Thursday, August 28, 2008

"New" webisodes Lonelygirl15 & The Resistance

Last week seemed like where ever we looked there was another webisode coming online (Gemini Division, Venus Rises) This week there is talk of another and one that started this spring that I never heard of. First, Lets talk some weirdness. Gemini Division was hyped hard and now a week later, when there are a couple more episodes listed, you can't view a single video on their site. Venus Rises seems to still function but only list one episode which was billed as a back fill episode to fill in some missing information. I think the people over at Venus Rises made a serious mistake releasing any episode information this early. When the average person looks at a web site for about 22 seconds, a few days or weeks waiting for new material is an eternity. On the other hand, having a website with every video not available is even more of a disaster. So right now it appears as both of those are still born.

Now I hear about a project started the first of this year called 2009: A True Story. A YouTube project supposedly about lonelygirl15 who is recording the end of the world that happened on April 11, 2008. All through the "eyes" of 18-year-old Sarah Ford who sets out for California to be closer to where her brother is stationed. The youtube series is made up of 13 episodes tracking both Sarah's journey out of the military madness of LA and into the Mojave, and her brother Adam's helmet cam. Now it seems the producers of Lonelygirl15, are about to launch a new scifi web series tracing the steps of The Resistance, which is a rebel group of citizens... who just happen to be made up of actors from the old Lonelygirl15 series. The Resistance series starts September 20th 2008 so you should be able to pick up quite a bit from the site.

<- lg15:The resistance at IO9 ->


Deleted: The Game said...

Its so important for the interactive TV genre that Gemini Division puts on a good showing. This is the kind of innovative product that exploits the interactivity of the internet and changes the passive viewing experience of traditional TV into something far more engaging. Its success would bring much needed attention to the indie interactive web TV scene like our own Signing Rosario Dawson is a genius and a coup, she is brilliant as Anna.

Deleted: The Game

Beam Me Up said...

Deleted, your repeating yourself a bit! lol, but in honesty I agree with what you have to say. It IS important that the Web differentiate itself from other media because of its' strength which are on demand and interactivity across a multitude of platforms. All arguments aside though of amateur and volunteer actors and that ilk which is laudable on its' own merits to truly succeed web based interactive entertainment has to offer one key ingredient and that's quality. If it comes across as amateurish, no matter how good the intentions, the project will never succeed, or at best attract only a niche audience. I need only point out another form of internet based programming the podcast. Even though it is a genre in its' infancy, the ones that are succeeding are the ones with the highest production and information content. The niche podcasts are those staffed with amateurs and volunteers. Their intentions are every bit as genuine as the more professional and as a forum and genre they need to succeed every bit as much as other web based entertainment. However if these were the only standard bearers, the podcast as an accepted medium would not be viewed by the general public as viable. (Oh yes, I put Beam Me Up right in the middle of the volunteer /amateur field. I succeed by standing on the shoulders of giants) I am not saying we have to bow to the big budget / commercial offerings. I just ask that we all be honest and realized that they swing a big axe and clear a mighty swath that will allow those of us to survive and prosper because we love the genre we have chosen.

TimTodd said...

Nice comment beam me up. I completely agree with you about content.

In the case of web/transmedia scifi content I think you start with exactly that, you start with a story, you start with a compelling world. Then you determine sources for return on investment in such a way that they add to that compelling world. If they don't add to it, you don't add them.

I think the same goes for distribution of content. Even if a company like NBC offers good money for distribution rights, if their involvement negatively affects the content you don't use them.

Further, I think that there should be one site to bind them all. One central source and central immersive experience from which that experience flows. Start with a simple site with music that fits the theme and progressively build upon that. It should be error proof, mistake free, and quality from start to finish. There should be music, ambiance, unique feel, and shape. This is the place where the creative artists behind the show get involved with the viewers and fans.

For me it seems that what NBC is doing is like trying to insert auto ads into a fictional world where cars don't work. It takes away from the experience, from the immersion.

I am working on a new post, I may include part of this comment in it. :)

In regard to podcasts, you gave me an interesting idea. It would be interesting to include them in transmedia ARG like extension of content. A weekly podcast from a character in the show. Maybe even a couple of podcasts. Also, would be interesting to see fan fiction podcasts develop.

Back on the subject of your original post:

I have been checking in with NBC's site throughout the week and the links have always worked for me. I did notice that NBC did have a broken link to non-episode related content for a number of days, but they have since fixed it.

If you like your Gemini Division without preroll ads you could check out (the audio isn't as nice as NBC's though).

Hulu has better audio than scifi, but has preroll ads.

Gemini Division can also be accessed via mobile phone (provided the phone can play video) by accessing NBC's site from a mobile browser.

Beam Me Up said...

Thanks for the input timtodd. You have a much more robust grasp on the media end of the equation, that's evident. You comments about NBC floored me. But you are right, money and name recognition do not equate to a positive relationship or influence. And a central location to access the programming sounds very attractive.(thats at least how I read that...) It doesn't matter how successful your viral efforts are, if you can't be found by the average consumer, I fail to see how you can succeed or even compete. You have some stratospheric ideas and it would be interesting to see how that develops for you. Always interested. You can of course post anything you feel would be interesting or leave a message in the programs email ( audio or otherwise.

Beam Me Up said...

Oh, but as far as Gemini every time I selected an episode it said that they were not available from my location. WUWT?

Beam Me Up said...

I also wanted to point out an article in the New York Times dealing with the whole "webisode" phenom. Interesting reading.