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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WHAT TIME IS IT?...Coverage of Glenn on BreeFM

Glenn Rubenstein, live on BreeFM @11pm EST, Wednesday.

4th July
Glenn was forced to be social. The question of what you have been up to takes a long time to explain so he would rather not. In the right setting with the right people however it is great to bust out the instruments.
Glenn sang "Hard To Handle". They also played charades.

Glenn has not been asked to participate in the Lonelygirl15 finale but he does have ideas He heard rumblings about the relaunch in the advertising community. Glenn understands the urge to change. Headboard had 4 different incarnations but it always had the same name......they had brand recognition. If you have a new name you need a big splash to over shadow the old name. As a fan Glenn thought you could not have Lonelygirl15 without Bree. From an analytical point of view however if it takes place in the same universe you ask how do you leverage that. What do you do?

Glenn talked about this in the past when Cloverfield came out. There is very little awareness of Lonelygirl15 beyond Bree in her bedroom video blogging. A lot of people are not even aware the show is still going on. While pitching RedEarth88 he would talk about Lonelygirl15 and people would have the wrong perception. In Glenn's case he can at least show the Aly Zarin video. It is almost better to come into it without a preconceived notion. With Lonelygirl15 people would be reluctant to watch the recaps because they already have a fixed idea what it is about. People know what Lonelygirl15 is, but very few people in the business actually watch the show.

Having co-developed the interactive elements of the show Glenn tends to reference Lonelygirl15 a lot and he has been advised not to mention Lonelygirl15. If you showed just the "Human Ransom" video they would like it. People in advertising have a lot to do and if they already have a concept in their head it is hard to change that. How long has it been since Lonelygirl15 had a product placement? A new name helps them with that.

With Eqal it looks a little like a text message because people today don't spell correctly. Perhaps Eqal could use an acronym because those have not been hip for a long time. If you trademark a name you have to use it and the short hand does not really cut it. You can use LG15 but people know what Lonelygirl15 stands for.

KateModern had value to Bebo beyond views. They started working with other shows using the same network model. It was a thriving social network before KateModern.

If you drop the name Lonelygirl15 what would you call the show? Lonelygirl15 has 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. No matter how good the new show the reality is that it is not getting 100,000 subscribers anytime soon. This is a different time. Glenn bets that the new show will be posted on the Lonelygirl15 channel. If they use "notlonelygirl15" and it has 7 subscribers it does not matter because if they also post it on Lonelygirl15 they can say they have a combined subscription of 100,007. "Motherf**kers gotta get paid" ~ Glenn Rubenstein.

There is going to be a clearing of the deck. You can only wrap up so many loose ends if you are going to keep it in the same universe. Glenn would never say all your questions will be answered. Think of this as just an abrupt change. There will probably be a PR blitz for the new show. They will emphasize the new show rather than the ending of Lonelygirl15. They announced it to the community because they don't want the community to be pissed. You cannot take risks because a lot of people invested in Eqal.

If you take the best elements of KateModern and Lonelygirl15 you might move a couple of characters over. You are not going to have a nice clean wrap up because the new show is set in the same universe. You need to save some of the mystery. Glenn would kill off every character he was not bringing to the new show. In the new show the remaining characters could avenge their friends. Glenn spent a lot of time trying to put the pieces into place while he was there. There were some shifts in the show. No one is going to believe that they had it planned out from the beginning.

Glenn was thinking about twist endings last night. You work backwards from the ending. When you are producing a show with a very short lead time you have to figure out your moves way in advance. With Lonelygirl15 they did not have that luxury.

Glenn would figure out the new story and then work back to the ending of Lonelygirl15 in terms of who should be killed off. Glenn really enjoyed working on Lonelygirl15 at many levels but it was very stressful. There have not been a lot of opportunities to really sit down and plan things out. Taking a break before the new show should allow for better execution. Glenn had a week to work out 3 months of story line. Then you have casting etc.

In April, 2007 Miles posted about an actress dropping out at the last minute. Glenn assumes that was "Molly". She was supposed to die at the end of her story arc and Sarah was going to avenge Molly. Then they had to switch it to the Jules arc when the actress dropped out. Doing stuff on a break neck production deadline counts on the best case scenario happening. If it does not you have to be able to think on your feet.

There is time for the new show to do it right. Perhaps it will allow for a greater quality of product. Time constraints and stress are not good for product quality. That is what happened with the Cowboy story.

With RedEarth88 Glenn did not sacrifice story/quality to put videos out on a constrained schedule. It took Sarah doing a movie for Glenn to focus on the business side of things. If you try to maintain a balance between business and story videos it is very very hard. Glenn has compassion for the situation Lonelygirl15 is in because it is stressful. We have not been totally satisfied with Lonelygirl15 for some time so will the ending really validate all the time we have put into it? Most of the time you kill people because it is final. Instead of killing people Daniel can go to film school and Sarah can get a new therapist and they can clone Bree from her DNA. Jonas could have a time machine. Daniel could meet a new girl in class and it would turn out to be Cassie. Fade to black. Unfortunately you cannot do that with the new show. Plus we all want answers.

You can also build new stuff to distract people.

Glenn talked about the ending of Quantum Leap. That was really bad because they thought they would have another season. Black Text on the screen and then THE END. Now if LG15 did that they would have Glenn's respect.

New pitch: like HR.....we have it look like some characters are dead. Remember the live feed idea. You cut to the black card...the transmission cuts out.....if you have any information of the where about of the characters contact a character in the new show. It is going to give you a mystery. It will introduce someone new and cool (cf Tachyon). It could even have an ARG trail head to launch the new show. This way you at least get to see the audience reaction. Killing people like Gina has not gone well in the past and this would give them an out. You are not committed to anything till after you see the fan reaction.

People are not going to tune into the new show if you kill off their favorite characters. You make the first 2-3 weeks of the new show trying to figure things out. The big public launch would then be 2 weeks into the show with an explosive event. You have already captured the old fan base. People will not care who is dead because they really like the new character. In other words, the ending for the old show really becomes the beginning of the new show (see: "Three is a Crowd").

If you have the shit go down and Jonas survives you are not impressing anyone.

Glenn then played some mixes he created with a new program:
Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name (GlennFM Mix)
Britney Spears - Toxic (GlennFM Mix)
Bad Religion - Infected (GlennFM Mix)
Audioslave - Like A Stone (GlennFM Mix)
I Get Around (GlennFM Mix)

Britney Spears samples a Bolywoold movie. When Glenn was doing the Mashup Of Doom last year he did not use Mixmater Fusion. He did it in a linear fashion. It was probably one of the more fun puzzles Glenn has worked on. If Glenn could get paid to remix songs he would love it. For example you could do an ARG for a radio station or Amazon or iTunes (they already have the licenses to use music). You have to be careful using copyrighted music and that limits your options if you are doing it commercially.

Here is the archive of of stories from LG15 TODAY concerning Glenn's radio show on BreeFM.

Send questions to [email protected]

PLAYLIST <------


  1. I agree that EQAL has a bit of a problem with how to relaunch while keeping the "lonelygirl15" channel subscribers (almost 111K) on YouTube. I wonder if YouTube would allow them to rename the channel while keeping the subscribers?

    Redearth88 ran into a similar problem on a smaller scale (with the 3400+ subscribers on the original redearth channel, but only 469 subscribers on the main redearth88 channel).

    It's kind of a weird issue, because subscriber count does increase views (important for marketing), but looking at the YouTube top100 (by subscribers), YouTube popularity is certainly no indication of quality. See: http://www.bkserv.net/YTS/YTTop100.aspx?p=1
    Broadly speaking, it appears to be dominated by stuff that appeals to young teenagers. If EQAL pursues the metric of YouTube popularity to the exclusion of other considerations, I'm not sure it will result in a show I would be interested in. Smosh sucks.

  2. Early on in the summary, it suggests killing off all the characters that are not going to be in the new show - but later says what I was thinking when I read that, that this would be a bad idea for audience retention. I wouldn't be surprised to see a main character killed off, but my guess is that the possible return of most of them will be left more open than that, and we just won't know until the new show gets underway.

    I would add that the LOST approach (once a character dies on the show, they are really dead except for flashbacks) is important for how the audience relates to the story. You can have a few surprises (where what appears to have happened turns out to be otherwise), but most events we 'see' in videos need to be solid - otherwise, the story never moves forward, and the audience disbelieves everything. If Bree or Gina show up alive, many might cheer, but long term, it would tend to destroy any dramatic tension for future dangerous situations character might face.

    KateModern went for a mainly happy ending, and I expect lonelygirl15 will also.

  3. One sentence in the article is confusing. It says, "If you have the shit go down and Jonas survives you are not impressing anyone."


  4. As modelmotion says nearly every week, that post is a work in progress. I'm surprised modelmotion gets all that he does get.

    I remember very clearly if everyone was simply killed off you are not impressing anyone. But I don't remember the context of that.

  5. I thought the same thing Qthec.
    Yes i think we know it's a WIP, but it doesn't make it less confusing it just means come back later for possible clarification.

  6. I will try and clarify that. I believe he was making the point that to do something impressive you actually have to be clever in terms of how you manage expectations, the story, the fan base, the fan reactions and the show. Simply ending it with simply an action packed 12 and 12 would not be impressive from either a business or a future story perspective. It might be fun to watch but it would phail on many levels from a meta perspective and a story perspective.


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