So, IPTV - that's Internet Protocol Television to you dunces at the back - is on its way. Yeah.
No idea what it is? I didn't either. This article explains it pretty well, but essentially it's television over the internet. Apparently, ultimately the internet will be integrated into TVs via broadband in the same way some of you will already have tellys with set-top-boxes inside... Making it an inside-box? Whatever. Shut up Lucy.
So what's this got to do with us lovely screenwriters? Well, as The Lovely Tim at Projector Films and The Man Adrian Mead always say, we gotta be on the look-out for as many opportunities as possible to get our work out there and made. So here's one for you.
Bryan Gartside is launching his own IPTV channel, aimed at 16-30 year olds. Bryan's Head Honcho at The End Of The Pier Film Festival and has worked with the likes of Kevin Laffan back in the day, creator of UK soap massive Emmerdale, which now goes out a whopping six days a week. So he knows his stuff and is embracing this new technology and inviting us to do the same.
Apparently there will eventually be about 700 IPTV channels and Bryan's will be one of them - but as he rightly says, it's "content that counts": what's the point in having so much choice if all we get is a load of crap to watch? He points out that new content is sparse on TV: even with all these new digital channels, there are stacks of repeats, advertorials and music videos on loop. Less and less new work is getting commissioned. If we want the best chance of getting our stuff "out there", we need to really keep up-to-date with these type of advances and know what we're talking about in order to persuade people like Bryan to commission us.
Get to the point woman! What is Bryan looking for?
First off, Bryan is interested in hearing from all you indie feature makers. If you have made an independent, British film that hasn't been aired on the internet and hasn't got its own distribution deal to DVD or theatres, he would like to hear from you: Bryan plans to eventually have a section only for British indie films on this new IPTV channel. I think this sounds like a wicked idea, since so few video chain stores will stock even straight-to-DVD Brit indie films.
Secondly, he wants to hear from writers/filmmakers he can develop a relationship with in terms of producing projects with serious potential of getting made and on to the channel. In other words, he's looking for people who may defect from existing channels or shows to this new outlet, or filmmakers who can pitch a viable project.
If you don't fit into either of those two categories, don't despair: though Bryan doesn't want short film scripts, he may be prepared to look at scripts by writers of the following:
- "Couch material": sofa magazine shows, film reviews, lifestyle shows, etc
- Game shows and Quizzes
- A soap of some kind
- A programme within a programme, kind of like "Wayne's World" (a show about two guys/girls who their own show) or a "behind the scenes"-thing like Tony Jordan's "Moving Wallpaper" about Echo Beach.
Remember: the age range of this channel is 16-30 years, so bear that in mind when pitching a project.
Send ideas, queries, etc (no scripts in first instance please) marked for the attention of Bryan Gartside at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck - and let Bang2write know how you get on!