You have to give it a minute or so before it gets going, but have patience, it’s worth it. It’s just really simple and charming, but a great bit of technique and something someone’s obviously put a lot of work into.
I can see it getting copied and used and abused a bit like that classic Dylan thing with the throwaway bits of paper (my memory seems to think it’s some kind of video for Subterranean Homesick Blues, but surely they didn’t have pop videos back then, did they?).
Update: Weds 13th – the video is ‘unavailable’. “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited”. They aren’t liking mashups then. Oh well…
Then it gets shown on http://www.promqueen.tv/ – which interestingly uses streaming from Veoh not MySpace (perhaps not surprising as Veoh is another Eisner backed company).
Each character has their own MySpace page e.g. http://www.myspace.com/sadiesimmons and they’re nicely done, each has been styled, written, and lived-in as if owned by the character.
The activity in the official Promqueen.tv forum would suggest that no-one’s watching. But the show has 115,000 friends to date on MySpace which is a lot more encouraging. On Veoh the most popular episode has had 20,000 views which isn’t very good (and the rest are a lot lower) but I’m guessing most of the views come from MySpace at the moment.
So is it any good and does it work?
I have to say I’ve got almost no idea. The episodes themselves are OK as far as I can tell. They look like a kind of OC-lite, the acting is a bit hammy and because the episodes are so short it feels like they’re having to over dramatise some bits. But it’s perfectly watchable. And I think the 2 minute long episdoe format might just work. Even the pre and post-roll ads aren’t too annoying – they’re more like typical show sponsorship than ads. It doesn’t look like it’s got as many viewers as it probably needs though.
I’ve read a couple of criticisms of the show that suggest that episdoe 1 would be the biggest (because of the hype around it) then it’ll tail off. I think the opposite might be true. I saw no hype at all and if it works OK the old long-tail principle ought to kick in.
Where I think they’ve done a nice job is integrating it with the fabric of MySpace – I just hope that they use this integration in an interesting way. I’m not sure if the whole series is ‘in the can’ already but it would be great to see them responding to the community in some way or another.