EXCLUSIVE: Media veterans Michael A. Simon and Scott Kushner have teamed to launch F Street Productions, a company dedicated to developing and producing original, cross-platform scripted entertainment. Based in New York and Los Angeles, the company will focus on content that lives at the intersection of storytelling and lifestyle.
F Street is kicking things off with two original podcasts, episodic series Unsungand The Occult Unveiled, that are currently in post-production. Premiere dates will be announced soon. Additional original cross-platform content is expected to be announced shortly.
Unsung is inspired by the real-life exploits of musician and rock legend Kasim Sulton. In the series, co-created and executive produced by Sultan, the fictional Alec Sulton suffers a heart attack on stage and is forced to re-engage with his three adult children, all talented musicians themselves. While the kids know only too well that their dad can be self-destructive and at times incredibly self-absorbed, he’s also the scaffolding upon which they’ve built their own weird little lives. And when they all finally decide to form a band and play together – and they will – one thing becomes clear: They may not be a very tight-knit family, but they’re a pretty good f**king band.
A bassist, keyboardist and vocalist, Sulton has been Todd Rundgren’s bass player in Utopia for decades and has also performed on albums for many of the top artists of the past decades, including Meat Loaf, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Cheap Trick, Jon Bon Jovi and Hall & Oates. Over his career, Sulton has appeared on albums that have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. As a solo artist, his latest album, Kasim 2021, was released in September, 2021 by Deko Entertainment.
“There have been so many crazy situations and experiences in my life – both highs and lows – that can be hard to describe,” said Sulton. “This series delivers a lot of those moments with powerful insights and amazing clarity. I look forward to sharing this story with both fans who know me and others who may be discovering me and my music for the first time.”
The Occult Unveiled is hosted by Pythian Priestess, a leading occultist and content creator in the alternative spiritual subculture of #WitchTok, with over 400,000 social media followers. With special guests featured on each episode, The Occult Unveiled centers around Pythian Priestess’ deep insights, knowledge, and her amazing ability to assist those searching for spiritual guidance.
“As a result of the massive media coverage about spirituality and magick, there is an enormous amount of misinformation and beginners parading as experts,” said Pythian Priestess, who also is an executive producer and co-creator of the series. “The Occult Unveiled reveals adept practitioners’ secret lives and rituals. These kinds of experiences cannot be found in books, blogs, or TikToks; they are being unveiled for the first time to uninitiated eyes and ears.”
“What excites me about working on these podcasts is that I get to create in a terrain that is very familiar to me as a director, yet allows me to tell stories in new ways,” said Simon. “I haven’t worked in a sound exclusive medium since my punk rock days during my college radio stint in the 80s, so the podcast format feels so fresh to me. Content creation is a team-sport and partnering with people who are going to challenge you to get outside the proverbial box, is why I’m here. I don’t know exactly where this is all going, but I’m loving the journey thus far.”
“Podcasting is at the forefront of a renaissance in audio as a dynamic entertainment medium and an exciting platform with which to connect with audiences,” commented Kushner. “Having started my career producing longform radio content, it feels podcasting has brought me full circle. With that said, all of the content produced by F Street Productions, including both Unsung and The Occult Unveiled, are completely platform agnostic. Everything we create is designed to live on any media platform, making F Street highly nimble and exceptionally adaptable for today’s market.”
Kushner and Simon have been friends ever since they met as undergraduates at George Washington University and discovered their shared passion for comedy and music (the name F Street comes from the dorm where they met). In the years since, they have both gone on to achieve success working with artists and projects in music, television and film.
Kushner is Executive Producer of MediaPlace, the NYC based integrated media and creative services company he founded in 1993. MediaPlace is best known as content producers across all platforms: video, audio and digital, as well as activations for event and immersive experiences.
MediaPlace most recently produced Dear New York, bringing to life the narrative of New York City’s resilience, recovery, and rebirth during the pandemic. The program aired on all NYC based network television affiliates, featuring Robert Klein as narrator.
Kushner began his professional life at network radio syndicators DIR Broadcasting, LBS Communications and ABC Radio Network. During his tenure, he was actively involved in productions with musical artists such as The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Hall & Oates and Eric Clapton amongst others. He has worked on numerous specials including Live Aid and The Who’s Farewell Tour.
Prior to launching MediaPlace, Kushner was a founding member and Vice President of Point-of-Purchase Radio. The company was subsequently acquired by Heritage Media.
Since 2001, Kushner has served on the board for the media industry philanthropic organization The John A. Reisenbach Foundation, currently serving as co-chair of the organization’s program committee.
Currently, Simon is in pre-production on his first narrative feature film Prisoners of Time, based on the documentary Town Bloody Hall. The film weaves a story about a father and his daughter, Norman Mailer, Marilyn Monroe and the #MeTooMovement.
During his previous eleven-year career at VH1, Simon produced and directed the series New Visions, VH1 Storytellers and the iconic VH1 Divas. At VH1 he worked with musical legends, including Miles Davis, Prince, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Prince to name a few.
Simon left MTV Networks to continue his work as a freelance director where he would helm numerous specials and series, including Soul Train, 25 liveSurvivor finales, 22 years of the Emmy-winning A Home For The Holidays and the memorable Priceline.com commercial series, featuring William Shatner. Other credits include Bee Gees One Night Only HBO concert special, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Rockstar, The Sing-off and MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, The Contender, and more.
A prolific director of comedy, Simon helmed 25 seasons of Ridiculousness, along with several spinoffs, and numerous comedy specials, including the highest rated Comedy Central stand-up special ever with Jeff Dunham and the award-winning Gad Elmaleh: American Dream on Netflix.