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Thursday, December 11, 2008

More on Online Narrative

Check out writer Neil Mossey's blog on Online Narrative:

Neil is a lead writer on Kate Modern and knows his stuff inside out.

posted by Neil Leyden @ 1:45 p.m. 0 comments

Friday, December 05, 2008

Screen Leaders - Online Narrative session - 4th December 2008

The following accompanies the "Writing Online Narrative" session from the Screen Leaders EU course - December 4th 2008


Examples of online web series i.e. narrative developed specifically for distribution online.


was an interactive web-based video series which began in June 2006, and ended on August 1, 2008.The show focuses on the life of a fictional teenage girl named Bree, whose YouTube username is the eponymous "lonelygirl15", but the show does not reveal its fictional nature to its audience. After the fictional status of the show was revealed in September 2006, the show gradually evolved into a multi-character show including both character videoblogs and action sequences, with a complex story universe involving "trait positive girls" who are sought by an evil organization called "The Order".Lonelygirl15 first came to international attention ostensibly as a "real" video blogger who achieved massive popularity on YouTube, a popular video sharing website. The show was eventually proved as a hoax by suspicious viewers as featuring a fictitious character played by American-New Zealand actress Jessica Rose.[1]The three creators of Lonelygirl15, first revealed by the The New York Times, were Ramesh Flinders, a screenwriter and filmmaker from Marin County, California, Miles Beckett, a surgical residency dropout turned filmmaker, and Greg Goodfried, a former attorney with Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, LLP.[2]The series began on June 16, 2006, and was slated to run through August 1, 2008. New videos appeared, at a clip of 4 to 5 a week, first on YouTube and, also on MySpace. As of July 2008, the LG15 series has had more than 110 million combined views.Lonelygirl15's first spin-off show KateModern, ran from July 2007 through June 2008 on Bebo, and took place in the same fictional universe.


KateModern is the sister series of lonelygirl15. The series, which was announced on April 16, 2007, began filming on July 9 and the first video, Fight and Flight, was released on July 16. The show is produced by LG15 in partnership with Bebo. It ended on June 28, 2008, slightly less than a year following its original release.KateModern is set in East London, England, and bears many similarities to its parent series. Both Kate and Bree are avid video bloggers and carry a dark secret. There is an alternate reality game component of the series as well.KateModern was the second interactive online series developed by LG15 Studios. Like lonelygirl15, KateModern included product integration as an original marketing solution. KateModern was the first truly interactive show online, which utilises the tools available on Bebo to help fans interact.KateModern videos first appeared on Bebo and, then with a delay of at least 24 hours on YouTube. Ratings for the show's first season were extremely successful, and it continued to rise in popularity in its second. See #Ratings below.


Sofia's Diary is a drama that is shown online through the social networking site Bebo, which is the same site that hosts KateModern.A version of Sofia's Diary originally came out in 2003 in Portugal. This means it actually predates the first video of lonelygirl15 which came out in 2006. Sofia is played by 21-year-old Rachel Hyde-Harvey.Sofia's Diary is the first ever internet based show to make the transition to UK TV following its acquisition by Channel Five (from Sony Pictures Television) on April 17th 2008. The show is now broadcast on 'Fiver' (previously Five Life)


The series was created as an experiment by a group of young Los Angeles-based filmmakers, Marcus Blakely, Douglas Cheney, Chris Hampel, Chris McCaleb and Ryan Wise, in their spare time. The project was self-financed on a budget of around $50,000.[1] Chris Hampel and Chris McCaleb were also working on Michael Mann's film Miami Vice; Hampel as Mann's assistant, McCaleb as an assistant editor.The group formed a production company called "Big Fantastic, LLC" and set about creating a series of webisodes. The producers believed there was an untapped market for people with short attention spans, or office workers with only sporadic free time, who would watch a short-form scripted, serialized drama.[2] The series was distributed for free on YouTube, Revver, iTunes and its own site, The series was produced with no business model, and only minimal support from advertising via post-roll Revver ads.


quarterlife is an American web series, also briefly an NBC television series, created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the creators of Thirtysomething and Once and Again, and producers of My So-Called Life. The show is about a group of twenty-something artists, who are coming of age in the digital generation.[1] OnlineEach part of the series premiered nearly simultaneously on MySpace and the official Quarterlife site. It garnered the third-highest views of any scripted series in Myspace history. In five months, total online views for the series -- on Myspace, quarterlife, and YouTube -- were over 9 million. After the series was picked up by NBC, some of the hour-long episodes were made available on the NBC and Hulu websites. During this time, Herskowitz claimed the show accrued an average of 300k views per episode.[2].[edit]TelevisionIt was announced on November 17, 2007, that NBC had acquired the rights to air Quarterlife on broadcast television in early 2008, after the episodes have been broadcast on the Internet.[3][4] In February 2008, NBC announced that Quarterlife would premiere on Tuesday, February 26, 2008, with the show moving to Sunday nights immediately afterwards.[5] The show garnered dismal ratings for its first episode, approaching levels not seen on NBC since the XFL, and teen demographic and general household ratings lower than a Democratic presidential debate airing at the same time on sister cable network MSNBC [6]. NBC announced that the series was canceled after airing only one episode.[7] Its remaining episodes would air on its sibling channel Bravo following the NBC cancellation.[8] The show only had 3.9 million viewers in its debut -- the worst in-season performance in the 10 p.m. hour by an NBC show in at least 17 years. The show also got pummeled in the adults 18-49 demographic, where it managed only a 1.6 rating.[9][7] The show aired on E! in Canada in simulcast, however all reference to the show has been removed from their website since the cancellation. Full episodes can still be viewed on the NBC and FOX sponsored video site


Loosely based on the popular online web series created by Mindshare in 2007 in conjunction with Suave hair care products and Sprint Nextel, this adaptation chronicles the daily and hilarious perils of three mothers, with most of their stories being adapted from everyday real-life mothers. The success of the webisodes lead to ABC's announcement to order 13 initial episodes, which will air in the 2008-2009 TV season. Sprint and Suave will have a involvement in the series as well[2].Whereas the webisodes featured Leah Remini, Jenny McCarthy and Chelsea Handler in the titular roles, Handler was supposed to be the only cast member from the series to make the transition to the small screen[3], but on November 24, 2008, TV Guide reported that the series will instead star Megan Mullaly and Cheryl Hines acting out the real-life stories submitted by mothers. In addition, Horatio Sanz and Jessica St. Clair have also been cast. Sanz will play Hines' manny, while St. Clair will play Hine's "intimidating younger sister," who doesn't discipline her children. Handler decided to drop out of the project due to her scheduling commitments to her E! show Chelsea Lately.[4]



Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance is the collective title of 10 two- to five-minute "webisodes" (also known as a web series) released exclusively on the world wide web through the Sci Fi Channel's website. The serial storyline follows events that occur between the close of season 2 and the beginning of season 3 of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica TV series.The first webisode was released on September 5, 2006, with two subsequent webisodes posted to the site each week through October 5 to lead into the season 3 premiere.The series was produced as a promotional event to promote Battlestar Galactica, and as such generates no residuals for its writers. The WGA has called for the boycott of all un-residualed webisodes by writers and producers (the WGA does not represent producers, and this is an unusual request) from working on them.The webisodes are only available for viewers from the United States, upsetting many fans worldwide; the decision to restrict the webisodes to the US has those international fans who might not have been using peer-to-peer networks now turning to them in order to get content which is supposedly free.[1] The webisodes were later reposted on various free video hosting sites, such as YouTube but have since been removed at "the request of copyright owner NBC Universal because its content was used without permission". Though recently, with Australia's Network Ten broadcasting of Battlestar Galactica Season 3 (on 10HD), The Resistance webisodes have been made available to the Australian public (Region 4) on their webpage.


TARDISODEs are mini-episodes of the television programme Doctor Who created to accompany the 2006 series of the programme. Made by Doctor Who producers BBC Wales, each TARDISODE is approximately 60 seconds long and serves as a prequel to one of the actual 45-minute episodes. They were available on the BBC Doctor Who website via broadband free of charge, and on mobile phones by subscription. They were produced as an effort by the BBC to expand the reach of Doctor Who beyond the television series, and were first made for the 2006 series. The TARDISODEs include footage not seen on television, and some back-story for the following episode.



Afterworld is a computer-animated American science fiction television series created by writer Brent V. Friedman and artist/filmmaker Michael DeCourcey. Its naturalistic future setting, modelled after traditional Western movie motifs, presents an atypical science fiction backdrop for the narrative. Friedman served as executive producer, along with Stan Rogow.Afterworld premiered in the United States on the YouTube and on February 28, 2007 with the production website being launched in May, 2007. The series quickly built a loyal fanbase but did not really take off until August, 2007 when it was 're-released' on MySpace. In conjunction with that release the series was also released in Australia on the Sci Fi Channel and also as a mobile pod-cast.


Happy Tree Friends
(Often abbreviated as HTF) is a Flash cartoon series by Mondo Mini Shows, created by Rhode Montijo, Kenn Navarro, Warren Graff and Aubrey Ankrum. Since its debut the show has become a popular internet phenomenon and has won a cult following.As indicated on the official site, it is "not recommended for small children". Notwithstanding the somewhat childish shape of the series and the cute appearance of its characters, the show is extremely violent, with nearly every episode featuring blood, gore, and extremely painful, bloody gruesome deaths.


Joe Cartoon
is the name of a series of Flash-based online cartoons that was launched in 1997 by creator Joe Shields. Starting as an independent website, Joe Cartoon was later affiliated with Atom Films, before becoming independent again in 2006.Noted for their crude humor and tongue-in-cheek violence, Joe Cartoons were among the first widely distributed web-based productions of their kind.[citation needed] Produced in Macromedia's (Adobe's) Flash format, a number of the cartoons are interactive, such as "Gerbil in a Microwave" and "Frog in a Blender". Most of the cartoons often have extreme violence towards gerbils.In April 2006, a collection of 40 Joe Cartoon creations was released on DVD in North America. The cartoons have been recoded to be playable on set-top DVD players. Some DVD-specific content was also created for this release.


The video was created, animated and voiced by Jason Steele of Though it is theorized that it was originally made by TypeQueen as a flash animation for Newgrounds, it was actually made by Jason of filmcow for TypeQueen who later put it on newgrounds under his own name. Later on it was posted on Youtube where it became a hit with over 23 million views and over 85,000 favorites. you can now find it either on his website or under his youtube account "SecretAgentBob".The video has now gained roughly 29 million views internet wide.The video follows the story of Charlie, a lethargic unicorn who is reluctant to travel to "Candy Mountain" with his two friends. His resistance may be justified as he finds an unpleasant surprise when they finally arrive at Candy Mountain.


Salad Fingers
is a Flash cartoon series originally created by David Firth in July 2004[1] which gained rapid internet popularity in 2005. The San Francisco Chronicle ranked it in the "top 10" pop culture phenomena for that year.[2]



Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles
, often abbreviated as RvB, is a machinima comic science fiction video series created by Rooster Teeth Productions and distributed primarily through the Internet and DVD. The series chronicles the story of two opposing teams of soldiers fighting a civil war in the middle of a desolate box canyon (Blood Gulch), in a parody of first-person shooter (FPS) games, military life, and science fiction films. Initially intended to be a short series of six to eight episodes, the project quickly and unexpectedly achieved significant popularity following its Internet premiere on April 1, 2003. Rooster Teeth therefore decided to extend the series; the fifth and final season of the original series ended with episode 100, released on June 28, 2007. Two mini-series have been spun off resulting in a new full length series.Red vs. Blue emerged from Burnie Burns' voice-over-enhanced gameplay videos of Bungie Studios' FPS video game Halo: Combat Evolved. The series is primarily produced using the machinima technique of synchronizing video footage from a game to pre-recorded dialogue and other audio. Footage is mostly from the multiplayer modes of Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequels, Halo 2 and, on a few off-series 'community videos' and new series Reconstruction, Halo 3, on the Microsoft Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles.


Mobisode is a term first coined by Daniel Tibbets then trademarked by his employer, Fox Broadcasting Company,[1] for a broadcast television episode specially made for viewing on a mobile telephone screen and usually of short duration (from one to three minutes). The word is a neologism, coined by Tibbets as a portmanteau of the two words "mobile" and "episode".The arrival of third-generation (3G) cellular services has made the broadcasting and viewing of video footage a feasible commercial proposition.According to first-hand accounts from Fox employees who were there at the time, the first mobisode was announced in January 2004 and was 24: Conspiracy, a spin-off of the action-suspense drama 24, although it was not actually the first mobisode to be produced. The first mobisode produced was "Love and Hate", its pilot was produced in January 2004 and later that year completed production. The first two mobisodes sold and commissioned by Verizon were "Love and Hate" and "Sunset Hotel", with 24: Conspiracy being the third. All three inaugural mobisdoes launched at the same time on Verizon in February 2005. Fox followed these with the release of mobisodes of Prison Break: Proof of Innocence, a spin-off of Prison Break in April 2006.[2]


The world's first made for mobile horror series was When Evil Calls. Composed of twenty two-minute mobisodes the series marks the first time 'named' actors had been attached to such a venture. The series included Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers), Dominique Pinon (Amelie), Jennifer Lim (Hostel) and Chris Barrie (Red Dwarf) as well as Pierce Brosnan's son Sean and Ray Winstone's daughter Lois. It was directed by horror specialist Johannes Roberts (Forest of the Damned / Demonic) and produced by Zone horror and Pure Grass films.


An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions.The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants' responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game's designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and often work together with a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.ARGs are growing in popularity, with new games appearing regularly and an increasing amount of experimentation with new models and subgenres. They tend to be free to play, with costs absorbed either through supporting products (e.g. collectible puzzle cards fund Perplex City) or through promotional relationships with existing products (e.g. I love bees was a promotion for Halo 2, and the Lost Experience and FIND815 promoted the television show Lost). However, pay-to-play models are not unheard of.ARGs are now being recognized by the mainstream entertainment world: The Fallen Alternate Reality game was in the fall of 2007 awarded a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for an Interactive Television Program. ReGenesis Extended Reality won an International Interactive Emmy Award in 2007 and in April 2008 The Truth About Marika won the iEmmy for Best interactive TV service[1]. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts recognises Interactivity as a category in the British Academy Television Awards.


Perplex City is a long-term alternate reality game (ARG) presented by Mind Candy, a London-based development team. The first "season" of the game had players looking for "The Receda Cube" (referred to simply as "The Cube"), a priceless scientific and spiritual artifact to the people of a fictional metropolis known as "Perplex City", that had been stolen and buried somewhere on Earth. The game offered a real-life 100,000 reward (approx. $200,000 or 150,000) to whoever found it. Like most alternate reality games, the story of Perplex City is told through blogs, puzzles, and other various media.The game began in April 2005, and was won by Andy Darley of Middlesex, UK, who found The Cube in a wood in Northamptonshire, UK on 2 February 2007.[1]According to Mind Candy, the first wave of cards for the new game season, called Perplex City Stories would be released on March 1, 2007. However, in June 2007, they released an announcement which declared that the second season was on indefinite hold.

David Perry on Videogames

For more on this session contact

posted by Neil Leyden @ 8:32 a.m. 0 comments