EXCLUSIVE: Break Media is adding a high octane new channel to their portfolio, just in time for SXSW. The male-targeted online network is launching their new YouTube channel Hardcoded with a web series that blends found footage with episodic action, starring James Kyson (Heroes), Camille Guaty (The Vampire Diaries), Wes Chatham (The Unit), Patrick Fabian (The Last Exorcism), and Jason Manuel Olazabal (Make It Or Break It).
Armed Response follows members of a SWAT team as they battle a Mexican drug cartel at the Port Of Long Beach and unfolds entirely through helmet-mounted cameras and security footage. SXSW audiences will get a sneak peek at the four-episode series on Saturday, March 9 when director Justin Lutsky, Break Media SVP Greg Siegel, and SXM’s Thomas Bannister and Matt Michnovetz host a panel in the fest’s Digital Domain section. (Watch an exclusive trailer below.) The first episode will debut on YouTube via Hardcoded on March 12.
“Break Media is the largest entertainment platform for men aged 18-34 online”, said Siegel, “and one of the things our audience has been more and more responding to is genres of content traditionally gotten offline.” Hardcoded will be aimed at more “testosterone-driven programming” including action, FX-oriented, and sci-fi properties with an emphasis on filmmaker-driven projects.
Produced by SXM and Break and filmed “guerilla-style” in just a few contained locations, Armed Response is also breaking new ground with a studio film partnership that aligned in the past few weeks. FilmDistrict’s Gerard Butler-starrer Olympus Has Fallen (in theaters March 22) is sponsoring the web series in what Siegel likens to how films advertise on television: “It’s aligning your content with the type of content the audience is there to consume, like a media buy with a traditional TV show”.
Armed Response thus far consists of four five-minute episodes but it and web properties like it could lead to cross-platform extensions or continuations, according to Bannister. The series is created by Bannister and Lutsky, written by Michnovetz, and produced by Bannister and Larry Laboe for SXM.
Watch an exclusive trailer for Armed Response: