Hollywood’s elite studios have a well-kept secret to their box office success: a tried-and-true formula that attracts viewers to the silver screen. However, this financial triumph often comes at the cost of creative stagnancy and predictable content. Enter Domesticated Sloths, a renegade production company carving its own path in the industry as an independent studio that shatters the mold with its innovative approach to filmmaking.
Starring a dynamic cast of seasoned Norwegian actors and rising American stars, Domesticated Sloth’s debut project, WannabeZ, is a side-splitting comedy series set to take the entertainment industry by storm.
Domesticated Sloths was founded in 2017 by filmmakers Tom Storvik and Erik Nogva, with a goal to create new and engaging content bridging Europe and the US. The studio’s first project was the pilot for WannabeZ.
According to Storvik, Domesticated Sloths were “ahead of the times” when they looked to distribute the series through streaming, which was then an unproven distribution method. The production of the pilot also ran into difficulties, as two days prior to shooting, one of the main funders withdrew from the project. This put the entire project into jeopardy, until one of Storvik’s friends, Nils Ødegården, volunteered to remortgage his house for additional funds because he had so much faith in the production company and the project. The pilot was eventually produced, and a large streaming network optioned the series on a five-year contract.
Two months before the contract expired, the network picked up WannabeZ, with shooting set to begin in August and with most of the original actors from the pilot slated to return. Storvik and Nogva are the co-creators and co-directors of the series.
Domesticated Sloths has other projects in production, including a biopic about English football legend Paul Gascoigne and a remake of a yakuza-inspired Japanese cult hit film. The action-comedy film is set in Los Angeles, where various American mob families face off against each other.
The studio is also working on a film called Best Sheep, a mockumentary about a sheep beauty contest. The comedic film features Norway’s beautiful natural scenery and an eccentric group of characters, set in a small town that gives so much importance to the sheep beauty contest, making it their version of the Super Bowl.
Storvik says that Best Sheep, as well as the studio’s other projects, sources talent from well-known individuals outside of acting, such as influencers. These individuals have considerable skill in front of the camera and have their own following, which will bring attention to the film. This is where Domesticated Sloths is working to make a niche as an industry disruptor – by looking at casting and production partners outside of the traditional venues. As well as finding the right balance of talent and recognizability by looking for “hidden gems” in areas where traditional production companies are not.
Domesticated Sloths is looking to put together a new slate of projects to span the next five years. They seek to establish themselves as an independent production company to give themselves creative control. Storvik believes that it is of utmost importance that they maintain control over their own intellectual property through a direct-to-consumer business model.
“There’s a lot of traditional thinking in film and on TV, and we want to push the borders of creativity by exploring new grounds and catching talent that is often overlooked. If you have a good enough idea, people will listen, especially in LA,” Storvik says.
To assist in the search for new talent and creativity, Storvik started Eadni Agency, a content production, marketing, and talent management agency, with Morten Botten as co-founder. According to Storvik, Eadni seeks to disrupt the old approaches to talent scouting, promotion and marketing by specifically looking for talent that conventional agencies would overlook for various reasons and giving them a platform with fewer constraints. Storvik says Eadni has laid extensive groundwork for long-lasting partnerships and built trust between the agency and both its individual clients and commercial partners.
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