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Variety Launches Content Studios for Branded Production

Variety has launched Variety Content Studios, a multi-faceted branded content production studio that will serve the needs of parent company PMC’s brands including Variety and Indiewire. Variety chief marketing officer Dea Lawrence on Tuesday announced the launch.

“Strengthening Variety and Indiewire’s position as the entertainment industry’s leading news, features and information publisher, Variety Content Studios will build upon our successful digital and events marketing strategies that have experienced exponential growth over the past two years,” said Lawrence.

The production studio will be led by Lawrence and Variety V.P./executive editor Steven Gaydos, who directs Variety’s industry-leading Focus editorial features operation, which produces such key Variety franchises as the Power of Women, Hollywood’s New Leaders, 10 to Watch and many others.

Gaydos said, “Variety has proven to be an essential partner for entertainment and consumer brands, so there’s a great need for bringing our strengths as industry experts and creators of compelling content to the production of exciting, impactful visual narratives.”

Among the studio’s inaugural projects are a branded content video cross-platform program for Amazon Studios, Films Of Our Time, offering awards season voters a deeper look at two of 2016’s most acclaimed movies, “Manchester By the Sea” and documentary “Gleason.”

For the movie, “Loving,” Focus Features worked with the Variety Content Studio to create The Marriage that Changed the World, a five-part series of articles now running in Variety magazine and online. Utilizing the Variety archives, the series focuses on the civil rights movement and the Loving case, showing the historical significance of the case through pop culture.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Indiewire, the studio produced a video series for Filmstruck, Movies That Inspire Me, featuring conversations with directors about their favorite FilmStruck titles from the Turner Classic Movies and Criterion Collection. Participating filmmakers included Matt Ross, Nicole Holofcener, Pablo Larrain, and Roger Ross Williams.

In addition to entertainment industry clients, Fortune 500 brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Delta Airlines, Kering and Karma Automotive are utilizing Variety Content Studio to reach affluent influencers.

As part of the new initiative, Variety has promoted senior features editor David S. Cohen to the newly created role of digital features director and hired Adrian Fulle as digital features producer.

Cohen has been leading the award-winning Artisans video initiative, showcasing cinematographers, editors, sound designers, art directors, and costume designers, since its 2014 inception. A respected expert on subjects from VFX to VR, Cohen and his video team garnered a Maggie Award and a Southern California Journalism Award for “Artisans,” which recently completed its 100th episode. Cohen has also won awards for his reporting; including Variety’s #ArtisansSoWhite cover story on discrimination in the below-the-line ranks.

Fulle is a multi-disciplined creative producer who has led production of narrative and documentary feature films, TV, music videos and branded content for 20 years. He won the PromaxBDA Sports Marketing Silver Award for an Olympics promo campaign, and the short cinematic marketing film “Rise Up” that he executive produced for the Special Olympics was selected as part of Google’s A Year In Search 2015. Fulle started his career working with John Hughes and then launched Poya Pictures, creating content for brands including Red Bull, Universal Music Group, Paramount Pictures International and the U.S. Military.

(Pictured: David Cohen, left; Adrian Fulle)

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