Stan Rogow, Executive Producer/Director, Gemini Division and CEO of Electric Farm Entertainment.
Why is a successful producer even dealing with the Internet?
Stan says he has a son who was just not watching TV. He says his son asked him about CSI which he saw on YouTube. His son’s generation just doesn’t know about networks.
The Internet is just growing and growing.
What does it take to make a successful show on the internet?
Principally, it starts with a simple thing – a great idea that the audience will embrace. If you don’t have that nothing else matters, no matter what channel of distribution you use.
The difficulty of making a 3 minute episode with a beginning, middle and an end, with a cliff hanger to bring people back is very hard. Some writers figure that out, some don’t. It’s very challenging to make that short format work.
The other thing that is becoming very important is the social networks into account. They are different and they will evolve into places where different type of entertainment will migrate to different places.
The challenge is to stay ahead of the curve. It changes always.
One of Stan’s partners spent two years working on games. They see the game aspects of the core piece of entertainment is important and growing in importance.
How did you get Rosario to do the show?
One of the writers of Afterworld is a friend of hers. She did one of the voices on Afterglow and it turns out she’s a sci-fi fan. We asked if we could do something with her and she said yes. Finding an artist that thinks the internet is cool and wants to be there, is what it takes.
Where’s the money?
Gemini Division has different model. They are using product integration with 5 different brands that are very organic. Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, UPS. They talked to the brands to find what was really cool about their stuff. They then could integrate the product features into the show.
The show starts with Rosario talking into the PDA, they had her talking into the Windows Mobile software. They created a new interface which was not the traditional Windows Mobile interface. Microsoft let them go ahead and it got really good reviews. Now waiting to see what Microsoft does with the interface.
They have not done pre-rolls – but they are open to experimenting. They believe there is more value in product integration, but traditional media buyers still want the things they know.
What about distribution?
Phase 1 was tied to NBC for the first 50 episodes. Phase 2 will be opened up to much wider distribution. There are lots of people who love the show now, but it can be opened up to many more people with wider distribution.
What can be learned from Quarterlife?
Internet entertainment is internet entertainment and TV entertainment is TV entertainment. They will re-cut the web version to make a DVD, but the TV version is a different thing as is a game version of the show.