Yesterday, I had a visit from Mark Wexler.
Mark is a seriously accomplished documentary filmmaker - you can read his background here.
But, the world of conventional documentary filmmaking is undergoing a massive change, driven by technology. Having read a lot of what I have written, here and other places, he got in touch some time ago to ask about this idea of starting your own TV network.
The barrier to entry has been blown away by the perfect storm arrival of two technologies simultaneously:
- An Internet that now runs video and puts you in 3 billion homes automatically and for no cost.
- New video production technologies such as iPhone and FCPX which have vastly reduced the cost of creating perfect content.
Mark has been in the busines for a long time, and has a deep resume of both professional accomplishments and a rolodex (now there's an archaic term) of major contacts in the media world. He also has a stellar reputation. All to the good. But how to proceed.
A few years ago, he produced a very successful documentary entitled: How To Live Forever.
The new world of online digital networks are going to be very focused. No more Travel Channel or Food Network, but rather Ship Cruises or Expeditions Channel or Japanese Food Channel. The more focused they are, the more uniform the audience, and the more uniform the audience, the more it will attract specific advertisers.
After all, someone selling Japanese cooking lessons is better spending their money on the Japanese Cooking Channel than on the Food Network. And, if you keep you cost of production low enough, you can sell ads that The Japanese Cooking School can afford - something they can't do on the Food Network. It's a win/win all around.
As soon as I saw How To Live Forever, I thought - this is a channel!
(How many people want to find out how to extend their longevity OR HOW MANY PEOPLE WANT TO FIND OUT HOW TO LIVE LONG AND WELL? Hands down).
And how may different kinds of advertisers would this appeal to? Nutritional supplements, exercise equipment, yoga classes, clothing, pharmaceuticals.. the list goes on and on and on...
So we are proceeding along these lines. Mark is well on his way to creating his digital channel - also a home for his (and other's) documentaries of a similar interest. They are looking for a platform, he is looking for content and more content you put in, the more people will come, and the better for the advertisers.
It's what I call 3DTV - the Third Dimension, and to my mind, the future of televison.
If you WANT to get in touch with Mark to talk about his new network, he can be reached at WEXLERMOVIE@gmail.com