Making the most of the army of advertisers tramping around Gotham this week, CAA on Thursday showed off clients who are writing, producing and spending serious coin on original digital productions.
“This isn’t Web series anymore, this is premium content,” David Freeman, co-head of brand coverage for CAA, told a group at a breakfast the agency hosted at Milk Studios in the Meatpacking District. The gathering was timed to coincide with the Digital Newfronts — the first coordinated effort by Netcos to showcase programming and woo advertising dollars from broadcast and cable.
Bill O’Dowd of Dolphin Digital Media is working with CAA on a handful of new online series, including “The Red Book” with John Woo’s Tiger Hill Entertainment; “In Bloom,” with Ashley Tisdale executive producing and Drama 3/4 writing; and action comedy “Bounty Hunters,” with Richie Keen and Heath Corson, writers of Web series “Aim High.” The shingle is also developing an untitled telenovela, which could be a first on the Web. All are still in talks with distributors.
Dolphin and CAA are behind Anthony Zuiker’s film “Cybergeddon,” which will bow on Yahoo in September, with plans to run weekly nine-minute segments over a 10-week period. The apocalyptic hacker pic is sponsored by Norton AntiVirus software.
O’Dowd said Web series generally cost about $500,000 but that budgets need to go up. His projects run from $2 million to $5 million, and his company has committed to a slate of projects costing more than $25 million.
“CSI” creator Zuiker told the crowd that product placement works much better online, and the format is much more flexible. “You write the check — we have your back,” he said.
Hud:sun Media, which produced “Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend” with Mattel for Hulu last year, has a new show for Hulu, “Cloak and Dagger,” about a family of spies forced into witness protection.
Helmer-producer David Van Eyssen talked up his Machinima sci-fi series “RCVR.”