Bill Simmons’ Ringer Films was announced as a subdivision of The Ringer. Ringer Films primary focus will be long and short-form non-scripted programming. The previously announced Andre the Giant film titled, “He Was a God,” will be the first Ringer Films project. HBO released the 30 second trailer on Friday.
Co-founder of the successful 30 for 30 franchise on ESPN, Simmons will begin searching for an executive to run Ringer Films in early 2018. In the interim, Simmons will co-run the department with Ringer president Eric Weinberger. Simmons intends to not only focus on sports, but music and other pop culture topics.
When asked by the Hollywood Reporter about an attempt to go after the 30 for 30 brand, Simmons said “it’s not on our radar and we could never compete with them. And, also, I feel like I’m on the 30 for 30 team in a lot of ways, it’s one of my babies. With this, we’re just trying to do quality stuff.”
Simmons also expressed an interest in producing short films, saying he believes the 30 for 30 Shorts he helped launch in 2012 may have been ahead if its time. With many accessible platforms to watch digital content, there is a larger market today for creating shorts between four and 15 minutes.
The success of his “Game of Thrones” postgame show titled “After the Thrones” led Simmons to also think about the future of a daily Ringer show. Using low budget sets such as Andy Cohen’s, or Harvey Levin’s TMZ show as an example, Simmons plans to get creative and views Snapchat, or Facebook as a potential landing spot.
Simmons said he looks at the Ringer’s development in phases. Phase one was developing the website and podcast network through hiring the right staff. Phase two was making the site more user friendly by moving to Vox Media. Phase three is Ringer Films, as an initial investor in The Ringer, HBO will have the opportunity to air any Ringer Films’ video content.