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Man on Wire’s Chinn opens Lightbox with cousin

Documentary producer Simon Chinn has hooked up with his cousin to create a multiplatform production company, which has bagged a commission from the Xbox platform.

Jonathan ChinnThe producer behind Academy Award-winning docs Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man (below right) and his cousin Jonathan Chinn (left), a US non-scripted television showrunner, are the co-founders of Lightbox, a London- and LA-based production outfit.

Lightbox has launched with a commission from Xbox Entertainment Studios. The untitled series is billed as “a landmark series of films… about the start of the digital revolution”.

The first film will look at events surrounding the ‘great video game burial’ of 1983, during which the Atari Corporation buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico after furious backlash to its ‘ET the Video Game’ title.

Simon ChinnSimon Chinn’s existing non-fiction prodco, Red Box Films, will be closely aligned with Lightbox. Jonathan Chinn was showrunner on series including the Fox and PBS show American High and FX’s 30 Days. Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers) has signed on to direct the hour-long programme.

Lightbox is also developing projects for broadcast, cable and on-demand platforms in the US and the UK, its co-founders said.

“Our careers have taken different paths, but we have always had a strongly shared sensibility and approach to non-fiction – mine at the more commercial end of feature documentary, Jonathan’s at the more thoughtful end of reality,” said Simon Chinn.

“With so many new distribution opportunities now available, our ability to combine the highest quality content with broad commercial appeal will, we hope, make us stand out for a whole array of buyers hungry for the best in non-fiction programming,” added Jonathan Chinn.