With Coachella heating up the desert, the news of a music festival-themed movie could not be more timely.
Voltage Pictures and theAudience are teaming up for XO, an ensemble film centering on the intersecting stories of a group of people at a music festival. The story will focus on a young DJ who strikes a Faustian deal in order to make his comeback and a young female photo-blogger who strives to gain access to the private backstage area.
Samantha Taylor Pickett, a former film exec at Focus Features and Panorama, wrote the script with VineetDewan (The Knife, Monopoly), who will make his feature directorial debut with the project.
Pickett is also producing, with manager-producer Brian Levy and Voltage's Zev Foreman and Dominic Rustam. Nicolas Chartier will executive produce with theAudience's Oliver Luckett and RamiPerlman. Stephen Curtis is also executive producing.
The project has a special focus on the way social media affects relationships and interactions, and, fittingly, there's a unique plan for how social media will be used for the film.
With XO, theAudience, one of the world's largest multi-channel publishers of social and digital content, is making its first foray into producing a feature film. The company is combining forces with a traditional production company, Voltage, to embrace the new social concept from a script level, with a built-in marketing campaign including viral elements and transmedia storytelling. TheAudience was behind the social campaigns for hits Spring Breakers and Ted, and plans to use its knowledge of the space to build XO's following from the group up.
"As a microcosm of society today, we found the world of a music festival, set over a weekend, was the ideal canvas to explore the issues facing artists and young people in a world that is increasingly ruled and influenced by a new social media aristocracy," said the co-writers. "It also gave us an opportunity to craft a unique narrative with characters that interacted with one another using technology in an organic and authentic way, all whilst allowing us to explore a heightened and fantastical world that has the potential to be musically and visually groundbreaking."
Pickett, who previously worked as a senior film executive at Focus and Megan Ellison's Panorama Media, is repped by Brian Levy and Morris Yorn. Dewan's recent writing credits include The Knife, for Imagine Entertainment and Universal, and he's currently writing a movie based on the Monopoly game for Hasbro Studios and Emmet/Furla Film. He's repped by UTA and Gang, Tyre.
Voltage's other upcoming projects include Fathers and Daughters, starring Amanda Seyfried, sci-fi film Revolt, starring Lee Pace, and Home Invasion, starring Bella Thorne.