Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park, to form their own studio

The prolific creators of the Comedy Central phenomenon known as South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, have rallied investors and raised enough money to start their very own studio, the ironically named, Important Studios.  The duo behind the South Park TV series, as well as the movie, SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER, & UNCUT, and the brilliant puppet movie, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE are attempting to venture into an area where they would have more creative control over their future projects, which may include a movie version of their massively successful play, The Book of Mormon.

“Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves," said Stone and Parker to the NY Times, which summarized the deal, saying:

"The new company is to be called Important Studios and hopes to be just that. With an estimated value of $300 million built on revenue from “South Park,” now in its 16th season on Comedy Central, and the Broadway megahit “The Book of Mormon,” the studio will have the power and money to approve television, movie and theater projects, including a big-screen version of “The Book of Mormon.”

It's a common move for creatives to move into ventures like this after they've made enough money to do so, but it takes a long time to get to that point.  Stone and Parker have certainly stayed the course, so it will be interesting to see what they do with the new studio.

“Ten years ago, you needed that studio machinery to start cranking its marketing muscle,” said Stone. “Now we could market a movie-size project. We bring a lot of heft. We want to have a little control over our life,” he explained. “We used to walk into a studio and try to become an employee. We’re done with that. We are too grown up for that.”

Stone assessed that the duo originally wanted to model Important Studios after Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks or George Lucas’s Lucasfilm, but came to a different conclusion:  “In some ways it’s a stupid comparison because they are gargantuan,” he said. “We want to be a smaller, more humble version of that. If DreamWorks is Walmart, we are over here knitting sweaters.”

As a fan of South Park, which strangely serves as both great comedy and social commentary, as well as the duo's overall brand of humor, I think this is pretty cool.  I've never seen Book of Mormon, but hear great things, so a movie version may well be a smart move.  However, I'd like to see what new and original content the duo has in store for us.  They never seemed to have their hands that tied to begin with, so I'm interested to see what kinds of film and TV projects await from them being "unchained."

Extra Tidbit: Do you think most successful types who branch off on their own benefit creatively or falter? I think it's a mixed bag. Some people need the control, while others thrive without it.
Source: NY Times



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