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Local Creative Studio Finds New Partnership that Furthers Product Development

March 29, 2024 News

The Apiary Secures Financing to Move Further into Developing Creative Content 

Brad Lunz has taken his degree from the Savannah College of Art & Design and his architectural background full circle, developing content and brands at The Apiary, the creative branch of the several companies he owns. 

The Apiary started when The Lunz Group merged with WMB-ROI, which had created a small visualization team. Officially opened in 2022, the creative firm has now partnered with FilmHedge, a film and TV financing company that is providing funding for four segments of content (one show for four seasons, two shows for two seasons, etc.). 

The relationship started when Lunz was introduced to Jon Gosier, CEO of FilmHedge, face to face in October. “Gosier and I talked on a social level and discovered we both graduated from SCAD in 2001, and he went to my elementary school, Carlton Palmore. I was not expecting to have the world so large and so small.”  

Lunz said he started to understand Gosier’s goals for FilmHedge and how he approached financing, which fit into The Apiary’s financial market. The funding is unique, built on algorithms and very different from the way many films and TV shows are produced. “It’s an intriguing model, one that Gosier built. He went to school for film and sound and he’s writing algorithms.” 

In a press release, Gosier said: “We are thrilled to welcome The Apiary to FilmHedge’s expanding family of preferred production partners. FilmHedge has committed $25 million in financing for the studio’s forthcoming productions. This assurance allows producers to focus on creating content without getting distracted by sourcing capital. We look forward to working with Brad and his team to bring fresh new content to fans.” 

Financing Apiary Project 

The agreement allows The Apiary to create and develop content, which right now is based on their own ideas. Those ideas come from Lunz, team members and group meetings that he calls “ideation sprints, where we come together, throw out ideas and like spaghetti on the wall, we see what sticks. I decide which ones we want to take into the development phase.”  

The Apiary has also “signed acclaimed writer/director Richard Elfman to write, produce and develop original scripts for animated productions, including ‘Echo in Space,’ which is currently in development,” according to a company press release. “As part of the deal, Elfman and The Apiary will produce projects with award-winning animation house Starburns Industries.”  

Lunz said the company ultimately could bring in other content producers to work with them, but for right now The Apiary is developing its own ideas. He’s learned that financing for TV and film content moves very slowly, which is why working with FilmHedge is so important.  

Moving Forward

Before moving forward with any idea, The Apiary first studies the audience, including doing analyses and market studies. It then creates content, understanding what buyers are looking for. With funding in place, “it speeds up the process,” Lunz said. “If you have the funding, it’s a different place to play.”  

But there’s more than that. “We look at building out a franchise wheel; it’s a hub-and-spoke model where we build a brand with merchandise, graphic novels, serial books and other streams.”    

Concepts The Apiary considers range from pre-K and family content to adult content, Lunz said. “We cover the spectrum. We don’t want to limit ourselves to animation. Our goal is to tell thoughtful stories.”  

“Echo In Space” 

“Echo in Space” is in the sales cycle right now, with interest from a couple broadcasters, Lunz said. “We hope to get it in production this year.” 

Lunz describes the show, geared toward 5- to 8-year-olds, as an eco-conscious absurdist comedy with a bit of action. “This girl wakes up on a planet she’s unfamiliar with, and she has amnesia. She has a random group of friends called the Leftovers. It’s about a sense of belonging, about sustainability. They fight the evil Septagons, who go from planet to planet harvesting the resources for food. It’s a fun, thought-provoking animated series. The cast of characters in terms of support is very high and deep. It’s amazing.” 

Lunz said he never thought he’d be doing something like this, but then thinks back to when people used to tell him: You played with LEGO, you should be an architect. 

“I reflected on that,” he said. “I used to play with LEGO, not to be place-making, but to tell stories. Architecture is not a static moment like a sculpture. Architecture is about experiencing space and time. It was an easy jump into this realm.”  

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