Tag Archives: eisner

Watching Foreign Bodies A Lot Like TV…Pretty and Disappointing

I had a chance to watch the first 3 (of 50) 2-3min episodes of the Eisner-funded webseries FOREIGN BODIES.

The project is actually a very big marketing scheme for an upcoming Robin Cook novel based around the dangers of medical tourism.

Visually, the series looks like a nicely made-for-cable MOW.  The actors are pros and the thing is shot in nice digital on location in lots of cool foreign locales.

The thing is, it feels so much like average television.  It’s just a lot shorter. So short that it is hard to get drawn in, even with 3 episodes available.  Maybe this is the sort of thing one waits for more of a resevoir of episodes before diving in?

This is certainly another step forward in terms of professionally produced online episodic video.  It’s good to see more drama and thriller stuff, too.  Still, this one doesn’t feel like a hit.  The target audience isn’t clear and I fear the story itself is just a bit too dry.

Check them all out here.

(via SAI and Tilzy)

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Vuguru Takes on Topps

Vuguru, the Eisner-helmed company behind webseries Prom Queen and The All-For-Nots has announced plans for a new series (via Tilzy)

“Vuguru will launch a autobiographical comedy series this summer titled Back on Topps, featuring a “group of executives seeking to succeed Marvin Topps, the company’s fictional founder.” The series will star Randy and Jason Sklar of ESPN’s Cheap Seats and Super Deluxe’s Layers in 24 five-minute-episodes.”

So far, Eisner is pretty much 1-and-1 with the first two series. Prom Queen might not have made a ton of noise but it was successful and continue to strike remake deals in foreign territories.  The word on All-For-Nots has not been as good, as far as I can tell.  I see little mention of it in the blogs and can’t remember the last time it came up in conversation.  I watched the first two eps and then lost interest.

Having watched a few eps of Layers and being fairly familiar with the twin Sklar brothers I have to say I am a little worried that this won’t be breaking any new ground in the world of entertainment.

Will Topps be funny enough and unique enough to draw a crowd?

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Eisner Still Bullish on Web Video

Michael Eisner might have ended up in the world of web video by default after being (i think) pretty much driven out of Hollywood-proper but he’s certainly sticking to it.

Eisner’s company, Vuguru, was behind the ambitious Prom Queen web series and the currently running All-For-Knots.

He was speaking at Microsoft’s advance08 digital advertising conference in Redmond and had this to say about the big boys:

“I believe if the major distributors ignore this piece of the business, and make it hard for content producers to break even, make a little bit of money … they will find somebody like me — or somebody better-funded or somebody younger — (who) is going to create basically a portal … and they will be creating their own worst nightmare, which is another competitor.”

I certainly think he is right that the current budgets being proffered by the larger media companies are very small but they are in line with the sorts of revenue they’ve generated so far.  In short time, there will be a few genuine web success stories and the major distributors will either buy out the succesful little fish or push them out by force.

(via NewTeeVee)

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Prom Queen Goes Overseas

Last year, Prom Queen made some noise for itself as one of the more substantial original web series put into the marketplace. It didn’t hurt that Michael Eisner was behind it.  Now comes word (via SAI) that Prom Queen’s not done yet:

“Michael Eisner has been fond of telling interviewers that “Prom Queen,” his made-for-the-Internet video series, hasn’t made much money on the Web. But that doesn’t mean “Prom Queen” can’t make any money: He’s just sold it and its sequel “Prom Queen Summer Heat” into TV syndication in France and Japan for an undisclosed fee.”

I’ve been hearing more and more about sales of web content to the Asian and European markets. They love US entertainment (look at how well our movies and TV shows do) and some of the stuff being done online is actually more appealing since it is a bit more youthful and original.

Now that more people can create broadcast-quality videos for a low price the world market becomes wide open.  Independent producers would be wise to begin exploring these markets, especially if you aren’t doing comedy.  Genre travels much better than funny.

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The All-For-Nots Not Impressing…

So, ReelPop does not seem very impressed by the latest offering from Michael Eisner’s Vuguru, THE ALL-FOR-NOTS, a sort of mockumentary about a small indie rock band touring the nation.

“Though proffering a derivative brand of “Spinal Tap”-like faux-reality humor — awkward glances at the camera, hyperbolically flawed characters, pregnant silences — the just-launched series is commendable for its achingly self-conscious hipster patois…”

Following up his relatively successful PROM QUEEN, which was shooting squarely at the ‘tween crowd, this new series is aiming for an older and somewhat more sophisticated audience. Having watched the 3-part first episode I can’t say I’m hooked. It looks good, the production value is nice, but there is just something overly self-aware about the whole thing, like it’s trying to prove how cool it is yet trying hard not to be too cool about it… or something like that.

Unfortunately, the music from the band isn’t all that exciting either. That’s too bad, since a lot of the story takes place around their music.

It’s still too soon to tell if Eisner’s new show will be a success. Is this what the hipsters of America want to watch. Only time will tell.

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Cuban Questions Eisner as SXSWi

The billionaire-owner of an NBA franchise interviewed the man who once ran Disney about value and future of web content. This is probably more important for the fact that these two guys think this is a serious area to be discussing than what they actually discussed.

However, PaidContent has some coverage for all of us. A few highlights for me:

“The time is right… we’re going to along for awhile and maybe make a little money… and then all of the sudden we’re going to wake up and then professionally driven content for the internet is going to explode.”

“If you take the position that you’re going to own all your own content, you’re going to end up with nothing.”

CNet has further coverage on the talk and some interesting information on the just-released new webisodic from Eisner called The All-For-Nots.

“There are no rules yet, Eisner said, to the point where company strategies can change erratically and make the process all the more complicated. For example, he said, the distribution strategy for The All-for-Nots will be different from Prom Queen because potential content distribution partners didn’t present them with the same deals.

“Every time you go to a MySpace or MSN or YouTube or Google, every month, they change the strategy,” Eisner said. “People actually paid us money (for Prom Queen).” With The All-for-Nots, he explained, some of the same content partners had wanted Vuguru to pay them and then get the money back through advertising revenue sharing.

So the content partners this time–which include Bebo, Imeem, YouTube, Hulu, Veoh (which counts Eisner among its board of directors), and Mark Cuban’s HDNet–will be a different set, but Eisner said he doesn’t care, as long as it’s distributed to plenty of eyeballs. “We have to go it any way we can go. We start at the top, we start at the bottom, we start at the sides.” That’s certainly start-up rhetoric.”

Good to hear he’s having all the same problems with his show as every other content creator out there.

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No “World” in WWW for Eisner

Chris Albrecht over at NewTeeVee noticed that Eisner is trying to limit the distribution to his PromQueen follow-up, The All-for-Nots, to the United States, allowing him to better control later worldwide distribution.

This clearly flies in the face of the nature of the internet and leads Chris to say:

“It would just be nice if new media moguls could take the innovation they bring to developing new media shows and apply it to how they distribute new media shows.”

Amen, Chris.

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