Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Project-V An Exciting New Comedy-Drama For a Short-Form World!

Ever since the first monkey men crawled down from the trees and started stealing cable, the television viewing experience has remained unchanged. TV stations broadcast programs and we watched - plopped in our La-Z-Boy chairs, consuming our Hungry Man Dinners. The communication was one way - unless you count swearing at the screen during Paris Hilton interviews. (I hear she broke a nail in The Big House.)

And then God took a rib from the Internet, and created YouTube. And He saw that it was Good. YouTube begat LonelyGirl15, the pretty teenager with knee-on-chin and Joan Crawford eyebrows. Within months of her debut, Bree became the first YT superstar. Viewers couldn't get enough of this young hottie, who revealed her most intimate thoughts on parents, P Monkey, and the often mentioned (but rarely seen) boyfriend - Daniel.

Even after LonelyGirl15 was exposed as being staged, its popularity continued to soar. Fans started e-mailing suggestions for future story lines. The creators of LG recognized the power of this interaction, and ran with it. The result was a fiercely loyal audience, whose demographics would make any media executive drool.

Fast forward to 2007, and the arrival of Project V, the creation of FMX - FreemantleMedia's cross platform division. Its mission statement is "to showcase the lives and observations of six up and coming young performers from Britain and the US. The site features short-form video postings of each of the six performers – artists, actors and comedians - talking to each other and to the audience. Audiences can post comments on the performers' homepages and follow the clues to the unfolding story linking the site's stars."

The six participants are:

Chris Wylde - hails (like moi) from The Landfill of Opportunity - New Jersey. His interests include movies, music, and world domination. Chris is currently working on a book, "69 Text Messages From a Girl With Bipolar Disorder". I hear that Hollywood is already tendering options for the screenplay!

Sarah Fletcher - was born in Ohio, but now lives in Arnold's new Austria - Kalifornia. She is a singer, actress, and model. This triple threat played "Secret Girlfriend" on mobile channel "Atomic Wedgie" in the USA. Like Chris, Sarah is getting her marching orders - for taking over the world - from a toilet.

Richard Dedomenici - has a fascinating video. The visual effect is compelling, although it made me dizzy. Note to Self: Take Dramamine 1/2 hour before watching Richard. "In 2002 he was nominated for Best New Artist in the Anglia Television Six Of The Best Awards, and, despite voting for himself several hundred times, Richard failed to win." But you have to admire his persistence. And his British accent sounds pretty cool!

Ruth Pickett - describes herself as "a talented comedian, writer, and actress". Hmm, no self esteem problems here! Ruth's quirky humor has been described as "whimsical on the surface but with a darker undercurrent; a bit like a colourful but slightly dangerous oversized slide at a run down water park." Ruth has discovered how to travel through time, but won't tell us because "Then I wouldn't have all the power!"

Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas - like Ruth, are interested in time travel. Their sketch "The Future", "a surreal vision of the workplaces of the future, received excellent reviews." In a surprise turn of events, Joe was planning on murdering Chris - but unfortunately, left his knife back in the UK. That's the trouble with traveling. You always forget something!

OK, I'm hooked.

I will be following the exploits (and potential felonies) of Project V. Although unless Jonny and Joe are Siamese twins, it seems to me that the group should be called Project VI. It will be interesting to see how their stories develop and intermingle. And Chris might want to start wearing body armor!

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