Saturday was the shoot day for the first episodes of Mr Vista. This is a new series of comedy shorts / skits that I'm putting together.
They all feature the adventures of a man who sees progress bars wherever he goes.
The shorts will be released about one every week through his own blog www.mrvista.net (which will be built shortly) and on Dailymotion.com
This post is to share some of my thoughts about what I hope to achieve from this series.
One: Building audience. As you know I've got about 20 shorts on-line at the moment on various sites and portals. But the shorts are all one-offs. If you like one, there is no reason to check out the others. Why would you? They are not similar beyond the fact that I've made them. With Mr Vista I hope to explore the idea behind growing an audience with a stock character. If like one Mr Vista adventure you should like the next one. I'm keen to find out if that means an increasing audience.
Two: Simple idea. A man who sees progress bars is a simple visual idea. What that means is that any viewer can quickly come up with their own quick gags and send them in. By having an ongoing series it means we can actually do something with those ideas, rather than just admit they are good ideas but be able to do nothing with them. I'm excited to discover how much the audience will actively get involved.
Three: Plug-ins. Again the simple nature of the idea means people can 'hack it' themselves in a funky web2.0 way. So on the blog we'll have all the graphical elements required for people to be able to put a Mr Vista progress bar on their own films or photos. Will they? How will I know they've done it?
Four: Budget. As I've mentioned before the budget for this first shoot has come from the advertising revenue of the blog and previous film downloads / streaming. With the Mr Vista project I want to test the idea that its easier to build a regular income from an ongoing show. Unlike Circumference this project requires smaller amounts of funding build upon previous proven viewing figures, rather than a larger lump sum. Will this be the case?"
Five: Ideas pushing. How far can we push the idea (Young Mr Vista, Mr Vista through the ages, Mrs Vista) and will the audience want this?
I'll be posting the answers to the questions as we move forward.
Thanks so far to Andy Marsh, Steph, The Uncle, Jonathan Rhodes, The Gorv, Dom, Danny, Lucy.