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Portal A has found its new head of originals in former Maker Studios executive George Woolley.
The San Francisco-based branded and digital video studio has tapped Woolley to oversee creation, development and sale of premium scripted and non-scripted projects.
Woolley, a production veteran who has created such viral videos as Whole Foods Parking Lot and Yoga Girl under his Fog and Smog shingle, most recently served as vp originals at Maker Studios, a role he held for a little more than a year before leaving in June. Prior to that, he spent time at Red Bull Media House and Yahoo Originals as an executive producer. Woolley also spent eight years at MTV as a producer on a number of its unscripted series.
“What attracted me [to Portal A] was their ability to work with really strong creators and make something unique,” says Woolley. “They’re putting together new creative formats that have an emphasis on quality storytelling that feels fresh and innovative.”
Portal A has been looking for someone to fill this role since its previous head of originals, Evan Bregman, jumped to Fullscreen-owned Rooster Teeth in June. The Portal A team had previously worked with Woolley while he was at Maker on a comedy series called Song Voyage that stars The Gregory Brothers, which will become available later this year.
“We had really strong similar tastes in what it means to make really awesome work and premium content, and how you bring an elevated approach to the world of digital,” says Portal A managing partner Zach Blume. “The future of this company is original content, so we’re happy to have George leading that charge for us.”
Woolley will be based out of the Los Angeles office of Portal A, which is known for its work producing YouTube’s annual year-end Rewind video. The 30-person company started as an original production house, developing the show White Collar Brawler, which later aired on Esquire. In recent years, Portal A has focused on branded content for partners that include NBCUniversal, Banana Republic and Lenovo. Blume says both original and branded content are priorities for the company, which now has more than 30 projects in the works.
“In many ways, we’ve been creating work that feels like original content in partnership with the brands that we work with,” Blume says. “We’re taking a lot of the lessons we’ve learned from our many years in the digital space and applying them creatively with original content.”
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