Topher Grace Launches Pop Culture Web Portal

 

Topher Grace is setting his sights on the web.

The former That '70s Show star has launched Cereal Prize, a pop culture website curated by Grace that will feature sketches, re-edited movie trailers, unaired pilots and previously unseen extras, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Created and edited by Grace, Cerealprize.com launched Thursday morning.

Examples of aggregated and original content visitors can expect on the website, updated on the weekdays, include a Jay Z/Radiohead mashup album, a lost outline for E.T. 2, a trailer for one of Grace's upcoming films and the best '90s bands that never existed (i.e. Jesse and the Rippers). Content is filed under categories such as Great Shit, Funny Shit, Music, Trailers, Short Films and Self-Centered Shit.

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About 85 percent of what is featured will be existing items on the web but repackaged with a Cereal Prize spin. The rest will be original Grace creations, whether it's behind-the-scenes videos on a movie set or Funny or Die-esque sketches.

"I tried social media, and for me, 140 characters is not enough to say anything. There are comedians who can write great jokes in that space, but taking a picture of an omelet I had, [with] hashtag yummy, is not interesting to me," Grace tells THR of why he decided to launch his own space.

Grace admits that he isn't "writing a novel" with Cereal Prize, a name that elicits a nostalgic Saturday-morning cartoon vibe and a throwback to the prizes hidden at the bottom of cereal boxes. Designed by comic illustrator Ramon Perez, the site background is of a kid's bedroom. "It's content I'm interested in," he says of his passion project. "It's a way to share stuff with people that's a little bit more" substantial than the typical tweet.

It was an 85-minute video of the three Star Wars prequels Grace edited together in 2012 that got the wheels turning. The video became so popular that it trended on Twitter for a significant period of time -- though Grace had not joined Twitter then. It served as the catalyst for Grace to use different social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to direct people "to the mill, which would be a place to share [everything]."

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During the site's planning process, Grace says he didn't solicit advice from others who have successfully rolled out similar destinations, though he did point to Steve Martin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HitRECord.org as being prime examples. "Ultimately I didn't ask too many people because I didn't want to be influenced," Grace says. "I wanted it to be truly my thing and if you went there, you'd get a good representation of who I am. I'm not doing it for money or to please anyone."

Grace is confident people who are interested will find the new site. "The Internet is the opposite of network television," he says. "Instead of there being three networks there's an infinite number of things, and it's more about whittling it down to whatever you like. If you love something, just do it; the community will come to you."

Grace adds: "Be really true about what you love because they can smell it if [it's fake]." As for future plans for Cereal Prize, he currently has "no plans" to expand.

Best known as Eric Forman on That '70s Show, Grace next stars in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, in theaters in November; A Many Splintered Thing with Chris Evans; The Calling with Donald Sutherland; and Blumhouse thriller Home.

Watch an unseen That '70s Show cartoon, "Fez & Friends," that was never finished, which will be featured on Cereal Prize.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
Twitter: @insiethetube

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