Publishers see transmedia–storytelling across a variety of platforms–as a key part of their future strategy: With many types of entertainment competing with print books, it’s in their interest to be in as many of these areas as possible. It’s still early days, but in its new initiative to create develop properties beyond books, Random House Publishing Group’s IP development division, RH Worlds, is partnering with Blacklight, a transmedia production company that also has a first-look deal with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment.
Under the partnership, the companies will “create and develop complete transmedia worlds, along with world bibles-living resources collating and detailing all material connected to an IP-and related documents, and will partner with authors, screenwriters, directors and media companies to develop film, television, video game, and print properties with the potential to be realized across multiple media platforms,” the announcement says. Random House also says that collaboration on “internal and external” projects has begun and that details on individual properties will be announced soon. Random House’s Keith Clayton, director of publishing and creative development, will oversee the projects.
Blacklight was founded in 2009 by former Fox (NSDQ: NWS) execs Zak Kadison and R. Eric Lieb (who is no longer at the company). In addition to its first-look deal with Imagine, Blacklight lists social game developer Seismic Games and book publisher Design Studio Press.
Random House acquired digital media agency Smashing Ideas in May.
Next page: The full announcement.
Here’s the full announcement:
THE RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHING GROUP AND BLACKLIGHT TRANSMEDIA ESTABLISH GROUNDBREAKING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP
Deal creates unique direct-to-publisher transmedia development partnership
NEW YORK, NY – October 4, 2011 – Random House Worlds, the Random House Publishing Group’s (RHPG) IP creation and development arm, announced today a partnership with Blacklight Transmedia, creating a groundbreaking direct-to-publisher transmedia development partnership.
RHPG and Blacklight will work together on the creation of original transmedia intellectual properties (IP) as well as the coordinated development of external IP from various sources. The partnership will create and develop complete transmedia worlds, along with world bibles-living resources collating and detailing all material connected to an IP-and related documents, and will partner with authors, screenwriters, directors and media companies to develop film, television, video game, and print properties with the potential to be realized across multiple media platforms.
RHPG, a division of Random House, Inc., the world’s largest trade book publisher, and Blacklight, a revolutionary Hollywood transmedia production company, have begun collaboration on several projects-internal and external-with details on the individual properties to be announced soon.
“We are leveraging one of Random House’s core strengths-story development-in new and exciting ways. This includes developing rich worlds ready for multiplatform implementation,” said Keith Clayton, director of creative development at RHPG. “Blacklight has one of the most unique transmedia strategies in Hollywood, and our relationship with them will help to further enrich the quality of our content as we develop properties for mediums beyond the book.”
Blacklight, which was formed in 2009 under a first-look deal with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, has the unique ability to develop and produce feature films, television, video games, books, comics, as well as digital media all ‘in-house’. Unlike traditional film and television producers, Blacklight creates content for many different media platforms simultaneously and in a self-contained fashion, allowing each property, whether it be the film, television show, video game, book, comic, or new media, to stand-alone yet be complimentary to one another.
“With this transmedia partnership we are breaking new ground in the way that content is developed and produced and we couldn’t ask for a better partner than the Random House Publishing Group,” said Zak Kadison, founder and CEO at Blacklight. “Rather than relying on pre-existing franchises, this partnership gives us the ability to work directly with those creating the best intellectual property to simultaneously create world-class content across platforms.”
Utilizing the combined storytelling expertise of both the Blacklight and RHPG staff, as well as their outreach to collaborators from other media industries, the partnership will be actively looking to grow their slate of internal and external projects over the coming year.
ABOUT THE RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHING GROUP: The Random House Publishing Group (http://www.randomhouse.com) is a division of Random House, Inc., the U.S. company of Random House, which is the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann, AG, one of the world’s foremost media companies. The Random House Publishing Group is comprised of Ballantine Books, Bantam, Delacorte, Dell, Del Rey, The Dial Press, The Modern Library, Random House, Spiegel & Grau, and Villard Books.
ABOUT BLACKLIGHT TRANSMEDIA: Blacklight Transmedia (http://www.blacklighttransmedia.com) is the leading, next generation production company, producing feature films, television programming, video games, books, comics, and digitally delivered content. Formed in 2009 as Hollywood’s first ‘transmedia’ production company by Zak Kadison, under a first-look deal with Imagine Entertainment, Blacklight produces and acquires entertainment content spanning all media.