Well-known international TV exec Michael Murphy is leaving Beyond after 19 years and has launched his own business.
Murphy has been with producer-distributor Beyond International for nearly two decades, but will launch Rockabill Media at MIPCOM Cannes with a trio of projects.
Banijay closed an estimated $30M deal for Beyond in January, with Beyond distribution business then assimilated into the Banijay Rights catalog.
The Ireland-based Murphy had been at Beyond since 2009, holding roles such as General Manager for Beyond Distribution and, more recently, Executive Director of Beyond Entertainment Holdings and of specialist music content producer and distributor BeyondTNC.
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Murphy has owned a Rockabill Media entity since 2012 but is launching the production outfit as a new business of the same name. The operation will work on international TV and film projects and provide consultancy in areas such as content strategy, distribution, executive production and financing.
The business opens this week, and is working on three projects. The first of these is feature film Ismael, which Murphy is working on as executive producer with Norwegian producer Tomas Backström (Insomnia). Set in Ireland and based on the novel by Roy Jacobson, it tells the story of a former MI5 operative who must activate old skills to protect his family.
Wir Sind Maschinen is billed as a landmark, three-part music doc series from The Act of Killing maker Spring Films exploring how German electronic music changed the world. Murphy, who is executive producer, takes the project from BeyondTNC.
Details of the third project are minimal, but Rockabill is consulting on a fund-raising round for a genre production company focused on adapting existing female-led IP.
At Beyond, Murphy most recently executive produced Mutiny in Heaven, the feature doc about Nick Cave’s band The Birthday Party, which premiered at the Melbourne International Festival last month. Before that, his roles included launching on-demand services for Yes Television, Director of Programs at Ireland’s TV3, founder of Irish network Channel 6 and CEO of Windmill Lane Entertainment.
“I am excited to bring the Rockabill Media name back to the international market and to do so now with a new focus and three brilliant projects leading the charge,” said Murphy. “I am especially delighted to continue working with the incredible Spring Films team on Wir Sind Maschinen as it is somewhat of a passion project.
“However, as I have worked as a broadcaster, producer and distributor, as well as in post production and VFX — and have built an enviable international network — I see Rockabill’s real value in advising on content strategy and then helping IP owners to follow the most relevant — and lucrative — creative and commercial paths.”
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