Ex-Tribune executive Lee Abrams is launching a new venture out of Chicago, called TouchVision.
Based on the ad promo/sizzle reel on its website (which is complete with gravel-voiced narrator), it seems to offer three things:
Simultaneous same-feed streaming across platforms: That is, the content will be the same across desktop, mobile and TV, all at the same time. TouchVision appears to be aiming for the seamless experience.
“Complete news movies”: The sizzle reel must mention Millenials six times and it posits that they want to see musically-scored, graphically interesting movies about the news. This is an interesting concept and it would be interesting to see if can be pulled off without being too selective about which content is covered. I’m a huge fan of using narrative storytelling, but the story needs to lend itself to it.
Anchorless news: It’s a selling point in the sizzle reel, combined with “no bias,” since it’s lead-ins and tosses to stories that lead to bias, rather than reporting.
In any case, No. 3, anchorless news, is what’s really getting a lot of buzz and comment. But the news movies are what interest me. Will they have true narrative structure of ongoing conflicts and resolutions? Will they be, as most movies are, three-act structures of exposition, complication and resolution?
It’s easy to cover a newish feature like this in a war zone (News peg: American troops still in Afghanistan/Main character: Sgt. Joe Smith/Conflict: Smith’s son, Little Timmy, is playing in the baseball playoffs and how will Smith get home to see him?/Smith gets a lift from a special Air Force flight/End with hugs). But how can you tell a more nuanced story that may have conflict or tension but doesn’t lend itself to a three-act or conflict-resolution form? Like the business of healthcare reform. Do you take a relentlessly personal approach?
Do you make sure that all of the stories you accept for air fit into one of the four types of literary conflict?