MICHAEL EISNER LAUNCHES NEW MEDIA STUDIO TO
PRODUCE WORLD-CLASS CONTENT FOR THE INTERNET
Vuguru’s First Series Prom Queen To Premier Online April 2nd
ELLEgirl, FIJI Water, POM Wonderful and Teleflora.com To Be First Sponsors
Veoh and YouTube to Distribute Online
(BEVERLY HILLS, CA) March 12, 2007 – Michael Eisner’s The Tornante Company today announced the formation of Vuguru (www.vuguru.com), an independent studio that will produce and distribute original content for the Internet and emerging digital platforms. Vuguru’s goal is to be the leader in producing high-quality, story-driven content for the Internet that up until now could only be found in movie theaters or on television.
“In the past few years, the development of exciting and innovative digital media platforms and technologies has outpaced the creation of truly great content,” said Michael Eisner. “Vuguru will produce and showcase original and third party content in all genres and formats to meet the new demands of the evolving media landscape.”
Vuguru’s first production, Prom Queen, is a scripted, serialized mystery told over 80 episodes – each running 90 seconds long. Set against the final two months of the school year, Prom Queen has a blend of love, gossip, and betrayal – all of the twists and turns of high school leading up to the biggest night of any senior’s life: prom night.
Prom Queen’s short-form episodes are designed to be easily viewed on multiple platforms and are aimed at young, early adopters of new media content and technology. The production offers unique and clear opportunities for advertisers to reach this coveted demo.
FIJI Water, POM Wonderful (Pomegranate Juice and POM Tea) and Teleflora.com, providing same day local florist delivery, are the first sponsors of Prom Queen.
ELLEgirl—the premier destination for teens with a passion for fashion, beauty, and entertainment—will offer a full Prom Queen experience on ELLEgirl.com. ELLEgirl is a property of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
Apparel relationships include Victoria’s Secret Pink, Jessica McClintock, People’s Liberation, and HotKiss, among others. Viewers can easily purchase styles shown while watching the episodes through a partnership with StarStyle.com.
PromQueen.tv will serve as the central hub for all things related to the show. From accessing past episodes to exploring information about characters and storyline, viewers will find a PromQueen.tv forum to interact with both the show and other viewers. Videos on PromQueen.tv will be hosted by Veoh.
Additionally, viewers can access Prom Queen online on Veoh.com, YouTube.com, ELLEgirl.com, and other sites. Prom Queen will also be distributed on handheld devices and to the living room.
Tornante is producing the Prom Queen series with the independent production team of Big Fantastic. Big Fantastic is a group of writers, directors, and producers dedicated to telling stories in the digital space. Big Fantastic’s flagship web series,Sam Has 7 Friends, is widely considered a pioneer in the realm of video podcasting. Tornante recently acquired the rights to Sam Has 7 Friends and holds an option to the production of its sequel.
“From the first frame of the first episode of Sam Has 7 Friends, it was clear that these talented individuals were operating on a different level,” said Michael Eisner. “They have an ability to create a hands-on style of filmmaking that generates network-caliber content but with the kind of intimacy and interactivity web audiences crave.”
“Michael Eisner’s passion for storytelling and dedication to original content for the broadband platform is refreshing and inspiring,” said Chris Hampel of Big Fantastic. “This is an incredible opportunity to bridge the gap between user-generated content and traditional production, which we hope will bring more legitimacy to the Internet as an entertainment medium.”
The co-production deal between Vuguru and Big Fantastic was brokered by United Talent Agency’s newly formed online division. Big Fantastic is represented by United Talent Agency.
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ABOUT THE TORNANTE COMPANY
Founded in 2005 by Michael Eisner, The Tornante Company is a privately held company that makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. The company’s new media studio, Vuguru, will produce and distribute innovative original content for current new media and emerging platforms that has the feel and storytelling of that on traditional media outlets. Prom Queen is the first of many shows developed and produced by Vuguru. Tornante also holds ownership stakes in Veoh Networks and Team Baby Entertainment.
ABOUT BIG FANTASTIC LLC
Big Fantastic is comprised of a handful of artists who aspire to a fresh and immersive way of storytelling on the Internet. Unified from backgrounds at Washington State University, Michael Mann’s features, and a palette of short films, they collaborated and focused their talents into producing the first daily, scripted and dramatic web-series Sam Has 7 Friends in 2006. Big Fantastic is comprised of Douglas Cheney, Chris Hampel, Chris McCaleb and Ryan Wise.
Dan Klores Communications