Headquartered in Santa Monica, Ca., Tongal has a network of more than 100,000 independent writers, directors and filmmakers that creates oringal video projects for advertisers, brands, agencies and studios.
It works like this: a business posts a project on the Tongal web site with a title, assets and a Twitter-length (140 characters) project brief. Members of the community pitch ideas based on the brief. The business chooses winning pitches, pays the pitchers, then submits those ideas to Tongal’s community of filmmakers, who in turn submit their vision for the completed project, using everything from storyboards and scripts to videos and location photos.
Tongal was founded in 2009 by James DeJulio, Rob Salvatore and Mark Burrell. Using its crowdsourcing model, the company has executed more than a thousand campaigns for companies such as Anhueser-Busch, Procter & Gamble, LEGO, General Mills, Bacardi, NASA and Lionsgate, as well as bands including The Beach Boys, Kiss and The Who, that have collectively garnered more than a billion views.
Last year, it partnered with DirecTV on “The Next Great American Documentary,” in which filmmakers 13 and up competed for the chance to produce a $50,000, hour-long, non-fiction film that would air on DirecTV’s Audience Network. Director Jordan Haro won with his film “The Rush Brothers.”
UTA will work with Tongal to help it develop deeper relationships with studios, networks, digital publishers, advertising agencies and brand marketers. The agency will also bring more traditional talent into the Tongal ecosystem and assist it in forming a network of creators working in virtual reality, as well as expand opportunities for Tongal to develop new IP to support, market, enhance or reinvent films and franchises.
“There is an increasing number of companies, including many brand advertisers, looking to move further upstream in the content development, financing and distribution business,” said Brent Weinstein, partner and head of digital media at United Talent Agency, in a statement. “At the same time, as a result of democratizing technologies, more and more individuals have the opportunity to build careers as professional artists. Tongal has built a platform that bridges that gap, connecting professional artists with new opportunities, and helping brands and media companies identify new creative partners.”
Under Weinstein’s leadership, UTA has a built a strong presence in the digital content space, repping big name talent including “Annoying Orange” Dane Boedigheimer and Rhett and Link, as well as companies and brands such as Jash, Delta Airlines, VidCon and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).