When you live and work in a world of technology it is easy to forget that it is not the technology that matters but what people do with it. Right now there is a huge amount of creativity being released into the web TV world. It is very exciting and I have been finding myself watching more and more online, so I thought I would start writing occasional posts about what has stood out for me. I'm going to embed previews where possible too, so I hope that the folk behind the shows don't mind.
First up is the intriguing near future show The Vault. Set in 2016 it follows a group of young people in a games show. Each contestant is in a room usually with something seemingly random, one room just has bottles of water, another a pie, another some goldfish and so on. The whole thing is a giant puzzle and solving it is led by a main character called Henry who can communicate with all of the rooms via a headset and a giant switchboard. It is quite a bizarre show and after a few episodes there is quite a bit plot twist that introduces a great deal of uncertainty into the minds of the contestants!
Being cool is hard (not that I would know), being a hipster is hard! It makes everyday life very difficult. The wonderful and very funny Hipsterhood is about the awkward relationship of a man and a woman who keep bumping into each other and like each other but the awkwardness of their hipster characters make developing their relationship, or even coping with everyday situations such a buying cereal very difficult! It is an unusual series in that much of the dialogue is not spoken but instead we are let into their thoughts. The series was great and the Hipster Wisdom extras were great fun too.
Girls on Film
The Girls on Film Project is a thought provoking web series that takes ultra-masculine scenes from films and reenacts them with women. If you follow the Everyday Sexism project on Twitter you will see lots of evidence how gender stereotypes constantly feature in everyday life. The Girls on Film project makes us think about these stereotypes in film and the sort of roles men and women play in Hollywood through the very simple but effective idea of a women playing the male role. Everything else about the scene remains as similar as possible. It has been out for while but worth seeing if you haven't so far.
One off shows
Shot without permission from the authorities Undercity might come across as a slightly edgy documentary exploring New York's hidden urban history. Urban Explorer Steve Duncan spends a fair amount of the film hiding from passers by and passing underground trains, but in between presents a fascinating portrait of the hidden side of New York from the top of a bridge to the tunnel system below. The unique video presents an usual exploration of parts of New Yorks history as well as introducing us to the people who call the tunnels home. We can only hope that they are safe and sound now given the recent storms there. The video is very well made and at twenty seven minutes is the longest of the programmes talked about here but I could quite happily have watched an hour.
Made as an audition video for The Vault (above) this video with strike a chord with anyone who has tried to use voice recognition on a device and suffered the rather unpredictable results afterwards!
If you like any of these series (or any other web tv shows) don't forget to show them your support by spreading the word or just telling them you like their work. Let me know if there is anything you have been watching on the web and would recommend in the comments! I will post more web tv highlights here soon.