And it's kind of key to transferring a pair of legendary daytime properties like All My Children and One Life to Live to the web.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported:
An average hour of one of his soaps currently costs ABC around $160,000 to make, which is outrageously cheap for TV and fantastically expensive for the Web. But Kwatinetz says he’s not going to be able to save much money when he moves the shows online — he’ll still be paying the same writers, actors and production staff. Overall, he figures he’ll need around $80 million to produce both shows for a year, and $65 million in hand to start up production.... But Kwatinetz still doesn’t have all of the cash he needs to go forward.
“A lot of the investor pool that we go to are people with Hollywood backgrounds,” he says. “And while we feel that it’s obvious that convergence is here, we’ve met with an unusual amount of skepticism. So now we’re going out to Silicon Valley, and they seem to get it.”
When I was interviewed by Daytime Confidential about Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, Jamey Giddens also asked me, based on my experience with Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter, what I thought soaps needed to do transition to the web.
I answered: Got a character you want to keep on the canvas but the actor is leaving? Keep them alive through a personal blog or e-mails sent right to fans that could also tease their return story and allow fans to write back, interact and even become a part of the story.
New technology makes getting input from the fans easier and quicker than ever. Another World Today ended every episode with a poll so that fans could actually drive story the way they wanted. Wwell, majority rules... Some science fiction shows have set up fan chats that appear on the screen right as the show is going on. You could even have characters interacting with the posters as the action is happening!It wouldn't be a matter of changing the shows, which, as I pointed out in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, have a great deal of things going for them still, but a matter of expanding how the stories we've loved for 70 years are presented and distributed, and thus how they're received and embraced by the next generation.
What would you all think of Prospect Park picking up and continuing the ABC shows in a format similar to Another World Today and/or Mindy's Twitter while they continue to look for funding to shoot full episodes?
Let me know in the Comments below!