In its first major pickup from the Internet, Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios will pimp an animated Web series from MediaTrip.com in theaters next year.
The company has inked a deal with Peter Gilstrap and Mark Brooks to turn their Internet show “Lil’ Pimp” into a full-length feature, with the duo and their team of four animators, set to script, helm and produce the project.
Animation on the “Pimp” feature will likely begin in the next three to four weeks after scripting duties are completed. Pic could become the first theatrically released feature to be animated using Macromedia’s Flash software.
The show, a comedy about a 9-year-old freckle-faced boy who hustles prostitutes in the ‘hood with his neighborhood pimpin’ pals, has become one of MediaTrip’s biggest hits since its launch late last year.
“This project is right in the kind of humor and movies we understand,” said Revolution exec Todd Garner. “Besides, it’s got a built-in audience, and the storylines have been fleshed out so we know what works with audiences and what doesn’t.”
Specifics of the financial deal were not disclosed, but Gilstrap and Brooks will receive much of their compensation from the backend revenues once pic is released, due to their majority ownership of the project.
“It’s more for exposure than anything,” said Revolution exec Rob Moore. “They’re in it for the upside and aren’t getting a lot upfront.”
Columbia Pictures will likely distrib the roughly 80-minute pic next year.
After turning the 10-minute “George Lucas in Love” into one of the most successful short films on the Web, MediaTrip — which now serves as Revolution’s official Web venture — is hoping to turn “Pimp” into another success story. New deal proves just how quickly a MediaTrip project can move from online to offline through its close relationship with Revolution.
Over the past three months, “Love” has sold nearly 20,000 copies on video via an exclusive deal with e-tailer Amazon.com. Pic is still ranked the most popular offering on MediaTrip, since its bow last October.
From online to onscreen
Project becomes the fourth product in only months to from the Web to the bigscreen or smallscreen after Icebox.com licensed “Starship Regulars” to Showtime, Stan Lee Media sold the film rights of “7th Portal” to Mark Canton Co. and UrbanEntertainment.com unloaded “Undercover Brother” to Universal.
“What makes this more interesting is that this is a character that only lives on the Internet and is going to make the leap to theatrical without having to go to cable,” Moore said. “It has enough of a connection with Web audiences to make the conversion to theatrical.”
Gilstrap and Brooks also created and produce the animated “Creamburg” for MediaTrip and “Adventure Men” for iFuse.com.
“It’s a mind-blower,” Gilstrap said of the deal. “These guys are creative visionaries, of course, who recognize great entertainment. We always saw the Web as a place to go with our shows. It’s been good for us. We’ve had creative control. Now we’re doing what we want to do and break into features as well.”
The duo, who are looking to create live-action television and films, are repped by United Talent Agency and attorney Michael Levinthal.