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From Vine and YouTube to the cineplex.
With the increasing jump of Internet stars to the big screen, multichannel network Fullscreen is putting focus on a new film division that aims to elevate digital celebs to the movie mainstream.
“Fullscreen has always been deeply committed to empowering online creators. It’s in our DNA,” said George Strompolos, Founder and CEO of Fullscreen, in a press release. “Fullscreen Films takes our mission to the next level as we look to create several ambitious feature films with many of today’s brightest creative voices. This is what audiences have told us they want and Fullscreen is prepared to deliver.”
With a network that is home to 60,000 YouTubers who generate over 5 billion views per month, Fullscreen is well-positioned to help stars make the leap. For now, there are three upcoming films on the Fullscreen slate. In November the company acquired digital production company Rooster Teeth for an undisclosed amount, assuming along with it the company’s upcoming film, Lazer Team, which raked in over $2.4 million in a record-breaking Indiegogo campaign. Additionally, the company will move forward with #O2LForever, a documentary about Our2ndLife, a recently disbanded, collaborative YouTube channel. No word on if the film’s title will change in response to recent events.
Finally, the division will produce The Outfield, which stars Viners Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier. The film follows a group of varsity baseball players, and is notable because its two stars are not part of the Fullscreen network (they are signed to AwesomenessTV).
“Fullscreen is committed to giving creators the opportunity to express themselves and tell stories that matter to them and their audiences,” added Fullscreen Chief Content Officer, Michael Goldfine. “Often, those stories are most authentically told as full-length movies, whether they capture a significant moment in pop culture, like O2L, or reach the hearts of passionate fandoms like Lazer Team and The Outfield. I couldn’t be more excited to kick off our original content pursuits with movies, though there’s much more exciting stuff to come.”
There’s no indication yet on how the video projects will be released.
A former YouTube reporter for the Daily Dot, Rae Votta has more than a decade of experience in the digital and entertainment industries. Her work has appeared on AOL, Huffington Post, Out Magazine, Logo, VH1, Current TV, Billboard, and NYMag. She joined Netflix in 2016.