Nov 2007 Network Quality Entertainment — Online?
It is hard not to intrinsically believe our entertainment will come across the web before too long — everyone is moving there from the BBC to ABC to Al Gore with Current TV.
The question everyone asks is will it be any good? As much as people have always loved their reality tv including the Gong Show, Candid Camera, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and Big Brother, we can’t be expected to live on YouTube alone.
We recognise it takes real talent to create “24” or “Spooks” — the question is will that talent work for online distribution? Or if you are real techno optimist, can digital tools make their work even better?
I’d of course say the answer is yes. And it is probably going to happen faster then we think. As the writers and studios are breaking down about who gets what online and Grey’s Anatomy goes into another week of re-runs, directors and producers are skipping both the union writers and the studios and using a social network to create a network quality series.
Check out Quarterlife. It is from the producers and directors of thirtysomething and My So-Called Life. It plays full screen. It is presented in 8 minute episodes. They have online distribution deals with MTV, MySpace Video and YouTube. And they are defining additional advertising deals directly for QuarterLife.com. If they decide they don’t want to take their studio outsourcing quite that far, I’m sure VideoEgg would love to manage that for them.
So go home and plug a £200 computer into your TV and start revelling in the choices!
Here is an article from the Salt Lake Tribue on the same subject:
From the article:
This spreading of home entertainment options may mean the advertising and the profits will be spread thinner. Maybe that’s good. More people cash in. But it’ll also mean there will be fewer big-money studios to fund blockbuster films like ”The Lord of the Rings” and the coming ”Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” or high-end TV shows like ”Lost” and ”24.” Production values cost money.
We’re already seeing a start to all this on sites like YouTube, Break.com, Revision3 and the rest. And a big step was taken forward last week with ”Quarterlife,” a social Web site built around a near-network-quality series of eight-minute episodes from respected producer/directors Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick.
”Quarterlife,” the Web series, started last week and tells the story of some mid-20s folks focusing their lives. It feels like a blend of ”My So-Called Life” and ”thirtysomething,” which makes some sense because Herskovitz and Zwick created both of those.
”Quarterlife” was headed for the Web long before the writers strike, just as the digital video has been exploding on its own for a couple years. And the technological changes driving all that exploding have been coming and increasing at a seemingly insane pace. A digital world is our future, for entertainment and everything.
As for the strike, you can see why writers care so much about money from digital delivery – that’s where everything will eventually go. That’s also the reason the studios care so much – that’s where their money will come from.