DiVide partners with Generate

Milo Ventimiglia's company to cooperate on branded content

NEW YORK -- Production and talent management firm Generate has partnered with DiVide Pictures, the production firm and comic book publisher co-founded by Milo Ventimiglia ("Heroes") and producer Russ Cundiff, to jointly create branded entertainment content for marketers looking to reach young male audiences on digital platforms.

DiVide last weel already moved its operations to Generate’s Santa Monica offices.

The firms will co-produce all brand-sponsored digital programming concepts developed by DiVide, which has developed original series and multiplatform brand campaigns for such companies as American Eagle, Cadillac and GQ. It most recently announced plans for scripted digital series "Ultradome."

The intersection of brands and entertainment has also become a bigger focus for Generate. It recently worked with Bradley & Montgomery to produce a "Browser for the Better" viral ad campaign for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 and it will premiere sponsored Web drama "The Lake" for TheWB.com on Aug. 10.

"Ever since I met Milo at The WB as a young actor on 'Gilmore Girls,' I was struck by his professional ambition and passion for creating entertainment that he and his peer group found engaging," said Generate CEO Jordan Levin. "Milo and Russ share Generate’s vision of brands and content converging in the digital space, which is an innovative opportunity for any company trying to activate DiVide’s core fan base of ‘media multitasking’ young males."

Said Ventimiglia: "Russ and I are very much looking forward to exploring the opportunities this partnership brings to DiVide."

In a telephone chat with THR from Comic-Con, where he spent most day, Ventimiglia said the relationships and skills of the new partners will mesh and complement each other well. "We are producers and developers and know writers, directors and actors," he said. "They understand the creative work and also have access to advertisers."
He also said he fondly remembers getting a chance to do interstitials for The WB when Levin ran it. "I liked that he saw me in such roles in addition to my work as an actor in front of the camera," he said. 

Asked about "Ultradome," the young star said the pilot for it is shot, and treatments for episodes are in place. "Now we are looking for backers," he explained.

What approach do he and DiVide take to the digital content space? "A lot of people are holding out for a homerun," he told THR. "I am trying to load up on base hits."

While the work is focused on the digital space, face-to-face conversations remain key to the creative process in the digital age, Ventimiglia argued in explaining the shared space with Generate. "Everybody is texting and emailing," he said. "But (sometimes) face time is better. When you want to discuss an idea, it is great if you can just walk into someone's office."