At a time when the world is wondering if Apple will do to the video industry what it did to the music industry, and if the iPad will save print news from online obsolescence, independent startups like Majek Pictures are challenging the status quo for casual media.
Casual media is that comfy space we all need to retreat to on occasion just to remain sane. It’s the simpler stuff we’ve used to fill the gaps between major media events in our lives, like going to a first release movie, a stage show, music concert or a sporting even. Traditionally, it’s often taken the form of TV shows. But with the advent of apps, that’s changing.
Shortly following the release of the iPhone 4 and the iOS version of iMovie, Majek showed off exactly what could be accomplished with the pair in the short film “Apple of My Eye“. Behind the scenes footage showed a level of care normally reserved for more traditional platforms, as special rigging and professional lighting were used throughout the production. The end result was stunning.
So it can be done, but where to go from here? Perhaps looking at recent trends where people are spending more time with their smart devices than their television sets, and realizing audiences have shorter attention spans for content on their smartphones, Majek opted instead to produce a weekly series titled Goldilocks, featuring three-minute episodes.
The big difference between it and the usual YouTube fare is production quality. Not only was the entire series filmed solely on HD-capable iOS devices, but it appears that Majek is experimenting with app-based distribution as well (iTunes Link). While we’ve seen individual books as stand alone apps, and more recently, magazines and newspapers delivered the same way, we’ve yet to see TV-type content bundled and sold this way.
Aside from episodes of the show itself, the app also provides behind-the-scenes footage and photos taken from the production. Everything we’ve become accustomed to seeing in a DVD is packaged as an app. It’s an alternate model to plain old online video that’s likely to become a lightning rod for discussion at industry events like the upcoming NewTeeVee Live, and one that could help creators add a price tag to content.
The possibilities of how an app like this could benefit from iOS features are many. To take advantage of Apple’s plans surrounding streaming video in its ground breaking iAd technology, this mini-episode format could adopt something like the Super Bowl’s one second commercials. Or perhaps adopt its own in-app purchasing of future episodes or seasons. Majek’s episodes also remain in the cloud, a design that would lend itself very well to an Apple TV that supports apps.
Creative minds are finding new ways to utilize Apple technology in order to feed the appetites of Apple’s sophisticated customers for interesting content. While media executives try desperately to hold onto the past, could Majek’s model for Goldilocks be the real future of casual media?
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