Van Toffler Teams with Otter Media for New Indie Studio

LOS ANGELES: Gunpowder & Sky (G&S) is a brand-new independent studio that has been launched by Van Toffler, former CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music Group; Floris Bauer, former global head of strategy at Endemol; and Otter Media, the joint venture formed between The Chernin Group and AT&T.

G&S will focus on the creation and distribution of content ranging from 90 seconds to 90 minutes in length. The outfit is already working with partners on projects, including a four-minute animated series, a slate of digital horror movies, 45-second viral videos and a theatrical film.

Partnerships are already in place with the U.K. film and digital studio Realm Pictures, direct-to-consumer film studio Supergravity Pictures, and producers such as Bona Fide Productions and Adaptive Studios.

“I’m like my 19-year-old, rebellious self being able to once again regress by making content free of format, genre or even a platform,” said Toffler, the founder and CEO of Gunpowder & Sky. “Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs, Sarah Harden, AT&T and the entire Otter team are on the cutting edge of digital media. Partner that with the leadership of global content executive Floris Bauer, and G&S is poised to be the next great disruptor of popular culture. We consider ourselves to be the defiant lovechild of YouTube, the MCNs and Netflix, mixed with the subversive spirit of those independent creative misfits who altered the planet from their very wired garages.”

Peter Chernin, the CEO of The Chernin Group, said: “Gunpowder & Sky is a bold move for us into what we think is the next great opportunity in content production—producing premium groundbreaking video with up-and-coming, as well as established writers, directors and talent for primary distribution on emerging platforms. Between Van’s incredible track record producing content with emerging innovative talent for young audiences on new platforms and Floris’ strategy and deal-making experience across the global content landscape, this is the perfect team to build the next great independent studio.”

Bauer, co-founder and president of Gunpowder & Sky, added: “Gunpowder & Sky will develop and distribute its own original content as well as support other creators with quality storytelling and unique visual aesthetics that appeal to the global connected generation. With a real appetite to experiment, we look forward to partnering with talent and companies who are at the forefront of innovation in content creation, marketing and distribution.”