On the heels of web production house, Vuguru’s recent announcement that it will expand its lascivious teen murder mystery, Prom Queen (Tilzy.TV page) to overseas markets, Lonelygirl15 (Tilzy.TV page) creator Miles Beckett says the faux-reality interactive drama will launch more worldwide spin-offs in addition to its three month-old, British-based Kate Modern.
Paidcontent’s Robert Andrews reports from the Mipcom audio/visual content conference that those behind Lonelygirl are looking to take the Breeniverse to several countries and create localized storylines with new distribution and advertising partners. They’re also interested in taking the series to several other platforms off the web. ###
“Eventually, we’re interested in expanding the brand vertically in to other mediums – there’s potential for TV shows delivered in this world … books and films etc, that’s all a possibility. We’re also looking at developing other online properties…The trick is to reconstitute it in a manner that would actually work on TV – you really need to think about the content and the platform that it’s being distributed on.”
Very true. Longelygirl15 on TV would be tricky. A series like Prom Queen is easily transferred to old media’s small screen because it’s like a lot of others things on old media. Good-looking people acting out suspenseful situations told through a mildly compelling narrative. Apart from the 90-second episodes, there’s nothing about the series that ties it to one platform over another. Pacing and timing are the only components that would need to be tweaked.
But Lonelygirl15 is intrinsically linked to the web. As I said after its first season finale, Bree’s story was like nothing we’d ever experienced before. It was told through the small screen of a personal videoblog and relied heavily on the interactivity and self-revealing nature inherent in the medium. Another television-like drama of teenage angst set against a freaky religious backdrop wouldn’t have worked because people wouldn’t have cared, at least not nearly as much.
Perhaps the series has already involved into something more theatrical and impersonal. Increasingly unbelievable plot lines have forced characters away from their webcams and out into the real world, but I still can’t see a televised version of Lonelygirl15 working without significantly altering the format. A cute 16 year-old involved in the occult with a regular videoblog who responds to comments in character and solicits advice from her viewers sounds interesting. A static television series about the same thing doesn’t.