Sundance Channel Pushes Boundaries with Digital Marketing and Content Creation
In Partnership with Digital Production Company Tool, Initiatives Allow Audiences To Uniquely Engage And Interact With Network’s New Original Programming
Innovative Platforms Create Experiences For Fans That Bring Sundance Channel’s New Original Programming To Life
New York, NY – February 1, 2013 – Making digital marketing a top priority, Sundance Channel is pushing boundaries by creating new platforms that allow audiences to uniquely engage and interact with the network’s original series. As Sundance Channel aggressively moves into scripted original programming, it is focused on introducing audiences to these bold new series with cutting edge techniques. With TV viewers spending increasingly more time online, Sundance Channel is leveraging its own distinct method of storytelling to reach viewers on a platform where they live. By collaborating with groundbreaking digital production company Tool, Sundance Channel has created two new applications, “Be Original” and “Rectify: Your Life In Twenty Years,” that bring the network’s original programming to life.
Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel General Manager, stated, “With Sundance Channel’s dramatic expansion into the original scripted arena, we wanted our shows to cut through in a fresh and unusual way. Online is where lovers of TV connect, engage and influence others, so we recognized that digital marketing would be key—by creating innovative digital content around our show, we will bring our series to life, and in turn, we hope, translate fans into viewers.”
The Be Original site enables Facebook users to collaborate with friends to create animated stories. Those friends then select a theme for their short story, such as betrayal, solitude, or family, from one of three scripted original Sundance Channel series – Top of the Lake, Rectify and Restless and then use existing or personal photos to illustrate their tale. The photos are collaboratively annotated to tell a story, strikingly displayed as a dynamic timeline against a rich and weathered canvas of colors. Each story will live on a dedicated URL for easy sharing via social media.
“Rectify: Your Life In Twenty Years,” corresponds to Sundance Channel’s new scripted series “Rectify” about Daniel Holden, a man who after nearly 20 years of complete isolation on death row, returns as an outsider to his family, to his community, and to the times. The app explores the passage of time, shifting relationships and displacement by placing the user twenty years into the future with a single click. A user signs up using their Facebook log in and a customized site projects and predicts what the user’s life is life 20 years ahead, all in the context of Facebook. By interacting with the specific areas of the site, the user’s life is revealed slowly and enables them to experience life similarly to how Daniel experienced it.
The apps came to life during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, with tablets featured at the Sundance Channel HQ so that select festival fans and industry heavyweights can sample the web app to create their first stories. “Be Original” and “Rectify: Your Life In Twenty Years” will continue throughout 2013, with tie-ins to premieres of each of the networks’ scripted series.
Utilizing Tool’s custom animation engine, and viewable across desktop and tablet devices, the site fulfills Sundance’s initiative to elegantly leverage technology and digital marketing to promote their original scripted programming.
About “Top of the Lake”:
“Top of the Lake,” the highly-anticipated seven-part mini-series written and directed by Oscar® winner Jane Campion (The Piano, Portrait of a Lady), will debut its first two hour-long installments on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm et/pt. Filmed in the remote mountains of New Zealand, the mini-series will air Monday nights and stars three time Emmy Award® nominated actress and SAG Award winner Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” On the Road); Oscar winner Holly Hunter, who reunites with Campion after their memorable collaboration on the The Piano, and BAFTA® nominee Peter Mullan (War Horse, Trainspotting). “Top of the Lake” is a powerful and haunting mystery that centers on the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl named Tui, who is five months pregnant. In this classic mythic struggle set in New Zealand, investigative detective Robin Griffin (Moss) must lose herself in order to find the missing girl. During the investigation, she collides with Matt Mitcham (Mullan), Tui’s father, a local drug lord, and encounters GJ (Hunter), a guru at a local women’s camp. As the case unfolds in a paradise where honest work is hard to find, Robin will find that her limits are tested, sending her on a journey of self-discovery.
“Rectify” will debut on April 22, 2013 at 10:00pm et/pt. The six-episode hour-long series, created and written by Ray McKinnon (The Accountant, That Evening Sun, Mud) and executive produced by Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein (the team behind the critically-acclaimed AMC series, “Breaking Bad”), marks the first wholly owned Sundance Channel scripted production. When Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released after nearly 20 years of complete isolation on death row, he returns as an outsider to his family, to his community, and to the times. Somehow, he survived the mental and emotional strain of his imprisonment, but now the walls have suddenly come crumbling down and Daniel is set free in a world he no longer understands. He’s an outsider, lost in a once familiar world, struggling to navigate his new found freedom. Combined with two decades of technological and social changes to his small town and the larger world, everything he encounters is a puzzle.
“Restless,” Sundance Channel’s riveting original miniseries, is based on the novel penned by celebrated award-winning contemporary British novelist William Boyd and depicts the thrilling story of a daughter who discovers that her mother was recruited as a spy during World War II. An enthralling story of wartime espionage, love and betrayal, “Restless” also lifts the lid on one of the last secrets of World War II. Produced by Emmy Award winner Hilary Bevan Jones (State of Play, The Girl in the Café) under her shingle Endor Productions, directed by Edward Hall, and featuring a teleplay written by Boyd, the two compelling installments feature a world-renowned cast including Hayley Atwell (“Any Human Heart,” Captain America) Rufus Sewell (“Pillars of the Earth,” “Zen”), Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”, Anna Karenina), Michael Gambon (“Page Eight,” Luck) and Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia, The Eye of the Storm). Filming took place this summer in South Africa and the UK.
About Sundance Channel:
Sundance Channel is the destination for What’s Next, Now. Showcasing both today’s creative icons and the emerging talent of tomorrow, Sundance Channel tells bold stories with a fresh point of view. In addition to award winning films, Sundance Channel is home to daring new original programming. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., Sundance Channel provides perspectives dedicated to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.
Bicoastal Tool is an award-winning production company, representing top live-action directors and interactive directors for advertising projects. From funny… visually engaging… and/or interactive, Tool’s diverse roster of unique talent creates unforgettable commercial and digital content across all platforms.
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