Four new web series will be created from a joint initiative between NZ On Air and Google.

The series are the first to be chosen for the Skip Ahead initiative which is intended to encourage YouTube creators with a significant following into creating scripted narrative series.

NZ On Air and YouTube have put in 50% each to fund the projects. In addition, Google will also provide skill development workshops and invite successful participants to attend the YouTube Pop Up Space in Sydney to assist the creators to make their new webseries successful and grow their global audience.

The funded projects are:

Ao-terror-oa, from the makers of fantasy webseries AFK, the new series explores the horror potential of classic New Zealand icons and concepts.

Happy Playland, continuing the evolution of The Candlewasters, is a musical web series following three women in their early 20s at the bottom rung of the creative industry: a children’s indoor playground.

How To Dad, from the hugely popular “How to Dad” series maker, follows Jordan on his mission to become the champion New Zealand gumboot thrower.

Rekt, from YouTubers Viva La Dirt League, is a kiwi underdog tale following a ragtag crew of gamers hoping to be the first NZ team to achieve international eSports glory.

“These are great new ideas from creative minds that have already proven they can engage an audience. We look forward to seeing their growth as they make and promote their web series, and hope NZ audiences, and the world, will be entertained,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“YouTube is the platform for New Zealand’s next generation of storytellers, and we’re thrilled to support Kiwi artists hone their craft, learn new skills and network with other successful YouTube creators overseas,” said Google New Zealand’s Ross Young.

Funding details

Ao-terror-oa, by H2Ow Ltd, $80,040
Happy Playland, by Good Times Company, $85,000
How To Dad, by How To Dad, $84,903
Rekt by Viva La Dirt League Productions, $80,000