What are some of the new revenue models for video production? And what does the business of producing video for the web look like? Those were my questions for Adam Elend of Bright Red Pictures on Friday at the company’s new offices on the Bowery in New York City’s Lower East Side.
While Lindsay Campbell is the face of Wallstrip, and Howard Lindzon is the founder and financial guru, it’s Elend and partner Jeff Marks who are responsible for getting the show in the can. And if the reports of Wallstrip’s acquisition by CBS are true, then Bright Red is also in for a nice pay day.
Marks and Elend have a background in documentary production, with feature Fighting for Life in the Death Belt to their credit, but they have since focused solely on the web. Besides Wallstrip, Bright Red has also produced video podcasts for the PBS series “design: e2.”
Elend stressed that web production is entirely different than television. Wallstrip, he asserted, is “inherently a web show.” Though experienced in producing for television, Elend suggested the formats don’t translate directly. “If you have a good idea, it’s going to be a good idea on the web and it may well be a good idea on TV, but it’s fundamentally something different.”
In media sphere dominated by up-to-the minute stock news, Bright Red is looking at the long tail. The show can capitalize on ticker search service to drive traffic, and their content travels well, with 80 percent of views generated by sites other than their domain.
Acquisition was certainly one in a series of revenue models for the production. “There’s also talk of partnership with a site, joint venturing with a site that has more of an audience built in.” The key is to make the jump to millions of viewers, the base for advertisers. “To reach that critical mass, Wallstrip has to expand.”
Don’t expect the content and tone of the show to change if the latest episode is an indication. According to Elend, everyone from Wallstrip’s new landlord to Om is due for appearances.