Machinima and RSA Axe Plans to Produce Series of Sci-Fi Short Films - VideoInk
 
 

Machinima and RSA Axe Plans to Produce Series of Sci-Fi Short Films

/ Nov 21, 2013

RSA_Machinima

In March, Machinima announced a major content deal with RSA, Hollywood filmmaker Ridley Scott’s production company, to produce a series of 12 sci-fi short films for its video network. The goal was to canvas ideas from RSA’s stable of directors to create new, original sci-fi narratives. If any of the films were successful enough with Machinima’s audience, RSA and Machinima would then develop longer series and maybe even feature-length projects based on them.

It was a major deal for Machinima, which has made its OTT ambitions clear in the past several months.

It’s also a deal that no longer exists.

Multiple sources close to the deal confirm that the project has been shuttered. The reason for RSA leaving the project, according to these sources, had do with things like aligning schedules with potential advertisers and director availability.

There is some confusion, though, over how the films would get funded, and how much of a role that played in the deal falling apart. For instance, a source tells us that RSA believed brand sponsors would be on board to help underwrite production costs for the films. When the production company realized that there would be no financing coming in from advertisers, it opted to remove itself from the project. Other sources claim that’s inaccurate, that there wasn’t any expectation on RSA to help finance the films.

In any case, this was a major project, and one that received its fair share of interest from potential sponsors. Multiple sources tell us that Machinima had spoken with multiple advertisers, with some even ready to commit to sponsorships.

Separately, we’ve learned that Machinima did indeed have an agreement in place with a major global marketer, which signed up to sponsor the entire film slate. We’re told the deal was in the multi-million dollar range, and that it was a media buy.

So what to make of all of this? Whether the decision to call the deal was due to scheduling concerns, or it had to do with the actual financing of the films, it’s definitely a setback for Machinima, one of the top video networks on the web.

As of now, all sources agree that there are no immediate plans between RSA and Machinima to collaborate on content.

It’s been a rough couple of months for Machinima, at least in the public eye. In September, the company shed close to 10% of its workforce (22 employees) for the second time in the past year. Since then, the network has also announced that it would be parting ways with two top executives, president Philip DeBevoise and EVP of network programming Aaron DeBevoise, by the end of the year. There is also the matter of current Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise* looking for his own replacement.

Would this partnership with RSA have changed that? Tough to say.

Although the fact that Machinima was able to secure a big commitment from a major advertiser indicates that it’s not exactly finished. And remember, while RSA’s stable of filmmakers include Oscar winners like Kathryn Bigelow and Martin Scorsese, these films were going to be created by those whom you probably haven’t heard of. Even then, Machinima was able to generate interest for the films, which were supposed to roll out in early 2014.

It’ll be interesting to see how the company responds. Machinima still wants to create a premium video network with high-quality content. The company is still looking to raise more money, and an industry source confirms earlier reports that the amount will most likely be in the $20-30 million range, after initially hoping for a mega-round north of $70 million.

* Full disclosure: Allen DeBevoise is an investor in VideoInk.

Tags: , , , ,


Susan_lyne

AOL’s Brand CEO Susan Lyne Steps Down to Run New VC Fund...

CollegeMusical

Kurt Hugo Schneider’s ‘College Musical’ to...

netflix hemlock grove

Netflix Gives ‘Hemlock Grove’ Third and Final Season

SoniaGil

New Season of Sonia Gil’s Series ‘Almost Free’...

Red Bull Series

Red Bull’s New Series Explores History of Video Game Music

YouTubeSpaces_Legendary

Legendary and YouTube Team Up for Spooky Content Competition

Crowd005

YouTube’s Fan Funding Feature Now Live in the US

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.54.17 AM

GQ’s New Series Will Cure Your Hangover

netflixTV

Netflix and Facebook Allow Users to Send Private Recommendations...

Idiot'sGuide

Above Average Renews Its Animated Tutorials for Idiots

NewsToKnow

Tuesday 9.2: News to Know

Culture Machine

Culture Machine Raises Money, Boards Former YouTube Product Head...

jim louderback

Jim Louderback Exits Discovery Digital Networks

MobileTechnology

6 Mobile Technologies Creators and Content Providers Should Try

BBC

BBC’s iPlayer to Strut Out Multiple Shows for London...

vice

Time Warner Out on Vice Media, A+E Networks Buys In (Updated)

FowlerSistersEarBiscuits_01

The Fowler Sisters on How to Deal with Hate Online

Before_going_mobile_02

What Should Video Creators Know Before Going Mobile?

The_Chair

Starz to Stream Episodes of Shane Dawson Series Ahead of Premiere

angrybirdstoons

Angry Birds Maker Rovio Names Next CEO

kendall_rhodes01

Untitled Hires Relativity Exec Kendall Rhodes to Grow Digital Business

TheSpecials_01

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN to Air Webby-Winning Docu-Series...

VideoInkRecap_Aug

Recap! VideoInk Presents… Mobile Video and Vine

Own_image

Oprah Winfrey Network Keeps Growing Its Empire…Digitally

Fred

Lucas Cruikshank and CDS Bring Back ‘Fred’

amazonstudios

The Latest Amazon Pilots Are Here

Marco Polo_04_00101r1

Netflix Sets Premiere Date for ‘Marco Polo’ —...

NetFrance

Netflix’s First French Series Wants to Be Another...

NewsToKnow

Thursday 8.28: News to Know

Native_Ads

The Rise of Native Ads and the Importance of Being Human

WSW_03

Web Series Wednesday: Dark, Eccentric, and Inspirational

US_OnlineVideo

Why Hollywood Can’t Ignore Digital Distribution

Raindance_Web_Fest

What’s in Store for UK’s Raindance Web Fest 2014

PlutoTV

Pluto.TV Adds More Top Digital Video Players to Lineup

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 11.40.32 AM

‘Better Homes and Gardens’ Debuts on Portico TV

brian_felsen_01

YouTube Music Monetizer AdRev Names New President

amazon transparent

Amazon to Debut ‘Transparent’ in September