LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 28, 2014) - Production company Ketchum Labs, a creative incubator challenging conventional entertainment models of production and distribution, and BlackBoxTV, the #1 online genre channel with over 600,000 loyal fans, will launch a strategic production and distribution partnership. The first two projects to go into production are FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, a hybrid-reality series set to shoot in Los Angeles in May and the feature film VILLISCA, which unravels the mystery surrounding one of the most haunted houses in America. Ketchum co-founder and principal Kevin Abrams and BlackBoxTV founder and creator Tony Valenzuela made the announcement today.
A competition series with horror overtones, FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (FOTLD) is an unprecedented mash-up of the reality and scripted genres. The show will follow six top YouTube stars as they attempt to survive the first 24-hours of a highly simulated Zombie Apocalypse. What they do to eliminate each other from the competition while trying to survive the Undead's relentlessly grisly, and frighteningly realistic, onslaught will thrill bloodthirsty audiences across all platforms. It's a groundbreaking case study in transitioning homegrown talent from the web onto the larger media landscape by employing the massive digital reach of each cast member as well as BlackBoxTV, resulting in a launch viewership base of over 10 million.
FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is produced by Ketchum Labs and Revolver Picture Company; Ketchum's Kevin Abrams, Jamie Denenberg and Aaron Lewis are Executive Producers, Revolver's Nick Phillips and Kelly Martin Wagner are Co-Executive Producers.
The FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD confirmed cast to date includes:
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Another project emerging from this alliance is the feature film VILLISCA. VILLISCA focuses on the paranormal repercussions of what many consider to be the most horrifying unsolved murders in the United States. Now used as a tourist destination, the Villisca Axe Murder House has terrified visitors from around the world and is considered one of the most haunted houses in America. The film follows the present day story of three troubled teens who decide to break in and spend the night at the house -- forever changing who they are and what is known about the original murders. "I spent a night in the house where the murders took place," says BlackBoxTV's Valenzuela. "The experience was one of the scariest in my life and this movie gives me the chance to finally share this story with the public."
VILLISCA is written and directed by Valenzuela. Executive producers are Ketchum principals Abrams, Maury Gallagher, and Patrick Weir (THE OTHER SHORE) and Seth Caplan (Flatland, In Search of a Midnight Kiss, The Young Kieslowski) is the producer. BlackBoxTV's YouTube channel will serve as a destination for special features, viral content and behind-the-scenes footage released is support of the film. VILLISCA is set for a cross-platform release in 2014. The film was shot in and around Los Angeles, as well as the state-of-the-art YouTube Space LA production facility in Playa Del Rey.
"The goal of Ketchum Labs is to find new and exciting ways to bring content to the conversation," says Ketchum's Abrams. "We think we've done just that by partnering with Tony Valenzuela and BlackBoxTV. Nobody gets genre material like Tony Valenzuela. He embodies the entrepreneurial creative voice that will help us to re-invent content and how it gets to a 21st Century consumer, and we're ecstatic to provide him the resources to build his brand and channel."
About KETCHUM LABS: Formed in 2011, Ketchum Labs utilizes the latest digital advances in filmmaking and applied technologies to pulverize existing content production and delivery models. Disrupting traditional distribution with digital crowd-selling of a documentary film, Ketchum Labs' extraordinary look at swimmer Dyana Nyad's 33-year journey to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, THE OTHER SHORE premiered at SXSW and currently is running on Showtime. The company, led by co-founders Kevin Abrams and Patrick Weir, has a full docket of projects in production, pre-production and development spanning all genres of the entertainment landscape, including soon-to-be-announced re-imaginings of the game show and detective series stalwarts and a new model for the creation and online delivery of educational content. www.ketchumlabs.com
Award winning writer Tony E. Valenzeula launched BlackBoxTV in 2012 and quickly turned it into the premiere YouTube channel for genre content the world over. With over 600,000 loyal subscribers, millions of aggregate views and the longest running drama series on the web, BlackBoxTV presents the best in horror, thriller and sci-fi online programming. Each BlackBoxTV installment is a mixture of self-contained horror, suspense or psychological thriller often ending with an unexpected twist that leaves fans craving for more. https://www.youtube.com/user/blackboxtv