Ex-Disney Chief Unveils Online Video Studio

14 March 2007

NEW YORK: Tornante, the investment firm run by erstwhile Mouse House ceo Michael Eisner, has launched Vuguru, a studio operation that produces and distributes original programming for the web, portable devices and cellphones.

Its first project is titled Prom Queen, a scripted eighty-episode mystery set in a US high school. Each episide runs for just 90-seconds and the series will debut next month on Vuguru.com; as well as a dedicated show site, an online teen magazine and YouTube.

Eisner, who stepped down as head of the Walt Disney Company in 2005, says: "The entire concept here is content is king. What will drive traffic is interest in the subject matter."

The new studio is part of Hollywood's courting of online businesses, seen as fertile ground for reaching new viewers and others beyond the ambit of traditional media such as TV.

Vuguru will experiment with formats, says Eisner. Its next project will feature five-minute videos and he does not rule out one day offering full-length feature films.

He adds: "Unlike traditional media outlets, this is pretty open."

Data sourced from USA Today.com; additional content by WARC staff