But once in a while I see projects that do not imitate big media – but uses technology to create new type of media products. “35” is one of those cases.
“35” is a scripted live drama show, distributed through the Internet, using ustream live broadcasting platform. Think about a rare combination of the energy one can find in the theater, coupled with edginess of live show, and with the somewhat geeky taste of live video over the Internet.
The novelty of this show didn’t escape main stream media, and the show was covered in Wall Street Journal among others.
But there is an interesting angle that was sometimes missed in this story – this show could never come to life 3 years ago by indie producers.
In discussion I had with Andrew Lipson and Kathryn Jones from Synchronis.tv, we discussed the role of two key products in this show. One is low cost editing software, and the second is the Tricaster. This amazing device, by NewTek, allowed the producers to roll in video clips like opening and ending credits, call up graphics (full screen or lower thirds) to tell viewers anything from “chat coming up after the show” to “available on iTunes 10/1” to bringing up names or URLs as lower thirds during chats, cut between up to 6 camera inputs in a live environment which includes hard cuts, programmable speed fades, dips and other transitions.
This product costs up to 10,000$ – not a small amount of money. But one should compare it to the cost of such a control room in broadcast studio – that can cost between 200,000$ to several millions.
This is a great example how technology brings powerful tools to the masses, and how creative people can create new kinds of storytelling if they set their mind to it.
Another interesting angle is NewTek response to Andrew emails with suggestions of improvements – or rather lack of response. Ustream, BlogTV and other companies that are aware of the power of Indie content creators understand the power of blogs and the importance of responsiveness to this segment. NewTek primary market are broadcasters and larger companies than the usual vlogger – and it shows in the way they work with the community.
We should remember that “35” is a good show not thanks to Tricaster – but thanks to great actors and intriguing script. But this certainly an example where talent meets technology – and a refreshing new media product comes to life.