A number of Internet sources have reported on Fox Lab’s Lucy Hood previewing a made-for-mobile phone soap, Hotel Franklin, at the recent MIPTV market in Cannes.
Pitched at 1 minute in length (the ‘natural length for phone viewing’ according to Hood, senior VP of content and marketing at Fox) the cliff-hanger episodes throw us into the world of a man trying to discover if a mysterious girl in a hotel is actually an expensive call girl.
Filmed specifically for the constraints of limited size mobile phone screens, the limited information available so far has the distinct whiff of the webisodic genre – the short-lived short form internet soap and teen dramas of the mid-nineties. And while the direct-to-mobile soap has already had limited success in Holland, this type of series hardly pushing any cultural innovation.
Hope is at hand though, as enough creativity as some groups are already breaking free of these dull corporate pilots, particular in the more mature cellular zones of Japan and Europe, to save us from a mobile video world populated by short ‘suds’ and music videos. At least the nascent virtual/real Tokyo gameworld of Mogi (a java-based location-based creature capture game) or Blast Theory’s Uncle Roy All Around You (an interactive espionage movie) suggests a more innovative future for mobile screens.
Further information: Australian IT – Movies-on-the-move in mobile world