Beverly Hills production studio Lakeshore Entertainment is eyeing the digital space. The company that has produced films like Million Dollar Baby and Crank has launched Off the Dock, a studio that will work with digital content creators on film projects.
The first project on Off the Dock’s slate is Man Up, a project created, written, and directed by Justin Chon. Chon, best known for his role in Twilight and his vlog and sketch-based YouTube channel, will star as a swoopy-haired weirdo who must help his friend, played by Kevin “KevJumba” Wu, get ready for life as a father. A trailer is available on the YouTube channel of Max Benator and Marc Hustvedt’s Supergravity Pictures, which will handle US distribution of the film.
“Justin and Kevin really pop on screen together throughout the film,” said Benator in the release. “Given both of their deeply connected audiences and the movie’s subject matter, Man Up is the perfect film for the direct-to-consumer model.”
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By launching Off the Dock, Lakeshore is jumping on the recent trend of feature films led by YouTube and Vine stars. AwesomenessTV recently announced its plan to cast digital influencers in an upcoming film called Shovel Buddies, while GRB Entertainment and Big Frame have teamed up to produce Bad Night, which will star Jenn McAllister and Lauren Elizabeth.
“We are excited to blend Lakeshore’s knowledge and skills gained from its 20-year track record of traditional filmmaking and distribution with the new world of digital influencers,” said Lakeshore CFO Marc Reid. “We think each world can elevate the other.”
As with other film projects led by digital video stars, Man Up will see release across video on demand platforms. No release date has been announced for the film, but it is expected to arrive sometime in the summer.
Full Disclosure: Supergravity’s Marc Hustvedt is a gentleman and a scholar and also one of the founders of Tubefilter.