Manka Bros. Studios - Home
  Manka Bros. Message Boards
  Internet
  Original Online Series (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone!
This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Original Online Series
indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8398
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted June 18, 2007 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
CBS Funding Original Internet Programming


CBS will eventually create original programming for the Internet, CBS chief Les Moonves has told the Wall Street Journal. "The Web cannot be used just to put regurgitated network product on. We have to look beyond that, we have to look to put on original content," he said. Moonves disclosed that CBS has hired "a bunch of kids right out of various film schools in Los Angeles" to work full time on creating original series for the Web. "And, there will be a day -- and it won't be that far in the future -- where one of these series will catch on, you'll hear about it all over the place, and people will be looking at these shows and it will be millions and millions of people who are watching it every week."

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2733
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted June 19, 2007 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
MySpace and Sony Pictures Television To Launch Minisode Network Today
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/19/2007 1:02:00 AM
MySpace and Sony Pictures Television on Tuesday are launching the new Minisode Network.

The online network will feature episodes from SPT hit shows pared down to three-to-five minutes in length while still retaining the full story arc of each episode.

The network will launch with three episodes each from 15 series. Among the shows available are classic hits Charlie’s Angels, Who’s The Boss?, Facts of Life and Starsky & Hutch.

Honda is on board as the exclusive launch sponsor, getting placement on the main page as well as a three-second billboard and five-second mini-spot before each minisode.

The network will add new minisodes every week and aims to have more than 500 available by year’s end.

While current shows won’t be part of the project, shows from SPT’s soap opera library are a possibility.

The Minisode Network will be exclusively on MySpace through August. While plans are not finalized beyond that, a play in the mobile world could be in the network’s future.

Sony is also looking at a similar model for movies.

"We are thrilled to be launching The Minisode Network, which will bring some of America's favorite television shows to a whole new audience in an interesting new format that's perfect for digital platforms," said Steve Mosko, president of SPT. "We've come up with an innovative formula to create quality short-form programming, showcasing the best of our extensive library."

Internet users can watch the episodes for each series at

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8398
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted June 21, 2007 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
LonelyGirl15 in Ad Deal With Neutrogena
By GARY GENTILE
AP
Posted: 2007-06-21 07:12:38
LOS ANGELES (June 21) - Four youths search frantically for their friend who may be held against her will. A clue leads them to a "mad scientist" who might know her whereabouts. The scientist just happens to work for Neutrogena, a skin care brand owned by Johnson & Johnson.

That's the scenario that will play out in the next few episodes of the popular Web serial "LonelyGirl15," which has been experimenting with product placement as a way to pay the bills.

The creators of the show, which has posted more than 200 episodes since launching late last year, signed a deal with the skin, hair and cosmetic line to go a step further than most product placement deals, in which a company's product is shown or used by a character.

In a series of episodes that will play this summer, Neutrogena will be featured as a "branded character."

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This type of integration actually allows us to achieve even more reality for our show," creators Greg Goodfried and Miles Beckett said. "The most important thing is telling a compelling story. In this instance, the story line comes first and the fact that the new character works at Neutrogena heightens the reality."

In March, the show featured the main character, Bree, chewing Ice Breakers Sours Gum in a one-episode deal struck with Hershey Co.

The show became a Web sensation last fall after episodes were posted on YouTube. The success continued even after it was revealed that the homespun videos were actually a scripted series created by three friends and starring 19-year-old actress Jessica Lee Rose.

The creators have been searching for ways to raise money to keep the production going, including adding static advertisements to the end of each episode, with the proceeds split with the Internet site that now hosts the videos. They have also been soliciting donations from fans.

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2733
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted July 09, 2007 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Online TV takes a hit; Networks pulling the plug on broadband channels (Variety Weekly complete)
Just two years ago, TV networks were making their first big moves into online content by launching separately branded broadband networks. MTV had Overdrive, Comedy Central had Motherload, CBS had Innertube, and CNN had Pipeline, to name a few. "Overdrive is a powerful new platform that allows users to have more control over the way they experience MTV," MTV topper Van Toffler said in 2005 when the net launched its broadband network full of deleted and extra scenes and original online programming. Flash forward to 2007: Just as online video is hitting the mainstream, Overdrive, Motherload, Innertube and Pipeline are all gone or on their way out. It's not that the networks are putting less content online. But now they're embedding video on their own sites, or spreading it far and wide across the Web. How did things change so quickly? Network execs were right to bet that more and more viewers, particularly young people, would be getting their news and entertainment online. But they were wrong to gamble that auds would want to open a separate broadband network off a website to get that video. Companies are now realizing they can bring content to venues where consumers are already parked, instead of knocking themselves out trying to bring them to sites they barely know. While names like Innertube generated much fanfare in the business, they just didn't mean that much to consumers. "It was kind of like having the best garbage-powered car in the world," says one media exec of the broadband players. "It could be very innovative, but that doesn't really matter if nobody wants it." The dissolution of these broadband sites in many ways represents the changing goals of online: Just a few years ago, the trend was toward landing eyeballs -- a fad that dovetailed perfectly with congloms gathering consumers on their own sites. But now the move is toward monetization: As long as companies can snag a hefty share of ad revenue for their video content, they don't really care if AOL and Yahoo are the ones delivering it. CBS recently struck a set of deals with more than a dozen partners for its so-called audience network. "The formation of the CBS Audience Network has allowed us to turn Innertube into Outertube," says CBS Interactive prexy Quincy Smith. "You need to go to where the audience is." There is one exception to the trend -- the News Corp.-NBC venture NewCo. While the congloms will distribute their content via a series of outside partners, new CEO Jason Kilar recently said the venture would create a site that would offer "the best customer experience around." It remains to be seen whether the idea of gathering viewers on a new branded site will finally go into, well, overdrive -- or be forced to downshift.

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8398
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted July 10, 2007 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Here's a new web-only series on Univision.
http://www.univision.com/contentroot/uol/10portada/content/jhtml/malena/NOMETA_malena_main.jhtml

IP: Logged

NEWSFLASH
A-List Writer

Posts: 7462
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted July 10, 2007 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Product Placement Takes Center Stage in New Telenovela


Spanish-language Univision is taking product placement to a whole new level with the integration of a new Caress brand from Unilever in its first online telenovela. Indeed, according to Advertising Age the introduction of Caress Exotic Oil Infusions body wash becomes an integral part of the story line as the star of the telenovela, Mi Adorada Malena (My Beloved Malena), plays a spokesmodel for the product. AdAge observed: "Caress is so woven into the plot and characters that the online back story section describes Malena's assistant Rebeca as 'personifying the characteristics of the Caress woman, modern and confident.'" Rob Master, marketing director for Caress, told the trade publication that the telenovela will be cross-promoted over all of Univision's outlets. "The hub is online but we're bringing the storytelling to TV, print and radio," he said.

IP: Logged

N F S I 2
A-List Writer

Posts: 641
From:Burbank, CA
Registered: Jun 2006

posted August 24, 2007 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for N F S I 2   Click Here to Email N F S I 2     Edit/Delete Message
'Big Brother' Top TV Show Website


Of more than 100 broadcast TV show websites, CBS's Big Brother was by far the most-visited site, attracting 29.84 percent of the traffic last week, according to a study by Experian's Hitwise online tracking company. Nearing its season finale, America's Got Talent placed second with 12.63 percent. Third was Fox's So You Think You Can Dance with 8.83 percent. All other TV shows attracted less than 5 percent of web traffic, including The Simpsons, which attracted the most traffic last month while The Simpsons Movie was being heavily promoted, but accounted for only 2.11 percent last week (but nevertheless placing eighth on the list).

IP: Logged

NEWSFLASH
A-List Writer

Posts: 7462
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted September 13, 2007 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
From MySpace to Movie Screens?

In an apparent effort to steal some of the thunder from YouTube, News Corp-owned MySpace said Wednesday that it plans to begin offering exclusive high-quality short-form programming from top film and TV producers. Talent is being offered the chance to produce their material on their own terms, without interference from programming executives and advertisers. MySpace said that it had signed its first deal with Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, producers of the movies Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai and the TV shows thirtysomething and My So-Called Life. The pair will reportedly receive $500,000 to produce a 48-minute drama called quarterlife (some reports spell the title with the "q" in lower case; others, in upper case), that will be offered on MySpace in six eight-minute installments. Some media writers speculated that if the webcasts are successful, they could be developed into a feature film or a network series.

IP: Logged

NEWSFLASH
A-List Writer

Posts: 7462
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted November 12, 2007 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Google To Offer Original Entertainment Programming


Google has been talking with British entertainment mogul Simon Fuller about creating original content for the Internet that could compete with that offered by major broadcasters, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported today (Monday). Fuller is responsible for creating The Spice Girls and American Idol. Although details remain secret, the newspaper, citing sources close to Fuller, said that the enterprise could "revolutionize the way entertainment and music are distributed." It did not indicate whether the project would be launched as a separate unit of Google or as part of its YouTube division.

IP: Logged

indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8398
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted November 20, 2007 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
New Pay Issue for Writers and Actors Arises


The question of what to pay writers when their work appears on the Internet may be at the crux of the current writers' strike. But now a reverse issue has been raised: What do you pay writers of an Internet show when it appears on television? NBC is likely to face that issue imminently following the announcement on Monday that it plans to air the Edward Zwick-Marshall Herskovitz "dramedy" Quarterlife on the network. The series of 36 eight-minute episodes is current running on the Web, and NBC said Monday that it plans to combine several of them into six hour-long episodes that it will air later this season. However, according to published reports, there are currently no published pay scales devised for paying the writing and acting talent for reuse of Internet programs on any network.

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2733
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted November 28, 2007 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
(This was written by Chris Albrect - former head of HBO).

What Does it Cost to Make a Webisode?

As striking writers and Hollywood studios bicker over how much money is or isn’t being generated by online shows, let’s turn our attention to a different question: How much does it cost to create an original web show?

When asked, a number of production house and studio execs kept mum on the subject of their webisode budgets. But this is a burgeoning industry, and as long as price tags are kept secret, we become not only silos, but silos in the dark, where no one knows what kind of budget is too little, too much, or just right — never mind what they’re getting for their money.

Despite the dearth of information, there are a few numbers out there that can help us establish benchmarks.


First, let’s clarify: this isn’t about the cost of producing a daily vlog, or even most podcasts. Hiring a cute girl or a trio of geeky guys and setting them up behind a table with some fancy graphics is cheap. We’re talking about original, scripted, episodic content.

At the low end of the spectrum, we find Yuri Baranovsky, writer and director of the web sitcom Break a Leg. He estimates that each episode costs him “around $500, out of pocket” to create. And like many web content creators, that number is low because he cashes in a lot of favors to make his show.

The figure cited by John Norris, co-founder of White Rock Lake Productions, falls somewhere in the middle. Norris told us he spent “under half a million dollars” to produce 100, one- to five-minute episodes of his horror series Buried Alive. “Essentially,” Norris said, “we made a two-and-a-half hour movie for under half a million.”

Using that analogy, this works out to $3,333 per minute, roughly in line with the number disclosed by Michael Eisner a couple weeks ago — he said it cost him $3,000 to make 90 seconds of Prom Queen.

At the high end of the spectrum is the award-winning Sanctuary. The fx-heavy sci-fi spectacular cost roughly $4.3 million to produce. With the series running a total of 135 minutes, that works out to nearly $32,000 per minute.

Of course, that’s the really high end. A good starting point to create a web series, according to a number of producers we asked, is about $1,000 dollar per finished minute.

To compare, check out this stat courtesy of Variety about the price to produce an OldTeeVee show:

Production costs for a high-end scripted drama series now range from $2.7 million to $3.3 million per seg; single-camera half-hour comedies range from $1.6 million to more than $2 million, depending on cast size and the level of star salaries, according to industry sources.
Using the low-end numbers, that breaks down to over $61,000 per minute for a 44 minute scripted drama, and close to $73,000 per minute for a 22 minute comedy.

Suddenly the price tag on Sanctuary isn’t looking that bad.

The real point here is to try and establish a starting point to get a rough idea of what you need to produce a webisode, and how much bang for your buck you’re getting.

IP: Logged

NEWSFLASH
A-List Writer

Posts: 7462
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted December 17, 2007 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Striking writers in talks to launch Web start-ups
Dozens are turning to venture capitalists, seeking to bypass Hollywood and reach viewers directly online.
By Joseph Menn
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 17, 2007

Dozens of striking film and TV writers are negotiating with venture capitalists to set up companies that would bypass the Hollywood studio system and reach consumers with video entertainment on the Web.

At least seven groups, composed of members of the striking Writers Guild of America, are planning to form Internet-based businesses that, if successful, could create an alternative economic model to the one at the heart of the walkout, now in its seventh week.

Three of the groups are working on ventures that would function much like United Artists, the production company created 80 years ago by Charlie Chaplin and other top stars who wanted to break free from the studios.

"It's in development and rapidly incubating," said Aaron Mendelsohn, a guild board member and co-creator of the "Air Bud" movies.

Writers walked off their jobs Nov. 5, virtually shutting down television production and throwing 10,000 people out of work. The Writers Guild is fighting the major studios over how much their members are paid when their work is distributed online.

Silicon Valley investors historically have been averse to backing entertainment start-ups, believing that such efforts were less likely to generate huge paydays than technology companies. But they began considering a broader range of entertainment investments after observing the enormous sums paid for popular Web video companies, including the $1.65 billion that Google Inc. plunked down last year for YouTube, a site where users post their own clips.

They also have been emboldened by major advertisers, which prefer supporting professionally created Web entertainment to backing user-generated content on sites such as MySpace that can be in poor taste.

"I'm 100% confident that you will see some companies get formed," said Todd Dagres, a Boston-based venture capitalist who has been flying to L.A. and meeting with top writers for weeks. "People have made up their minds."

What effect this would have on the strike is unclear. So far, the percentage of the guild's 10,000 striking writers who are in discussions with venture capitalists appears to be small. Any deal of this kind, however, could put pressure on the studios and help the writers' public relations campaign. Writers who are talking to venture investors say the studios would suffer a brain drain if high-profile talents received outside funding and were no longer beholden to them.

Mendelsohn and others said they would stick with their ventures after the strike ended.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios in negotiations, declined to comment on the issue, as did the Writers Guild.

Already this year, a handful of sites have received venture backing, including FunnyorDie.com, co-founded by comedic actor Will Ferrell, and MyDamnChannel.com, launched by former MTV executive Rob Barnett.

MyDamnChannel pays for the production of original content by a handful of artists and splits ad revenue with them.

Under the Hollywood system, writers, in most cases, are employed by the studios to create and manage TV shows and movies. The studios own the copyrights and pay writers for the initial use of the material and a small percentage of the licensing fees they collect when the work is rerun or sold on DVD.

With television viewership and DVD revenue declining in the digital age, writers have sought bigger rewards when their work is distributed online. There have been isolated successes, such as Viacom Inc.'s agreement in August to give the co-creators of "South Park" 50% of a new online entertainment venture based on the TV program.

For the most part, however, the studios have argued that Web economics are still too uncertain for them to give a larger share of the proceeds to writers.

Most writers who have been talking with venture capitalists declined to discuss their plans on the record, saying it was too early to provide details. Yet an array of strategies have emerged from interviews with writers, investors and others involved in the process.

The groups modeled after United Artists (which eventually was bought by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and recently was revived with the help of Tom Cruise) envision creating and distributing programming for the Web and recouping their investments by selling rights to the most successful properties to TV networks or movie companies.

The initiative would change the career paths of many writers. They would be leaving well-paying jobs in television and film for the Internet, which often has been viewed as a steppingstone to Hollywood.

Some high-profile writers and technologists are trying to create a collaborative studio they hope would be officially sanctioned by the Writers Guild. They want to build on the popularity of strike-related videos on the guild-inspired blog UnitedHollywood, YouTube and elsewhere.

"We are uniquely positioned to take our case and new business model directly to consumers," said a leader of that effort, the primary writer on a TV show that was a blockbuster a decade ago. "This will be the officially sanctioned Hollywood union portal."

Others seek to create a privately owned studio that would develop episodic series for the Web. The studio could turn a profit even without cutting movie or TV deals if it developed an audience coveted by advertisers.

Dagres said he had met with one group focused on developing material for potential theatrical distribution and another concentrating on Web series.

At least two additional groups plan to create companies that would distribute material on Facebook or other online gathering places where they might quickly become popular.

Facebook director Jim Breyer, a partner at Silicon Valley venture firm Accel Partners, said he was weighing deals that would rely on Facebook's platform. "It is likely we will make investments in Los Angeles screenwriter/content-oriented companies in 2008," he said.

Accel and Dagres' Spark Capital are among four venture firms that have been meeting with writers since the strike began. Hedge funds are also interested in investing, writers who have met with them said.

The screenwriters have been consulting with writer-entrepreneurs who say they earn their living from their work online by running low-cost operations.

"I basically give them a 'Come on in, the water's grand,' " said news website owner Andrew Breitbart, the coauthor of a 2004 book on celebrity culture who worked on the Drudge Report and Huffington Post websites.

"There is no one answer about what works," Breitbart said. "The great thing about online is you can adapt to the changes."

Another common stop on the educational tour is Kent Nichols, co-creator of the profitable "Ask a Ninja" franchise, a two-man Web operation.

His advice is, "You have to think like Jerry Bruckheimer," the television and movie producer who keeps ownership of everything he makes and tries to wring profit from every revenue stream, including merchandise, advertising and licensing.

Even before the strike, changes were afoot that made the recent ventures possible.

The spread of broadband access has allowed more Americans to watch video online. That has prompted the big entertainment companies and a host of others to put more clips on the Web, which in turn has brought in more viewers.

Among broadband users, the proportion who watch videos at least weekly has risen to 61% from 45% a year ago, market research firm Horowitz Associates Inc. reported this month.

"I think it's a great opportunity," said Silicon Valley investor Gus Tai of Trinity Ventures. "This trend started prior to the strike and is only accelerating."

Some of the writers who are drafting business plans said that if the strike had lasted only a week, they would have just gone back to work. But now they've had time to plot strategy -- and to realize that a prolonged strike with reruns and reality shows filling the airwaves might allow them to grab a wandering audience.

"The companies are pushing us into the embrace of people that are going to cut them out of the loop," marveled one show runner who is tracking the start-up trend but not participating.

"We are one Connecticut hedge-fund checkbook, one Silicon Valley server farm and two creators away from having channels on YouTube, where the studios don't own anything."

joseph.menn@latimes.com

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2733
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted February 21, 2008 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Warner TV Chief: Studios to Use New Media to Bypass Networks

SECTION: TODAY'S NEWS

LENGTH: 1065 words


STANFORD, Calif. -- Warner Bros. TV's president said the studios will bypass broadcast networks next decade using broadband and cellular. "We will go directly to consumers with content," President Bruce Rosenblum said Tuesday in a notably candid insider's talk to Stanford law students. "Your generation" is witnessing "a complete disaggregation of the networks," he said. Warner leads in supplying prime-time shows to the networks, and going around those big customers will usher in an era that will be very expensive for his business but offer it exciting prospects, said Rosenblum, 50. "The sad part is, I won't see it," he said. "That's five to 10 years away."

A "first glimpse" of the coming new world can be seen in Warner's growing online effort, Rosenblum said. He disclosed that a distribution deal with Fox and NBC Universal's Hulu.com is "imminent." His company also is creating its own ad-supported channels, Rosenblum said. An animation channel with the working name of T-Works will go live in April under an unspecified brand, he said. Studio 2.0, which will create brief videos for broadband and mobile, is working on more than 20 projects, at a total cost less than that of an hour of a broadcast network drama, Rosenblum said. Cutting out the networks will mean that studios make more money on their shows than they have, he said.

But Warner will have to spend heavily to make itself and not the network the brand that viewers connect with a show, Rosenblum said. "That's what we're not equipped to do," he said. "We can get there if we're willing to make the investment in marketing. That's the hiccup." It's a touchy subject, including within Warner's parent, Time Warner, which has broadcast and cable networks of its own to promote, he said. Cable shows streamed online are branded with their networks because Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes "wants to make sure there's value in TNT and TBS."

Apple's iTunes Store has helped prove by negative example that video will remain ad-supported as it moves to broadband and mobile, Rosenblum said. Paid downloads of TV episodes to iPods haven't been a "significant" business for Warner, he said.

The TV industry's relationship with Apple creates deep tensions between the sides and with retailers. "As a studio, we want to set the price" on episode downloads, Rosenblum said. "We don't want to be a one-size-fits-all business. Apple wants a one-size-fits-all business." Apple's goal, "to sell hardware," motivates it to offer as many TV episodes as possible at the same price, he said. Studios and networks "sell content," and they dislike iTunes charging the same for The Office as Gilligan's Island, Rosenblum said.

Studios "resisted" selling through iTunes "for a long time because we make money on the sell-through" of DVD compilations of shows, said Rosenblum. But they've realized electronic distribution is "a great business -- no costs associated with it," to speak of, he said. "The margin is a lot better. Where's the problem in that? Who gets upset? Wal-Mart." Streaming costs have been "dropping rapidly," Rosenblum said. "In five years, they'll be irrelevant. The cost of pressing [disks] is significantly higher."

Subscription plans work better for movies than for short-form video, Rosenblum said. "As a consumer, I love Netflix," but "our studio can't stand it," he said. "That subscription model doesn't work well for us." Netflix pays for a DVD once and rents it over and over, he said.

All the networks are looking to ads to create revenue from new digital media, as seen with Hulu and ABC.com, Rosenblum said. Evidence online the past 18 months shows "by far" that this model works best for video, he said. It's a holdover from the tube, Rosenblum said. "We've done a great job teaching you to watch commercials" instead of paying money for programs. "The real test" will be whether viewers stand for having to watch an ad before a YouTube video, he said. But "it seems to work for ESPN" on the Web.

The big TV studios are in a strong position to take at least their share of the value of programming that broadband and mobile throw up for grabs, Rosenblum said. "Studios have the capital resources" to do the experiments required online and, more important, "the human resources to it right," he said. Their Web operations give them "infrastructure and expertise to build on," Rosenblum said. And they have large libraries of old shows and expertise in "episodic storytelling." Though the studios face new competition from anyone with a "video camera and the ability to type 'YouTube,'" it's "Wired mythology" that the proverbial "four kids in a garage" will beat the established show producers, he said.

And Warner has a leg up on the other big studios -- all corporate affiliates of major broadcast networks, Rosenblum said. The CW network, half-owned by Warner, is different --- a niche operation -- so his studio has had to be "more innovative, more creative and more aggressive" than rivals to thrive selling to sister networks, he said. The new world is defined by the absence of any "dominant distribution outlet," any "primary gatekeeper," Rosenblum said. That's the world Warner already knows, and other large studios need to learn it, he said.

The TV industry -- now better termed "electronically transmitted content," or ETC, as in "et cetera" -- won't change completely, Rosenblum said. Big broadcast networks' share will keep dropping, but they hold onto their importance continuing to draw more viewers than other outlets, he said. Commercials will survive skipping by PVR, revenue from them supplemented by other sources. Asked about interactive sales directly from shows, Rosenblum said, "I think it's all intrusive," including promo bugs during shows. "That takes away from the viewing experience." But, he acknowledged, "for some reason the viewer doesn't seem to mind that."

Original shows for new media will be series of six to 10 episodes of four to six minutes each, Rosenblum said. Image "quality is irrelevant" online, because viewers 16 to 25 are "multitasking" rather than watching closely, he said. "Hulu is finding not everybody is going full-screen, even though they can," Rosenblum said. The "creative talent" in movies consider themselves artists and are "much more picky" than TV people about viewing quality, he said. TV creators "don't give a shit, if it's making money." -- Louis Trager

IP: Logged

HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2733
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted February 28, 2008 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Disney takes big plunge into online video
Original programming from a new studio dedicated to digital projects debuts today.
By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

February 28, 2008

Eighty years after the 7 1/2 -minute cartoon "Steamboat Willie" helped launch the career of a certain iconic mouse, Walt Disney Co. has returned to its short-form roots with the debut of a digital studio that will develop original content for the Internet.

Stage 9 Digital Media, quietly in the works for two years, will be unveiled today with the premiere of "Squeegees," a comedy series about window-washer slackers, on ABC.com and YouTube. It is the first of a planned 20 online programs currently in development.

"We've all seen the appeal of short-form content grow over the past few years," said Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group. "The launch of this experimental new media studio allows us to play in this space with some quality content, while giving us an interesting venue for telling stories in a different form."

ABC Television Group joins a growing number of TV studios, including CBS and Warner Bros., that have set up separate digital creative teams to produce the kind of instant-gratification videos that are popular online, especially among young viewers who can no longer be counted on to watch the networks' prime-time shows.

ABC deliberately kept its digital initiative under wraps until it was ready to debut its new online shows.

Statistics show that the number of people watching online videos, and the amount of time they spend, is rising, along with the sheer volume of things to watch. "Younger audiences, particularly 18- to 34-year-olds, have very different media consumption habits than do older audiences," said Will Richmond, a media analyst and editor of the online publication VideoNuze.

Advertisers, which have been reluctant to promote products alongside potentially explicit or offensive amateur video, are similarly eager to find more established media players online. Toyota Motor Co. will sponsor the initial 10-episode run of "Squeegees" to tout its new Corolla model to young car buyers. Each episode runs about three to five minutes.

At the moment, at least, Disney and the other studios do not have a lot to risk financially by trying to create short-form shows for the Internet. An online series can be produced for as little as $200,000, whereas one episode of a sitcom can cost 10 times that amount.

"When a major broadcaster does something like this, it shows this is now regarded as a key priority for them," Richmond said. "Going forward, I expect this type of activity is only going to accelerate."

Mark Pedowitz, president of ABC Studios, said discussions about forming a digital studio started after ABC struck a deal in 2005 to sell digital downloads of some of its most popular television shows, including "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives," through Apple Inc.'s iTunes store.

The studio took shape under the radar, even as Stage 9's first attempt at original Internet programming -- a comedy called "Voicemail," which explores the opportunities gained or lost in the space of a missed phone call -- was showcased alongside other network television shows on ABC.com.

Pedowitz said Stage 9 would make it possible to experiment with new forms of storytelling, cultivate young talent and incubate franchises that might someday graduate to the bigger screen, namely TV. And because the financial risks are lower, there is greater creative freedom. The goal is to bridge the gap between the irregular quality of amateur video and traditional television shows.

"We're hopefully taking their storytelling, in conjunction with our collaboration and our production values, to give the audience something more than they've seen before," Pedowitz said. "We have a pretty good track record of delivering pretty good product to the audience."

So far, however, original online programming has yet to produce its own version of "The Office" or "Ugly Betty."

"We'll see how this Stage 9 agenda unfolds and see if what they do actually sticks with audiences," Richmond said.

Barry Jossen, who won an Academy Award for his live action short film "Dear Diary," has been tapped as general manager of Stage 9.

He said he had been scouting for talent in some unusual places. He found Handsome Donkey, the comedy team behind "Squeegees," in a New York Times Magazine article about budding online auteurs.

And Shane Felux, the producer of Stage 9's forthcoming science-fiction thriller "Trenches," was initially a hit with the Comic-Con comic book convention crowd, winning acclaim for the fan film "Star Wars Revelations."

Aaron Greenberg, a former associate producer of "My Name Is Earl" and one of the four members of Handsome Donkey, said the production deal with Stage 9 gave the comedy troupe the financial backing to devote itself full time to "Squeegees." And even a budget for some niceties, such as an actual set.

Working with an established media company like Disney brought some of the structure of traditional television production, which entailed pitching a concept, developing an outline, turning in scripts and making revisions based on notes. There were also certain creative taboos, like profanity.

"We couldn't just go around doing whatever we wanted to do, but that's not really our instinct anyway, to do really crass stuff," Greenberg said. "We didn't really feel restricted."

Greenberg said the group was also given a good deal of autonomy.

"In terms of the day-to-day, we were left on our own to sink or swim," Greenberg said. "We may have dipped below the surface once or twice, but we've come out on top."

IP: Logged

NEWSFLASH
A-List Writer

Posts: 7462
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted April 30, 2008 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
The WB Lives Again -- On the Internet


Believing that it can attract a significant audience of young people on the Internet, Warner Bros. announced Monday that it plans to revive its defunct The WB "fifth network" online in August. (Beta testing is set to begin next month.) Although it said that initially it plans to offer reruns of such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Roswell, Gilmore Girls and Dawson's Creek on its own site and partner sites, it will eventually offer original programming created specifically for the Internet and has already recruited producers to develop content.

IP: Logged


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are PT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Manka Bros. Studios - Home

© 2011 Manka Bros. Studios - All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.45b