Ron Howard-Backed Incubator Boosts YouTube Stars to the Next Level

/ Oct 31, 2014

YouTubeStars_Dailydot

This article originally appeared on The Daily Dot

By Allen Weiner

In the world of digital media, a successful incubator is as much a mission and state of mind as it is as business process.

New Form Digital has separated itself from the pack of ad hoc studios whose goal is to aggregate and represent the works of digital storytellers born of YouTube, rather than apprenticeship or film-school pedigree. Digital content networks like Evox Television Networks, Amazon Studios, and divisions within broadcasters such as NBCUniversal and CBS often are more about realizing finished projects via monetization than creating a new generation of sustainable digital content. Launched in April by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer along with Discovery Communications, New Form is intended to nurture and mentor a crop of budding YouTube stars in hopes of elevating them from user-generated content pros to producers of commercially successful web series and short films.

Kathleen Grace, the chief creative officer for New Form, explained mentorship lacks set rules when it comes to digital storytelling. The former YouTube executive (and person behind YouTube Spaces) says that the work between the digital studio and its filmmakers involves a lot of give and take and often boils down to just some practical advice.

“Some of the work is formal: There can be three to four rounds of notes on scripts and on editing,” Grace told the Daily Dot. “But then there are filmmakers who just need help finding a location or are unfamiliar with permitting processes.”

Among those in the first class of budding geniuses working with New Form Digital are Joey Graceffa, Joe Penna (MysteryGuitarMan), Sawyer Hartman, Meghan Camarena (Strawburry17)…

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