Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment has launched a fully funded global content accelerator program that will work across narrative film, television and documentary, among other platforms.
Imagine Impact serves as an eight-week creative “boot camp” that aims to discover new voices and empower content creators and storytellers from around the world. Applicants accepted into the program (creators) will work with established screenwriters and showrunners (“shapers”) twice weekly over the duration of the program to generate quality material.
Both shapers and creators will be compensated throughout the program and will retain all rights to their material during development.
As part of a first-look arrangement with Imagine Entertainment, all materials will be presented to the Beverly Hills-based company at the culmination of the eight weeks.
The initiative will operate first in Los Angeles, where it will launch this September with 20 creators and five shapers before expanding its subsequent cycles to Latin America, the UK, the Middle East and China.
Overseeing the content accelerator initiative will be Imagine’s Tyler Mitchell, SVP of motion pictures.
“Creating a film, TV show or documentary is similar to a startup – you start from a white sheet of paper and you have to create value and build something out of nothing,” said Grazer in a statement. “After meeting Sam Altman, who runs Y Combinator, the world’s preeminent start-up accelerator, we felt that we could apply their operating principles to content creation.
Grazer added: “By codifying our institutional knowledge, connections and expertise over the past 30 years we believe Imagine Impact will position artists and their stories for success, in an increasingly crowded marketplace that’s difficult to penetrate. We believe in dreams. Storytellers are dreamers who have the ability to influence people’s lives, impact culture and even change the world. Identifying and partnering with incredible creators and developing material together in a new way is an investment that we are incredibly excited to make.”
“The demand for content is at unprecedented levels, but the barriers to entry are still great,” said Howard. “We believe it is mission critical to find the most talented voices in the world and give them the knowledge, resources and access they need to succeed.
“As much as content and platforms have evolved, the way that we develop content has largely remained the same,” he added. “As the demand for premium content is exploding around the world, we believe that now is the perfect time to innovate the way we develop. We believe that creating a new, dynamic and collaborative development system that connects amazing voices from all realms to world class screenwriters and showrunners will generate high quality content, faster, which in turn will give artists more leverage in the marketplace and creative control over their projects.”