Quick Breaks: Marriott Releases New Video Series; CAA Signs YouTuber Swoozie
Quick Breaks is a daily column from the VideoInk editorial staff, which rounds up and features interesting developments in the larger digital video space that we feel you should be at least somewhat aware of. Have tips or suggestions for more Quick Breaks? Send them over to email@example.com.
Con TV original series “Fight of the Living Dead” is now available on YouTube channel BlackBoxTV. The series stars famous YouTubers as they battle “zombies” in an abandoned prison in Los Angeles. Zombie fighters include Joey Graceffa, Justine Ezarik, Jesse and Jeanna from PrankvsPrank, Iman Crosson (aka Alphacat), and Olga Kay, among others. “Fight of the Living Dead” is produced by Alpine Labs and Revolver Picture Company. It is executive produced by Kevin Abrams, Jamie Denenberg, and Tony E. Valenzuela (the founder of BlackBoxTV) with co-executive producers Rodney Frazier, Nick Phillips, Kelley Martin Wagner, and Aaron Lewis.
Marriott Content Studio has started releasing its three-video series with YouTuber Jack Harries. The first of the three videos is now available on Harries’ website, and it features the creator traveling in New Orleans. Subsequent videos will follow Harries in Istanbul and Tokyo.
CAA has signed YouTuber Adande Thorne, better known as Swoozie. Thorne has over 2.7 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, which features his vlogs interspersed with stick figure animation. Thorne also stars in a full-length movie produced by FilmOn.com and Relativity Digital Studios, “Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin,” which will premiere in theaters and online this June 27. CAA will work with Thorne on getting digital, TV, film, commercial, and publishing opportunities.
Rachel Dratch is set to host the Shorty Awards, an annual awards show that celebrates digital and social content and influencers. This year’s show will be held at the New York Times Center on April 20, and will be streamed live online. Scheduled presenters include Tyler Oakley, GloZell, and Kevin Jonas, among others. The news was first reported by Variety.
California-based indie movie studio Thunder Studios has acquired YouTube MCN Power Up TV. Power Up TV launched last year as a gaming-focused MCN and now consists of over 2,000 channels, moving into the genres of music, lifestyle, sports, and comedy. Because of the acquisition, Power Up TV creators will be able to use Thunder Studios’ stages and equipment with no upfront cost. They’ll also be able to avail themselves of the MCN’s fund for original web series.
Roku has come out with a feature that lets users track their favorite content and get automatic updates, particularly regarding when new movies are becoming available to stream. The “Roku Feed” will not only tell users when those movies are coming out, it will also tell them which streaming service(s) will be offering the flick. Roku has also released an updated streaming player, Roku 3, which uses voice search and goes for $99.99, in addition to a speedier Roku 2 player, which costs $69.99.
Former VP, advanced software platform at Samsung Research America, Yannick Pellet, has joined VR company Magic Leap as the SVP of software engineering. In his new role, Pellet will report to Magic Leap’s founder/president/CEO, Rony Abovitz. At Samsung, Pellet built software platforms for mobile devices, and now he’ll continue to build software…that we can’t quite imagine yet, as Magic Leap is largely keeping its projects under wraps.