American Eagle Outfitters is dipping its leather sandal-clad toes into the film business. Variety reports that the clothing manufacturer has launched an entertainment production arm called 77E. 77E will produce "original web series and content around events it sponsors, but also will use the entity to segue into TV, movies and music." The first self-produced AE project is a "webisodic comedy" about mall employees called It's a Mall World. The project was directed by Heroes star and Rocky's son, Milo Ventimiglia, who once asked out a friend of mine. The series stars Sam Huntington (Not Another Teen Movie, Superman Returns), and was written by Adam Green (Hatchet).
Where can you see these videos? Content will be available on AE.com, on video screens in American Eagle stores (can't a man shop in peace?), and through outside partners like MTV, which is showing Mall World. Clips will also be available on myspace, facebook, and youtube, which I am told are popular internet webbysites. Kathy Savitt, executive Vice President of American Eagle Outfitters, says of the kids today: "Content is so important to who they are and how they're living their life. They're so smart and discriminating. We need to make deposits into the cool jar." I would think step one on the path to being cool would be eliminating phrases like "cool jar" from one's vocabulary, but what do I know? AE's first film tie-in is expected to debut shortly. Can a deal between Abercrombie & Fitch and Larry Clark be far behind?