Last week, StyleHaul and Verizon announced a distribution deal for a new production called “Relationship Status” on Verizon’s streaming service g090 . The deal came as the first content deal announced in 2016, for both StyleHaul and Verizon’s go90. Behind “Relationship Status” is the Hollywood production shingle founded by multi-hyphenate Milo Ventimiglia. VideoInk caught up with Ventimiglia from CES to learn more about the backstory on the production, how he views digital vs traditional Hollywood and the forthcoming “Relationship Status.”
VideoInk: So, Relationship Status — not the first time you’ve dabbled in digital. How did you feel getting back into the streaming game with StyleHaul and now Verizon?
Ventimiglia: Yeah, I am very comfortable in the digital world. It’s a space that I think there is a lot of passion and a lot of opportunity and for me I think that content is king. I go back to the written word, the script, and I believe in the stories that we are telling. So for me it doesn’t matter if it is a broadcast network, a cable network, a major studio feature film release, or online. I actually think there is more opportunity to hit a wider audience online if you think about how involved you are on your phone, on your social or online experience. It is a big opportunity to reach a wide audience, and that is always very excited to make.
VI: So you’re 100% platform neutral, what are your thoughts on bringing this to go90 — a mobile streaming service?
Ventimiglia: Yea, it’s going to run on Verizon go90 and that is something that was always exciting to me — that you can have premium content and not pay that premium fee or even minimal fee. It is accessible. You have an email address? Log in and you can watch something that will stand up to network, cable, or even a movie theatre. So for me, it doesn’t matter to me much on the size screen, as much as getting into the hands, literally, of the viewers. And in the tech world it is exciting.
VI: How did the fact that you already had the project in production impact the distribution for go90? Did you have to go back and edit the series again to make it more mobile friendly?
Ventimiglia: We definitely had to be aware of it in a visual sense. [For] a lot of people, their screens aren’t the biggest so it is understanding where we are showing it. Elizabeth Rosenbaum, our director, did a phenomenal job of capturing [that need] and translating the social experience that we all have on our phones, within the context of a story that we were telling and with the characters. So for me it wasn’t so much a shift, as it was being aware that it would be used on a handle held device. Outside of that just find the human connection, finding the human relation, finding what these characters are experience and making it relatable to the audience, the viewer. That is always paramount, that is always the most important. That is something that I personally strive for and hopefully inspiring people that I am lucky enough to work with to strive for as well.
VI: Verizon has the domestic rights to “Relationship Status” — what are your thoughts on expanding this internationally in the short term?
Ventimiglia: Yeah, it is something that [we’re thinking about] — right now we are focused on a our launch on go90. If it’s successful we can create more. That is always the thing for me is sitting on set, any number to the shared stories between the producer, the actor, the influencers that joined us.. .we came up already with this huge stack of stories that I know we as creatives would love to explore and continue. So I think that is always the idea. Doing a one off, great. Doing something that is actually going to continue, and have a platform of story that can continue to explore these relationships, and continue to explore these happenings of relationships in a digital setting is something we are always striving for.
VI: It seems the structure of the relationship between your production company DiVide, Full Fathom Five and StyleHaulis very to structures we’d see in Hollywood. How did you all come together?
Ventimiglia: If you want to look at traditional, I am sure we could be boxed into any certain category, but what I found was partners. Full Fathom Five and my company Divide have been on the project for over two years. Using [StyleHaul’s] network of audience and their understanding that the audience is looking for a piece of creative that would share the space that they view — it was a natural fit.