BY SAM GUTELLE
Over its first two years, Astronauts Wanted has produced a number of projects led by big-name online video stars. With its latest project, the studio founded by ex-MTV bigwig Judy McGrath is expanding its network of creative partners while maintaining its expertise across social media. It has announced Flight Club, which will incubate media projects that will feature members of YouTube’s up-and-coming class.
As has been the case with Astronauts Wanted’s other productions, the programs developed by Flight Club will play out across multiple social media platforms, from Tumblr to Snapchat to Facebook Video. For its first project, Flight Club is taking a page out of another transmedia company’s book and producing a modernized adaptation of a classic work of literature. In this case, the work in question is Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which will be adapted into an offbeat, oddball series called Midsømmer.
Astronauts Wanted has introduced Midsømmer and the creators who will star in it via a series of videos on its YouTube channel. In one, for example, aspiring comedian Alex Vergel offers up his unique interpretation of the trickster Puck.
Other creators who will appear in Midsømmer include Foxyhotmess, the Natural, and Erin Gilfoy, all of whom have subscriber counts in the five- and six-digit range. As Flight Club unveils new projects, it will bring in more emerging creators to serve as its stars.
“There’s such an explosion of different platforms and ways of interacting with content over social platforms,” Astronauts Wanted chief creative strategist Nick Shore told the Hollywood Reporter. “The incubator was thought up in the context of how storytelling is going to evolve in a cross-platform world, with the main story being told on one platform and ancillary stories being told on a second platform.”
To stay up to date date with Midsømmer, follow Astronauts Wanted on Tumblr and across social media.