A new mix of formats is coming in the form of the MTV series “$5 Cover,” described this way in the L. A. Times’ “Big Picture” blog by Patrick Goldstein:
“...a new MTV series that captures the funky groove of the local Memphis music scene but with real musicians in virtually all the acting roles, all orchestrated by filmmaker Craig Brewer, writer-director of "Hustle & Flow," the 2005 indie hit set in the colorful gumbo-like environs of Memphis.
The show, which launches Friday night [May 1, 2009] at midnight on MTV's cable channel and on its website, fivedollarcover.com, is a fascinating experiment in new media storytelling, combining the unabashed narcissism of reality TV with the raw, rough edges of indie cinema. Until now, Web series have largely been drawn to comedy and thriller storytelling genres.”
Goldstein says the series has “many separate but complementary components. The main Web component of the series offers 15 digital episodes, each six or seven minutes long, only loosely chronological, that follow the romantic entanglements and career ups and downs of a group of Memphis musicians as they haunt bars, clubs and cafes. MTV will air a half-hour packaged version of three episodes each week during a five-week run on the network.”
But that’s not all: “The series is accompanied by music videos from the songs performed by the local artists featured in the series' digital episodes. And in what might be the most unusual twist of all, Brewer teamed up with Memphis Commercial Appeal photographer Alan Spearman to put together an assortment of mini-documentaries about each of the major artists in the series.”
If it’s successful, MTV will continue the series featuring other American and foreign cities. For now, if you’re interested in new media, it sounds worth a look.
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