What Old Media Can Learn from New Media Creators

The guys behind Something To Be Desired (STBD), Galacticast, and other great shows have one thing in common – they know how to create high quality content on the cheap. Most of them are not making a dime of their work. This is not their fault – it is a market that needs to mature. But still, they create great content in micro budgets.

How can STBD make a show for fraction of the cost of a regular TV show?

First of all they have one camera. Unbelievable, right? With smart editing they manage to make it look as if there are at least two cameras on set. Second, all their actors are volunteers. So, right, it is harder to do it for a long period with professional actors, but it is a creative way to do things. Third, they don’t have separate guys for editing, directing, sound, lighting, and overall production responsibility. It is all the same guy with the T-shirt. And fourth, their actors are involved in the script writing. Now compare that with the set of Studio 60….

As we all know, the world of television is changing. It is harder to get high rating for shows that are not event based. This viewership fragmentation reduces the economic value of single productions, and in time force old media producers to cut their budgets. So if there is one thing the old media guys can learn from these new energetic creators is how, with some creativity, to do things much cheaper than in the regular let’s-have-a-battalion-of-people-on-the-set-cause-everyone-does-one-thing approach.

This is not new. Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi for 7000$, using the same concepts. Did it change the movie industry? No. but I am certain that when gross revenues will drop, the Hollywood guys will wake up. TV industry can do it now.

Somehow, I don’t believe it will happen…


1 Response to “What Old Media Can Learn from New Media Creators”

  1. 1 Justin Kownacki April 24, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    STBD can operate on the cheap for now, ’tis true. Eventually, everyone involved — from the cast to yours truly (aka the guy cracking the whip) — would like to earn a living from the endeavor. But we’re not alone in that desire.

    Eventually, the world at large will realize that the inexpensive entry point for web video means THIS is the next incarnation of film school…

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