Universal Cable Productions And Ground Control Announce Their "Film Lab" Initiative Targeting Filmmakers Of Tommorrow
Award-Winning Studio and Producing Partner Looking To Discover Innovative Directors And Visual Artists

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – April 6, 2018 – Universal Cable Productions (UCP) has joined forces with producer Scott Glassgold’s Ground Control, a management and production company specializing in film shorts, to create the ‘Universal Cable Productions and Ground Control Film Lab,’ an initiative to find and nurture the next generation of groundbreaking storytellers. The ‘Universal Cable Productions and Ground Control Film Lab’ challenges aspiring filmmakers to submit a sample of their directorial/visual style, as well as an original television program concept, for a chance to have the opportunity to develop a television project with UCP. The goal of the competition is to find undiscovered directors and visual artists and give them the opportunity to pitch their projects through a nontraditional method, by selling their ideas through graphic story telling rather than a customary script pitch.


“‘Universal Cable Productions and Ground Control Film Lab’ is designed to help bring fresh, unique film makers to the fore,” said Kate Fenske, Senior Vice President of Development for Universal Cable Productions. “We wanted to create a new showcase environment for distinct narratives and bold story telling – giving participants the chance to submit a short film, or other visual sample of their work, is a wonderful way for us to discover new gifted storytellers.”


To be considered for the initiative those interested are asked to submit an original short film (or another original visual presentation of any genre) of up to ten minutes in length that represents their directorial/visual style, as well as a concept for an original television project. Selected participants may have the opportunity to pitch their original television concept to the development team behind UCP’s stable of premium dramas including the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning MR. ROBOT and the Golden Globe nominated series THE SINNER, and the Ground Control creative team. 


The ‘Universal Cable Productions and Ground Control Film Lab’ is the latest initiative from UCP aimed at connecting and supporting emerging talent. The award-winning studio also created ‘Pitch Fest,’ an initiative open to unsigned writers and directors to pitch their ideas to development executives with a select project being placed into development. UCP has a history of supporting first time showrunners and fostering their emerging talents. Some of UCP’s celebrated finds include Sam Esmail (MR. ROBOT for USA Network), Lauren LeFranc (IMPULSE for YouTube Red), Nick Antosca (CHANNEL ZERO for SYFY), Derek Simonds (THE SINNER for USA Network), Julie Klausner (DIFFICULT PEOPLE for Amazon), Jeff Buhler (NIGHTFLYERS for SYFY), Jonathan Abrahams (THE ARRANGEMENT for E!), Aaron Korsh (SUITSfor USA Network) and many more. The studio strives to find diverse, undiscovered creatives, pair them with veteran mentorship, and then give them the platform to make innovative, unique and premium content for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio,external networks and streaming services.


Ground Control works with filmmakers adept at building vast worlds through both VFX and practical innovation. Often, the filmmakers start by creating a proof or presentation to demonstrate an artist's talent as well as the potential of a particular concept. Once finished, they bring to market a dynamic calling card (the proof) and a transactional property ready for adaptation. Over the years, Ground Control has sold proof to top studios including Universal, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., and Sony. This past year, Ground Control produced two proofs into feature films: HaZ Dulull's PROJECT KRONOS, which was adapted into THE BEYOND for Gravitas Ventures, and the adaption of Zeek Earl & Chris Caldwell's PROSPECT which debut at SXSW last month. Currently, Glassgold’s company is in production on the digital series adaption of Tomas Vergara's ISOLATED for Blackpills, and are in active development on Stephan Zlotescu's TRUE SKIN for Amazon Studios. 


For more information and guidelines, please visit the online submission portal ( where entrants can also complete an application and release form. Submissions will not be considered complete, and will not be reviewed, unless they contain a completed application and release form, and comply with all other stated requirements. All participants must be at least 18 years of age, be eligible to work in the United States, and comply with all other stated requirements. The completed documents must be submitted by May 18, 2018 at 11:59pm PT.  Participants selected for an in-person pitch will be contacted by June 8, and they will then have the opportunity to meet with one or more UCP Development Executives to pitch their project.  Those who have pitched will be notified by September 2018 if their project has been selected for development.


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About Universal Cable Productions:

Universal Cable Productions (UCP) creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted content for all media platforms. Its robust slate of programming includes:  the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama “Mr. Robot,” the Golden Globe nominated “The Sinner,” “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G,” “The Purge” and “Suits” for USA Network; “The Umbrella Academy” for Netflix; “Homecoming” for Amazon; “Dirty John” for Bravo; “Happy!,” “The Magicians” and “Channel Zero”  for SYFY; “Impulse” for YouTube Red; and “The Arrangement” for E!. UCP’s content library also features critic and fan favorites such as the Emmy award-winning “Monk” as well as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Psych.” UCP is a part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.


About Ground Control:

Founded by Scott Glassgold, Ground Control is an innovative management and production company which has made a name for itself by collaborating with filmmakers to create ‘proofs of concepts' to convey artists' visions. Among Ground Control’s proof of concept success stories includes Zeek Earl & Chris Caldwell's feature adaption of “Prospect” which just debuted at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival to rave reviews, the recently released feature adaptation of HaZ Dulull’s “The Beyond” (Gravitas Ventures), the in-production adaptation of Tomas Vergara's “Isolated” for Blackpills and the upcoming adaption of Stephan Zlotecu's “True Skin” with Nicole Perlman and Amazon Studios.

Written by Indie Source

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