3 Arts Inks Hoodlum for Original, Digital Content (Exclusive)

Andrew Schwartz/2010 Columbia Pictures

The Management/Production company ramps up its multiplatform efforts with the makers of "Lost’s" Dharma Initiative.

3 Arts Entertainment has signed Hoodlum, the producers of multiplatform campaigns for Lost and Salt, with an eye toward developing original TV and digital content for U.S. networks and cable companies.

“People talk about multiplatform a lot as a catchphrase and frankly I didn’t really know what that meant in practice and I think that’s probably true of a lot of people,” said Carrie Stein, head of global management and packaging at 3 Arts, before noting that Hollywood’s conventional thinking needs to change when it comes to storytelling.

Stein, who joined the management/production company in July after spending four years specializing in international co-productions at Alchemy TV, said she was sold on the company during a presentation for its original series Slide, a co-production with Playmaker Media in Australia that will be distributed overseas by Freemantle.

“If they had just pitched it to me as a show it would have been just like any of the CW shows,” she said of the younger-skewing drama. “They showed it to me in a way that nobody has ever presented a project before: as a television series, game and online story across all the platforms.”

Stein plans to partner Hoodlum with showrunners, studios and production companies to develop multiplatform and original content for programming launching next year. Ideally, Hoodlum would be involved from inception, rather than come aboard once a series is already on the air.

“Usually with a multiplatform project -- especially when it’s attached to a TV show -- it’s sort of an afterthought,” said Nathan Mayfield, chief creative officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, which is repped by ICM.

“It became apparent from the beginning that Carrie had a very good grasp of where things were heading and the absolute need for producers, production companies, writers -- all the creators -- to really start looking at how they can extend their brands across multiple platforms.”

Stein said 3 Arts’ existing properties -- which include TV’s 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation and films I Am Legend and Street Kings, among others as well as a client list featuring Robert Pattinson, Tina Fey and Keanu Reeves -- could receive the Hoodlum treatment should the opportunity present itself.

As Stein sees it, genre shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead make the ideal candidate for a multiplatform Hoodlum campaign. “Imagine if they had been able to provide viewers with all kinds of additional programming streams between that first season and the next as opposed to viewers waiting 18 months [for new episodes],” she added.

Hoodlum, formed by Tracey Robertson and Mayfield in 1999, has created multiplatform campaigns that can both extend and develop story lines. Its most high-profile effort was for ABC Entertainment Marketing, for which Hoodlum invited audiences to become active members of the fictional Dharma Initiative during an eight-month project that bridged the gap between Seasons 4 and 5 of Lost. The interactive campaign earned the company an Emmy for interactive media programming, fiction, in 2009.

“The time is right for this; we’re looking at people who now are using more than one screen at the same time and I think it’s no longer a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality in Hollywood,” Mayfield said. “It’s actually that you have to tell the story and also take the story to where people are participating – not only on TV but online through games and mobile.”

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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