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  1. #1
    Major General morjana's Avatar
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    TV SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    From The Media Pundit:

    http://www.mediapundit.net/2007/08/s...nt-with-f.html

    (Please follow the link for the complete article.)

    Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    August 2, 2007

    by Paul William Tenny

    Apparently the really expensive, heavy-on-the-drama and absolutely enjoyable original Scfi Channel series Farscape is making a bit of a comeback, albeit not through traditional outlets. The critically acclaimed (for all that comment is worth these days) series will see 10 new episodes streaming from the Scifi Channel website, each limited to between three and six minutes in length, according to a press release.

    **snippage**

    The producers of Stargate: SG-1 are trying to produce a television series entirely off the Internet in Sanctuary. We're talking real writing here, real production quality, and episodes I presume that run longer than a bloated commercial break. This is an opportunity to do what they've done, and go for the full show. Sure, we can all live with reduced budgets and the constrained story telling that accompanies them, but why play games like this when there is a new frontier to explore?

    **snippage**


    To that end, why hasn't the SG-1 crew gone to Scifi and tried to work out a deal where another season of the show can be told through web-only content? Though this 3-6 minute thing is a total joke, there's no reason you can't tell a solid story in 20-30 minutes, and I'd buy them too. Why wouldn't I? No commercials, and I get an entirely new season of SG-1 and Farscape.

    **snippage**

  2. #2
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    Thanks for the link, it's much appreciated. What do you think, should the producers take SG-1 the webisode route, given their experience with Sanctuary?

  3. #3
    Colonel the dancer of spaz's Avatar
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    Quote Originally Posted by pwtenny View Post
    Thanks for the link, it's much appreciated. What do you think, should the producers take SG-1 the webisode route, given their experience with Sanctuary?
    I think it's probably a bit too late, and that if MGM was interested in doing it, they probably would've pursued it a while ago.

    I don't wanna call MGM "old school," or anything, but... I kinda get the vibe that they want to continue pursuing the conventional, tried and true method of production and distribution.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    I think Mr. MediaPundit is the one missing the point. Things get produced in accordance to the amount of revenue the producers anticipate making from the production.

    The internet is growing, but the potential revenue still is too low for web-only programming compared to broadcast or cable programming. If they couldn't make the numbers add up to produce another full episode season for the network, the calculations certainly aren't any more favorable for web/iTunes only. For instance, the episodes were already being sold on iTunes, so that's not new revenue. That was already part of the balance sheet.

    The guy's bio says he is a screenwriter, which means he doesn't really have a web business background, which is clear from what he wrote.

  5. #5
    Colonel the dancer of spaz's Avatar
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    I agree. While his intentions were good, and he clearly is looking to the future, I don't see many studios going the web route unless they can make good on their returns.

    I mean, it took the studios how long to realize the pros of the indie film market?

    It'll probably be a while before online distribution is as mainstream as the author of that article envisions.

  6. #6
    The First One Darren's Avatar
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    There is clearly naivete at work here:

    Why hasn't the SG-1 crew gone to Scifi and tried to work out a deal where another season of the show can be told through web-only content?
    Um, who's to say that they didn't? Just because you didn't hear about it doesn't mean it wasn't considered. I'll tell you now, it was. Viewers simply are not privvy to every business conversation that goes on behind the scenes.


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  7. #7
    Chief Master Sergeant partly cloudy skies's Avatar
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    I think that high quality streaming video is still not as available as many people think. I know in my area, there aren't many people that have it, and in fact, only a slow dial up is available. If they are looking to make a profit, there needs to be enough people with the equipment to make it viable.


    I do agree that six minutes isn't enough time to do very much though, and I'd be hard pressed to fork out money something like that. Something longer? Perhaps. In my mind it'd be like subscribing to a magazine for a year; if it were reasonable, then I would love not having to deal with advertisements. But again, I'd need to see more substantial content, like a half hour increment, for me dig out my debit card.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: SG1/Farscape/Sanctuary - Scifi Missing The Point with Farscape

    Quote Originally Posted by partly cloudy skies View Post
    I think that high quality streaming video is still not as available as many people think. I know in my area, there aren't many people that have it, and in fact, only a slow dial up is available. If they are looking to make a profit, there needs to be enough people with the equipment to make it viable.
    I believe penetration of broadband is about 54% of households in the U.S. The SciFi Channel is available to about 80%.


    I do agree that six minutes isn't enough time to do very much though, and I'd be hard pressed to fork out money something like that. Something longer? Perhaps.
    Webisodes call for a different story structure. Six minutes isn't just one story, but part of a continuing story. The Farscape ones were contracted because of the success of last year's BSG webisodes which also were 3-6 minutes long. They were advertising-supported, so they were free. The scifi.com exec said at Comic-con that they had about a million streams or something like that.

    The thing that the Farscape webisodes and the Stargate movies have in common is that they are experiments to see if a different type of distribution can be profitable. If these initial experiments are successful, then we might see an evolution into longer forms or a series structure.

    But neither Henson or MGM are stupid business people. They aren't going to jump head first into a new distribution model with out testing the waters first.

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