Kevin Smith Taps Maker Studios for YouTube Channel (Video)

Kevin Smith

In 2001's "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," Smith wrote himself into a light-saber duel with Mark Hamill. So he was happy to offer his take -- "A Nerd's Plea for Star Wars" -- on what the just-announced "Episode VII" should be. Or, rather, whom it should be about.

The new-media entity has already partnered with Robert De Niro and Snoop Dogg, and more such relationships are in store.

Kevin Smith has partnered with Maker Studios, which will help the actor-director-producer to program and market his SeeSMod YouTube channel, the two are set to announce today.

Outside of a splitting of ad-driven revenue, financial details of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

Maker Studio, which bills itself as a “next-generation talent first media company,” recently closed a Series C financing round led by Time Warner Investments. The company owns a handful of YouTube channels but has partnerships with about 5,000 of them, including many of the most popular ones.

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The company’s most popular partnership, for example, is with a channel called Epic Rap Battles of History, which boasts 30 million views per episode. A recent episode (video of which is below) has Santa Claus and his elves squaring off against Moses, with the latter rapping: “It takes nine reindeer to haul your fat ass; you took the Christ outta Christmas and just added more mass … stop with the unpaid labor and let my little people go.”

Maker Studio also has partnerships with Snoop Dogg’s WestfestTV and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises, and more relationships with mainstream Hollywood artists are expected.

As for Smith, he launched SeeSMod (the moniker is a mash-up of his name, that of partner Scott Mosier and the word “podcast”) in May but re-launched it on Jan. 7 with help from Maker Studio and a revamped programming lineup that the partners hope will strike a chord with audiences and advertisers. One way Maker Studios will boost traffic at SeeSMod is by cross-pollinating Smith with other popular YouTube channels.

“I’m an old moviemaker, unfamiliar with the newfangled ways of the YouTube generation,” Smith joked. “Getting in bed with Maker allows me and SModCo to learn how the cool kids do things. I look forward to their patience as they teach a fat Padawan how to be a Jedi at YouTube the Maker way, and I plan to shoe-horn myself into all their fine programs.”