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Orlando Jones, Jay Williams Launch Digital Shingle with Machinima Series ‘High School 51’

Jay Williams — former president of global marketing and brand strategy for Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s K/O Paper Products — and actor-producer Orlando Jones’ Drive-By Entertainment have partnered to form Legion of Creatives, a digital-centric entertainment company.

Legion of Creatives announced its debut series, “High School 51,” in partnership with Machinima at the 2015 NewFronts in New York on Monday. The show will be exec produced by Williams and writer-producer Roberto Orci and will star Jones, who is producing alongside Drive-By president Noam Dromi.

“High School 51” is centered around Dream Lake High School in the heart of Area 51, populated by a wholly alien student body — until the arrival of 16-year-old Alex Valencia, the first and only human ever to attend Dream Lake, who not only faces the challenge of fitting in, but also saving the human race.

“Legion of Creatives is the United Artists for the digital media generation,” said Williams in a statement. “Our goal is to empower writers and creators by giving them an ownership stake in the content they create. As consumers access stories across an increasing range of devices, we will lead the charge in establishing the new relationship between storytellers and fans.”

In addition to the Machinima collaboration, Legion of Creatives has entered into a development deal with ABC for digital-first programming, with additional partnerships to be announced shortly.

“Jay is one of the most brilliant creative marketing minds I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my nearly 30-year career in the entertainment industry,” said Jones. “Under his leadership, Legion of Creatives is poised to be a market leader in developing cross-platform programming that targets millennials and Gen Z with a strong emphasis on multiculturalism and diversity. These are stories told to digital and mobile natives on their terms. I’m beyond excited to be a part of this journey.”

Williams added: “The opportunity to partner with Orlando Jones was one of the easiest professional decisions I’ve ever made. His passionate commitment to fan engagement and new ways of telling stories makes him a true pioneer and innovator in the digital realm. With the expertise that he and Noam bring to the table, Legion of Creatives will set the bar as the entertainment company of the future. Regardless of the platform, our mission is to align with new and established creative collaborators to tell unforgettable stories with incredible characters.”

Orlando Jones is repped by Brad Schenck at Paradigm, Lisa Blum, Sabrina Hutchinson Public Relations and Spiegelman Media Law. Jay Williams is repped by Jordan Yospe at Eisner Jaffe.

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