ROYAL OAK — PixoFactor Entertainment, a video gaming and entertainment content development company, last week announced a partnership with Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow, owners and founders of the legendary comedy clubs The Improv.

Friedman and Lonow have partnered with PixoFactor on an innovative program to develop The Improv into the largest online comedy platform in the world, incorporating Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social media with a content driven website and video integrated mobile apps.

Through these applications, PixoFactor and the Improv will use technology and social media to find the next great comedian with an American Idol-like voting competition entitled “Up Yours” (uploading videos). The comic contest will be launched in September and run through early 2012, with the finals taking place at Harrah’s Casino & Resort in Las Vegas. The winner will receive $25,000 worth of bookings at The Improv clubs at Harrah’s in Las Vegas and Harvey’s in Lake Tahoe.

Said PixoFactor CEO Sean Hurwitz: “Budd and Mark are visionaries in the comedy world, so it’s not surprising that they see the future and power of digital mediums to bring the Improv to millions of more fans. The ‘Up Yours’ contest is one of the most fun projects we will have worked on since our inception and we will bring our moxie to make it a huge success.”

The “Up Yours” contest will provide aspiring comedians the opportunity to upload their entry material right from their mobile device to the site and then share it on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and elsewhere for the world to see. A voting system will be in place through the Web site and other social networks, which will include celebrity judges from the world of comedy for the finals. The contest will also positively affect The Improv comedy clubs around the country by bringing attention and awareness to their locale’s and comedians.

Semi-finals of the contest will be in late 2011 and the winner will be provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet with APA Talent Agency and a chance to perform on the Improv stage. The performance will be taped and shared on the site for millions of people to watch and possibly become an overnight sensation.

“The Improv has been a comedy institution for over 48 years,” Friedman said. “Mark and I now want to leverage the constantly evolving digital world with the help of Pixofactor to allow comedy lovers the opportunity to enjoy what the Improv has always offered its fans and find our next great comedic talent.”

The Improv, which opened its doors in 1963, was the birthplace of many famous comedians including Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and many others.

Founded as a partnership between Michigan-based developers, artists, producers and directors, PixoFactor has an impressive track record of developing games, apps and content for all platforms. Proven and experienced PixoFactor is also versed in motion capture, cinematics, and visual effects.

PixoFactor currently participates in the 42 percent Michigan-based film industry incentive. In November, 2010 Pixofactor became the first within the state of Michigan to receive the go-ahead for video game production across multiple digital platforms, since the incentive legislation was passed in April 2008.

For more information about Pixofactor and its services, visit or call (248) 629-7274.


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