In the latest example of its diversified sampling strategies to generate awareness and viewing for its original programming, Starz will open up the first five installments of its experiment in filmmaking, prior to its linear premiere.
The premium programmer will make the first five installments of its original documentary series, The Chair, available to Starz subscribers on Starz Play and Starz on Demand, beginning on Sept. 6, ahead of the skein's linear bow that day at 11 p.m. (ET/PT).
Created by Chris Moore, executive producer of Emmy-nominated Project Greenlight and co-producer of Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting, the 10-part documentary trails two first-time directors, Shane Dawson and Anna Martemucci, who are given the same original screenplay, and tasked with creating their initial debut features to the big screen.
Starz has supported the launch of current hit,Outlander, and key original series like Black Sails and Power, as well as the sophomore run of Da Vinci’s Demons with various on-demand, digital and experential marketing initiatives
The Chair documents the creation, marketing and theatrical release of both adaptations – Dawson’s is named Not Cool, while Martemucci’s is christened Hollidaysburg. Both directors were given the same budget and the productions used locations in the same city – Pittsburgh, Through multiplatform voting, viewers will ultimately determine which director will be awarded $250,000.
Both films will also be available on Starz Play and Starz on Demand, beginning on Oct. 25, and will air on the network before the finale of The Chair on Starz.
“Starz is making the first five episodes of The Chair available on the same day of the television premiere of the series to reach a young adult population that is in the vanguard of ‘bingeing’ on shows as their preferred method of viewing,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “Starz is always interested in moving the premium programming model forward with strategies that are attuned to the projected audience demos of the show. We are once again utilizing an exposure tactic that has intrigued us since we first did it with last year's limited series, Dancing on the Edge."
Actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, American Horror Story, Heroes) and his producing partners Corey Moosa and Neal Dodson will be featured in The Chair as they join Moore and the script’s original producer, Josh Shader, to serve as mentors to Dawson and Martemucci in their quest to develop the winning adaptation.