Morgan Spurlock took the stage at Maker Studios’ 2014 Digital Content NewFront presentation to let the room full of advertising agency suits and the world at large know he was partnering with the YouTube multi-channel network on a brand new YouTube channel. The Oscar and Emmy Award nominee’s smartish was pitched as a “new type of channel for brands to partner on clever content that will exclusively be curated by ‘smartish’ talent across platforms” packaged in a variety of formats and produced by Maker Studios and Spurlock’s very own Warrior Poets.
Five months later, Spurlock and Maker Studios announced they’ve greenlit at least 42 episodes across four original series under the smarish brand.
“Smartish shows will make you laugh and make you think, and I’m a real believer that if you can make someone laugh then you can make someone listen,” said Spurlock in the release. “Through this partnership with Maker, we are going to create the premiere destination for thought provoking and entertaining original content on the world wide interwebs.”
That thought provoking and entertaining original content will first take the form of the following series:
Consider the Source – This series traces the origin of popular everyday items such as your iPhone or morning cup of coffee, soliciting episode themes directly from audiences. The series will highlight economic, environmental and the often mysterious journeys familiar products take to get from factories and fields into our very own hands. (6 episodes, each 22-minutes in length)
How to Win at Life – This series shines an entertaining and insightful light on the hidden forces controlling our everyday lives. Does freewill exist or is it merely an illusion created by our conditioning? Can understanding these hidden influences help change our daily lives for the better? Based on Charles Duhigg’s New York Times bestseller The Power of Habit, the series looks at the science and hidden psychology behind everyday choices that may just be ruining your life. (12 episodes, each 5-minutes in length)
Spark – This series pairs forward-thinking inventors and entrepreneurs with altruistic venture capitalists, bringing game-changing inventions—such as portable solar batteries that can power a small village—out of the garage and into the world. (12 episodes, each 5-minutes in length)
Everything Must Go – This series is an irreverent, inquisitive and always humorous look at the world of advertising and marketing. (12 episodes, each 5-minutes in length)
No word yet on any launch dates for any of the four originals, but when they do hit the web, it will be on a smartish YouTube channel, as well as Maker’s very own online video destination, Maker.TV. Maker Studio’s executives, however, think the series may also be able to transition to other distirbution sites and platforms.
“Morgan has a unique ability to create poignant, digital-first content which is compelling across platforms,” noted Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer at Maker Studios, in the release. “And have no doubt the smartish series will also translate to linear distribution.”