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Hulu has bolstered its move into virtual worlds by launching A Curious Mind, hosted by Lost alum Dominic Monaghan, and The Driver, featuring NASCAR rising star Jeffrey Earnhardt in a high-speed race car ride, exclusively on its VR app.
The popular streamer, fresh off its Emmy win for best drama for The Handmaid’s Tale, also co-produced with Toronto-based CreamVR a third project, the horror film Happy Campers. Hulu first launched its VR app, which is separate from a Hulu subscription, in June 2016.
Monaghan, who also starred in Lord of the Rings and The X-Men Origins: Wolverine, hosts the pop-science VR series A Curious Mind. The 360-degree video experience explores the science that created our universe.
Canadian indie Cream Productions also produces the reality TV show Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan, which takes viewers on a global hunt for unusual animals and insects.
Hulu also offers The Driver, which puts VR users in the seat as Earnhardt pushes his car to more than 180 miles an hour. Jeffrey Earnhardt is the grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt and the nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“We are especially excited to partner with premium content provider Hulu with these three new shows that offer an unparalleled immersive viewing experience,” said David Brady, CEO of CreamVR, Friday in a statement. Besides launching a VR app, Hulu has been expanding on other programming fronts.
The video streamer launched a $40-per-month live television bundle (which includes a subscription to Hulu’s limited advertising tier), began offering HBO and Cinemax as subscriber add-ons and teamed with Spotify to sell its service to students at a discount.
Monaghan is repped by APA, UK Agents and Morris Yorn. Also at MIPCOM, Canadian creators of video shorts were eyeing sales to Hulu and other cash-rich streaming giants looking to strengthen their video offerings for kids and family audiences.
“Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, they’re spending real money. They want high end content and they’re willing to pay for that,” Ted Bentley, chief creative officer at Vancouver-based Atomic Cartoons, which did the 3D animation for Beat Bugs, a Canada-Australia co-production and a Netflix preschool series built around the music of The Beatles.
Mary Darling, a director and executive producer at Westwind Pictures, which is best known for the comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, was at MIP Jr. to shop The Art Show, a live action short video series for CBC Kids, to international buyers as a format.
“Most kids look at art as more than refrigerator decor,” Darling said of the video shorts where real children get inspired by art and make something of their very own. MIP Jr. included a push by the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada, key film and TV financiers, to showcase short form video from Canadian producers.
“We are in the midst of a new era in storytelling, with new technologies that render animation productions increasingly compelling to audiences of all ages,” Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, said.
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