studio

THE STUDIO

producing non-fiction & fiction film, tv & podcasts.

studio

Based in Los Angeles, New York and London, our team works with a vast network of journalists, helping fund investigations and narratives for a variety of audiovisual formats. We provide a platform and support system for fact-based storytellers to incubate and develop ideas that illuminate and entertain.

We currently have partnerships with journalists and publications in Brazil, Israel, Italy, Colombia, U.K., U.S., Canada, India, Argentina, Japan, Switzerland, Nicaragua, Malta and more.

We have an investment partnership with London based firm Dorfman Media Holdings, and we are represented globally by WME/Endeavor.

about
about

THE Library

A COLLECTION OF STORIES AVAILABLE TO ADAPT.

Camels, sand storms, scorpions, and sand dunes towering like buildings—these are amongst Sidi’s first ever memories. Raised in a nomadic tribe on the far edge of the Sahara desert, Sidi doesn’t have a father like the other kids. He dreams of meeting him, even after his mom explains he’s gone away to heaven, a journey from which he won’t return. When Sidi discovers that many years ago a foreign documentary crew had visited the tribe, he sets out on a quest to recover this lost footage and see his father’s face—a journey that takes him far from the only home he has ever known. Along the way, he begins to feel a lifeline connecting him to his father, Chighali, across distance, time, and memory.

Journalist: Sahar Zand / Audio: Evan Phillips

Vespucci x The Economist

Known as “El Brujo”—the warlock—for his ability to smuggle money from place to place as if by magic, José Manuel Ramos was arrested and charged with two life sentences in 1991. Instead of digging his way out of his cell, he managed to escape in a more unusual way: by playing the U.S. justice system and by preying on the grandiose political ambitions of prosecutors. As part of “Task Force Guest”, Swiss Attorney General Valentin Roschacher even flew the warlock to Switzerland, opened the golden doors of the Swiss banks, and paid him handsomely to point the finger at supposed criminals.

This is the true story of the Colombian narco—Pablo Escobar's right-hand man in the USA—who managed to fool the American, the Mexican, and the Swiss Governments, and ruin the lives of an ambitious Attorney General, the brother of a Mexican President, and a well known private banker.

Link to Economist's 1843 article, or a direct download link to a pdf.
Journalists: Jacob Kushner & Daniel Ammann

In August 2013, a team of federal investigators had eyes all over JFK. They were waiting for a man who was selling uranium or “yellowcake” to the Middle East in quantities that could explode into a giant mushroom cloud. The feds watched as a bleary-eyed Patrick Campbell picked up his small suitcase and made it through customs before apprehending him. Dubbed “the Uranium shoe man” by the BBC for bringing samples in his sneakers, Campbell would soon find out that he had gotten caught up in a huge 15-month Homeland Security Investigations sting. This is his story.

Journalist: Stuart Reid / Audio: Evan Phillips / Voice: William Christopher Stephens

Crime writer Diane Fanning was working on her first non-fiction book, spending time visiting and writing to a serial killer on death row. When Diane saw a case on the TV show 20/20 about a mother who was convicted of brutally murdering her 10-year-old son, she wrote about it in a letter to the convict. His letter back chilled her to the bone, He knew details about the case that only one person could have known...

Journalist: Nile Cappello / Audio: Diane Hope / Narration: Maggie Robinson Katz

Jim Learning and Eldred Davis had lived through years of being treated like obsolete furniture. First as indigenous people, second as old people. When a giant corporate energy company comes into town, threatening the food and water supply that has supported local communities for centuries, they decide it’s time to make their voices heard. The river must be protected. Jim and Eldred never imagined that their friendship’s next chapter would take place in a jail cell — but if protecting the river means changing their lives, so be it.

Story by: Matt Hongoltz-Hetling / Audio: Saksia Edwards / Blue Dot Sessions artists: Lobo Lobo, Coulis Coulis, Sylvestor / Voice: Wayne Mathews

Lawyer, fraudster, and king of the party, Scott Rothstein had a gift––he could tell anyone’s price. He used this gift to transform those around him into “players” in an incredibly lucrative game… transforming his law firm into a giant Ponzi scheme. With a cast of dirty cops, acquiescing employees, and thieving businessmen, Rothstein set the stage for the largest Ponzi scheme in Florida history and fourth-largest worldwide.

Reported by: Bob Norman & Richard Stout | Audio: Daniel Tureck | Voice: Ted Barton

When brutal murders in the community push the Reverend to his limits, he knows he needs to reach the people at the heart of the violence. But as he walks the streets by night, his own son is out on those same streets, immersed in gang life and drug dealing. While the Reverend advocates for peace among drug addicts and gang members, ready to face his own death rather than leave anyone out in the cold, the person he wants to save the most is the one who feels furthest out of reach: his son.

Journalist: Danny Gold / Audio: Oluwakemi Aladesuyi / Narration: Marc Samuel

When journalist Ada Petriczko pitched us this story, we were haunted. It sounded to us like a fairytale twisted out of shape, and reminded us of Benh Zeitlin’s mesmerizing Beasts of the Southern Wild, a coming-of-age tale removed from time and place. We sent Ada to Kathmandu to report the story.

The Girl in the Red follows Rashmila, who at four years old was taken from her family to become a goddess. She grew up in a palace, dressed always in red, believing she could heal the people who came to worship her. At twelve years old, her world turned upside down: she was cast out from the palace. It was time to become a mortal again.

Journalist: Ada Petriczko  |  Audio: Lauren Arora Hutchinson  |  Voice: Sohm Kapila

An audio genius and media visionary, Tony Schwartz was an agoraphobe who rarely left his New York zip code. Through his invention of the first portable audio recorder, he went from capturing taxi drivers’ chatter to recording America’s political elite — all without leaving his neighborhood. When his “Daisy Girl” ad exploded on the nation’s screens in 1964, US politics changed forever.

We were fortunate to receive a tour of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, which released many Tony Schwartz albums. Its curator, Jeff Place, first introduced us to Tony’s story. Journalist and radio producer Michelle Harven, in classic Tony fashion, pored through hours of tape to produce this fascinating Audio Story.

Published in The Daily Beast by journalist Jessica Wapner, "The Deadly Internet Diet Drug That Cooks People Alive" is about DNP — a diet pill that has had an illegal and lethal resurgence in recent years. The article chronicles the journey of DNP, a drug that originated in a WW1 munitions factory, where it was discovered after workers began to lose weight, overheat and die. Not missing a chance to capitalize on a powerful new discovery, Stanford researchers developed it into a diet pill, which worked by burning its users/victims from the inside out. Although it is now illegal, the drug has had a resurgence in recent years, bought on the internet by teenage girls and bodybuilders, often with lethal consequences.

We have partnered with Elle Fanning, Cadance13 and Brittany Kahan Ward to develop this article as a podcast series. Coming soon...

Journalist: Jessica Wapner Publisher: Daily Beast (Jan. 23, 2020)
Available to read here.

If we are judged by the nature of our enemies, then Daphne Caruana Galizia should be remembered as a hero of our time. She was Malta’s most fearless journalist until someone with money and power decided that she should be silenced forever. Her assassination on 16th October 2017 was a brutal blow to anyone who cares about the truth. MURDER ON THE MALTESE EXPRESS sets out the evidence on the dirty money merchants she exposed. It is written in her honour.

We have partnered with Topic Studios ("Spotlight"), Indiana Production, and Noah Stollman ("Fauda", "Our Boys") to develop the book into a scripted TV series.

Journalists: Carlo Bonini, Manuel Delia and John Sweeney. Publisher: Silvertail Books (November 8, 2019)
Available for purchase
here.

October 1971, Darine Stern makes history as the first black covergirl to grace a national publication run by white people and meant, largely, for white people. The magazine? Playboy. Hefner's gamble pays off, and the October Issue sells over 6 million copies. But for Darine, where do you go if you start at the top? From a new frontier of black middle-class life in Chicago to the cutthroat fashion world of 1970s New York, Darine's story is not just the story of one woman, but of black culture and its connection to American history.

Journalist: Morgan Jerkins. Publisher: Zora (Feburary 10, 2020)
Available to read here.

library
library

daniel turcan

co-founder

Daniel is a Swiss producer living in New York. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch Film School, he worked as an editor, before transitioning into production, where he worked in both non-scripted and independent film, including producing MARJORIE PRIME (starring Jon Hamm and Tim Robbins). The film premiered at Sundance where it went on to receive the Alfred P. Sloan Award. In 2016 he co-founded Vespucci.

Johnny Galvin

co-founder

Johnny began his career working in advertising and fashion, with placements at Saatchi & Saatchi, M&C Saatchi and Vivienne Westwood. After graduating from St. Andrews University with a Masters in Film, he worked in development for producer Brad Fischer and screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt. Films included WHITE HOUSE DOWN (starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx) and SUGE KNIGHT, a documentary for Showtime. After that he worked for director Marc Forster, developing and producing film, TV, and commercials—including the Amazon Studios original drama HAND OF GOD. In 2016 he co-founded Vespucci.

Bridie Bischoff

Head of Development

Originally from the UK, Bridie started her career in film and television in the documentary world, before moving into historical scripted drama. She worked in development and production in London, South Africa and New York before moving to Los Angeles and joining the Vespucci team. Bridie co-founded award-winning independent theatre company Atticist.

Peter
Sale

Peter Sale

Head of podcasts

Based in London, Pete has been making podcasts for over 15 years as both a producer and sound engineer. He has made series for BBC Sounds, The Guardian, New York Times, and Audible.

He is also an experienced radio producer making documentaries for the BBC across all their networks. He specializes in episodic narrative series and audio storytelling which fuses sound design and journalism.

Podcast highlights include: The Messenger (Audible), Dead Man Talking (Audioboom), Hometown: A Killing (BBC Sounds), and The Daily (New York Times).

Matt
Willis

Matt Willis

Head of Content

An ARIA, APA, AIB, James Beard and NY Festival winning producer and executive, Matt has been making programmes for 12+ years, most recently as head of narrative factual podcasts at Audible where he launched 50+ projects in 2 years across narrative history, true crime and  investigations.

Previously head of factual at an independent production company, Matt ran a team of producers delivering commercial video projects for Sony, Technics, Panasonic, as well as podcasts for Audible and TV and radio for BBC.

Thomas
Curry

Thomas Curry

Producer, Podcasts

Thomas Curry has worked as a magazine journalist and audio producer for more than 10 years. Thomas’ radio work has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Short Cuts, on Luminary’s Love+Radio and on Radiotopia’s Criminal. Thomas created and produced Audible’s British Podcast Award winning Hag. Prior to joining Vespucci he worked at Novel, where he produced Growing Old Disgracefully for Audible and Call Me Mother for the Audio Content Fund. His writing has been published in Dazed, AnOther, Little White Lies and Huck magazine amongst others.

Julia
Natt

Julia Natt

Executive Assistant

After graduating from Wesleyan University and completing the Columbia Publishing Course, Julia discovered a love for emotionally expansive, character-driven storytelling. Currently based out of Brooklyn, she worked as a freelance editor and interned at a literary agency before joining the Vespucci team.

Georgia
Sebesky

Georgia Sebesky

development associate

Georgia is a musician and writer based in Jersey City. A graduate from the Journalism + Design program at The New School, she has interned at several print and radio outlets, covering topics that span from gender inequality in jazz to fire-spinning communities in Brooklyn.  An avid reader, listener, and viewer, she possesses a love for visceral storytelling in all forms.

India
Witkin

India Witkin

development associate

India is a New York City native who started her career as an actor and singer then transitioned to the world of directing and producing, attending Syracuse University and shooting her first short film in Mexico. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue documentary filmmaking where she worked for Vice and Participant Media. Having worked in Berlin and Mumbai, she has most recently moved back to her hometown as she balances personal projects and freelance film development and production.

Maggie
Katz

Maggie Katz

development associate

Maggie is a performer, writer, and former mime. She started her storytelling career in the New York downtown theater scene developing and performing work in several theaters across the city. Maggie fell in love with audio storytelling after producing her own story, The Long-Distance Con for WNYC and The New Yorker Radio Hour. The Long-Distance Con was a Webby Finalist and a New York Radio Award Silver winner. Since then, she has collaborated and developed stories with a variety of people; from b-boys to sailors.

Nicole
Cone

Nicole Cone

development associate

Nicole grew up in sunny Miami, FL and attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate degree. She began her career in the Page Program at NBCUniversal, and then transitioned to producing documentaries in the digital department at VICE. After a few years in digital media, Nicole decided to pursue her MFA. She is currently a student in the NYU Graduate Film Program.

Aron
Keller

Aron Keller

development associate

Aron is a researcher, journalist, and producer based in London. He began his career on the Reuters television news desk before moving into documentary film production. After completing a masters in sociology at the University of Cambridge, he co-founded an online magazine and is currently freelancing as a writer and audio producer.

Seema
Tilak

Seema Tilak

Legal council

Seema represents numerous media companies, and prior to her transactional practice, represented celebrities to protect their reputations. Notably, Seema represented Terry Bollea ("Hulk Hogan") against Gawker Media in a landmark invasion of privacy suit. Seema is licensed to practice before the US Patent & Trademark Office, is a legal journalist, and enjoys lecturing on topics related to media law as a fervent advocate of the First Amendment.

MARC FORSTER

Marc has helmed a slate of major motion pictures of varying scale and genres for studios and independents alike, starring some of the industry’s premier talent. His films include Academy Award winner MONSTER’S BALL and FINDING NEVERLAND, Golden Globe winner THE KITE RUNNER, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, WORLD WAR Z, Disney’s CHRISTOPHER ROBIN and Amazon’s series HAND OF GOD.

JASON REZAIAN

Jason is a Global Opinions writer for The Washington Post and is a Global Affairs Analyst for CNN. He previously served as The Post’s Tehran Bureau Chief where he was unjustly imprisoned in Iran for 544 days. He was released in 2016 and returned to America, where he began a Nieman journalism fellowship at Harvard.

LISA WOLOFSKY

Lisa has over twenty years of experience in the independent film and television industry in various capacities in both business and finance. For over seven years Lisa was the Associate Vice President of International Finance within the Film and Television Group at the National Bank of Canada (NBoC), where she oversaw all lending to non-Canadian borrowers. She is currently producing and consulting in the area of Independent Film Finance, Global Government Incentives, Co- Productions and Structured Financing for film and television production.

BRAD FISCHER

Brad is President and Chief Content Officer of New Republic Pictures. His producing credits include Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND, David Fincher’s ZODIAC, Darren Aronofksy’s academy award winning BLACK SWAN, WHITE HOUSE DOWN, SUSPIRA, and THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.

RAGHAV MANI

Raghav is the Global Strategy & Operations Leader at Ernst & Young’s Media & Entertainment practice, where he leads revenue growth and oversees the development and deployment of new technology-enabled solutions and businesses for the firm’s media and entertainment clients. Prior to joining EY, Raghav served as the Head of International Operations for India’s largest independent record label, Phat Phish Records.

LUKE PARSONS

Luke is a growth equity and venture capital investor at Summit Partners in London. Prior to Summit, Luke worked in the investment banking, real estate investment, and legal fields, and served as an intern in the US House Of Representatives.  His favorite film is THE HOLIDAY but he tells people it’s APOCALYPSE NOW.

We have partnered with Dorfman Media Holdings, who have invested in a selection of handpicked companies work collaboratively and independently with clients to uncover, fuel, make, tell and promote their stories.

Vespucci Group
New York / Los Angeles / London
people
people

Daniel Turcan: dt@vespuccigroup.com
Johnny Galvin: jg@vespuccigroup.com
Bridie Bischoff: bridie@vespuccigroup.com
Julia Natt: julia@vespuccigroup.com

Daniel Turcan
Johnny Galvin
Bridie Bischoff
Julia Natt
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