Aiming to capture an audience that is completely engrossed in Facebook, Warner Bros. have commissioned a web video series which utilises the content found on a viewer's Facebook profile to make a personalised version of the show.
This unprecedented use of the social media stalwart is a massive step forward in online video production and is extremely important for Facebook as it strives towards becoming a vital part of the entertainment industry.
Hollywood has been engaged in a constant battle with Social Media in recent years as the extremely lucrative teen audience has moved away from the cinema and the television in the wake of the increasing popularity of social networking websites. Only returning from their YouTube and Twitter addled lives to the classic formats in the event of a new Harry Potter film or Glee episode. The studios have come to the conclusion that the best course of action is to place their content on the site themselves, with the aim of getting the viewer further engaged with the show than they usually would be.
The first of these 'Social Series' is a teen spy show titled 'Aim High' produced by Charlie's Angels and Terminator Salvation director McG. In a further attempt to entice the teen market Jackson Rathbone of the Twilight series has been brought on board to play protagonist Nick Green, a high school student moonlighting as a secret agent.
The key aspect of the series is the app that viewers download which makes their world appear within the show itself. "The show becomes personal," McG explains "Music that the characters are listening to comes from your playlist, pictures on the walls, TV screens and picture frames inside the show are from your profile."
This means that as Nick strolls the halls of his High School a poster on the wall could contain a picture of your face. It is this "breakthrough component" that McG is excited about and one that completely sets this web video series apart from the usual media; "You're detached when you watch a show on FOX or NBC or when you go to the movies...this experience is more intimate."
This recent development for Facebook is one of many that is turning the website into a real player in the entertainment world. The site recently began a movie rentals service and the latest deal with Spotify could turn Facebook into the online platform for streaming music.
McG has insists that Aim High will have the same quality writing and production values that you would expect to see from network television. There have been a slew of web video based additions to popular network shows such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, but is this 'tween' focused effort just a little too gimmicky? Whilst it is no doubt a breakthrough in social media interaction and augmented 'un-reality' why would the viewers want to undermine the filmmakers by imposing their world onto the show? Fingers crossed this technology doesn't catch on where it counts and becomes as ubiquitous and poorly executed as the current 3D fad.
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