Discovery-backed studio to fund short films made by YouTube stars


Backed by Oscar winners including director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, New Form Digital studio announced Monday a new partnership with some of YouTube’s most famous personalities.

New Form Incubator, the studio’s name for the creative venture, will develop and fund 14 short films, three to 10 minutes in length, produced by YouTube stars such as Joey Graceffa, Joe Penna of MysteryGuitarMan and Sawyer Hartman, who have 3.6 million, 2.8 million and 1.7 million subscribers, respectively.

“We want to create scripted cinematic storytelling for the digital generation by combining great online talent with the storytelling expertise of Ron Howard,” said Kathleen Grace, the former YouTube executive who now runs New Form.


“The films will be distributed on their platforms where it speaks to their audience and also shows their potential as filmmakers.”

Formed by cable giant Discovery Communications and Hollywood heavyweights including Howard and Grazer and others, New Form Digital produces content for online networks. The Los Angeles-based studio has a $5-million annual budget from Discovery. A portion of that will be used to fund the short films, Grace said.

New Form Digital plans to work with companies like AOL and Turner Broadcasting to distribute the films. The studio already has a documentary series on AOL called “Inspired” and a new series with Turner is in the works. If the short films are successful, the studio plans to team with advertisers to create branded entertainment, Grace said.

Twitter: @madeline_oh