Channel 4 & Stephen Lambert Invest in New VR Outfit


LONDON: Channel 4 today has taken a minority stake in the British VR business Parable, which also counts as launch investors Stephen Lambert and The Economist.

Parable will create VR and 360-degree content across the entertainment, brand marketing and training sectors. The new company, launched this month, is co-founded by former director of programs at The Garden Productions, David Wise, and former president of Economist Films, Nicholas Minter-Green. Alongside Wise and Minter-Green in the Parable leadership team is Jonathan Rudd, an award-winning television director and film editor who joins as partner and creative director.

The firm has already completed two 360-degree documentaries for The Economist with Blancpain and is in advanced conversations with several major broadcasters and an array of established on-screen talent regarding upcoming projects for this year.

David Abraham, the chief executive at Channel 4, said: “We’ve been watching the VR and AR markets with interest as they move away from their Silicon Valley roots and increasingly attract the attention of media owners and brands. Parable is storytellers first and foremost and presents a great opportunity for our Indie Growth Fund to work with a talented team with a bold ambition to break into this exciting new sector.”

Stephen Lambert, chair of Parable, and chief executive of Studio Lambert, said: “Virtual reality is the most exciting technological media development of the next few years, but its success hangs or falls on creating great content. I know David and Nicky well and I have no doubt they will quickly establish themselves as a leading global supplier of engaging innovative VR content, which is why I’m delighted to be involved in this new business as its non-exec chairman.”

Wise said: “We are incredibly excited to be launching our business with the backing of Channel 4 and such an inspiring group of investors. Channel 4 share our passion for ground-breaking entertainment and recognize the unique potential that immersive content holds to capture the imagination of current and future generations of viewers.”

Minter-Green added: “Blending our experience of brand activation and television will bring another type of studio to a hugely dynamic VR marketplace—we look forward to creating engaging narrative-driven experiences that capture the hearts and minds of a brand new audience.”