A rep for AwesomenessTV confirmed Shapiro’s departure, which was first reported by VideoInk.
Shapiro left AwesomenessTV’s Big Frame to package and produce projects independently, according to an ATV rep. In addition to “Shovel Buddies,” which AwesomenessTV and Film 360 recently announced they were developing based on a 2013 Black List script by Jason Mark Hellerman, Shapiro has three other projects in the works outside of Big Frame, two for TV and one film, according to ATV.
“The timing was right for him to return to his roots as a producer,” a rep for AwesomenessTV said. “AwesomenessTV supports him in this decision and looks forward to working with him as a producer.”
Shapiro joined Big Frame in October 2014, after serving as head of talent at YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen, which is owned by AT&T and Chernin Group. Prior to Fullscreen, he worked at digital studio Fourth Wall Studios as executive VP of biz dev, and prior to that was co-founder of social-media startup Xmobb. From 2000 to 2007, he was an agent at CAA.
AwesomenessTV, the youth-skewing MCN headed by Brian Robbins, acquired Big Frame — which had developed a specialty in YouTube talent development — for $15 million in April 2014. Hearst took a 25% stake in AwesomenessTV, which DreamWorks Animation acquired in 2013.
While at Fullscreen, Shapiro led deals to sign YouTubers including Jennxpenn and engineered the acquisition of videogame-focused media company ScrewAttack.