You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A feature future via YouTube?

'Zapped' short released to generate followers

VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in.

The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into a feature.

The pic stars Rainmaker’s mascots, Ting and Juma. The company plans to release more shorts based on the duo.

“The whole idea is to build awareness as we proceed into the feature,” Rainmaker CEO Warren Franklin says.

By releasing “Zapped!” free on YouTube, Rainmaker hopes to build a following for the characters at the same time it develops and tests them. If the plan succeeds, the shorts will work as a marketing tool as well.

Though the Onion News Network has done it, few properties have made the transition from webisodes to TV or theatrical features.

Franklin points to Rovio’s recent decision to catapult the massive success of its mobile game, “Angry Birds,” into a television spinoff. He also notes that following the release of Pixar’s 2006 “Cars,” Disney created shorts to keep the property and brand awareness alive, maintaining a momentum for the release of “Cars 2” later this year.

“We are kind of flipping the process around and saying, ‘Why don’t we start with this and see if we can build a feature out of the foundation of a short,’?” Franklin says.

Franklin admits that building an audience through social media is a challenge. However, he believes it is a more accessible, less restrictive, easily sharable, interactive platform where strong content can thrive.

More Film

  • Robert Hawkins, Variety Rome Correspondent, Dies

    Bob Hawkins, Longtime Variety Journalist in Italy, Dies at 93

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: Tyler Perry's 'Boo 2!' Tops Downbeat Weekend With $21.7 Million

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

  • Aida Begic Director Aida Begic poses

    Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

  • Antalya Fest Opens with Walken, Syrian

    Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

  • Interview With Carla Simón, director of

    ‘Summer 1993’s’ Carla Simón Talks About, Summer, Kids, Oscars

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

  • Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Kivilcim Akay, Director ‘I am Also Here'

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

  • Turkish Cinema: The New Generation -

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Su Baloglu, Producer ‘The Island’

    VANCOUVER — Rainmaker Entertainment has been angling for some time to get into the big leagues of animation production. Now, it’s trying to Zap its way in. The company is hoping to jump-start its slate by launching its own YouTube channel and posting an animated short, called “Zapped!” with characters it aims to turn into […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content