Despite the enormous viral response we enjoyed from the Cockblock series, this Tom Cruise business was just fun and games until Disney’s Take 180 Studios came knocking on my door. They had been watching me from afar and admired the work I did. The executive producer, Mike Dow, along with his writer, Devon, were playing around with a few ideas and wondered if I would be interested in coming out to LA to actualize them. They had a small studio on Robertson Blvd, great equipment (the brilliant Red Cameras), and a creative team in place to make it all happen. Take 180 is involved in participatory branded entertainment where they engage their viewing audience (which has just hit 300k subscribers on youtube) to participate in creating viral webseries that are produced professionally by the Take 180 team. This Excerpt is taken from their website:
So What Is Take180?
It’s a community where people come together to make awesome web shows. You power the episodes, by submitting stories, ideas, videos, photos and artwork — and/or commenting and voting on other people’s submissions. And hey — prizes happen.
Episodes are never longer than 180 seconds and there are new ones all the time — just like TV.
How Does It Work?
The producers open a new Challenge, like, “Tell us what teen TV show we should parody and how.” Or, “Describe the worst date you ever went on.” Submissions get posted, and the community views, rates and comments. For some shows, the producers choose a bunch of finalists for the “Final Vote” and let your votes determine the winners. For others, the producers just pick the winners themselves (producers can be like that).
The Take180 cast and crew works the winning submissions into future episodes. New Challenges are posted often, so you always have new opportunities to get involved and win prizes.
Back to the story:
So the first video I shot for them was a spoof on the Twilight Series. Their target audience happens to be the now infamous Tweener audience, which encapsulates much today’s youth. So they created a video of Celebrity Auditions. The premise is that lost audition footage of Twilight’s second film, NEW MOON, was found in a dumpster behind the Summitt Entertainment offices in LA. This leaked footage contains an audition from Tom Cruise, who refuses to take no for an answer before auditioning for every role New Moon has to offer…even though they’ve already been cast. After all, as he puts it. He’s Tom Cruise, he can DO ANYTHING. Just watch:
Take 180’s brilliant marketing team released the video in and around the launch of the movie TWILIGHT: NEW MOON. We have reached nearly 1 million views on youtube alone and close to 2 million on Take180’s website in less than 1 year. Thanks to Take 180, I finally had the exposure I had been seeking all along that could drive this impression to the next level of recognition. I would soon be approached by various companies to produce creative content, both commercials and webseries, as Tom Cruise. To say that these Take 180 videos opened up a ton of doors for me was an understatement and I will forever be grateful.
The next video I made with them was a spoof on the infamous Justin Long Mac ads, which although humorous in the beginning, have today become beaten to death. Rather than Mac vs. PC, this spoof pitted Justin Long, played by the talented Kassem G, against Tom Cruise.
Take180 has since made Mac spoofs with Jane Lynch and the Jersey Shore’s the Situation (impersonator).
Finally, in that same day, I made a 3rd video for the studio. This time, we pushed the envelope a bit and poked fun at Cruise’s intense controlling (all speculative) relationship with his wife, Kate “NOT” Katie Holmes.