Longtime entertainment executive Nancy Tellem, who was president of Xbox games studios, has joined interactive video startup Interlude as its chief media officer and executive chairman.
Previously, Tellem was an investor and an advisor to the company. Tellem has spent more than 25 years in television, she said, part of that having worked with CBS during the era of “Survivor” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” as president of CBS Network Television Group.
Interlude offers several tools that allow users to create more interactive videos. One of Interlude’s famous acts is an interactive video around Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” where viewers could flip through multiple channels lip-syncing the lyrics to the song. The company has also worked on videos for Led Zeppelin’s “Trampled Under Foot” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Stayin Out All Night.”
“When I saw the technology and realized what kind of impact it could have on storytelling, I felt that based on all the other things, they were in a unique position,” she said. “Interlude has taken that next step of, you don’t need a console to have that full interactive experience, you don’t need an app, it can be on every platform, every device.”
Tellem is not unfamiliar with more digital interactive experiences. Interestingly enough, she was present the development of 1 vs. 100, a sort of reality TV game that launched in 2009 while she was working on the Xbox team. Essentially it was a game hosted by a real human that pit a player against a mob of other players that was an Xbox 360 game designed to feel like a reality show.
“I think that over time, everyone has been trying to figure out interactivity or what to call it,” she said. “1 vs 100, to me, was the beginning of using the tech that Xbox had to offer in attempting a much more immersive experience, particularly as it pertained to reality shows.”
The whole process took many months of convincing, she said.
“It wasn’t over a scone. It was over a period of months walking on beaches, walking in NYC, eating a lot of meals. But i’m glad it took so long, simply because when you finally get to that point, they got to know me very well and i got to know them very well. When you’re in a startup that’s what you have to do.”
Interlude, founded in 2010, has raised $19.3 million in venture financing.