Maker Studios to Produce Viral Marketing for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.


Disney evidently has their ad campaign for The Force Awakens scheduled out in advance, as they’ve already set up a plan with one of their subsidiaries. The YouTube multi-channel network Maker Studios is set to produce content promoting the film shortly before its release.


From Bloomberg:

Maker Studios, the Web video network owned by Walt Disney Co. (DIS), will produce short-form shows about everything from Star Wars fashion to games to help its new parent promote the next film in the space-adventure series.
Maker, the largest operator of channels on YouTube, has secured sponsors to help fund the shows, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled to open in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.
The Star Wars package underscores why Disney bought Maker for $500 million in May. The Maker series will help the Burbank, California-based company boost awareness for Star Wars by employing online personalities already popular among viewers who weren’t born when the first film, A New Hope, opened in 1977.

The company is well-known for producing a variety of content that receives a number of hits, ranging from comedy shows such as Epic Rap Battles Of History to episodic content made by individuals such as Jon “JonTron” Jafari. As such, the content produced in time for the movie will most likely be comedic and lighthearted in tone rather than more serious and action-driven.

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Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

Grant Davis (Pomojema)

Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

47 thoughts on “Maker Studios to Produce Viral Marketing for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

  • December 31, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    What angle do I take with this article to bash the prequels and/or Lucas? Anybody?

    • December 31, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      “What angle do I take with this article to bash the prequels and/or Lucas? Anybody?”

      It’s ALL-CG of course!


      Don’t pay any attention to all those models, miniatures, matte paintings, masks, costumes, props, sets, etc etc they built.

      It’s all CG.

        • December 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm

          Yet there wasn’t a single clone trooper in costume… not one! And it showed.

          So yes there is something new… because Boyega & all the troopers we saw in the trailer are real. BB8 is real. The problem with the PT models is that they were used as backgrounds with CGI in front… when it should have been the other way around. (Podrace scene in particular… a ton of model work was done, but there are a lot of nasty looking CGI aliens in the foreground with beautiful models behind them).

          • December 31, 2014 at 11:00 pm

            Just so you know BB 8 is real with the aide of CG technology to illuminate the support arms that drive him. He is basically a puppet with the puppeteer matted out with the help of CG.
            What you are seeing is “real” from a certain point of view.

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:21 am

            R2D2 and C3PO are also real in prequel trilogy.

          • January 1, 2015 at 3:35 am

            Not in the robot factory scene in Episode II

          • January 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

            Yes in that one scene. But we do not know how many BB-8 scenes will be full CGI. I’am sure some of them will be Full CGI.

            SW 7 trailer is full of CGI.

          • January 1, 2015 at 3:34 am


            Mark Hammil said he drove it around… like as if it’s a remote controllable device. I don’t mind CGI in that context… what bothers me is when it’s used in place of objects that could have been used, like the clone troopers.

          • January 1, 2015 at 9:35 pm

            That does not mean anything.
            Some scenes of that droid will be full CGI.

            Even in that scenes in trailer, BB-8 is touched with CGI.

          • January 2, 2015 at 1:50 am

            “That does not mean anything.
            Some scenes of that droid will be full CGI.”

            Says who?

            I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that distant shots of BB8 could be CGI but I think where it counts – up close shots – will be the real deal.

            “Even in that scenes in trailer, BB-8 is touched with CGI.”

            I don’t think you understand what CGI is, at least not in the context that most of us are referring to (animation). The lighting on the model is natural, I don’t see what else would require digital alteration.

            I don’t think any of us here have a problem with digitally altering an image/ removing people from a scene/ using a green screen as a backdrop.
            The BB8 scene looks to be shot on location… to me it looks like perhaps it’s sped up somehow, but I don’t think there was a model operator or something like that removed from the scene. I suppose it’s possible that BB8 might have been superimposed on the landscape / merged from 2 different shots… but the shadow looks too accurate for that to be the case. At the least, it appears it was filmed at the spot & at the same time as that desert shot… the lighting is too realistic for anything else to be the case (for example, I am convinced it wasn’t filmed in a studio in the UK and then placed in the desert shot, because that’s real sunlight on the droid… but if they did that then I’m fooled and thus don’t care if it was a digital job).

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:09 am

            It is not true. All these models are in the front in scenes.
            They are not background models.

            Prequel movies had more model work than any movie of the original trilogy.

            In EP I especially, almost all ships and buildings are model work, not CGI.
            Most of explosions and similar effects in that movie are practical.

            In most cases some aliens characters are CGI ( and not all of them ).
            Even Jar Jar is not complete CGI.

            New trilogy will not be any different. CGI characters will be in these movies too. All ships in trailer are CGI.

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:20 am

            In fact we had real actors/people in clone trooper suits and we had CGI-ones too.

            Same will be in new trilogy.

          • January 1, 2015 at 3:41 am

            There were no real clone troopers… at least I am positive there were none in Episode III… that was all CGI. I’m almost positive Episode II as well.

            Not everything in the trailer is CGI… the falcon is CGI… but I think the X wings are models. Rey’s ship is definitely a model.

            As far as the PT is concerned you must not have a very good display… I see a ton of CGI ships. Some of the podracers were totally CGI.
            Jar Jar was entirely CGI as far as I could tell… Ahmed best in costume was just used as a placeholder reference for the CGI artists to work from.

          • January 2, 2015 at 12:14 am

            “Nope in SW 7 trailer all ships are CGI”


            I’m a trained artist… I can tell when something is real and when it’s not. Rey’s speeder is definitely real. BB8 looks real (though possibly sped up digitally?) X wings are harder to judge but they look real to me. Falcon is CGI… but that’s different because there’s no way to film that type of scene with a model.

            SW7 production is making use of tons of 3D printers… that seems to indicate they are using it to make small scale models… I’m guessing X wings & ties en masse.

            “In PT trilogy most of the ships and sets are real objects.”

            LOLZ! You think all those commuter ships on corruscant were models? Star destroyers in episodes 2 & 3 / the battle over corruscant… models?!?

          • January 1, 2015 at 9:40 pm

            Jar Jar was combination of mask and CGI.
            In some scenese ( battle on Naboo ) it was CGI.
            But in others ( his arms, legs ) mask.

          • January 2, 2015 at 12:19 am

            So basically in any scene where he isn’t talking or doing anything (quick pan shots possibly) he was real. In the parts where it really matters… when he’s talking and up front near the camera He’s CGI… that’s the worst time to use it. But I know that was a limitation of the time, I can understand that.

            If Jar Jar wasn’t such a racist/ stupid/ cartoony character I could have lived with it… It almost felt as if a Jamaican Roger Rabbit fell into the SW universe.

        • January 1, 2015 at 12:32 am

          I think the problem with the Prequels Was The WAY they used CGI.

          The Entire Battle on Coruscant that looked like an Video Game, the alien that obi wan rides on ROTS, C. Grevous, the whole droids, the Clone Troppers, some cenario used as miniatures like the ones in Kamino and others, even they are models, it’ doesn’t work because the excess of post CGI and another stuff. We have the asteroids on Ship parts, and things like this…. the aliens in kamino, the internal parts of Jedi Temple. Even with models, they used in a way that models were put in second plane and not in FIRST plane. Whatever, the Sequels will have a Lot of CGI, but i expect they used it in a better way. In another words, they tried to used CGI, but used them on the wrong place and leave the DETAILS with a “video game look” that everyone noticed. That was the problem.

          • January 1, 2015 at 1:48 am

            I would agree with this. Look no further than Jurassic Park for how to marry the two mediums. Its’ early use of CGI and practical effects are still spot on even some twenty years later. Lucas relied way too heavily on CGI for the prequels and as stated above, misused it.

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:27 am

            Not true.

            Problem is that most people can not tell the difference. They just assume that all is CGI.

            But in fact most of it is a model work, not CGI.

            All new movies have more CGI than all prequel movies combined.

            All Marvel movies are all-CGI. New Hobbit movies, all CGI.

            Just because prequels had some CGI scenes and some CGI characters does not make them full of CGI.
            People would be suprise with the amount of practical effects and model work in these movies.

            Just go to this link and learn.

            Blue screen is used in original trilogy too.

          • January 1, 2015 at 4:47 am

            While I would agree that it is easy to tell in the movies you mentioned that they used CGI (and heavily) I don’t think those are good examples of how to use CGI correctly. The new Star Trek, the old Jurassic park, Terminator II, or Minority Report are just some I can think of right away that (I feel)used CGI and practical effects correctly. Heck, you can even put A Beautiful Mind down as another.

            Yes, the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings among a lot of other movies in this day and age, have gone for the glossy look of CGI. And while it doesn’t agree with me I think in some instances, it’s easier to stomach when there’s good writing with an actual plot, characters I like with an actual protagonist etc.

          • January 1, 2015 at 5:33 am

            While I am the one who responded to the response that you gave me, I will not lie, the link you posted is quite interesting. I was unaware that the model making and miniatures where that intense along with the practical sets. I still think where those movies failed is not in the effects (which I didn’t like) but more with story, character, tension and plot.

          • January 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

            Man, I KNOW they have used models. They really used a lot!! But here goes the problem:

            instead of making most of the scenarios were the characters appears in REAL size, they’ve make A LOT of miniatures with a LOT of POST CGI, AND the characters were put after over the scene… But hey this is the right way isn’t? they do this on the Original trilogy… but this only works well in movement Scenes!!! Like the Yarvin Battle. But on the Prequels they’ve done this EVEN on a scene were the Characters are WALKING ARROUND!! then you will have a lot of blue screen if the movie it’s done this way… It’ goes on the Totally Right Track on Genosis and the Pod racer arena… but there are a lot of times that the “fake radar” of everyone noticed the “Beautiful-but-fake” that mustafar scene it’s so fake that when you discover that exists a background model you think: what the hell they’ve done? Some times Less is more guys…
            And then, look to the falcon on the teaser of TFA and the X-Wings. I can’t even tell the difference, and there is CGI in there!!! Maybe the Sequels will have even more CGI than the prequels, but if they use it on the right way everybody was going out the theaters: “holy shit that was real?” think about that was the way people feel after see the first star wars in 1977.

          • January 1, 2015 at 6:19 pm

            I think I owe PT crew a mental apology….
            Please click that link^

            My issue w/ PT AND the Fans is this: The Medium (CG/Models) does not determine the quality. The Quality Determines the Quality.
            Revenge of the Sith had very good sets. But there were some key mistakes made. The Clone Troopers should not have been CG.
            Also high quality work does not guarantee believability. But then again, Bespin in general was not veryu believable either.
            I guess I just wish there were more sets like the Echo Base Set.
            For me, Echo Base was always one of Star Wars’ Most Believable Sets. It just always struck me as a good representation of a military base. I think this design Purpose was one of the things missing for PT on many fronts.
            The PT was just Mis-Designed. Not badly- the execution was pretty good, but It was designed in the wrong way. And that has nothing to with what method the crew used.
            my 2 cents

    • December 31, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      It’s easy – the Prequels created by Lucas damaged the ‘brand’ so much that the me me me generation can’t think for themselves and need taught what Star Wars is… no rap battles, dance-offs twerking or woohoo hair boys, it’s hard to get it back into the limelight without these things

      • December 31, 2014 at 9:32 pm

        Prequel movies did not damage anything.

        All prequel movies were huge box office success and DVD/Blu-ray sales were excellent.

        Star wars EP I re-relase in theaters 2012 has earned an additional US$102.7 million.

        That movie is earned in theaters $1.027 billion so far.

        Faaaaaaaaar from damaged….

        • December 31, 2014 at 11:39 pm

          Its not necessary the prequels are bad. But original Star Wars had just an impact and cult status that it simply earned special respect. The prequels are nowhere near that status.

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:08 am

            The prequels in my opinion were bad. The writing was poor with stories that had no discernable plot, the acting was horrid, the characters were not relatable as I didn’t care about any of them, there was no protagonist and the special effects were well . . . special effects meaning, I knew what I was watching was CGI. Just because something does well in the box office, does not mean it’s a classic or it is good. There are plenty of examples out there. Heck, look no further than Indiana Jones and the Chrystal Skull.

          • January 1, 2015 at 2:36 am

            Like you said in your opinion.
            Complite opposite ftom mine.

            In my opinion they were good. And EP III is with EP V the best Star wars movie.
            Writing was not any better in original movies too.

            I also can tell in original movies that all ships are fake ( models ), I can tell that Jabba, Yoda ect are puppets.
            That Ewoks are little people in teddy bear costumes. Nothing different there.

          • January 1, 2015 at 5:16 am

            Okay, so short of some special effects (that in that time, were state of the art) the prequels still fall short when it comes to stories with discernable plots, good acting, relatable characters, protagonists etc.

            There was nothing special about the prequels. No, “I am your father” moment, no (space cowboy like character) that people fell in love with and no way to compare these original screen gems to what Lucas tried to do again in the 1990’s.

            Lucas fell far short of anything he did with Star Wars, or what Irvin Kershner did with Empire Strikes back or what Richard Marquand did with Return of the Jedi. All three movies mind you, written by different people as well.

            It’s my personal opinion that Lucas lost sight of everything he was doing when he decided to do the prequels on his own. The fact that he let go of all of his control with the new movies, is a good sign.

            Sorry, growing up watching the original films, I just cannot stomach the prequels, they are not even in the same ballpark.

          • January 1, 2015 at 8:59 pm

            I re-watched all 3 PT’s over christmas break with my step-daughter & girlfriend. My girlfriend fell asleep during Episodes 2 & 3. They are from Eastern Europe so they don’t understand English very well. In the PT there is a lot of dialogue that is very confusing for them… but the OT was easier for them to understand because the scenes were illustrating what was happening as well. I had to do a lot of explaining about the PT, saying things like “oh that person who was a kid is now that older guy who’s going to be darth vader” or “that is the queen in disguise, that’s why the real queen is dressed like that” & then having to explain why the fake queen was dressed up like a Queen and the reasoning for it.

            What bothers me about the PT is that there are segments where I’m like “I can’t wait until this scene is over so that we can finally see -x- scene”. (in Episode II after the chase scene, the rest of the movie is pretty much just waiting for the large battle scene at the end… my nephews made me skip the love scenes when we watched it because that bored them to death)
            Where as the OT, the entirety of the films is just one long, fun ride.

  • December 31, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Happy new year my fellow star wars fans!! May this new year bring us some awesome news and a really reaaaally awesome movie!!!

  • December 31, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    (Insert obligatory complaints about Disney, Abrams and Obama destroying childhoods)

    • December 31, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      Let me try: i suck, because im a consumer. Whatever they serve i will buy. Like a puppy dog lapping whatever they serve. Practically sucking it out of them. So im a sucke

  • December 31, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    “The Maker series will help boost awareness for Star Wars”

    • January 1, 2015 at 12:52 am

      You’d literally have to Be living under a rock to not know what star wars is

      • January 1, 2015 at 2:58 am

        I met someone once who had never seen a second of Star Wars and only knew it as “nerd bible material”, it made me sad…

      • January 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

        Yeah, TONS of people live under a rock.
        That’s why war and suffering are so incredibly commonplace.
        Sorry to get heavy, but Star Wars is not the center of the world, so of course there are people who haven’t seen it. People Ignore all kinds of stuff.

        It took Lord of the Rings to convince people that planet earth is gorgeous. But now if anyone makes a movie showcasing how awesome mother nature is, then they’re automatically called a LOTR Rip-off. Now THAT’S sad.

  • December 31, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    When asked to comment, C3PO had only this to say:
    “Thank the Maker!”

  • December 31, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    dont understand the need …. a poster , a tv ad and a radio ad all saying “new starwars film in december 2015” is all you need …… those that will go will go , those that wont will not be swayed by flashy ads.

    • December 31, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      No, not the case. Go and interview every fan of Star Wars and Ask how they got intrested, or should I say what they spent money on. However you will find some fans may have discovered Star Wars through something other than the films themselves.
      Either through Comics, Toys, Lego, a cereal Box, a souvenir book in an attic.
      Take any of these things away and star wars could have been remembered as that Forrbiden Planet like film.
      In the 90s, if not for the books and EU many fans and revenues could have been lost.
      This Maker Venture can be another link in a very profitable chain. Many Sideshow collectables would not exist if not for this kind of Marketing.
      The internet sells and Star Wars is not just a movie needing a poster or trailer. It is about selling a whole lot of marked up plastic and paper products.
      You can become a millionare with one good idea with an account on EBay, Etsy and advertising through You Tube videos. Create a web site and Paypal accounts then watch the money roll.
      Look at this Blog, its got ads making money and helping the mouse house get their licensing profit dollars through awareness.
      The land scape for this Franchise isn’t a Poster, it about all of the Merchandising that creates the Benjamin’s
      One You tube comment section can give more honest feedback than ten internet surveys.

      • December 31, 2014 at 11:45 pm

        yeaaaaaaah , so they dont need anything more than a poster …. the toy companies , websites like this and such do it all for them. so they dont need to spend cash on viral marketing …. itll happen anyway.

  • January 1, 2015 at 1:01 am

    The original Star Wars had hardly any promotion… Just the novelization, a cheesy trailer, a poster, the Marvel comics adaptation, and not much else. Sure, a portion of the initial audiences back in ’77 might have gone to see it because of this tiny promotional campaign, but the reason the film went on to become such an international phenomenon was because those initial audiences came out of the theater so blown away by what they’d seen that they went and told everyone they knew about it.

    Of course, now Star Wars has a built-in fan base that will be going to see TFA no matter what, so there shouldn’t be any need for a slick promotional campaign. After all, if the story is really good and actually manages recaptures the magic of the originals, then we in the initial audiences are going to tell everyone we know, and good ol’ fashioned word of mouth will drive in the demographic that may not have gone to see it otherwise.

    • January 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Maybe they’re tired of their fanbase and want a new one. Wait what? Shit. We blew it. Now Star Wars is Taking out it’s Revenge… And on that bombshell, I need another coffee…

  • January 1, 2015 at 10:29 pm


  • January 2, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Kind of miss the old days when you didn’t know anything about the movies until they came out.

Comments are closed.