Collective Digital Studio will create an online video series based on the young-adult franchise Maximum Ride from best-selling author James Patterson, the YouTube multi-channel network and production studio said today. Patterson has his hands full with non-book projects based on his novels these days, including an order last week from CBS for a straight-to-series TV adaptation of his thriller Zoo.
The Maximum Ride fantasy series centers on a group of young human-bird hybrids who escape from a lab called The School, led by the eponymous heroine Maximum “Max’ Ride. The eight Patterson books have sold more than 30 million copies, and also have inspired a Japanese manga spinoff series. Read More »
Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Group is bolstering its digital and production business with the acquisition of a 20% stake in Collective Digital Studio. The U.S.-based multichannel network produces, distributes, and markets video content via digital platforms. ProSieben, which made the acquisition through subsid Red Arrow Entertainment, says CDS gets about 1 billion video views per month on its 600 channels and has more than 100 million subscribers. Its properties include The Annoying Orange and Video Game High School. It also develops formats in the action, beauty & lifestyle, comedy, kids & family, and music genres. The acquisition follows a raft of U.S. investments by Red Arrow which recently bought Say Yes To The Dress maker Half Yard Prods, and also owns Kinetic Content, Fabrik Entertainment and Left/Right Prods. Via the CDS stake, ProSieben/Red Arrow will have access to the rapidly growing global online video market and a roster of international talent. Last year, ProSiebenSat.1 formed its own multichannel network in Germany, Studio71, where its current web production activities are bundled. Under the new deal, Studio71 will receive video content from CDS and marketing will be handled in-house by SevenOne Media. Red Arrow and CDS will also back online talent and develop new content verticals. Red Arrow will provide support for content distribution.
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EXCLUSIVE: Tomorrow, folks outside the UK will get a chance to see game show/horror hybrid Release The Hounds. The show, from Sony Pictures Television‘s UK production joint venture Gogglebox, premiered on Britain’s ITV2 as a one-hour one-off on Monday and has received positive notices for the premise, and an outpouring of interest on Twitter. Taking advantage of Halloween, it will be available on Metacafe.com and the BlackBoxTV channel on YouTube in all markets outside the UK and Middle East via a deal between SPT and multi-channel network and website publisher Collective Digital Studio (The Annoying Orange, Video Game High School). Release The Hounds mixes two genres by sending unsuspecting contestants into a forest at dusk as they seek out chests full of prize money. In order to win big, they must outrun a pack of hounds trained to guard the cash. SPT played up the show during the recent Mipcom TV market in Cannes where every evening at 5 PM the sound of hounds barking blared over the loudspeaker system at its beachside pavillion. The move to place this one-off with CDS is a means build buzz and evaluate worldwide reaction. It’s an interesting test-marketing move for a premise that has yet to be commissioned as a broadcast series. CDS will release it in 10-minute chunks and tease it out over the rest of the week. Here’s the offical ITV2 trailer:
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I’ve been looking forward to seeing a clip of the web scripted series Video Game High School to decide whether its producers were on to something — or just hyping a gimmick — when they said that it will be the first online show to include several scenes in a vivid 48 frames per second, twice the norm. Well, here’s the trailer ahead of the second season’s July 25 release, and the jury’s still out. I’m told that the video game sequences are in the higher frame rate. But they’re too short here to make an impact. You can see for yourself or, if you were a fan of the first series, see what the sequel from producers Rocket Jump Studios and Collective Digital Studio is all about.
EXCLUSIVE: Rocket Jump Studios and Collective Digital Studio have a twist with their announcement that the second season of their YouTube action comedy series will premiere in July the week of the San Diego Comic-Con. They say that Video Game High School 2 will be the first online show that includes sequences presented in vivid 48 frames per second, twice the norm and similar to what director Peter Jackson offered with The Hobbit. You’ll have to go to a special video player at RocketJump.com to see the full effect; YouTube itself transmits in 24 fps. But the effort to make the series more cinematic suggests that backers are optimistic about the possibility of beating the 55M views last year for the nine-episode first season stories about a boy who attends the world’s most prestigious gaming academy in an alternate reality where pro video gaming is the world’s top spectator sport. Read More »