Thursday, January 17, 2008
Producers Take 2.0...TurnHere
In the cut-throat film industry, there appears to be a bright light surfacing for artists with great potential who may be limited by location and the closed, cigar-smoking inner circle of Hollywood’s upper crust.
I spoke with Marc Prager, Vice President, Creative Services & Strategy of TurnHere this afternoon to do a bit of digging in the world of web-based video production they have played such a key role in exploding over the past year.
While it can’t exactly be referred to as the “film industry”, Marc’s description of TurnHere’s “branded content field” could potentially unlock doors for aspiring directors and producers at other levels. With distribution partners like Google, YouTube and Yahoo Video to name a few, exposure to good quality content now has the ability to reach talent scouts at accelerated speeds and volume.
TurnHere offers producers around the world with opportunities to climb their “Ambition Ladder”. Producers that meet their network criteria are able to put their creativity to work by starting out with short films for their partners like CitySearch and then moving up the talent chain to creating longer pieces like involved author interviews for their publishing powerhouse partner, Simon & Schuster.
TurnHere currently has a network of over 3,000 producers around the world. Last year, the network produced thousands of web videos across the US and in more than 50 countries. Based on their current partnerships, the clients have been focused in the travel, hospitality, real estate, media and small business sectors.
Their production model is based on local talent and as such, the once hidden talent pool from areas outside of Hollywood are now able to build their careers and reputations. Marc holds an altruistic view of the opportunities afforded by his growing network. “It’s great to watch producers move on to bigger and better projects knowing they got a head start with us” he said after describing the training ground TurnHere is able to provide to new talent.
Videos produced by TurnHere are in template form to maintain a form of quality control on behalf of their partners. Producers shoot their content, edit it and upload it to TurnHere’s editing crew for feedback and approval. Producers are responsible for all post-production and are scored through an aggregated system developed by the company. While the effectiveness of videos at a granular level has not been cracked through sophisticated technology to date, positive client feedback, continued adherence to deadlines and dependability afford the producers with increased exposure and broader projects.
As sophistication grows in the field of "buzz monitoring", it may behoove the talent scouts to invest in these technologies. It may also be interesting to see a partnership arise with TurnHere and one of these monitoring providers to help quantify the quality of their content network. I can’t help but wonder if this might disrupt the talent agencies that for years have cashed in on pitching demo reels to agencies and movie producers.
How many more middlemen will bite Web 2.0’s dust?