Last year, RocketJump – the production company created by YouTube celebrity Freddie Wong – concluded its first long-form project, Video Game High School, after three seasons of (partly) crowd-funded production. Now rested, the gang is back with their latest project in a new partnership with Hulu: RocketJump: The Show.
Backed by the new trailer above, the show is a partly scripted series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the budding new media company RocketJump – as it works to transition out of the current digital niche it exists in and into the mainstream. Each episode will show the production of a short that will then appear at the end of the episode (as well as on the studio’s YouTube page).
Matt Arnold (one of the studios’ founding members) says that the RocketJump gang is being allowed to run free, in terms of what kind of shorts they produce for the show. Most likely, it’s that level of creative freedom that made the team ultimately decide to produce their new series with Hulu (which is also the first show being made under the studio’s new production deal with Lionsgate). Originally, Freddie and co. had brought the show to YouTube (where Video Game High School thrived), only to quickly realize it wasn’t going to be the right fit.
Known online as FreddieW, the 29-year-old is the creator of “Video Game High School,” a comedic sci-fi series featured on billboards and in TV, print and online ads, as part of YouTube’s fall 2014 promo campaign. Some parts of the “VGHS” three-season run were shot at YouTube’s own massive production facility in Los Angeles, with Wong the first creator to utilize the space. But when the time came for Wong’s digital studio, RocketJump, to shoot his next project, he says YouTube didn’t exactly jump at the idea.
“We said, ‘Here’s the show we want to do, and here is the budget we need,’ ” he says. “And they hemmed and hawed, and said, ‘Sure, do it for more minutes and for less money.’ ”
YouTube has plans to begin broadening its slate to include more higher quality content, but for now it’s firmly having its butt handed to it by the competition. The loss of Freddie Wong is a major blow to its future as a content creator – one that doesn’t rely solely on the open submission of cat videos and drunken trampoline stunts, that is.
On the flip side, Hulu taking on the new RocketJump series is actually the best thing it could have done. By lending a helping hand to a creative the millennial generation’s firmly entrenched with (in addition to also supporting new endeavors like the upcoming 11/22/63 and Mindy Project season 4), the digital outlet is finally putting some major skin in the game – one that may allow Hulu to compete on the level with Netflix and Amazon, one day.
RocketJump: The Show premieres later in 2015 on Hulu.
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