Paramount Digital Entertainment Partners With Gaumont To Produce 'Section 8,' a New Interactive Thriller

Mar 29, 2009
By ViacomCBS Staff

Weekly Short-Form Series To Premiere In The U.S. On MySpace Video Platform --Endemol To Handle International Distribution And Brand Partnerships

Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE), part of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), and Gaumont, one of Europe's largest film production and distribution companies, announces the development of "Section 8," an interactive Web series exclusively distributed in the U.S. by MySpace, the world's premier social portal.

Endemol, a global leader in entertainment programming, will handle worldwide distribution, product integration and brand partnerships.

Following the highly successful digital release of Jackass 2.5, the first studio-backed feature film to be offered online, comes "Section 8," an interactive short-form serial thriller set to introduce online audiences to an online entertainment experience that engages them in character and plot development never-before-seen on the Web.

Featuring an ill-fated cast of characters, the supernatural thriller will take audiences through a spine-tingling journey as personal dramas are revealed. Throughout the short-form series, each character will face a moment of jeopardy, leaving only one survivor. In a unique new media twist, audiences are invited to guess the solution to the cryptic back-story using customized interactive experiences situated in and around the series. When collected together, the series will be redistributed as a full-length feature.

MySpace will be the exclusive hub for "Section 8," allowing its audience in the U.S. the opportunity to view, share and uniquely interact with this high quality thriller. In addition to finding character descriptions, episode discussions and behind-the-scenes content, users will be able to embed each episode on their MySpace profile pages.

"PDE is continuing its commitment to developing high quality original content for Web audiences," says Thomas Lesinski, President of Paramount Digital Entertainment. "For 'Section 8,' Paramount has partnered with top producers and distributors to develop a compelling interactive story on a unique platform that will engage audiences like never before."

"Our partnership with PDE is an important next step in Gaumont's production strategies," says Christophe Riandee, CEO of Gaumont. "We are constantly looking for new platforms to deliver quality content to a global audience."

"Section 8" uniquely creates opportunities for brands to become deeply integrated into the story. Leveraging the interactive quality of mobile and online entertainment allows users to participate in a compelling exploration of the content through customized marketing experiences.

"'Section 8' sets a new standard of theatrical quality for an online production. The innovation and creativity that has been invested in the project will make this a unique opportunity for our digital and brand partners," says Adam Valkin Global Head of Digital at Endemol.

About Paramount Digital Entertainment

Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE) is a division of Paramount Pictures Corporation. PDE develops and distributes filmed entertainment across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices, videogames, virtual worlds and emerging technologies.

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA)(NYSE: VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.

About Gaumont

Gaumont has been one of the main European production companies since 1895. These past years, it has sped up its activity producing or acquiring, financing and releasing features like Splice (Adrian Brody, Sarah Polley) by Vincenzo Natali, Last Night by Massy Tadjedin (Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet, Sam Worthington) The Science of Sleep (Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg) by Michel Gondry, 36 quai des Orfevres (Gerard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil) by Olivier Marchal, The Closet and The Valet (Daniel Auteuil) by acclaimed director Francis Veber.

Gaumont has built up France's second-ranking film library holding over 900 titles. It includes the works of prestigious directors such as Luc Besson, Francis Veber, Jean-Jacques Beineix or awarded Federico Fellini, Maurice Pialat or Jean-Luc Godard.

Gaumont joined forces with Pathe to create Europalaces, managing and expanding Europe's biggest theatre network.

About Endemol

Founded in 1994, Endemol is a global leader in entertainment programming, having established itself as the largest independent TV, cross platform and digital production company in the world. The company produces worldwide hits like "Big Brother," "Deal or No Deal," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Star Academy" and "Wipeout."

Endemol comprises a global network of companies that spans 26 countries on five continents including the USA, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as Latin America, India, South Africa and Australia.

Endemol produces premium entertainment for the world's major broadcasters and digital media platforms - including mobile and Internet - as well as creating bespoke branded entertainment for the world's major advertising agencies and brands.

The company annually produces nearly 40,000 hours of programming from over 500 different shows in nearly 200 countries. Their recent digital successes include generating over 300 million online video views in 2008 -for Big Brother alone. Endemol is also behind numerous award winning original digital productions among many other growing online accomplishments.

The company's creative teams around the world are continuously developing new entertainment properties that are shared across the Endemol network. Endemol currently has a growing library of over 2000 formats and nearly 20,000 hours of content across genres including entertainment, reality TV, game shows, animation, comedy and drama.

Endemol also recently acquired 100% of Southern Star Group, the largest production company in Australia and one of the largest distributors of English language television programming in the world.

Endemol is a privately held company.

About MySpace

MySpace is the world's leading social portal for connecting people, content, and culture. MySpace empowers its global community to experience the Internet through a social lens by integrating personal profiles, photo sharing, professional and viral videos, blogs, mobile, instant messaging, and the world's largest music community. MySpace is the highest trafficked website in the United States and includes an international network of more than 30 local community sites throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Fox Interactive Media is a division of News Corporation. (NYSE: NWS - News, NWS.A - News; ASX: NWS - News, NWSLV - News).