Sorority Forever: Episode 1 "Sisterhood"
Last night the guys from Big Fantastic invited me to a UTA / Wonderland Sound and Vision party for The WB's new show Sorority Forever. It was a fun little party in McG's office on Sunset BLVD in West Hollywood which as I was told was the former office of Ronald Reagan and SAG.
That really got me thinking about old vs new. To most people in entertainment McG is a hip cutting edge music video and motion picture director. To the kids of online video McG is established old media. McG IS Ronald Reagan.
Don't get me wrong, Sorority Forever looks like it's going to be a fun ride. It looks like it would make a great TV show and McG is truely a hip cutting edge director. I'm glad to see McG is partnering with Big Fantastic and creating online video but the video that is being created is basically a TV format. Now there's nothing wrong with TV formats. I have nothing against TV formats...except on the Internet.
I believe that if you want a successful online video series you have to create something that people can't get on TV because the TV viewing experience is still superior on a 42" plasma. The problem is that it's hard to get studios and networks to spend money on something that doesn't exist. Studios and networks need to know something has a chance of building an audience. And that's where opportunity lies for you.
In the early days of television radio formats were placed on TV because radio was where the money was. Today TV formats are being placed on the Internet because TV is where the money is and advertisers understand and have advertising that is built for those formats.
We have not yet begun to scratch the surface of formats for the Internet but there are a few shows that are testing the boundaries.
You Suck At Photoshop is one of those shows. If you haven't see the first season of You Suck At Photoshop I urge you to go check it out. EVEN IF YOU DONT CARE ABOUT OR WANT TO LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT PHOTOSHOP.
You Suck At Photoshop is a screen cast of a guy giving a Photoshop tutorial but as he works his mouse and keyboard you get back story of his life and subtext of his feelings towards the people in his life that are keeping him down. In addition to the linear video the star of the show, Donnie who you never see on camera opens the door for his audience to interact with the show.
You Suck At Photoshop is something you would never see green lit at a studio or network for regular TV but I wouldn't be surprised if it did show up on late night cable some day.
Beyond You Suck at Photoshop there are other new formats like Lonely Girl 15 that are developing but none have taken hold yet or built a huge audience and become a household name. Now is the time to put your thinking caps on and create new formats that studios and networks will be interested in licensing from you.
If you have a new format or know of one please share the URL.