Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Television off TV: The Guild

    First off, I watched the first season of The Guild.  About one minute into the first episode, it crossed my mind to shut it off and find a different one.  However, it did seem to get better through each episode.  I'll start off with the first question:  How does this series differ from traditional TV series?  The major difference between this web series and TV shows I have witnessed are the actors.  When watching national television, we are very lucky because we get to see the best of the best when it comes to acting.  However, these extremely low-budget (you can see the costs of some different one's here) "webisodes"can not afford to hire these multi-million dollar supermodels as actors and actresses.  In the particular Web Series "Guild," there are a wide range of demographics and an even wider range of ethnicity types, which you do not see too often in national television shows.  There were six main characters in the first season.  The demographics of the six people consisted of: older male of the group (probably in his mid 40s), two younger females (probably in their mid 20s), a middle-aged female (probably mid 30s and quite possibly Honey Boo Boo's younger sister), a teenage boy, and lastly, a male in his 20s.  The difference that stuck out the most to me were all the different types of races/personalities.  There was an asian lady and an indian guy, but they all had strikingly different personalities.  These are just a few of the things that I found different from modern television series.

    In what ways what this "Webisode" similar to traditional television series?  The way in which this was very similar was the camera work.  At not point during any of the videos did I get the feeling that this was "low budget."  The camera work made it seem like I was watching a regular show on television.  I was also very surprised at how well of a job all the actors did.  I could not really tell any difference between the actors in this series and the actors in a series like "The Office."

    Do I think this series could have been made into a traditional series?  No, and the reason I believe that is because I do not think the series is meant to be made into a traditional series.  All of the episodes are about five minutes long, and I thought that was just about the right timing.  I don't think I could have listened to "Zaboo" anymore if it was anything over that amount of time!

    What would have to be different for it to succeed on television?  I believe this series has a good plot as far as all of these very different people meeting on cyberspace, then meeting in real life, but I do not think this type of plot has the ability to come up with enough content to make it into a national television show.  Those are just my thoughts after watching it.

    Do I think digitization allows for positive advancements in media production/distribution/exhibition?  Absolutely.  The ability to produce a low-budget Web Series over the internet like this allows people who do not have much opportunity to try and get their name out.  The production is made easy due to low costs such as not having to hire the most talented actors, and with sites such as Youtube, most people can just do it on their own.  The distribution of these Web Series are easily available because they are all available over the web, and the internet is our most-used item in the world at this point in time.  Exhibition pretty much goes along with distribution in the fact that it is easily available over the internet for any consumer to watch.  There are numerous stories about people who first started posting their videos to Youtube, and now, they are some of the biggest names in the world. One major example of a "webisode" that made it to the big screen is the popular Youtube series "Svengali."


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