Posts tagged "format"

Format Progression

At the beginning of the module, it was assumed that I would be aiming for a 30-45 minute mini-feature, mainly because my experience putting together shorts in the IAC world meant that I can actually do it rather quickly. A series of decisions however, have meant that this has changed quite drastically, though for quite logical reasons, each being a very small step in a new channel of thought.

It is quite clear that the subject matter is far too large for a single story - this is actually both an advantage and a disadvantage in that while a single story that could be shown to students is probably difficult, or at least prone to having too much crushed into the time available, it does mean that a series of individual 'episodes' can be created, extending the lifetime of the story.

What this of course means, is that in an episodic format a 'theatrical release' for want of a better word is not the way to go. Anything that comes out of this course is going to be incomplete by definition, feeling more like a pilot to something larger than a wholly self-contained film. While several small episodes can be tied together to create a theatrical release 'for effect', a different delivery platform needs to be considered as the release format of choice and design. As television is not a real prospect, a well chosen web-release seems to be the best choice, with collections of the smaller productions collated into packages for school release. This may not even be required, as most educational establishments are able to stream directly from the web in any case.

From a mercenary, business perspective this also has a significant meaning. While recently there has been an attempt by some to create larger format web series (up to 30mins in length), this is actualy counter-productive. A viewer of a any single epsode counts as 1 hit. By halving the episode length from this 30min duration, one is effectively doubling the number of hits without spoiling the viewer enjoyment - web based video on deman means that there is no time lost in switching to the next episode and most platforms can be configured to automatically move to the next episode in line without a break.

Even a cursory attempt to layout out a treatment however, shows that in a 15 minute timespan, it is difficult to fit a series of coherent points that include my aforementioned Story, Plot and Propaganda and an overal format change and level of expectation is required for each target deliverable. While discussion with Rick has revealed a preference for a 15min short at this time (not yet known what Anna would advise - meeting coming up this weekend), I suspect that I will be developing a treatment and initial script based upon a story arc rather than an episode. A 3 x 15min story arc seems to be sufficient to get in as much story and plot that I would need to establish a good 'pilot' arc. In such a format, from a propaganda perspective, a standard of a single major propaganda point of both a positive and negative aspect may be the way to go as this would give a logical framework for delivery in an education establishment as well as provide sufficient running time to deal with the subject properly.