Corey Moss, VP of Digital Entertainment at production/ management mogul Principato-Young talks with me about creating and selling content for the web including their latest series Game Shop.
How did you end up with the bad ass gig of VP of Digital for Principato-Young, and what is that exactly?
I came up through MTV news, so I had background of creating short form low-budget content. After that I worked at Yahoo for about three years, where I developed web shows. The business changed while I was there and brands began defining the content we created. It started that we would create content then a brand would come on to finance and sort of stick their logo on there. But when brands started coming to us with shows they wanted made and driving the creative side, I didn’t see that as being a successful business or a business I wanted to be a part of.
My belief is that to make great digital content, you have to have the talent drive the project. Soon after that, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Peter and Paul the founders of Principato-Young and launched their digital division. I work with all of our clients: actors, writers, sketch groups etc. to create content. We take that content out and find it homes and financing in the digital space, then we produce it.
“To make great digital content, you have to have the talent drive the project.”
Where do you find the talent you work with?
I work with our clients to develop their ideas for the digital space. For example, our client Niecy Nash came to me wanting to do something around relationships, an area she’s really passionate about. We developed Let’s Talk about Love, which we sold to Yahoo. Now she’s got a book deal out of it too.
Was Game Shop developed with one writer or in a writer’s room?
IGN [a popular video game website] came to Principato-Young and said they wanted to do a scripted series about a video game store. I presented them with writers and we created a writers room where we brainstormed ideas for characters, potential plot lines, broke story and then assigned episodes.
I brought on four of our clients who are talented comedic voices but also have a passion for video games. I chose Andrew Secunda, a very experienced writer who worked on Conan and SNL as our head writer, then three other great writers who actually ended up all getting cast in the show as well.
*Click HERE to see the trailer for Game Shop.
“An Odd couple comedy is better for television but an odd couple comedy about two golf caddies is more appropriate for the digital space.”
Have you ever had an idea for a show and approached a writer for it?
I did a show on Yahoo that we wanted more traffic for, so we invited guests on the show who had big Twitter followings. So I had an idea for a show where every week we would highlight people’s tweets and then get them to re-tweet the show link. It was a show with built-in marketing called The Tweekly News, we launched with the Sklars Brothers on My Damn Channel last summer.
Do you ever consider non-client’s work for production or consider signing a writer off a digital project?
We don’t close the door to anyone. We’re a business so we’re always on the lookout for great projects and projects that can be profitable. There also might be a great project that comes from a non client and we’re able to make it and put our clients in it.
What is the biggest mistake you see people making web series make?
People make web series too broad sometimes. The idea of digital is that you have a more specific audience. An odd couple comedy is better for television, but an odd couple comedy about two golf caddies is more appropriate for the digital space, where there are specific sports verticals that could live on.
What is the best format for a web series beats wise?
It’s hard to generalize digital as one type of content or format because every site is different. People go to Hulu and expect high quality shows with long format. On YouTube they expect low production quality, short format shows. Every story and production has a format that works for them.
What web series do you watch?
For more interviews with web series writer/directors and execs click HERE!