Going edgy with Red Band
Empty60Frames, the digital content producer and distribution firm born last year out of UTA, has quietly rolled out Red Band Industries, a separate production label geared for incubating edgier fare that might not appeal to mainstream advertisers.
A few weeks ago, 60Frames released two original, envelope-pushing series on the Web under the Red Band moniker: the "High School Musical"-spoofing "Private High Musical" and the animated "Brangelina Bunch," which pokes fun at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. In addition, the company previously launched the sketch comedy vehicle "I Am Zumwalt," which has recently produced a series of racy, politically charged videos, including a mock sex tape featuring an actress playing vp candidate Sarah Palin.
60Frames execs are looking to establish Red Band Industries as a separate sub-brand that will become identified as a home for youth-appealing content that's clearly not for everyone. Meanwhile, the hope is to make it clear to advertisers that the 60Frames label will focus on producing more mainstream content geared for advertisers of all kinds.
Until now, 60Frames' output has varied widely. The company has greenlighted sophomoric comedies including "Douchebag Beach" as well as the fashion-lover-aimed series "Who What Wear." It has inked a development deal with NBC Universal and has several higher-profile projects in the works, including a dramatic series helmed by Tom Fontana and a sci-fi series from "Jericho's" Robbie Thompson.
Mike Shields is a reporter for MediaWeek.