Web series as commonplace as traditional TV series – that’s Jonas Diamond’s vision for the medium.
Diamond and his Smiley Guy Studios/iThentic are moving full-steam ahead with the online mystery drama Guidestones, which follows a pair of university students (played by Supinder Wraich and Dan Fox) pulled into a global conspiracy.
It’s an exciting time for the smaller independent prodcos who don’t have to rely on traditional broadcasting to push content.
But it’s more than just having another distribution platform: prodcos have the freedom to form their own release schedule while taking full advantage of the medium. In the case of Guidestones, it’s turning the viewers into sleuths.
Throughout the series, clues are planted to give viewers the option of delving deeper into the story. If the protagonist sees a license plate in one episode, for example, the audience will be encouraged to plug the number into a search engine and that will unlock a clue to the next ep.
“It’s a way for audiences to leap ahead rather than just passive viewing,” Diamond tells Playback Daily from the Toronto set. “But they won’t be missing anything if they decide not to do it.”
Eps also don’t have to go up the same day and time each week, and that freedom to control when and how to release content is also an advantage for indies – if characters reference an event that will happen at 9 p.m., viewers will be informed that the next ep will be available at that exact time.
“The turnaround is so quick and the immediacy is exciting,” says producer Lisa Baylin of coproducer iThentic. “You can edit a trailer before moving to the next location to film.”
“Frankly, this is the way the industry is going,” states Diamond, who noted that Guidestones director and co-creator Jay Ferguson of 3 o’clock.tv came to Smiley Guy looking for work in web series and take advantage of online narratives.
Guidestones has been filmed in Toronto, Georgia (US) and Dehli, India, giving it a global feel so that it doesn’t feel like “just a Canadian show shot in Toronto,” says Diamond.
The series, partly funded by the Independent Production Fund, premieres on Heavy.com platform as well as Rogers’ Shorts in the City this spring, and has also signed a number of brand integration deals.
As AOL continues to up the ante and vie to regain a cutting edge in the internet media market, it has announced that they are consolidating all of their video assets under one unified shingle. Ran Harnevo, co-founder of (recent AOL acquisition) 5min Media will head up the new venture, AOL Video. We recently covered AOL’s partnership with Vuguru and they are continuing to aggressively “add friends” such as NextNewNetworks and Electus. With yet another major media company putting a lot of their eggs in the online video basket, it is another sign that this is where AOL sees a future for lasting revenue streams and industry relevance.
Check out their press release on all of this.
The 14th annual Hollywood Film Festival kicks off today with dozens of awards and stars to check out like Sean Penn, Helena Bonham Carter, Morgan Freeman and many many more.
“The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival, currently the largest comedy film festival in the U.S., is a four-day, non-stop celebration of comedic short films with screenings, industry panels and a red-carpet awards event. LACS was recently named one of Moviemaker Magazine’s “25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”, and was honored as one of the “Top Ten Film Festivals in the U.S.” by the Brooks Institute.”
Basically this is THE festival for comedic shorts going on these days, I mean it’s sponsored by FunnyOrDie for crying out loud. Cash prizes, industry meetings with top agencies and producers and exposure to loads of celebs like Will Ferrell, Jane Lynch, you get the idea.
Deadlines: Regular – November 3rd, Late – December 3rd, Extended – December 20th.
– Here’s a real charmer, expertly shot and with a perfectly matched score, Fresh Meat depicts a seemingly vulnerable and naïve old British lady going about her life, but appearances can be deceiving.
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It’s only October but apparently “best of 2010” lists are starting to surface already. Mashable recently unveiled their top 10 list of memorable viral videos in anticipation of their end of the year Mashable Awards. While some of the clips are more of the home movie variety (I still think the “Double Rainbow” vid is kind of creepy and embarrassing) there is some real creativity and effort to be found in others. We especially love the video for OK Go’s “ This Too Shall Pass.” It’s cute but not cloying, DIY, low-tech (save for the gorgeous HD Steadycam work) mise-en-scene is both theatrical and intimate. Check it out-
YouTube Play “A Biennial of Creative Video” has whittled down their 23,000 submissions to a shortlist of 125 from all around the world. We’ll admit, we had no idea this highbrow competition existed at YouTube, the catch-all of video sites, this is the inaugural competition. YouTube Play is a collaboration between YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum. The winner will be presented at the Guggenheim New York on October 21 with simultaneous presentations in Berlin, Bilbao and Venice and will be on view from October 22-24 at the museums and on the YouTube Play Channel.
This is must see work for anyone interested in creative video filmmaking. Check back here on the 21st for the winning announcement! Check out the competition and get to work, you only have about 23 more months to submit to the next competion!
Check the event video on our site by following the link above.