BuzzFeed is ramping up its video goals in a big way. As the media company looks to create episodic series and feature-length films, it hired Andrew Gauthier as executive producer for its video department.
Based out of Los Angeles, Gauthier will be responsible for a team of 40 producers. He was already the lead producer of the BuzzFeed team which produced some of the company’s hit videos like “Photoshopping Real Women Into Cover Models“, so he seems well-suited for the executive producer role as BuzzFeed positions itself as a creator of longer-form content.
Last year at Digital Content Newfronts, BuzzFeed’s then-executive producer of video, Ze Frank, discussed how the site’s audiences seem to resonate with emotional and personal videos which are aimed at one specific group of people. As the new EP of BuzzFeed Video, Gauthier told Variety that “there is a desire among viewers to get attached to characters, and to follow them over a certain period of time” and the site wants to make content that “resonates with viewers, and they have the response of, ‘That’s so me.’”
Gauthier will take over where Frank left off, this time taking things one step further. BuzzFeed Video is now tasked with creating scripted, episodic content with “storylines and characters that can be broadened into longer-form content.” Gauthier will report directly to Frank, who became president of the newly-created BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. This division, too, is considering longer content, investigating its feature-length film opportunities by tapping advisors such as Michael Shamberg (Django Unchained, Contagion) and Jordan Peele (Comedy Central’s Key & Peele).
Gauthier said BuzzFeed Video will create most of its content in-house in its Los Angeles facility. The media company currently boasts more than 150 million views on its YouTube channel and over 230 million views from all platforms.