Selecting the killer selection

I work in film and TV and I’ve been mulling over the way things are changing with the ubiquity and relative maturation of new media. One concept that keeps cropping up more and more is the concept of “multi-platform” entertainment, where you can, for example, watch a programme on TV, interact interactively with it on the internet, and receive tweets and clips on your mobile medium du choix. If you look hard enough there’s probably a Noh theatre version as well.

But… one of the fundamental problems these days (and probably in the past and in the future, too) is that people are lazy, especially when consuming entertainment. If you’re watching telly, do you really want to have to go online as well to discover vital parts of the plot? Do you want to be sent clues, titbits, teasers via the most fleeting of mobile media? You might – there are people out there who do cryptic crosswords, for heaven’s sake – but the majority, as far as I can tell (and yes, I am using myself as a significant part of my research) don’t want to have to make the effort.

What caused me to post this is an email announcing an exciting new project, which will remain nameless. I don’t mean to sound negative about the creativity and originality and inspiration behind the piece, but I feel tired just reading the blurb:

[the project] is constructed as a multi-layered, multiplatform, interactive and participatory narrative, intended to be delivered in segments via online and mobile networks over a number of weeks, then distributed on Blu-ray discs containing all storyline permutations and finally released theatrically as a feature film, selecting the killer selection from the bigger volume of material created to this point.

What do you think? Am I just being churlish? Am I way beyond the target demographic? Should I retain a professional enthusiasm and optimism and banish my cynical fatigue? Actually, that last sentence would probably make quite a good life motto.

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    • Olivia
    • February 22nd, 2010

    Sounds a little bit like those old books – ‘if you would open the door turn to page 21, if you would have a sandwich, turn to page 13’.

    I always liked those books.

  1. I think the main problem is that all these different types of interaction require (at present) a multitude of devices.
    The way I see things heading we are going to see TV phased out and replaced with computers so they can offer up more of the feature rich, socially driven content out there.
    Imagine watching something like Question Time and having all the tweets displayed in a sidebar? That would forgo the need to have a laptop running to try and keep up with a commentary on the show.
    In all actuality I think we are moving towards an on-demand society as a whole with services like iPlayer et all allowing us to design our own TV schedules there isn’t a need for a set TV schedule anymore, why do I need 200+ channels available with 95% of those showing stuff I don’t want to watch when I could just customize my own?

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