Vimeo is continuing its original content push with the announcement of four new projects, including its first documentary “Wizard Mode,” which focuses on an autistic boy as he works to become a pinball master. What stands out most from the new slate is that Vimeo’s new titles are not YouTube creator-driven projects like their last round of funded originals.
Vimeo’s early funded programming included New Form Digital’s “Oscar’s Hotel,” Sawyer Hartman’s “Parallax Theory,” Jenxpenn’s “Bad Night,” and “The Chosen,” all of which are heavily stacked with YouTube talent. Since then, its slate has included more modest “stars” such as those native to Vimeo or television transplants. For instance, “Wizard Mode” and Vimeo’s first concert film “Toro Y Moi: Live in Concert” were directed by the team of Nathan Drillot & Jeff Lee Petry Mode and Harry Israelson, respectively, who have helmed numerous Vimeo Staff Picks.
Vimeo has also picked up a new comedy special, “Garfunkel & Oates: Trying to be Special,” and “Lonely and Horny,” a new series from long-time Vimeo creators Jake Hurwitz & Amir Blumenfeld, whose claim-to-fame series “Jake and Amir” aired on Colleg Humor, which is also owned by Vimeo parent company IAC. (See below for loglines and air dates for the series.)
Vimeo just recently announced new shows in December, as well. As the streaming destination continues to solidify its place in a highly competitive market, viewership on these shows will become increasingly important for both Vimeo and the creators selling direct to fans.
“Vimeo is accelerating its commitment to deliver innovative programming from truly gifted creators to our global audience” said Sam Toles, head of global content acquisitions and distribution for Vimeo, in a statement. “We aim to surprise and captivate our global audience with content that is anything but ordinary. This diverse slate of comedy and music are the perfect additions to our critically acclaimed original programming efforts.”
New Vimeo Original programming includes:
“Lonely and Horny” (April 8, 2016): Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld write and star in their first series since CollegeHumor’s Jake and Amir. Blumenfeld plays Ruby Jade, a neurotic, selfish, understandably single 30-something who wants to have sex more than anything else in the world — and it shows. Hurwitz plays Josh Rice, an empathetic dating teacher, who half heartedly dispenses advice to a gaggle of desperate students. The show follows Ruby on his quest to find love with literally anybody, including Milana Vayntrub, Ariana Madix, George Basil, and more. Lonely and Horny, now available in preorder, premieres April 8th at Vimeo.com/LonelyandHorny. Lonely and Horny is produced by Jillian Jesk and Alexander Koehne of Brevity Wit Productions and is directed by Jake Hurwitz. Featuring a soundtrack exclusively by Lucius.
“Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to be Special” (May 2016): Garfunkel and Oates (Riki Lindhome & Kate Micucci) have had a TV series, a web series, four albums, multiple concert tours, music videos and more… But they’ve never had a comedy special. So, Riki and Kate decide to host a live fundraiser in Seattle — complete with songs, stories, and surprises- all in the hopes of raising enough money to make their own comedy special. Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to be Special is produced by Divide / Conquer, written by Lindhome and Micucci, and is directed by Lindhome and Jeremy Konner.
“Wizard Mode” (Spring 2016): In the game of pinball, there is no greater reward than Wizard Mode — a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. Robert Emilio Gagno has dedicated most of his life to mastering Wizard Mode, and is now one of the top pinball players in the world. He also happens to have autism. Wizard Mode, Vimeo’s first Original documentary and first feature-length film, is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of one of the world’s greatest pinball players. Wizard Mode is directed by ten-time Vimeo Staff Picked creators Nathan Drillot and Jeff Lee Petry of Salazar, and is a Salazar Film production.
“Toro y Moi: Live in Concert” (June 2016): Vimeo’s first Original concert film comes from the internationally celebrated recording artist Chaz Bundick, better known as Toro y Moi. In 2010, Toro y Moi was an integral part of the chillwave movement, releasing four critically acclaimed albums and continuing to evolve his sound, performance and art. Toro y Moi: Live in Concert will be shot as a full concert production, in an isolated, desert location with no audience. Toro y Moi: Live in Concert is directed by seven-time Vimeo Staff Picked creator Harry Israelson.