Jamie Hilton’s See Pictures and its low-budget financing, production and distribution arm Ticket to Ride are set to expand after adding two key executives and an internal promotion.

Writer-director Ben C. Lucas (Wasted on the Young) has joined See Pictures as creative director to drive development and acquisitions.

Producer Michael Pontin, who was a co-producer on Josh Lawson’s The Little Death and associate producer on Michael Petroni’s Backtrack, has been promoted to head of Ticket to Ride.

All-media producer Ester Harding has joined the team to work with Hilton across all areas of the business.

Lucas, who had been doing some consulting work for Hilton, is also attached to direct for See Pictures the sci-fi thriller Otherlife, an adaptation of Kelly Eskridge’s novel Solitaire, which follows a woman who seems destined for greatness in a massive corporate entity that controls the world but quickly becomes a pariah and a murderer.

See Pictures is also producing Tim Winton’s Breath with Simon Baker and Mark Johnson. Its development slate includes Martha the Monster, created by writer/director Christopher Weekes (Muppet Man); an adaptation of Sarah McDonald’s best-selling book Holy Cow; action biopic Sierra based on the life of Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson; and sci-fier Atomica, which Nicholas Lathouris is writing and Christian Debney will direct.

The expansion is being facilitated by Screen Australia’s Enterprise Industry funding.  Hilton said, “Ben’s development experience spans large studio level projects and small indies and he has the craft required to collaborate with A-listers, the sensitivity to develop closely with emerging writers and the commercial lens to help ensure our ongoing success in the market.”

Lucas said, “Continuing my creative relationship with Jamie and his team in this formal capacity alongside my directing work seems a very natural progression. Having the ability to greenlight projects through Ticket to Ride is an opportunity that greatly excites me as well as working with some extremely gifted and successful writers on the See Pictures slate.”

Among Lucas' other upcoming projects, he is attached to direct The Devil’s Staircase, the saga of an 18-year-old girl who runs away from small-town Australia to London hoping to overcome her fear of death, for Macgowan Films; crime thriller The Noble Path with WBMC; and Fade, an adaptation of the Robert Cormier novel about a 13-year-old boy who, in the summer of 1938, discovers he can make himself and his clothing disappear from the sight of others at will, with Entertainment One.

Harding’s credits include documentaries Bush Slam and After Six-Four, all media documentary Storm Surfers 3D, line producer of The Surgery Ship and co-producer of the feature doc I Am a Girl.

Hilton said, “Securing the talents of Ester is a real coup for the company. She’s already very established in the industry, has extensive cross-media experience and is highly systems orientated. I see her as a critical part of our growth as we expand our development and production output and enter in to the distribution space later in the year.”

Backtrack, which stars Adrien Brody and Sam Neill, will have its international premiere on April 18 in the spotlight section of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

The Little Death, which won the audience award at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, last weekend, is set for wide release in Germany on April 9 via Kinowelt and will debut in the UK on May 8 (retitled A Funny Kind of Love) via Kaleidoscope.

Magnolia Films will launch the sex comedy in the US on June 28.


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