Shoot First. Get Advertisers Later.

The New York Times reports today that Warner Brothers will start making internet original content the old fashioned way: shoot first, get advertisers later. This is a good thing. It means talent generate the ideas, not marketers. Like others, Warner Brothers seems to have found getting advertisers to finance production can be more hassle than it's worth. Better to shoot the shows fast and cheap, push them out of the nest and see if they fly.

The Times mentions three other recently launched internet original producers: 60Frames, Generate and Michael Eisner's Vuguru. More info about these companies and others in the coming weeks.

Here's a sample from THE JEANNIE TATE SHOW, from Warner Brothers Studio 2.0.


Jake Hollywood said...

Christ. Let's hope that the Jeannie Tate Show is not the wave of the future.

More bad TV we do not need. And if this is the wave of the innovative future, let me know now. I'll chuck my TV and Computer into the trash bin and sign up to be a monk and take a vow to never watch TV again.

Ashley Gable said...

"Better to shoot the shows fast and cheap, push them out of the nest and see if they fly."

Much better, for the Companies. Under the new contract such work won’t even be Guild-covered unless the writer has a credit in Old Media. “Jenny Tate Show” writers Liz Cackowski and Maggie Carey both do seem to have a credit in Old Media (per Imdb), and thus are “professional writers” covered by the contract. But even for them all “jurisdiction” means is that they can negotiate their compensation minimums and negotiate residuals. Good luck with that, especially the latter.

TES said...

Jake -

As we all know, crappy content is possible regardless of how much or little is spent.

What matters to me about the Warner Brothers announcement is the business model: it means producers are going to start financing content based on the creative ideas (whether good or bad is a separate question).

But if you have links to good or great or anyway instructive internet stuff, send 'em along and we'll post 'em.

Ashley - Say more. Are you making a point that we got a bad deal, or are you saying that shoot first, get advertisers later is somehow worse for talent than the alternative?

My view: if this is the best that the biggest, richest media companies on the planet can do when they "race" into original content, there's a lot of opportunity for the kinds of talent-entrepreneurs I hope this site helps create.

VDOVault said...

I think Jake has a good point here...why is it that the studio's seem intent on copying the lamest of User Generated Content any of us can see for free anywhere (or worse make and upload ourselves for minimal cost...you can buy a very cheap minimal quality cam like a Small Wonder or a Flip for $100-$150 and call yourself an 'online filmmaker' now) and not delivering the higher quality product (i.e. using not just a slightly better class of camera or sound recording equipment but sets, props, costumes, guild talent and some increased level of professionalism unavailable to most of the audience) just like what most of us choose to pay for over on cable or satellite?

If this is how the WB is going to play online (and believe me what they seem to be doing is playing around and not taking online any more seriously than the average viewer does) then about the only money they will be getting from me is for their catalogue of old professionally produced TV shows & movies.

I can't believe that WB and other studios would pay for something as decidely low-rent as 'The Jeannie Tate Show' unless all they care about is shooting the same sort of content *anyone* could shoot but on an expensive camera and with better video and sound. But more importantly, I don't believe advertisers will be clamoring to support a show of such low quality (they already have a lot of contempt for 'cheaper' reality shows)

Good luck to the studios and networks but I think independent online filmmakers are about to eat their lunch.