XLerator Media Group was born from one of South Florida’s most recognized film and television production companies, Forti/Layne Entertainment. Founded in 1986 by the directing/producing team of Director/DP Kevin Layne and producing partner Brian Forti, the company specialized in producing award-winning music television specials and weekly series, music videos, documentaries, commercials, and corporate presentations for the English and Hispanic markets.
In 1991 they caught the eye of Latin music heavyweight Emilio Estefan, who signed them to produce Disney Channel’s “Gloria Estefan, Going Home”. The one-hour special was recognized with “Best Music Special of the Year” honors at The Cable Ace Awards that year (defeating Sting and Paul McCartney among others) and would propel the duo into the national and international spotlight.
The company produced a number of award-winning productions for the Estefans including the highly publicized, all digital production of Gloria’s “Live for Loving You” music video, (inducted into VH-1′s Hall of Fame), Jon Secada’s music video for his smash debut “Just Another Day/ Otro dia Mas”, (which won a Billboard Award for “Best Director”) and “Mi Tierra, My Homeland” a docu/music special that aired on the Univision Network and VH-1. Again the team, now joined by Producer Dana Perri, was honored for excellence with another Cable Ace Award, this time for editing.
The team launched a number of television series and specials over the last 25 years that ran the gamut from concert specials, technology and health shows to “Barcode”, USA network’s alternative dance show. They produced the first “Fairway to Heaven”, Vh-1′s annual rock and golf special and co-produced for the Telemundo Network and People Magazine “People En Espanol 25 Mas Bellezas”, a one hour Spanish language special featuring the magazine’s most beautiful people of the year.
In 2001 FLE was tapped to take over production on a fledgling music series for Pepsi called Pepsi Chart. The series was a ratings disaster and close to cancellation. The FLE creative team went to work reformatting the show, raising the production value with a new look and new segments and Cartelera Pepsi/Pepsi Musica became consistently one of the highest rated music programs across the US on the Telefutura Network. The company produced and directed over 112 episodes of the popular international music series, encompassing 400 plus music performances featuring some of the top names in Latin music.
The connection with Latin based productions continued in 2005 as FLE was called on to produce the US production of “America”, TV Globo’s highly rated novella. The Brazilian network is known throughout the world for its high quality productions and hired Forti and Layne to produce the US scenes for this widely popular High Definition series.
In April of 2005 the Telemundo Network for the third year in a row hired FLE to co-produce the television special “People En Espanol Los 50 Más Bellezas”. Telemundo again called on FLE that year to produce and direct Latin music diva Paulina Rubio’s eye-catching, show opening number for the Latin Billboard Awards. The multi-camera production captured Paulina’s dynamic performance on the back of a pick-up truck winding through downtown Miami on the way to the live event.
An active year in the world of music entertainment also brought crossover phenomenon singer/songwriter Shakira to FLE as Sony/BMG Music hired our team to direct and produce a high definition EPK for Shakira’s dual disc “Fijación Oral 1”.
Layne’s Multi-Camera Director credits increased with an impressive and diverse array of concert DVD’s, including legendary rockers Deep Purple, country music icon Ronnie Milsap and a highly acclaimed 2003 HD production of “LA Woman, Live” with The Doors of the 21st Century. Featuring original members Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger along with ex Cult lead singer Ian Astbury, the 90 minute show deftly captures the power and magic of the Doors music with poignant interviews sprinkled throughout the show. Since its release, “LA Woman, Live” has out sold all other Doors DVD’s.
In 2005 the company teamed up with MTV to produce the show open for the 2005 Music Video Awards as well as High Definition multi-camera concerts for MTV Overdrive’s “Hotel MTV” and Vh-1’s “Life Beat” in addition to putting together numerous ENG crews and equipment covering events around the show.
As Layne began to pursue more projects on his own, he created and launched XLerator Media Group. In 2007 Layne won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award for Best Director for the Miami Heat Sunshine Sports Show Open. In 2009, Layne teamed up with Five Star Entertainment and Big Screen Entertainment to co-produce and co-direct William Shatner’s Gonzo ballet, which had it’s world premiere at the 2009 Nashville Film Festival. Gonzo won the 2009 NaFF Presiden’t Impact Award. It also screened at the Marbella International Film Festival in Spain, where Shatner traveled to attend and accept the award for Best Documentary. In 2012 Gonzo won a Silver Telly Award TV Program Segment/Promotional Piece – Entertainment. But ’09 wasn’t just about Gonzo, also that year Kevin Layne was Producer and Director of Photography on genre-jumping artist Kevin Rudolf’s music video for “Welcome to the World” and shot and edited the music video for Cash Money/Universal Republic Record’s Bryan “Baby” Williams’ cameo-studded remix of “Strapped”.
In 2010 FLE and XLMG co-produced David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi’s music video for their international hit “Memories”, as well as “Superbowl’s Greatest Commercials”, a highly-watched TV special produced for IMG Media and CBS. In 2010 and 2011 Layne and XLerator began working with full service advertising agency Daniel Brian and Associates Worldwide and U-health University of Miami Health Systems and Miller School of Medicine on the award-winning primetime TV series “Breakthrough Medicine” highlighting how U-health’s lifesaving innovations are changing medicine.
2010 and ’11 also heralded the return of VH1’s iconic “Behind the Music” and we shot for episodes on Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Missy Elliott, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin. Promos for the wildly successful film “Bridesmaids” for 2C Media and Lifetime Network, as well as segments for the Dr. Oz show, behind the scenes for A&E network’s “The Glades”, host shoots for Food Network’s “Unwrapped”and countless ENG shoots for MTV and Viacom networks coordinated by in-house Production Manager Diane Barron made it another great year.
We continued work for Shakira and shot the visuals of Latin Grammy Award Winner Rene “Residente” of Calle 13 that were projected onto a giant head for her concert tour for “Sale el Sol” on their duet “Gordita”. On the corporate side, production work on fundraising videos for The United Way of Miami Dade and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis helped these incredible foundations to achieve highly successful fundraising goals.
2011 saw XLerator Media Group fully come into its own with the success of the “The Captains”, William Shatner’s feature-length documentary where he travels the world to connect with each of the actors who’ve played a Starfleet Captain, giving an in-depth look at the Star Trek franchise through the unique experiences of each actor. “The Captains” has been acclaimed and embraced throughout the globe and in 2012 won Best Of Festival at the Phoenix Comic Con Film Fest and a Bronze Telly Award for TV Program/Segment/Promotional Piece- Documentary. In early 2013 The Captains was nominated for the Canadian Screen Awards in the category of Best Performing Arts Program or Series or Arts Documentary Program or Series. What a run it’s been!
The success of “The Captains” has helped XLerator Media and Layne’s relationship with the iconic Shatner and partner David Zappone of 455 Films grow and led to the release of “Get A Life!”, another feature-length documentary, which delves into the human interest stories and passion of the Star Trek series’ fans. “Get A Life!” premiered in July 2012 to such high demand that it crashed the EPIX servers for online viewing! Helene Jacobson Layne has lent her Associate Producer and Story Editor skills to all of the Shatner projects and has been a critical asset to the team.
Also in 2012, Kevin Layne and XLerator Media won a Telly Award for their work on United Way of Miami-Dade’s Fundraising Campaign Video and a regional Emmy for their work on Daniel Brian and Associates and U-health University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine’s “Breakthrough Medicine”. XLerator Media and our amazing ENG crews scored a Rock n’ Roll coup as we helped snag the first television interview Guns N Roses’ elusive frontman Axl Rose gave in years for VH1’s “That Metal Show” and found out where to find a fully trained live donkey as we co-produced a multi-camera HD shoot for Comedy Central with comedic genius Will Ferrell to promote his movie “Casa de Mi Padre”. We continued to work with MTV/Viacom, including Behind the Music shoots with Travie McCoy and Gym Class Heroes and Toni Braxton as well as the inaugural episode of MTV’s Hip Hop POV with Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled.
Layne’s Director/Editor skills have resulted in several successful PBS projects (in association with PBS Producer Gustavo Sagastume of International Media), including projects with top-selling author John Grey (“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) and “The Fairy Tale”, a musical from Stockholm, Sweden. Layne traveled to Shanghai in 2012 for Sagastume to direct and edit “Shanghai Story”, a stunning musical with a 40 person cast set to air on PBS in 2013.
In 2013 we’ll continue to delve into the world of Star Trek with a new documentary with Shatner and 455 Films on the popular “The Next Generation” series that looks at the challenges involved in re-launching the beloved Star Trek franchise in a new incarnation. We’re excited and looking forward to what 2013 has in store!
XLerator Media Group now maintains offices and a production presence on both coasts with fully functional production capabilities from creative to post in Miami and on the famed Paramount Pictures Lot in Los Angeles. XLerator was born from success and thrives on innovation, growth and always pushing the creative envelope.
Contact: Kevin Layne
C. 786.417.9393 O. 305.857.5050
E Kevin Layne: firstname.lastname@example.org