Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Television off TV

I chose Mortal Kombat Legacy made by Machinima on YouTube as the web series for this digging deeper. First a quick summary, Mortal Kombat:Legacy takes place before the events of the original game and tells the background stories of several characters from the franchise, culminating in their reasons for participating in the upcoming tenth Mortal Kombat tournament, on which the first game was based. The episodes in the anthology web series are non-linear with minimal continuity, and each devoted to the story of a specific character or characters. 

This series is not too many differences though from how a normal television show runs, because the run time of the video is anywhere from 9 minutes to 13 minutes. Unlike normal television which usually has a 30 minutes to an hour run time. It also differentiates itself by not having commercials breaks so you constantly stay in tuned to the action. It also only has 9 episodes in a season compared to some of the higher numbers of mainstream television.

Even though there are these differences it has quite a lot of similarities as a normal television series. It has enough episodes to have a good season, and it has the same production value as the normal series. Mortal Kombat also has actors that have track records of being in films and even mainstream television shows like the Arrow on the CW. It has a plot and background stories for each character just like regular television also. The video quality and audio quality both match television you watch on a daily basis.

Mortal Kombat Legacy could have easily been made into a series because they have plenty of characters and background story lines for them to carry the show on for many seasons. They can also even have the tournament action in weekly shows and show the progression of the tournament as they fight through it. It also has the ability to have a great fan base because each web series has close to 18 million views for each video already if you put that on television it might increase by much more. But while it could have easily been made into the show it has a TV-MA rating on YouTube, it is Mortal Kombat which means its violence of fighting but we already have that on television now. This could definitely cause a problem at the time slot you could air it based on safe time so that just in case any parent was concerned about their kids watching it. This could probably be a better fit for cable channels so they can air the show like Spike or FX.

If they were to air this on television they would have to be able to increase the run time of the episodes a little bit but with better funding they would be able to do that with no problem at all. They also might have to tone back on some of the episodes so they could get it at a great time slot, but otherwise not much would have to be done to the series for it to be a successful show.

Digitization has made huge positive strides with allowing distribution to become so much easier along with exhibition. With digitization Mortal Kombat and other web series can be shown to the community with much more ease. It also allows for buzz to create about shows because of the easy access of being online. It also allows the shows to get a huge fan base because everybody is online now a day. Production I would feel you would have the same difficulty considering that my web series has the production values of a regular show. But the ability to distribute and exhibition at almost literally no cost has improved the way people can show their content. It also allows for increased creativity practices by the creators and producers.

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