Hey Hollywood, in case you didn’t already get the message: Adam Carolla is just fine doing his own thing, thank you very much.
The podcasting king recently told TheWrap that with his iTunes-topping distribution platform, “we don’t really need” Hollywood.
Pretty much anyone in the industry who is reading this story, Carolla was referring to you. After all, the “Man Show” co-creator has “been through every sort of delivery system there could be” in his Hollywood and Hollywood-adjacent career, as he put it during our conversation. What he’s settled on is near-complete control over his own stuff — and it seems to be working out for Jimmy Kimmel’s best bud.
More specifically, Carolla used a relevant example about a traditional FilmBuff interaction to explain why he’s happier handling things himself.
Careful to point out that those at FilmBuff are “not bad guys,” Carolla remembered receiving a $17,000 bill from the company’s trailer house for his “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman” teaser. The problem? “It looked like s–t,” Carolla told us.
So he and director Nate Adams — his partner in Chassy Media, pictured above (left) — churned out what Carolla called a “really good” trailer themselves. That led him to the following revelation: “Why not just put the 17 grand in our pocket and do it that way?” he said. “That’s basically the long and the short of it.”
Much like Carolla Digital, which is hosted on PodcastOne, that’s exactly what he’s doing with newest venture Chassy.com. Similarly to how terrestrial radio birthed podcasting, TV has given rise to video on-demand services. And Carolla has just enough cash and cache to spearhead his own platform once-again.
“It makes sense,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s something we could have pulled off 10 years ago.”
A decade ago, Carolla was early on in “Crank Yankers” and hadn’t released his first independent film, “The Hammer,” yet. We’d say he’s correct about the timing and possibilities allowed by modern technology.
While at launch, Chassy is essentially an automotive-based (get it, chassis?) content delivery machine that Carolla knows could — and probably should — evolve.
“We’re not gonna say ‘No’ to something just because it is thematically not right,” he told us. “I’d be lying if I said, ‘This is what it’s going to be,’ because we all know how things start out as this and turn into that.”
“But I can tell you what our intent is. Our intent is to create high-quality, compelling material,” Carolla continued. “Especially in the automotive world, there’s not a lot of high-end stuff to choose from. There’s a lot of gear-heady stuff, but we want to make stuff that you could watch with your wife or girlfriend.”
Much of the content available at launch or shortly thereafter is Carolla’s own. There’s “Winning,” which he followed with “The 24 Hour War,” a solid documentary about Ford versus Ferrari at the endurance car race, The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
While Carolla says he has personally received strong feedback on both docs — his first two attempts ever — “The 24 Hour War” is getting the higher praise, including from this writer. We asked what he learned and changed after diving into the deep end on the “Cool Hand Luke” star’s bio.
“The thing about the Newman doc is that I was very involved, it was very personal. I dug through all of it multiple, multiple, multiple times. With this one, I kind of stepped back a little,” he said, metaphorically handing the steering wheel to Adams. “Maybe we’ve hit our rhythm a little better — like a band that had a little more time to play together. We got more reps under our belt.”
“The 24 Hour War” hits Chassy.com, iTunes and other digital platforms on Tuesday. A digital rental costs $4.99. It’s also available for digital, DVD or Blu-ray purchase, which will run you more money.
Additional releases on Chassy will also include “The Bug Movie,” which chronicles the history of the Volkswagen Bug and stars Ewan McGregor, the coming “Willy T. Ribbs Story,” and eventually a documentary about legendary Los Angeles radio station KROQ, where Carolla first ranted on a live mic.
Of those and “Winning,” only “The Bug Movie” isn’t Carolla’s. In other words, this time, he’ll pretty much pocket the 17 large.