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Monday, February 02, 2009


Hey bloggers. I'm betting that you are the same as me - the thing you value the most is feedback and comments. I think we all do. And this has been highlighted to me by my experiences on two current projects...

The first is The Leader's PC - a series of political satires created using screen capture software (a film made without a camera!) which is broadcast on BBC1 (South) on Sunday in the middle of the day. Here is an example episode.

The other is Mr Vista - a series of comedy shorts done for no money and very little reason and spread via a blog. Again, an example episode.

Common sense AND raw statistics say that The Leader's PC gets more eyeballs on it. And yet I hear nothing, no feedback from the audience. So to me this is an invisible project. No one has seen it.

For Mr Vista the audience is smaller, much smaller, but I get much more in the way of feedback. This sometimes takes the form of comments, or ideas for episodes, or even things much more interactive like Judy using the Mr Vista doodlepad!!! So this project seems alive to me.

Is this strange to crave this feedback as a writer or film maker? No.

Because story telling, in any medium, is about spreading ideas and joining people together around common analogies. And for most of history that happened communally in groups. First, with one story teller telling a tale. And later by actors bringing it to life. They would react to the audience, feeling their way, improving, tweaking, changing the timing.

Then for a brief period, the 20th Century in fact, that changed and stories became one way. Radio, Cinema, TV.

And now that has changed again. Once again we are starting to value communal stories and communal story telling. Unless you disagree, in which case... leave a comment.



Like that you think in these terms of feedback. Two-way communication instead of one-way.

Actually the one-way trend didn't begin with film, TV and radio, but with the theater of realism (Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov) - born out of an artistic necessity to represent reality on the stage - and it had a huge effect on the audiences.

But that was then, and now is now. Apart form film scripts, I work with theater - and even in theater it is still too much one-way. Ridiculous, when the audience is right in front of you.

We are at the front of the wave of a paradigm shift. Advanced science, like Quantum physics and complex systems are pushing to change our cultures mind set. Our world is complex system that thrives on interaction. The one-way monoliths will fall eventually.

Tim Clague said...

Thanks for the feedback TC!

Especially for adding extra detail from a theatrical viewpoint. Of course when we talk about two way theatre in many cases for us British our first taste of theatre is two way - pantomime.

And lastly, I think the effect science has on culture is always a fascinating one. And in the short term I believe we are just seeing the new breed of writers and directors whose inspiration is computer based and not film or TV.