You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chernin Group, AT&T Invest in Digital Film Studio Supergravity

Otter Media, the digital-video joint venture of Chernin Group and AT&T, has taken a minority equity stake in Supergravity Pictures and also cut a co-production deal with the fledgling studio for future film projects.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Supergravity plans to use the capital investment for new hires and to invest in new film projects. Previous investors in Supergravity, launched in November 2014, include Van Toffler, former president of MTV and the Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur-investor Larry Braitman.

“We want to invest in and support innovative companies that focus on this massive opportunity, particularly those that use digital platforms and social media to more efficiently market and distribute their content,” Chernin Group president Jesse Jacobs said. “Supergravity, as a direct-to-consumer film studio, is a prime example of a company with these attributes, and we are excited to be partnering with them.”

See More: ‘Smosh: The Movie’: The Biggest Test Yet for Crossover Appeal of Digital Stars

In May, Supergravity released buddy comedy “Man Up,” starring Justin Chon and Kevin Wu, in partnership with Lakeshore Entertainment; the feature is currently available on Vimeo and Netflix. The studio is premiering its second film, horror movie “The Chosen,” featuring YouTube star Kian Lawley, at VidCon 2015 on Friday. Both films are part of an exclusive four-movie distribution deal with Vimeo.

“This investment gives us the capital to execute our vision of building a movie studio that produces, markets and sells high-quality films directly to the passionate audiences that desire them,” said Supergravity co-founder Max Benator.

Movies featuring YouTube and other digital stars is a burgeoning trend, with at least a dozen such projects already released or set to launch in 2015. One of the highest-profile is “Smosh: The Movie,” featuring the YouTube-famous comedy duo of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, which premiered Wednesday at an event pegged to VidCon.

Supergravity was formed by Benator — who also is manager and producing partner for YouTube’s Fine Bros. — and Marc Hustvedt, co‐founder of online-video trade publication Tubefilter. Hustvedt produced feature film “Camp Takota,” starring top YouTubers Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart, which kicked off the current spate of digital starrers.

AT&T and Chernin Group formed Otter Media in April 2014, pooling some $500 million to acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top video services. The JV’s portfolio includes a controlling stake in multichannel network company Fullscreen and its Rooster Teeth content studio, and Crunchyroll, an online subscription video-on-demand service specializing in Japanese anime and Korean content.

More Digital

  • hdhomerun roku app

    HDHomerun App Brings Live TV to Roku Devices

    Roku users are getting another way to watch live television with the help of their favorite streaming devices: Silicondust, maker of the HDHomerun TV tuners, has released a beta version of its HDHomerun app for Roku TVs and streaming devices. “We need to start out by saying this is very much a beta product,” the [...]

  • Vox Media

    Vox Media Staff Ratifies First Union Contract, Negotiated by Writers Guild

    Staffers at Vox Media, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com, have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with more than 90% in support. The staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East. Vox Media’s 350-member unit began bargaining their first contract in April 2018. The campaign to [...]

  • Joslyn Davis, Lily-Marston - Shared Media

    Clevver’s Joslyn Davis, Lily Marston Launch Their Own YouTube Media Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Here’s the latest chapter in the saga of Clevver, the entertainment/lifestyle YouTube network marooned by the shuttering of former parent Defy Media and subsequently snapped up by Hearst Magazines. Two of the principal creatives behind Clevver — Joslyn Davis and Lily Marston — together with Clevver Media co-founder Jorge Maldonado have launched Shared Media, their [...]

  • Money-Diaries-Refinery29

    Refinery29 to Produce Interactive Series Funded by Eko (EXCLUSIVE)

    Refinery29 has been bitten by the “Bandersnatch” bug. The millennial-female-focused digital media and entertainment company inked a pact with Eko, an interactive-video platform developer whose backers include Walmart, to produce several “choose-your-own-adventure”-style series based on Refinery29 content properties. The companies have started development on their first project: an interactive scripted adaptation of Refinery29’s popular “Money [...]

  • Dan Howell

    YouTube Star Dan Howell Comes Out as Gay: 'It Gets So Much Better'

    It’s Pride Month, and popular YouTube vlogger Dan Howell had a message for fans that he’d been working on for a year: “Basically, I’m Gay,” he shared in a video Thursday. In the 45-minute video, Howell discussed coming to terms with his sexual orientation and his thoughts on labels that people use to define themselves [...]

  • Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment

    Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment as Industry Deepens

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is expanding its involvement in the Korean film and TV industries by greenlighting several new shows and renewing others. “When we started three years ago, we had a high degree of confidence that Korean drama would work well in Asia, but we had no internal metrics of our own,” Korean content [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Instagram Outage: Facebook’s Photo Sharing Service Went Down For Multiple Hours

    Instagram faced another major outage Thursday afternoon, with users from around the world reporting that they weren’t able to access Facebook’s photo sharing service via its app and website. An Instagram spokesperson told Variety around 5pm PT that the issue had been resolved: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content