THE LIFE OF MUSIC IMPRESARIO AND STAR-MAKER LOU PEARLMAN IS PACKED WITH DRAMA, TRAGEDY AND INTRIGUE, SET IN THE WORLD OF THE BIGGEST CELEBRITIES AND MUSICAL HITS OF THE 1990’S. PEARLMAN’S STORY IS AN EPIC TALE OF AMBITION, GREED, GENIUS, FRAUD AND SEX. AND ALL OF THESE QUALITIES WERE EMBODIED IN PEARLMAN HIMSELF; A SELF-MADE MAN WHO CAME FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO BUILD ONE OF THE LARGEST MEDIA EMPIRES IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS, TO CREATING THE LONGEST-RUNNING PONZI SCHEME IN AMERICAN HISTORY, ULTIMATELY DYING IN PRISON, DESTITUTE AND REVILED.
WE HAVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO PEARLMAN’S LIFE STORY AND A TREASURE TROVE OF NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN MEDIA, AS WELL AS THE PARTICIPATION OF PEARLMAN’S INNER CIRCLE, SUCH AS MICHAEL JOHNSON, PEARLMAN’S PROTÉGÉ AND CLOSEST CONFIDANT AND MANDY NEWLAND, LOU’S ASSISTANT. AS WELL AS EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO ARCHIVAL OF OTHERS, LIKE FRANKIE, LOU’S FRIEND AND BUSINESS PARTNER WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE AS THE FBI CLOSED IN.
THE SERIES WILL TAKE THE VIEWER ON A JOURNEY INTO THE VERY HEART OF THE GO-GO 1990’S, WHEN THE RECORD BUSINESS WAS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH, HUGE FORTUNES WERE TO BE MADE, AND MODERN CELEBRITY CULTURE WAS BORN. BUT BENEATH THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR WAS A HARROWING WORLD OF MANIPULATION, SEXUAL ABUSE AND OUTRIGHT THEFT. IT WAS ALL POISED TO SHATTER, AND SHATTER IT DID. AND NO ONE EXEMPLIFIES THE BUBBLE-BURST OF THIS ERA BETTER THAN LOU PEARLMAN; A MAN IN MASSIVE INTERNAL CONFLICT. THE AUDIENCE WON’T KNOW WHETHER TO LOVE THE MAN WHO GAVE US SO MUCH, OR HATE THE MAN WHO TOOK FAR MORE.
THE SERIES DIGS INTO THE EXTRAORDINARY DETAILS OF THE SCANDALS DOGGING PEARLMAN; FROM BEING SUED BY THE BOY-BAND MEGASTARS, WHO CLAIMED HE PAID THEM A PITTANCE, TO THE ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE, WHICH PEARLMAN VIGOROUSLY DENIED TO HIS DEATH, WHILE SETTLING SEVERAL OF THEM OUT OF COURT. ABOVE ALL THERE IS PEARLMAN’S FINANCIAL SCHEME THAT FLEECED HIS VICTIMS OF ALL THEY OWNED AND ULTIMATELY CAUSED THE SUICIDE OF PEARLMAN’S CLOSEST BUSINESS PARTNER AND HIS OWN DOWNFALL.
We are crafting a modern tragedy, and it will be told in a truly modern style. We’ll employ an aggressive use of image, music and graphic elements to make a documentary series that rips the band-aid off of the mythmaking, the transgressions, the outright crimes of these times. AMERICAN MYTH is a big and bawdy ride for all audiences, young and old.
It’s a series that explores the trappings of power and ambition in America, much in the way great movies have done; from narratives like THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and ALL THAT JAZZ to fast-paced modern docs like KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK.
The series will create a stylistic bridge from the cool, retro look and feel of the 90’s to the present. The editing, graphics, shooting style and music will be bold, bright and quickly paced. Our team will be comprised of artists who have worked on some of the best and biggest movies, docs and commercials, and have a sophisticated technique and palate. For example, we will hire a leading film editor who has cut both documentary and narrative films, and the same with the film’s composer, to give the documentary an epic, cinematic feel. The same approach will go for all department heads.
The Man and the Times
There is no shortage of drama and excitement in a life that directly connects the trajectory of the entertainment industry from postwar America to the modern Golden Age, seismic cultural and political shifts and the current state of pushback against sexual and financial exploitation of the masses by the rich and powerful. And with a larger-than-life protagonist at the story’s center, it’s an embarrassment of riches for a documentary. And hugely compelling to audiences.
All of this is also hugely compelling to the biggest stars and personalities of the day, who have plenty to say about the issues, and many of whom have strong feelings about the man himself. Our film will be populated by the top names in music, movies and even politics, as we share the experiences of those closest to Pearlman. We will approach artists like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears for their Pearlman experiences, as well as personal stories of abuse and exploitation, both by Pearlman’s victims as well as approaching other famous faces from this era who have their own stories to tell; like Macaulay Culkin, Drew Barrymore and Winona Ryder.
While not an ‘issues’ project, AMERICAN MYTH: THE LOU PEARLMAN STORY is an opportunity to address some of the most urgent and combustive issues of our present moment, through the lens of a dramatic and entertaining true-life saga.
Alex Winter entered show business as a child actor with co-starring roles on Broadway in THE KING & I and PETER PAN, and came to prominence in movies such as Warner Bros’ hit THE LOST BOYS and the wildly popular BILL AND TED franchise. Winter has directed three narrative features: cult classic FREAKED for 20th Century Fox; FEVER, for Lionsgate, which screened at Cannes; and SMOSH: THE MOVIE, which opened in 2015 as the #1 comedy on iTunes.
Winter’s VH1 Rock Doc DOWNLOADED has earned worldwide critical acclaim at theatrical and festival screenings. Winter's latest, multiple award-winning documentary DEEP WEB, had its world premiere at SXSW and a broadcast premiere in the U.S. on the Epix network alongside a global festival tour. The film opened as the #1 documentary on iTunes.
Recently completed are two short documentary films for Laura Poitras’ Field of Vision; RELATIVELY FREE and TRUMP’S LOBBY. Winter is now making ZAPPA, the first all-access documentary on the life and times of Frank Zappa. The Kickstarter campaign for this project was the highest funded documentary in crowdfunding history.
Producer Glen Zipper is a founding partner with Zipper Bros Films and formerly an Assistant State Prosecutor in Hudson County, New Jersey.
In addition to producing the Academy Award®-winning documentary UNDEFEATED, Glen recently produced BETTING ON ZERO for director Ted Braun, the non-fiction horror film THE NIGHTMARE for director Rodney Ascher, DEEP WEB for director Alex Winter, and ALL THINGS MUST PASS for director Colin Hanks.
Glen is currently producing a multi-part MUHAMMAD ALI documentary for HBO directed by Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY), ELVIS PRESLEY: THE SEARCHER, a multi-part documentary for HBO directed by Thom Zimny (THE MAKING OF DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN), the Cinemax comedy/documentary series titled TALES FROM THE TOUR BUS directed by Mike Judge (SILICON VALLEY, BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, KING OF THE HILL, IDIOCRACY), LEAD AND COPPER, a feature documentary film on the Flint Water Crisis, alongside Executive Producers Paul Haggis and Michael Nozik, as well as producing the feature length documentary TREAD with director Paul Solet (GRACE) and producer Doug Liman.
Glen’s other prior credits include the Grammy Award®-winning FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH, and the Emmy Award®-winning GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD.
Michael entered the entertainment business at the age of 4 through dance and musical theater, which he turned into a profession by the age of 6. At 15, Michael’s band, Natural, was signed by music mogul, Lou Pearlman. Natural became an international pop sensation selling millions of albums worldwide and producing sold out tours throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.
Since Natural disbanded, Michael has held posts in A&R at Logic Records and Alliance Records. In addition, Michael has served as producer, consultant, and music supervisor for such companies as Disney, STARZ, Comedy Central, Arbor Television, DEF Media, Universal Records, 313 Music, D’Angelico Guitars, Claire’s Accessories, Oakley, and RVCA.
As an artist, Michael has been signed to BMG, Sony Music, Blue Note Records, Sire Records, Level 7 Entertainment, Hollywood Records, and Red Bull Records. As a writer/producer, he has collaborated with Diane Warren, Max Martin, Matt Wallace, John Feldman, Steve, Howard Benson and others for artists like Weezer, Bebe Rexha, Kool and the Gang, Fastball, 3OH!3, and R5, and has seen his work on TV shows, films, and video games such as GUITAR HERO, ROCK BAND, SONS OF ANARCHY, HOUSE, M.D., THE REAL WORLD, KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, BLUE BLOODS, VERONICA MARS, CHICAGO MED, RED RIDING HOOD, and the Oscar winning animated film SPIRITED AWAY. Michael also developed and co-produced the docu-series LAX for MTV and Nickelodeon (GSA market), produced the web series SUNDAY FUNDAZE for Red Bull TV, and has produced over 30 major label music videos.
TIME INC. PRODUCTIONS
TIME INC. PRODUCTIONS is a premium, full-service production company built on the rich legacies of the world’s most iconic brands, including TIME, People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, InStyle and many more.
The innovative storytelling and unparalleled access offered by our editorial brands – combined with our growing team of award-winning producers, directors and editors – offer a unique development advantage in the production of scripted and unscripted content across TV, film and digital platforms. Our comprehensive audience reach offers an exceptional promotional advantage – reaching nearly 7 out of 10 Americans each day across print and digital properties, we can guarantee our projects will not go unnoticed.
Founded in early 2016, Time Inc. Productions has already found success in leveraging our iconic brands in the Film & TV space. In 2017, our TIME documentary special, A YEAR IN SPACE, has won a 2017 News & Documentary Emmy Award in the Outstanding Science & Technology Documentary category. We’ve also produced series and specials for various broadcast, cable and digital networks including ABC, Netflix, Discovery, PBS and A&E Network. With a full cross-brand development slate, including producing partnerships with industry veterans and tomorrow’s auteurs, you can expect much more from Time Inc. Productions.