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British TV network Channel 4 has taken a minority stake in new U.K. virtual reality startup Parable, which will create VR and 360° content across the entertainment, brand marketing and training sectors.
Parable was co-founded by David Wise, former director of programs at The Garden Productions, and Nicholas Minter-Green, former president of Economist Films.
Channel 4 is joined as launch investors by Stephen Lambert, chief executive of TV production banner Studio Lambert, who has been appointed chairman of Parable, and the global media company The Economist Group. The Economist deputy editor and tech expert Tom Standage joins the board as a non-executive director.
Alongside Wise and Minter-Green on the Parable leadership team is Jonathan Rudd, an award-winning television director and film editor who joins as partner and creative director. Rudd has over 150 broadcast credits across his 25-year career, from popular factual entertainment series and full-length drama documentaries including Stockwell (ITV) and The Great British Blackout (National Geographic).
Parable has already completed two 360° documentaries for The Economist with Blancpain, and is in advanced conversations with several major broadcasters and an array of established onscreen talent regarding upcoming projects for this year.
“We’ve been watching the VR and AR markets with interest as they move away from their Silicon Valley roots and increasingly attract the attention of media owners and brands,” said David Abraham, chief executive at Channel 4. “Parable are storytellers first and foremost and present a great opportunity for our Indie Growth Fund to work with a talented team with a bold ambition to break into this exciting new sector.”
Added Lambert: “Virtual reality is the most exciting technological media development of the next few years, but its success hangs or falls on creating great content. I know David and Nicky well and I have no doubt they will quickly establish themselves as a leading global supplier of engaging innovative VR content, which is why I’m delighted to be involved in this new business as its non-exec chairman.”
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