Interactive TV, Netflix and Community Spirit

Interactive TV, Netflix and Community Spirit

 

Interactive TV

 

There have been so many false starts to interactive television, it has become to seem like an experiment which will never yield results. The craze of interactive comic books and new video game technologies saw some “vote-for-what-you-want-to-see-next” programmes broadcast in 1980s America, but with little appreciation or durability. Some critics place talent shows such as Pop Idol and The X Factor in the interactive TV format, but adaptable narratives have never entered the mainstream.

 

So why all the talk?

 

Interactive TV has reentered the film and TV discussion in recent years, with online video platforms providing the perfect medium for audience reciprocation. The struggling Facebook Watch has announced that interactivity will be unrolled as a major feature of much of their upcoming content, with polls and questionnaires posed to live audiences.

Fully interactive TV narratives, however, are harder to implement. Netflix learned this last year with the half-hearted roll-out of its children’s show Puss in Book. Now, however, Netflix is poised to seriously reinvigorate the interactive TV format. They are introducing a “create-your-own-adventure” episode to its lucrative acquisition Black Mirror.

 

Here’s the thing

 

Black Mirror is appropriate for a foray into interactive TV because it tends to explore the alienating impacts of modern technology. Choose-your-own-story interactive TV fundamentally misunderstands the evolutionary and cultural function of storytelling.

 

Storytelling is a social phenomenon. It allows communities, small or large, to have a feeling of shared experience. Television programmes have become national sensations because people talked about them in dining rooms, playgrounds and offices. Stories are not supposed to be experienced in isolation.

 

Interactive TV 2.0

 

LiveTree’s unprecedented approach to film and TV will make all video content community-based and essentially interactive.

 

When LiveTree users watch films and television programmes on Blossom TV, they can decide what comes next – sequels, new series or brand new projects. Users can back new content with Seed tokens and then hold a stake in the product, earning profits when it hits the screen.

 

LiveTree users will be deciding what content gets made. And creators will have the option to pitch ideas to backers and develop the narrative along with their audiences. LiveTree is returning power back to audiences and control back to creators. LiveTree allows creators to be assured of a fanbase, and allows market demand to manifest directly in production.

 

Discover the true value of storytelling.

 

How Do You Get a Film Funded?

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, five gigantic studios produced almost every major motion picture. Producers, actors, directors, cast and crew – even screenwriters – were all contracted employees of single studios and were assigned to many projects a year by the big execs. Most films earned respectable returns, and the runaway hits more than covered the losses of the year’s biggest flops. As long as the film industry ran, studios were in business.

 

After the vertically integrated system broke down, big studios downsized and esssentially became backer-distributors rather than production companies. They would hire production companies or freelance creatives to work on their projects. With less control over the production process and monetising at fewer stages, studios took fewer and fewer risks, ultimately leading to the highly formulaic, reliable, massive-scale tentpole productions we see from the big studios today.

 

This opened the doors for independent cinema to fill an artistic void in the film industry. However, this meant people were specialising in essentially unreliable and largely unprofitable films. Small-scale film financing largely became a gifting economy, forcing the best creators into a network of boozing, schmoozing, nepotism, connections and wealth. Any original talent without access to this network will have a hard time indeed of getting their film made.

 

So where does that leave a prospective filmmaker today? Crowdfunding, when it emerged ten years ago, presented a radical new alternative to outdated industry standards for funding. Even some big names like Charlie Kaufman ($406K) and Spike Lee ($1.4M) turned to crowdfunding to realise their passion projects. However, crowdfunding ultimately depends on fandom and altruism, and could never become a fully sustainable model for film funding.

 

Here at LiveTree, we are revolutionising the way films are funded. Because we are using blockchain technology, small financial transactions can be made throughout the world with great efficiency, meaning that royalty contracts remain profitable for financiers on tiny scales. If the LiveTree community notice a pitch that they love, want to see more from a new director or need to see a sequel to a sparkling indie flick, they can pool together and fund the project with Seed tokens, the world’s first film and television cryptocurrency.

 

The blockchain enters each backer into contracts of rights and royalties with creators which cannot be altered or dishonoured. This is of great contrast to the purposefully opaque and notoriously unreliable royalty agreements made through studios. Audiences can fund the content that is meaningful to them, and then earn their share of the profits. Meanwhile, creators can be assured of a scaleable fanbase for their content. Fewer middlemen and fat cats leads to a fairer, more reliable, more equitable deal for creators, as well as much greater creative control.

 

The alpha version of LiveTree’s own streaming channel, Blossom TV, launches 5th November, so why not register now, stay up to date and discover the future of entertainment.

Discover the true value of storytelling.

What is a Blockchain?

What is a Blockchain?


Despite having been invented along with Bitcoin ten years ago by somebody under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain technology is now beginning to enter mainstream popular consciousness. Blockchains provide records of financial transactions that cannot be altered or corrupted. Soon, however, blockchains will be recording the movement of ideas and information, too.

 

How does a blockchain work?

 

Someone, somewhere in the world requests a transaction. Rather than this request going, say, to a bank, the request is sent to thousands of computers – each being one “node” – from around the world. The algorithms for verifying the amount of value, the type of value and the identities and locations of the individuals involved are divvied up amongst the computers (nodes), which together encode the information in what is known as a “block”. Each block holds this information along with the information from the previous block in the “chain”. As such, if anyone tampers with one block, the entire chain is disrupted and the change is disallowed.

 

How do I use a blockchain?

 

The great thing about blockchain technology is that you don’t need to know that you are using it. When you send money, you let your bank do the work, and blockchains work in the same way. The only difference is that the process is quicker, more efficient and more secure. Hacks have proven to be far less likely, and less money is spent by the participants on intermediary charges.

That said, if you want to get involved, there are tons of blockchain communities you can join. By turning your computer into a node for a blockchain network, you earn a share of the transaction charges each time one is made.

 

What else can a blockchain do?

 

Here at LiveTree, we are reimagining entertainment as a blockchain-based industry. On LiveTree, users can fund film and television projects using “Seed” tokens, the world’s first film and television cryptocurrency. When those projects are successfully completed and then broadcast on television, screened in cinemas or streamed on Blossom TV (LiveTree’s own streaming platform), backers are rewarded with their share of the profits.

Because blockchains move currency so efficiently, small transactions in great numbers are much more valuable than when transmitted by centralised banks. Furthermore, the smart contract technology offered by blockchain providers such as Achain, Infinity Economics and 0chain means that the royalties and rights deals can be organised more fairly and more transparently between cast, crew and backers.

We can even use the network of nodes to host video content. As a result, we do not have to rent server from internet giants like Amazon. The process is cheaper and more efficient, and our users are able to continue sharing LiveTree’s growth.

The alpha version of Blossom TV launches 5th November, so register here and get involved with the future of entertainment.

Discover the true value of storytelling.