3 Arts exec ankles for college-angled 'Net venture

NEW YORK — Dave Bartis has ankled his position as head of 3 Arts Television to team with filmmaker Doug Liman (“Swingers,” “Go”) and Upstart Ventures prexy Elizabeth Hamburg on a content development and exhibition Web site, Nibblebox.com, which will launch in the spring.

New venture entailed that Bartis be let out of his contract at 3 Arts, for which he’d left his post as NBC senior veep of primetime series last summer (Daily Variety, Aug. 20).

Execs said the goal of Nibblebox.com is to create and foster a content-development talent pool out of an affiliate network of college students, who will also be the initial audience.

Star mentors

John Leguizamo, Steven Soderbergh, Larry Karaszewski, and the Farrelly brothers are among those already signed on as mentors, whose role it will be to collaborate on projects submitted to the site and selected for development. Site will start with 24-hour radio programming and five original episodic programs designed exclusively for ‘Net delivery.

“Content on Nibblebox.com is not going to be repurposed from what was originally made for television or films,” Bartis told Daily Variety. “We don’t think that’s taking advantage of what the Internet can really do. We also have a belief that those who know what is going to work on the Internet are those who are using it. That’s the college community.”

As for the supply of heavyweight mentors, who will be compensated only by a percentage of profits generated by their projects, Liman told Daily Variety, “As long as there are smart filmmakers and smart TV producers, there will be no shortage.”

‘Net impact

“Those of us who are looking a little bit beyond our next film can’t help but realize that the ‘Net is going to have an impact on entertainment. Mentoring will be an effective way to understand this demographic and understand how it relates to entertainment on the Internet.”

Bartis said execs at 3 Arts were “really generous” in allowing him to ankle so soon after he arrived. “I owe them a huge favor,” he said.

3 Arts is expected to continue its TV production efforts despite the departure of Bartis. No word yet on who will replace him.

Nibblebox.com will maintain offices in New York and L.A.

(Josef Adalian in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)

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