Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Backing Into Live-Action

So it goes like this ...

AwesomenessTV is acknowledging the growing importance of its movie business with the launch of a film division, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Brian Robbins-led digital media company has created Awesomeness Films and has hired Chapter One Films founder Matt Kaplan to build out the new division.

Kaplan will work closely with Robbins to release between 12 and 15 films for theatrical and digital distribution. Awesomeness Films is already in production on several projects and will look to produce and acquire additional young adult projects that combine traditional and digital talent. ...

And (as noted previously) DWA sidles further into live-action. ...

Awesomeness, of course, was purchased by DreamWorks Animation a year and a half ago for $33 million bucks, and 25% of it .

It was really DWA's first foray into live-action content since it split off from the live-action movie studio named DreamWorks (which is currently hanging on by its corporate fingernails at the Disney Co.). This is, when you take the whole deal over to the light and take a good look at it, a 21st century version of the playbook of Walt Disney Productions from seventy years ago.

Then, WDP edged out of the cartoon business and into live-action with hybrid live-action/animated features, then full-blown live-action product. Then television.

Now, DreamWorks Animation edges into the TV business through the internet, purchasing AwesomnessTV. Awesomness moves into the movie business, and voila! DreamWorks has marched down the old Disney path of long ago.

Naturally, there are differences. Jeffrey Katzenberg started out in live-action at Paramount, continued with live-action at the Mouse House in the mid 1980s, then got into animation in a big way. Walt mostly started as a cartoon guy ... but ... hey, wait! Walter Elias Disney did Alice in Cartoonland in the early 1920s! Well I'll be damned!

Parallels, parallels.


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