Vimeo is broadening its lineup of original series and specials, announcing four new projects rolling out this spring including its first documentary and concert films, and set a March 30 premiere date for the second season of comedy series “The Outs” about gay life in New York City.
The new lineup of originals from the video site includes: comedy series “Lonely and Horny” from longtime Vimeo creators Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld, of CollegeHumor’s “Jake and Amir”; original comedy special “Garfunkel & Oates: Trying to Be Special”; Vimeo’s first concert film, “Toro Y Moi: Live in Concert,” directed by Harry Israelson; and “Wizard Mode,” its first original documentary and first feature-length original film, from Salazar Film.
All four originals will premiere worldwide in the spring of 2016 exclusively on Vimeo, available to rent or purchase.
Vimeo first dipped its toe into the original programming waters last year with pot-fueled comedy series “High Maintenance,” which has since been picked up by HBO. It followed that up with orders for the upcoming season of “The Outs”; a comedy special from drag queen Bianca Del Rio; and “Darby Forever,” a short film written by and starring “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant.
“Vimeo is accelerating its commitment to deliver innovative programming from truly gifted creators to our audience of over 200 million viewers worldwide,” said Sam Toles, head of global content acquisitions and distribution for Vimeo. “This diverse slate of comedy and music are the perfect additions to our critically acclaimed original programming efforts.”
Vimeo is targeting at least one original launch per month, Toles said. “We are now getting into a regular cadence of original content releases,” he said. The company picks projects to bankroll based first on the quality of the programming concept, with a bias toward creators who have worked on the Vimeo platform and stories or subjects that are unique, he said.
With Vimeo-funded originals, creators receive 90% of revenue from sales after the company cover the initial production costs. In addition, Vimeo is shopping original productions to digital platforms like Netflix and Hulu and TV networks, according to Toles; creators will receive a revenue share from any of those downstream deals. Vimeo doesn’t take any ownership of the content it is funding; instead, it takes a license to the content and intellectual property rights are retained by the company that produces it.
Vimeo doesn’t disclose viewing or sales figures, but Toles said “High Maintenance” remains the highest-grossing title on the service to date. Each of its originals have either recouped or will recoup Vimeo’s investment, he said: “We are cost-effective with how we invest our money.”
“The Outs” six-episode second season will premiere on Vimeo Wednesday, March 30. The show will cost $14.99 for all six episodes.
Season two of “The Outs,” from Adam Goldman and Sasha Winters, picks up three years after the first season concluded. In that time Mitchell (Goldman), his best friend, Oona (Winters), and his ex-boyfriend, Jack (Hunter Canning) are a little older, a little more tired, and the tiniest bit closer to figuring out what they want. The show originally launched as free web series on Vimeo in 2012.
Here’s a rundown of the four new Vimeo originals:
- “Lonely and Horny” (premiere date April 8): Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld write and star in their first series since CollegeHumor’s “Jake and Amir.” Blumenfeld plays Ruby Jade, a neurotic, selfish, understandably single 30-something who wants to have sex more than anything else in the world – and it shows. Hurwitz plays Josh Rice, an empathetic dating teacher, who halfheartedly dispenses advice to a gaggle of desperate students. Produced by Jillian Jesk and Alexander Koehne of Brevity Wit Productions and directed by Hurwitz. Featuring a soundtrack exclusively by Lucius.
- “Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to Be Special” (May 2016): Folk-singing duo Garfunkel and Oates (Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci) have created a TV series for IFC, a web series, four albums, multiple concert tours and music videos. But they haven’t had a comedy special, so Riki and Kate decide to host a fundraiser in Seattle to raise enough money to make one. The special is produced by Divide/Conquer, written by Lindhome and Micucci, and directed by Lindhome and Jeremy Konne.
- “Wizard Mode” (Spring 2016): Documentary following Robert Emilio Gagno, who has dedicated most of his life to mastering pinball’s “wizard mode,” a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. He also happens to be autistic. The film follows his quest to become a world pinball champion at the largest tournament in the world – Pinburgh, in Pittsburgh. Directed by 10-time Vimeo Staff Picked creators Nathan Drillot and Jeff Lee Petry of Salazar Film.
- “Toro y Moi: Live in Concert” (June 2016): Vimeo’s first original concert film features international recording artist Chaz Bundick, better known as Toro y Moi, who was an integral part of the early chillwave music scene. “Toro y Moi: Live in Concert” will be shot in an isolated, desert location with no audience. Directed by Harry Israelson, a six-time Vimeo Staff Picked creator.