Vimeo signed a deal with New Form Digital Studios — a joint venture whose partners include Discovery Communications, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard — that will bring two scripted series from YouTube creators exclusively to Vimeo’s on-demand service, with two additional to-be-announced series in development.
The deal includes series adaptions of short films from YouTube filmmakers Sawyer Hartman, who has 1.76 million subscribers to his channel, and PJ Liguori (a.k.a. KickThePj), who has about 620,000. Liguori’s “Oscar’s Hotel” and Hartman’s “Parallax” debuted as part of the New Form’s inaugural short-film incubator project with 14 YouTubers in late 2014.
Both 10-episode series will be available via Vimeo On Demand later this year, along with additional content including behind-the-scenes video. Pricing has yet to be determined.
In “Oscar’s Hotel” (pictured, above), Oliver is the new proprietor of his uncle’s magical boarding house — where he must manage the high-maintenance mayhem of the mythical creatures who live there, while unraveling the mystery of his uncle’s disappearance. “Parallax” is billed as a modern sci-fi drama that follows a young scientist who alone has knowledge of an imminent, cataclysmic meteor strike. But as he tries to raise the alarm, he is ostracized by those who fear the truthabout the impending catastrophe.
“New Form is at the forefront of producing supremely creative video from some of the most successful emerging filmmakers online,” said Greg Clayman, g.m. of Vimeo’s Audience Networks group. “‘Oscar’s Hotel’ and ‘Parallax’ both exemplify intriguing and creative storytelling, which is what we celebrate here at Vimeo.”
Added Kathleen Grace, New Form’s chief creative officer, “As New Form Digital continues to develop original, scripted digital content, we see Vimeo as a forward-thinking and innovative partner.”
New Form was created last year by Discovery, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg, attorney Craig Jacobson, former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, former William Morris chief Jim Wiatt and CAA.