Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Internet - Now With More MACKIE!

Lately I have been exploring the world of Web Series and Podcasts.  One of my faves is “Kevin Pollak's Chat Show”.  It's great he's been streaming live weekly shows from his website for almost 2 years.  The format is pretty simple.  He sits down with a person of note (usually a celeb) and chats with them for around an hour and a half to two.  I honestly think Bob Mackie would make a wonderful guest but we'll deal with that later.  Kevin Pollak has managed to turn an unpaid rag tag team of people into a show that has live weekly viewers up to a thousand at a time.  The wonderful thing about the show is that they still retain they’re motto from the first show, “We aren't ready.”  The chat show archives are now hosted as a pay to download audio podcast on iTunes and Amazon.com has started carrying them as a DVD for purchase as well.  On Kevin’s website the full videos of the show are hosted with short commercials inserted periodically.  This helps pay his crew for their time.  I've been watching the show for about a year now and it makes me really happy to see them succeed.

This got me thinking about my future BFF and employer Mr. Mackie.  Bob needs to get in on this racket.  People love Bob Mackie because his charm is undeniable and infectious.  So here’s my pitch!

There have been rumblings about Cher working on a new studio album.  With a new album comes a world wide tour.  Since it's a Cher tour Mackie will be called upon once again to make her look amazing 30 times over.  This is where the web series comes in.   How fascinating would it be to have a documentary film crew follow the Bob Mackie and team on the journey from first sketch to first concert?!  The film could be released directly on bobmackie.com in 15-30 minute weekly episodes in conjunction with the start of Cher’s tour.  The episodes will most likely go viral and gain more and more viewers as the weeks progress and additional episodes are posted.

The concept reminds me of “Signe Chanel,” a documentary series (5 half hour episodes) that was filmed in 2005.  The crew filmed at the Chanel couturier as they prepared and eventually showed the Chanel Haute Couture collection by Karl Lagerfeld.  The show is fascinating because it focuses mostly on the process and the human drama of producing these amazing works of art. 

Having the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mackie I would bet that the tone of his documentary would be equally if not more beautiful!  Seeing Bob Mackie illustrate and present his ideas to Cher could be an episode all on its own.  Seeing his ladies sequin and bead bringing Cher’s costumes to life would be amazing to watch in time lapse sequences.  I’m actually salivating at the idea of watching this series and it is only an idea!  Having this kind of access inside the world of Bob Mackie could potentially secure this project as one of the “go to” fashion industry films.

Releasing the film for free is a great marketing tool since the Internet was founded on the concept of sharing art and information for free.  Many big names in Hollywood have been making internet specific content for a while now.  Will Ferrell and many other big name stars, including Academy Award Winners, have been working with FunnyorDie.com to shoot short form comedy videos, Joss Wheden shot “Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” with Neil Patrick Harris, specifically for internet distribution in 2008, Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube, even the White House is posting videos online.  Major TV networks have recently gotten on the “internet specific content” band wagon as a means to promote their weekly programs and bring in additional advertising revenue.  If the Bob Mackie bills really do need to get paid then he can go the route of Vimeo, and have a short commercial at the beginning of each video for ad dollars.  It makes sense for Mr. Mackie to utilize this tool to his advantage.  It will easily bolster his street cred with this new tech-savy generation that is poised and ready for new and fascinating content.

I would love to watch this series let alone work on this project.  I wonder what the Bob Mackie fans think about the idea of a webseries?  Thoughts?

- Philip Estrada

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