SUBWAY® Restaurants Partners with NYU’s ProMotion Pictures Program for Branded Web Series Contest
Today’s content industry depends upon creative, business and technological excellence, and the opportunity for our students to combine forces has been truly inspiring for them and our faculty alike.
On-Campus Extension of SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ Initiative Includes Two Top Universities -- NYU & USC -- My Damn Channel to Host and Syndicate Four Winning SeriesThe USC School of Cinematic Arts, New York University’s ProMotion Pictures program, and the SUBWAY® restaurant chain today announced an historic corporate-academic-creative partnership and competition connecting students at two of the nation’s top universities with one of the leading global brands in the quick serve restaurant category to create original branded entertainment content through the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS program.
The program, now in its second year after being piloted at USC in 2011, was developed and executed by Content & Co., the Los Angeles-based brand studio that creates innovative, cross-platform engagement opportunities for SUBWAY® Restaurants. My Damn Channel is hosting and syndicating the four original web series created during the competition, alongside the winning series from last year’s event.
“We are pleased to provide an outlet for aspiring filmmakers to pursue their passion,” said Tony Pace, Sr. Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer of SUBWAY® Franchisee Advertising Fund. “Our fans enjoy seeing fresh content and through the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS contest, we can showcase emerging talent to a wider audience, and give students the opportunity to represent their schools with a bit of friendly rivalry. Additionally, our fans will get an early peek at the next generation of filmmakers.”
“The SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS project has earned a reputation on our campus as an outstanding opportunity for our students to create serialized content, which is extremely valuable given the likelihood that many of them will work in television or even branded entertainment after graduation,” said Brenda Goodman, head of the Producing Track and Senior Lecturer at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “We are gratified that the success of our students’ work during last year’s project encouraged SUBWAY® to add another program to the mix.”
The NYU ProMotion Pictures program facilitates interdisciplinary media projects among students within the Stern School of Business, as well as the Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Graduate Film Program, both in the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts. “Opening the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS project to students in three different programs within NYU created a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm in our community,” said Sam Craig, Director of the Entertainment, Media and Technology Program at NYU’s Stern School of Business. “Today’s content industry depends upon creative, business and technological excellence, and the opportunity for our students to combine forces has been truly inspiring for them and our faculty alike.”
The SUBWAY® brand introduced the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS program to students at NYU and USC in Fall 2011, with a brand brief entitled, Every Breakfast Sandwich Tells A Story. The brief challenged students to develop a creative treatment for scripted episodic web series. More than 50 student teams at USC and NYU submitted creative concepts for judging by a panel of representatives from SUBWAY®, Content & Co., USC and NYU faculty and alumni, and industry-insiders James Widdoes (Director of “Two and a Half Men”) and Brian Baumgartner (Emmy Award-winning actor from NBC’s “The Office.”) The panels selected five semi-finalist projects based on their creativity, brand personality, and strategic fit to the creative brief. Following in-person team presentations, the panels selected two finalists from each university.
The two winning series from USC are:
• The Ultimates - A rag-tag Ultimate Frisbee team gets a shot at greatness thanks to a little luck, a new recruit, and a steady SUBWAY® diet.
• Frat House Musical: The Series – A singing freshman wants to pledge the Sigma house, but the brothers don’t want him, until they realize they NEED him if they hope to save their fraternity.
The two winning series from NYU are:
• The Loop – When best friends Chris and Alex are trapped in a time loop, multiple versions of themselves wreak havoc around the globe. The friends turn to SUBWAY® in their struggle to reestablish order in the world.
• Tech Up - An aspiring tech entrepreneur endeavors to launch a start-up out of a SUBWAY® sandwich shop with the help of a sandwich artist and to the dismay of the shop owner.
“SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ has changed the paradigm for discovering emerging talent,” said Stuart McLean, Chief Executive Officer of Content & Co., the brand studio that represented SUBWAY® throughout the development and execution of the competition. “Now that brands are regularly financing content, the five-years-ago textbook is outdated. Through SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™, we are collectively exposing the next generation of talent to the realities of today’s content creation business, and empowering them to shape the future of our industry.”
The four winning SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS series make their official debut March 5, on My Damn Channel and IFC.com and will then be screened at the IFC Crossroads House at SXSW in Austin, TX on March 12. IFC will produce a 60-second vignette highlighting the exclusive live event, which will begin airing March 26 on the network. For more information or for a schedule of activities at IFC’s Crossroads House, visit http://www.ifc.com/sxsw.
The four series will receive extensive distribution and promotion on MyDamnChannel.com, as well as through syndication to select My Damn Channel partner sites including YouTube.
“The SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS series continues to grow with USC and NYU winners getting a great opportunity to have their films reach millions of online fans,” said Rob Barnett, Founder/CEO of My Damn Channel. “SUBWAY is doing this industry a great service by creating more opportunities each year for artists to kick start their filmmaking careers.”
In addition to hosting and syndicating the series, My Damn Channel will produce original content related to the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ FILMMAKERS initiative, including behind the scenes extras, filmmaker profiles, and coverage of the showcase events at SXSW 2012 in Austin, TX. As part of the syndication platform for SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™, the brand plays a major role in distribution of content by featuring it on the Official SUBWAY® Facebook page (facebook.com/subway), Twitter (@subwayfreshbuzz) and other social media platforms that reach more than 11 million fans in aggregate.
About SUBWAY® Restaurants
Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, and with regional offices in Amsterdam, Beirut, Brisbane, Miami and Singapore, the SUBWAY® brand was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. Their partnership, which continues today, marked the beginning of a remarkable journey – one that has made it possible for thousands of individuals to build and succeed in their own business. For the third straight year, in the 2011 Zagat® Fast Food Survey, the SUBWAY® brand was ranked "number one" by consumers in the "Healthy Options,” “Most Popular” and “Top Service" categories for food brands with 5,000 or more locations. For more information about the SUBWAY® chain, visit http://www.subway.com. Find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/subway. Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/subwayfreshbuzz. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor's Associates Inc.
About the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 80 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The school offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, and interactive media, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 10,500 alumni are among the world¹s most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award.
About NYU ProMotion Pictures
Established in 2004, NYU’s ProMotion Pictures program brings together business and creative talent from the graduate programs at NYU's Stern School of Business as well as the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television and the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts to produce branded entertainment for major companies.
NYU's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of the nation’s premier management education schools and research centers. NYU Stern offers a broad portfolio of academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels, all of them informed and enriched by the dynamism, energy and deep resources of one of the world’s business capitals. Graduates from Stern’s graduate programs drive innovation at several entertainment and media companies, including Amazon, A&E Television Networks, Apple, Disney, Google, HBO, Microsoft Xbox, NBC Universal, Sony Music, and Time Inc.
NYU’S Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television Interative Telecomminications (ITP) is the first U.S. graduate program founded to push the boundaries of digital and electronic media. ITP graduates extend creative applications of technology and new media at Foursquare, Frog Design, Google, IDEO, MTV Networks, Ogilvy Interactive, Samsung Electronics.
NYU's Graduate Film Program is offered in both New York and Singapore and is recognized as a world-renowned intensive three-year conservatory, developing premier talent in filmmaking, screenwriting, directing, graphic design and special effects. Notable alumni include Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Barry Sonnenfeld, among many others.
About Content & Co.
Content & Co. is a Los Angeles-based brand studio that creates and distributes content for Fortune 100 brands across multiple platforms, including the most powerful distribution channel of all: the brands themselves. Content & Co offers advertisers the opportunity to create their own programming rather than sponsor, or integrate into, existing properties. Founded by Stuart McLean, a recognized leader in the fields of brand marketing and branded content, Content & Co pairs consumer brands like Schick and SUBWAY® with top Hollywood creative talent to create unforgettable original programming. Previously, Content & Co. and SUBWAY® have collaborated on “TRAINING FOR TAHOE,” a series of web and broadcast (NBC) semi-scripted sports comedies starring Emmy Award-winner Brian Baumgartner (“The Office”), as well as the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ Music competition with OurStage.com and Clear Channel Radio which culminated in Tulsa, OK band STARS GO DIM being selected to open for the multi-platinum recording artists Goo Goo Dolls. Content & Co. also produced “Clean Break,” the most popular original summer series on Sony’s Crackle.com in 2010, through its partnership with Schick. For more information about the studio, visit Facebook.com/ContentandCompany.
About My Damn Channel
My Damn Channel is a leading entertainment studio and distributor of premium content. Since launching in 2007, it has produced thousands of original videos by major stars and emerging artists. The studio has created some of the most successful new comedy series online, including Wainy Days, Horrible People, You Suck at Photoshop and videos by Harry Shearer. My Damn Channel creates premium, branded entertainment and targeted distribution campaigns for major advertisers. In addition to http://www.MyDamnChannel.com – one of TIME Magazine’s Best 50 Websites of 2011– the company operates Blog, Vlog and Talent Networks plus a music channel run by Don Was. March 2012 marks the premiere of a new partnership with YouTube: My Damn Channel: Live, a weekly, 30-minute, hosted series.