Starlight Runner specializes in the expansion of entertainment properties into highly successful multiplatform communications and international campaigns. CEO Jeff Gomez and VP Production & Operations Mark Pensavalle are accredited by the Producers Guild of America as developers of story worlds for films, TV shows, videogames, toys, books, comics, apps, virtual reality projects, and theme park attractions. This work deepens engagement and accelerates the development of participative communities, resulting in mass audience approval, brand loyalty, and increased revenues.
Starlight Runner’s entertainment work has impacted such blockbuster properties as Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, James Cameron’s Avatar, Hasbro’s Transformers, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man and Men in Black, Microsoft’s Halo, and Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. CEO Jeff Gomez is known for his work on Mattel’s Hot Wheels animated series, the Valiant superhero universe, Hasbro’s Magic: The Gathering, Acclaim’s Turok videogame series, and Mark Burnett’s Lucha Underground TV series.
Electronic Arts and Ghost Games selected Starlight Runner to create an all-new story world for its blockbuster Need for Speed racing videogame franchise. Nicieza, Steele Filipek, and Jeff Gomez innovated the story world and co-plotted Need for Speed Payback, released November 2017.
STX Entertainment has partnered with Starlight Runner to develop a computer-animated feature film based on the internationally successful Uglydoll brand. The feature, scheduled for release in 2018, will be accompanied by a global brand relaunch, with a full transmedia rollout strategy. Starlight Runner worked directly with STX Chairman Adam Fogelson, Chief Content Officer Oren Aviv, and Producer Gigi Pritzker on the project.
Sony Pictures Entertainment negotiated the world’s first Transmedia Consultation & Production overall deal with Starlight Runner, inviting the company to consult, develop and produce projects for the studio across an array of media platforms. First project was the studio’s Spider-Man franchise, including Amazing Spider-Man 2 released in the summer of 2014.
Starlight Runner researched, developed and applied a series of “21st century franchise production” techniques specific to Sony, promoting the integration of Sony’s Spider-Man character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in tandem with Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Company, launching with Spider-Man: Homecoming in July 2017. Work also included other Spider-Man universe characters such as Venom, Black Cat and Silver Sable, all subjects of upcoming feature films.
Mark Burnett’s One Three Media engaged Starlight Runner in 2014 to serve as story world developer and Transmedia Producer of the television series Lucha Underground, a re-imagining of popular AAA Lucha Libre Mexican sports entertainment franchise. Starlight Runner will also serve as an equity participant in the global multi-platform implementation of the franchise, including an international live venue tour, publishing, social media, apps, a toy line, and the series itself, airing on Comcast’s El Rey network and Univision’s UniMas network, and renewed for a fourth season, 2017-2018.
Pirates of the Caribbean / Tron Legacy / Fairies / Disney Parks & Resorts
The Walt Disney Company selected Starlight Runner to serve as Transmedia Producers on the Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron Legacy franchises from 2005 to 2010, extending those story worlds across an array of media platforms in highly coordinated implementations, including videogames and massive multi-player online games, live productions and attractions for Disney Cruise Lines and Disney Parks & Resorts.
Starlight Runner also created original games based on Pirates for Disney Interactive, and motion video content for Disney’s Fairies franchise, released in toy packaging through Disney Consumer Products. In 2015, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts began an exploration with Starlight Runner on how transmedia narrative applications can generate highly immersive visitor experiences for Pandora in 2017, Star Wars Galaxies in 2018, and Marvel superheroes at Disneyland and across parks worldwide.
20th Century Fox selected Starlight Runner to work directly with James Cameron in 2008 to develop and expand the world of Avatar, the highest grossing feature film of all time, for extension across multiple media platforms. Starlight Runner’s Avatar Concordance and Na’vi Primer story world documents have served as a basis for an array of product extensions for the franchise, which is relaunching with Avatar 2 in 2018, 3, and 4, and the sprawling Pandora walkthrough attraction at Disney theme parks.
Hasbro selected Starlight Runner in 2015 to develop a fully revised Transformers franchise universe across all media platforms, furnished to Akiva Goldsman’s writing team at Paramount Pictures to fuel up to a dozen new feature film projects.
Starlight Runner’s work also informs the animated series Transformers Prime, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, the older skewing Transformers: Generations multi-platform campaign, and Transformers: Rescue Bots animated series on the Discovery Kids network. Work includes story world development for a new epoch in the franchise, featuring a more highly coordinated shared universe, which will integrate new toy lines, Activision videogames, apps, comic books, and merchandise.
Sesame Workshop Executive Vice President and Creative Director Brown Johnson has commissioned Starlight Runner to consult on the innovation of Sesame Street in an effort to return the educational franchise to the heights of success it experienced in previous decades.
Project commenced July 2015 with a series of conferences to determine the creative challenges and blockages faced by the program. Goal is to significantly increase the audience for Sesame Street as it extended first-run episodes to HBO, better engage older children and parents, convey the show’s educational and social curricula in a more participative and interactive manner, and increase revenue from improved licensing and merchandising.
Microsoft recruited Starlight Runner Entertainment to fully innovate and prepare their multi-billion-dollar Halo videogame franchise as a global entertainment brand, featuring iconic heroes Master Chief and Cortana in 2009.
Implementation launched with Halo Reach and continued through the release of Halo 4 in 2012, which grossed more than $540 million, and the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. The new Halo narrative has galvanized the fan community, significantly increased book and toy sales, and attracted an array of new licensees. A web-based series produced by Ridley Scott was launched in 2014, and a television series is currently in development produced by Steven Spielberg.
Ubisoft tapped Starlight Runner Entertainment for the global transmedia expansion of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, one of the publisher’s most successful and iconic videogame franchises. Starlight Runner contributed concepts, characterization and story content that has helped to make the latest game Splinter Cell: Blacklist a well-reviewed top-seller in 2013. Starlight Runner’s work will also aid producers in the development of the recently announced Splinter Cell feature film.
Sony Entertainment / Parkes+MacDonald Productions selected Starlight Runner Entertainment to redevelop the Men in Black franchise as an evergreen global transmedia brand, starting with the 2012 release of Men in Black III. Starlight Runner participated in the development of videogames from Activision and See Global, as well as in the successful cross-platform marketing campaign behind the film.
Ultimately Starlight Runner demonstrated that the story world of Men in Black is vast and unique, capable of being extended with or without the original stars. Formal development for a fourth Men in Black feature, leveraging this creative work, commenced in 2017.
Nickelodeon selected Starlight Runner to develop and coordinate a global transmedia implementation for their newly acquired billion-dollar Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand in 2011. Responsibilities included innovating the brand narrative, as well as the development of a multi-platform hub for all creative across all divisions of Viacom, licensing and merchandising.
Showtime worked with Starlight Runner to create a universe bible and transmedia strategy to extend the Dexter premium cable television series across multiple platforms, and draw more women and “Comic Con” type fans, starting with the series’ breakthrough fall 2009 season.
Mattel commissioned Starlight Runner to conceive, develop, co-write and co-produce a story world based on their popular Hot Wheels brand of die-cast metal toy cars. Results included the Hot Wheels Highway 35 World Race multi-platform campaign (2002), which included a Cartoon Network animated mini-series, videogames from THQ, and narrative-based promotions from McDonald’s, Target, and Baskin-Robbins.
The Starlight Runner-created story world returned with the Hot Wheels Acceleracers entertainment franchise (2004), and generated a third iteration in the Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 animated series and toy line, which launched Fall 2009 and ran for three seasons. Franchise gross is in excess of $600 million.
As writer, editor and producer, Gomez created an expansion of the franchise story world to comic books, graphic novels, and videogames across multiple platforms, novels and game books. While at Acclaim, Gomez also developed the Turok Dinosaur Hunter videogame franchise and multi-platform implementation for the Nintendo 64, which grossed over $420 million.
Acclaim Entertainment in the 1990s, commissioned Starlight Runner principal Jeff Gomez as a pivotal creator for the billion-dollar Magic: The Gathering trading card game franchise created by Wizards of the Coast and currently owned by Hasbro.