The all-comers creative space that YouTube has built in a mammoth former Hughes Aircraft hangar in L.A.’s Playa Vista neighborhood is rapidly becoming Crossover Central, as notable YouTube video creators based there work with studios and networks to create online companions to bigger media brands such as Star Wars, Godzilla and now BBC America‘s Almost Royal catfish-out-of-water reality series. The Star Wars project was relatively small, based around the annual May 4 (“May the Fourth be with you”) celebrations of that durable franchise, using a replica of the famous cantina scene in the original film. The YouTube operation helped Star Wars marketers pick four YouTube creators, who got to shoot episodes of their respective programs on the Cantina set.
A similar but much bigger effort this spring at the YouTube Space LA involved Godzilla in a cross-media project of a scale worthy of its gargantuan namesake. Legendary Film marketing execs came up with the idea of bringing in an actual set from the latest installment, a command bunker, then got sign-off from partners Warner Bros and YouTube in just a couple of weeks. The set, along with a destructible version of the San Francisco skyline, was installed in the YouTube Space LA studios. Legendary and Warner Bros chose 30 programming proposals from about 100 video creators recruited by YouTube, then set them loose on the set, said Legendary’s Pearl Wible. The ones chosen were pulled from many different sectors of YouTube content, ranging from Michelle Phan‘s beauty advice (Godzilla really, really could use some good moisturizer, now that I think of it) to Nerdist (which did a series of “Godzilla Week” segments tied to the film’s run-up) to hard science. (more…)