'Facing Web Content

So due to our Canadian ness, DB and I weren’t able to watch the Ghostfacers webisodes as they aired. But I watched them today and I have to say, this was the most impressive set of webisodes I’ve ever seen.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve been impressed with web content, for example the Dharma-related websites that went up for Lost were really well done (and gave me a bit of a better picture of the Dharma Initiative, easily my favourite aspect of the Lost verse), but the Lost webisodes? Pretty lame. The same can be said for the Smallville ones, and even the BSG ones weren’t amazing.

There are two issues that plague webisodes, the first is budget: they don’t really have any. This past decade TV shows have stopped being second string to films, and started to give us some serious production values. Most shows work really hard to disguise just how little money they have to get every ep done, and a webisode series is basically producing an extra episode.

Ghostfacers was a perfect way to get around this. Keeping the entire thing self-shot by the ‘Facers means you’re expecting lower quality, poorer lighting, etc. On top of this, setting the series in LA let meant they didn’t even need to work at disguising the filming location.

The other issue with webisodes, and the bigger one, is that you can’t really have anything happen that effects the main story or characters. Because people need to go out of their way to hunt down the extra content, you can’t assume everyone saw it, so if something vital happened in a webisode it would confuse the crap out of a majority of your audience.

Ghostfacers gets around this as well, because they’re characters who’ve only appeared in two episodes of SPN (actually 4, but only 2 were more than cameos), but also fan-favourites. This means that 1) you can have meaningful drama and events that effect them, and 2) the crossover of fans who will hunt down webisodes and fans who love the Ghostfacers is pretty significant. This structure certainly won’t work for all shows, but it does for SPN and the result was the best webisode series I’ve seen, by far.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on September 12, 2010.

2 Responses to “'Facing Web Content”

  1. ooh good. Does this mean you got the dvds? Did you get an impala keychain? I need one uhh! I’m looking forward to watching these though.

  2. Nope, I was at Kyle’s on the weekend, he bought them.

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