Q&A with Amanda Congdon

Update: Congdon’s first video is up on the new site. In it, she asks New Yorkers “Why do you think you’re Time Magazine’s Person of the Year?” Her conclusion comes in a voiceover; she’s taking “you” back.

“Not everyone participated in the media revolution. Gosh, many people I spoke with had never heard of a blog. In New York City… We are the people of the year. Not you.”

Congdon headshotBesides being a poster child for this latest fad of new media employment battles, Amanda Congdon has been busy spreading herself thin developing, writing, and starring in three different shows. Today, Starring Amanda Congdon, her new personal videoblog, launches. Last night we fought cell phone static and the background noise of the train Congdon was riding to get a better idea of what she’ll be doing. Excerpts follow:

NTV: How did you put together the new show?

Amanda Congdon: I always knew that if I did something with a large outlet like ABC or HBO, that I’d also want to work independently online, so I could have something that was totally entirely under my control. It just made sense to work with Blip because they’re clearly the leaders, especially in the videoblogging community, for hosting.

NTV: Tell me more about what will be in your video blog.

Congdon: The idea of Starring Amanda Congdon is for it to be kind of a scratch pad. A place to have a random creative outlet. Sometimes man on the street, sometimes personal — adjusting to living in L.A, sometimes behind the scenes. The only thing consistent will be I’ll be in it.

Other outlets restrict you, make you choose a format, things you have to commit to every week. This will have a lot more freedom of expression.

NTV: What do you think about moving from presenting the story to being the story?

Congdon: It’s great to be able to do this. It’s unusual for an artist to have so much control but to be backed by such a mainstream sponsor like Dove.

NTV: What are you bringing to ABC from the videoblogging world, and what are they offering to you that you didn’t have access to before?

Congdon: I’m bringing my whole relationship with my viewers, which is a lot different from most hosts’ conventional relationship with their viewers. The casual relationship and interactivity is at a level that hasn’t been done before and really can’t be done on television.

And it’s great on ABC to be able to use all of their archives, and have all the access I’m gaining. I have more options for interviews.

NTV: What will your weekly schedule be like?

Congdon: Right now it’s a real transition with the launch. I’m really looking forward in January to having more of a routine. I’m going to be working two days a week with ABC, one day writing, and one day shooting and editing. I sit in the edit room, I don’t leave after we finish shooting the show. That’ll be Monday and Tuesday. The rest of week I’ll be working on HBO show and Starring Amanda Congdon.

NTV: What’s the deal with the HBO show?

Congdon: It’ll be videoblog and a television show independent of each other, which is not something that has been done before, so wish me luck. It’s still in development, and we don’t anticipate starting filming until…I really don’t know.

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