An 11-minute short film by Drew Barrymore and featuring the music of Best Coast will debut next week on MTV's websites as the network's new multi-platform unit MTVX begins to make its mark in offering new content.
The short film includes scenes Barrymore shot for a "supervideo" of Best Coast's song "Our Deal" that debuted Tuesday (Aug. 2), the first release from MTVX, a cross-media group created to incubate, develop and produce platform-agnostic content. The group is tasked with erasing the boundaries between content development for television, online and mobile.
"The concept is to work as collaborators so that everybody wins -- the network wins, the website wins, the talent wins, the sponsors win," says David Gale, a 16-year veteran at MTV promoted to executive VP of MTVX.
Mazda came on as a sponsor for the Best Coast video, which MTV financed. It's the third "supervideo" from the network following LCD Soundsystem's "Pow Pow" and Cults' "Go Outside." Supervideos are story-driven music videos from noted directors starring established and rising actors and featuring the music of MTV buzz bands. MTV has been able to produce supervideos for under $25,000.
"The objective is to create content driven by creative ideas and to then look for a sponsor," says Gale, the creative force behind MTV Films and releases such as "Election" and "Napoleon Dynamite." "In the case of this 'supervideo' we were a week away from shooting when Mazda (approached us) looking for content. It's an example where all the elements came together, a confluence of a lot of great events. The commitment on our part is to be true to the passion of the artists. We take a back seat. "
Deals for the videos are structured so they will only reside on MTV platforms and are not created for other distribution channels.
MTVX has a development slate of a dozen projects, some of which could become television shows and many of which are music-driven, Gale says. Once an idea is transformed into a finished piece, various MTV units -- including marketing and ad sales -- determine where a project will be housed.