Kiliaen Van Rensselaer is leaving his job at FOX Broadcasting to form his own independent studio. The Senior VP of Multi-Platform Programming at FOX has launched Insurrection Media, which will aim to provide TV-quality content primarily for digital distribution.
The goal of Van Rensselaer’s new studio, according to a release, is “to more efficiently develop and produce future TV hits by streamlining the development process and empowering creatives with resources to produce bold original content.” Essentially, Insurrection wants to eliminate as much of the business end of content creation as possible, and allow creators more freedom and flexibility in their work.
“Our approach is based on my strong belief that enabling stories to be told as the creators intended, in a light-touch environment will generate better, more compelling shows,” explained Van Rensselaer. “We’re fired up to be able to empower talented creators, writers, directors, actors, producers and crew to unleash their full potential.”
According to Variety, Insurrection will aim to produce scripted, live-action comedy and drama content with lower-end production budgets. Van Rensselaer will aim to distribute this content first on digital platforms, before looking to cable and broadcast options. “With the worldwide proliferation of new video platforms, there is tremendous unmet demand for quality scripted original content and we are uniquely positioned to serve those needs,” he said.
Insurrection Media already has financial backing from a key investment company. Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Capital Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in Insurrection. As part of the deal, DeBevoise (a board of directors member for YouTube multi-channel network Machinima) will sit on the studio’s board of advisers.
“We invested in Kiliaen’s vision because we believe strongly in his leadership and ability to create and grow a new kind of pipeline that will uninhibitedly harness the imagination of talent to build a library of world class IP in original content,” said DeBevoise.
Van Rensselaer brings a strong history of digital and TV-centric experience to his new venture. At FOX, he oversaw content development at and the creation of several “micro-studios,” including Party Over Here with the Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone. That initiative resulted in a series order for The Tyler Zone from Conde Nast Entertainment’s video hub The Scene.
Additionally, Van Rensselaer has worked on a mini-studio with Keith Quinn and Jonathan Stern of Abominable Pictures. One of that group’s projects, Filthy Sexy Teen$, was picked up by Fullscreen. Van Rensselaer was also a founder for the female-centric digital studio WIGS. Under his guidance, the network produced over 35 hours of original content; one series — Blue, starring Julia Stiles — was picked up by Hulu.
Van Rensselaer will leave his position at FOX on August 1, 2015. He will then start working out of the studio’s Century City offices, and hire new employees within the next few months.