Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chad Vader...the man, the myth, the legend

After watching the webisodes of the Chad Vader internet series, I was not that impressed with the quality of the show. Although I'm sure many people enjoy the show, I found the humor to be bland in a way and the story line became repetitive after the second episode. It was different from a typical television series in a lot of ways, showing us once again how the internet has affected other industries. These differences from normal television offer some advantages and disadvantages to the production and success of the show and provides an interesting challenge for the people making Chad Vader. 
         The primary difference, for me at least, between Chad Vader and a television series is the run time. While a television show is typically 30 minutes, with some being shorter and some longer, the Chad Vader webisodes were about 5 minutes each. This is beneficial in a way because it cuts down on costs and also is easier on the producers because they are not forced to include additional material to act as a "filler" of sorts of the story-line. By this I mean that because the show is only five minutes, they can get straight to the point of the show and do not have to throw in useless information. The difference in time also hurts the internet series because they are unable to develop secondary characters or connections between characters and in general, they are unable to bring the viewer into the world of the show. It is not a show like One Tree Hill or Glee where characters have their own complex background and story. Another difference between television and the internet series is the mandate of the producers. For television, a show's success and livelihood is dependent on how much money it makes. Chad Vader is similar to that in the fact that it's primary goal is financial success, however, if the web series does not make a lot of money, they are not forced to stop filming. Even if an episode has 0 views, the producers still have the ability to make another one. This is not the case in television as we know, where lack of viewership will remove a show from the air pretty quickly. 
          While there are tons of differences between internet and television series, there are also some similarities. For example, both Chad Vader and a typical tv series both make the majority of their money through advertising. I noticed that before each episode would start, an ad would pop up on the video for a quick 10 second commercial and I would assume that this is their primary source of revenue. It is definately the primary source of revenue for television as we know. Another similarity between the two types of series is the necessity for creativity. In both the television and internet, it is essential to keep coming up with new and different ideas in order to stay fresh and exciting. For television, there are so many series are similar to each other that producers must keep changing things in order to keep it from getting dull. Same with the internet series, where anyone has the possibility of creating a web series, it is necessary to be creative in order to stand out from the rest.
           I think it would be difficult to transform Chad Vader into a succesful television series but I don't think it would be impossible. It would be important to develop other characters around Vader, but I could see it being along the lines of a show like Wilfred. Both shows incorporate a similar type of humor and I could see Chad Vader mocking that success. One obstacle in the way of Vader becoming a successful television series though would be providing enough material for a thirty minute show every week. Unlike the internet series where the episodes are much shorter and there is no deadline, producers would be forced to work under a very specific format, which may affect the quality of the show. I think a large factor of a successful transition to a television series would require the ability to adapt and realize the demands on a television series.
         And perhaps for this reason, the producers of Chad Vader and other web series would prefer to continue producing on the web than television. I think it's safe to say they would be making a little bit more money but their is much more freedom with a web series. This freedom, in my opinion, is why increased digitization leads to positive advancements in the media industry. Although very different from television, I think web series have their own rightful spot in our culture and it is obvious from the views on each video that there is a market for web series.

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