As the MCN’s continue to transform themselves into multi-media, multi-platform studios, hiring development execs from television to help bolster their credibility amongst premium buyers and distributors. Now, Machinima is following suit — with the hires of Gary King and Dave Pullano as Directors of Development. Both will report to Senior Vice President Programming/Editor-In-Chief Jason Dimberg.
King (pictured) brings linear experience from Disney/ABC Networks as does Pullano, who held post at Zodiak Entertainment developing and selling content to TV networks. Pullano also served as Machinima’s consulting showrunner and exec producer on various scripted series for YouTube, go90, Facebook, Sony Vue and cable, including The Bacca Chronicles, starring iconic influencer JeromeASF, and the upcoming Happy Wheels series, based on the massive online game and staring top influencer talent like Captain Sparklez and Brizzy Voices. King will bring digital experience as well, having worked on Justin Lin’s funded channel “YOMYOMF,” which was debunk but is in the process of a relaunch.
According to a release, the two will oversee Machinima’s programming slate to develop content that is “designed to increase and maximize viewership and engagement” across platforms. That seems to be the needle in the haystack that all of the “digital studios” are chasing — how to actually grab eyeballs and drive relevant stats that point to a “breakout hit.” Unfortunately for most of these companies, the model remains broken — without marketing and smart distribution, most of the series hitting market are doomed to a season, two at best.
But in the meantime, we’ll continue to see companies like Machinima, Studio71, Fullscreen and Maker Studios push dollars toward production of dodgy-quality series like recent abysmally terrible series from Maker Studios and ABC Digital — “This Isn’t Working” starring Lisa Schwartz.
Corralling in experienced development execs is a step in the right direction, though, at least, one might hope.