Historically, talent agencies have been all about cutting deals and taking a percentage. While some of the bigger agencies have entered into production partnerships, they typically don’t make the content inside the agency itself.
But that’s exactly what Abram Artists Agency (AAA) is doing with Abrams Digital Studios, a production facility inside its new offices at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Ca., where they’re shooting a new short-form digital series in partnership with Entrepreneur Network, the video network of Entrepreneur magazine.
The staff of AAA isn’t getting too involved in the nitty gritty of production, according to Alec Shankman, the agency’s SVP and head of alternative programming, digital media and licensing in Los Angeles.
“We do not have any intentions of physically producing anything ourselves, but rather this is more of a resource for our influencer clients to use as a different setting in which create content,” Shankman (pictured, left) told VideoInk. “We have filled the studio space with state-of-the-art cameras, lighting, green screens, editing equipment, sound equipment, etc. We were inspired by many of our digital clients who were in need of new spaces for a variety of production needs. In this case, Entrepreneur Magazine is actually handling production, editing, etc., but our studio is used as the location for all production.”
The partnership was put together by Shankman and Bill Shaw, chief revenue officer for Entrepreneur magazine, who first became acquainted half a decade ago, when Shankman was CEO of interactive casting platform GoCast.com and Shaw was working for Maxim magazine.
The show, which does not have a formal title, features interviews with startup companies and digital influencers. Each episode will have the subjects discussing their growth as business owners and creators and take an in-depth look at how their businesses originated, developed and evolved, harnessing a digital following. Episodes will be published regularly on Entrepreneur.com.
The premiere episode, which debuted recently on Entrepreneur.com, features Amy Roiland, founder and CEO of FashionTap, and Eddy Roche, the company’s chief operating officer. Future installments will be one to three minutes in length and be available across Entrepreneur’s networks and social platforms.
Upcoming guests include digital influencers such as Brittani Louise Taylor, Olivia Sui and Jessie Paege, all of whom are repped by AAA. But, according to Shankman, guests are not required to be AAA clients.
“This series is open to any and all top-tier digital content creators and entrepreneurs who embrace the entrepreneurial spirit,” Shankman said. “Recently, we had an initial meeting with a potential client who asked to participate in the series upon hearing about in our conversation, so they were interviewed for the show before even leaving the building!”
That’s not to say that AAA doesn’t have enough digital influencers to fill the guest lineup. It’s growing alternative programming and digital media department has a roster of talent that includes D.I.Y.-ers Kate Albrecht(a.k.a. Mr. Kate) and Jimmy DiResta, gamer Danielle Mackey, comedians Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn (Just Between Us), “Doctor Mike” Varshavskim, vlogger Jack Baran (ThatsSoJack), Frisbee trick shot star Brodie Smith and beauty/style gurus Amy Pham, Andrea Brooks, Amy Pham, Breland Emory, Sazan Hendrix, Jeanine Amapola and Whitney White.
Although Shankman has spent some time wearing the entrepreneur hat as the co-founder of the aforementioned GoCast.com, don’t expect him to appear on the show.
“Despite my close proximity to reality TV and digital media, I tend to shy away from the cameras,” Shankman said.