cohan in November 2018 and teaming with Kimmel.

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