I have seen the future of online video and his name is Justin Kownacki.
Kownacki, Director of the online episodic show “Something to Be Desired,” presented his new approach to video production to a capacity audience at the Video on the Net conference in San Jose.
Since November 2003, Kownacki has produced 100 episodes of the show – with a cast of 25 – at the ultra-low cost of $200 per week.
His secret? What Kownacki calls “Open Source TV Production”, similar to the open source magazine production model I developed for Inside Carolina in 1994.
Kownacki’s 25-person cast volunteers, keeping cost low.
The people in the cast, many of them aspiring actors and actresses, volunteer because they believe it is good for them to be seen – and because they believe in the show.
“If you have a good product, good talent wants to attach to you,” said Kownacki.
Kownacki spends most of his time coordinating the cast and producing the show.
Why an episodic approach? According to Kownacki, snack-based content is not sustainable. It isn’t engaging, doesn’t tell you a story that grips your mind or heart.
In addition to the show itself, the STBD blog gives a behind the scenes look at the production of the show. Looking ahead, Kownacki believes the way to make the show even better is to open up the creative process to fans, open up the scripting process and allow the audience to have a say.
But the bottom line isn’t just the low cost of production, it’s about why people watch the show.
“People don’t subscribe to online shows, they subscribe to people and personalities, interesting characters who engage you,” Kiwnacki said. “And a story you want to see where it goes.”
(Photo credit: cirne)