The WorkShop Content Studios, headed by Tom Farrell, has made a deal to co-produced Thrive, a documentary about how athletes who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and the treatments they pursued to heal their minds and bodies.
The WorkShop has global distribution rights to Thrive for all media platforms.
The 90-minute documentary will be co-produced by Koby Stevens, a former professional Australian Rules football player, and Bill McCullough, an Emmy winning former NFL, HBO and GoPro Entertainment executive.
Stevens, whose athletic career was cut short at age 28 after he suffered eight concussions, McCullough and Farrell will co-direct the film and three-time NFL World Champion New England Patriot Lonie Paxton will executive produce.
In addition to Stevens, the film tells the stories of how brain injuries affected the careers of athletes including surfer Owen Wright, snowboarder Kevin Pearce, NHL hockey players Sidney Crosby and Dan Carcillo, cyclist Ian Boswell and Australian Rules football player Paddy McMartin
“What has become a crazy era to navigate on a personal level for so many, and with mental health and well-being at the forefront of the global conversation, our end goal is to provide an incredible cinematic experience that offers the keys to revealing the sweetness of life at the worst and best of times through an emotional film that reveals how it is now possible to positively rewrite one’s life script post traumatic brain injury,” said Stevens.
Production of the film has begun on locations including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, California, Ohio, Vermont, Florida and Chicago.
“Having been associated with best-in-breed, personality-driven sports content throughout my career at the NFL and HBO, it was a very easy decision to become attached to Thrive,” said McCullough. “Sports is actually the backdrop in this film, the real stars are these amazing individuals allowing us into their lives to experience and feel all their emotions, the downs and ups, the heart-breaking challenges along with the uplifting triumphs. Most importantly though, we want to challenge viewing audiences’ beliefs about human being’s ability to heal their brain, mind and spirit.”
Aether Films will oversee cinematography.
The WorkShop was formed in 2007. It’s founder Farrell has spearheaded projects such as Novak for Amazon Prime, Trading Spaces for TLC, The Haney Project for Golf Channel, True North for PBS & Amazon Prime, and Netflix’s documentary series, Basketball or Nothing.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.