Site to produce online projects with strong talent roster

Shockwave.com has created a development fund with Michael Ovitz’s Artists Management Group for AMG’s clients to create animated content to distribute on the dot-com.

As part of the multimillion dollar deal, Shockwave will work closely with the AMG Animation Group and its roster of 125 repped animators — including the creators of the “Rugrats” and producers of “Daria” and “Futurama,” among others — to co-develop projects to appear on its Web site.

Content developed through the fund will be owned by both companies, with Shockwave closely involved on what projects are developed. Content creators will also get a cut of ancillary rights and possibly advertising revenues generated.

Unprecedented deal

The non-exclusive deal is unprecedented for any Netcaster to date, in that it gives Shockwave — a broadcaster of mostly animated fare — open access to a strong portfolio of animators and other talent, and a close ally in Artists Television Group and AMG’s film production arm to exploit its properties to the more traditional film or TV mediums.

AtomFilms has a similar deal with Propaganda Films and MediaTrip is now a close partner with Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios, but neither Netcaster upfronted its own development funds.

Deal broadens Shockwave’s already strong reach into Hollywood after lining up “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with James L. Brooks, David Lynch, Ben Stein, Tim Burton, Jim Belushi, Chris Kattan and Harland Williams to create programming.

Valuable connection

For AMG’s Animation Group, a relationship with Shockwave provides a valuable online distribution platform for its clients’ projects; Shockwave is the most popular online Netcaster, with more than 6 million visitors per month, according to Media Metrix.

Lynx Technology Group, Ovitz’s in-house Internet consulting and investment arm, brokered the deal, which now gives AMG a close relationship with an entertainment Netcaster, something it didn’t’ have before.

Lynx will lend its consulting services to the Netcaster, helping it expand its brand identity among Hollywood players.

“This partnership will allow us to provide even more opportunity for AMG’s roster of clients,” said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, head of the AMG Animation Group. “Shockwave.com is already a recognized leader in providing Internet content, and together, we’ll be able to meld artists and creators under one Web site and explore opportunities in traditional and new mediums.”

Stefanie Henning, Shockwave’s veep of content acquisitions, said the Netcaster paired up with AMG because of its structured ability to manage clients and produce.

“They have great talent and have a television group that knows how to produce shows,” Henning said. “It’s the perfect strategy for us.”

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