For those of us who have watched the development of online media and web series, we know that people like Felicia Day and Freddie Wong are changing the way that people are watching, experiencing, and even making entertainment. Wong himself has stated that online media is the future of Hollywood, where executives and production companies will be able to “test” the audience waters online before bringing their stories to the big screen.
And he was right.
Crackle.com, a digital network platform of Sony Pictures Entertainment, has been a purveyor of original, online series as well as a supporter of free streaming entertainment. Their most recent original series called Chosen has gotten as much advertising opportunity and press coverage as a “regular” TV show debuting on a network channel. The only difference is that it’s being delivered right to Crackle’s website instead of the tube in your living room.
Milo Ventimiglia is the executive producer and star of Chosen, and on a recent press conference call with Fanhattan, he revealed he couldn’t be more excited about this fresh way of delivering media. ”I love digital,” he said. ”I’m so into digital.”
Particularly, Ventimiglia loves digital because of its reach. ”Sometimes some countries don’t get movies, sometimes they’re in and out of theatres. [With] TV, maybe you don’t have the channel, maybe you don’t have paid cable, maybe you live in a remote part of the world that just doesn’t have what the network is showing or [what the] studio’s putting out,” he said. ”With digital, I feel like anybody can access it. Anybody can get to it.”
Even though Chosen was made for digital release online instead of via the traditional methods of movie or television, Ventimiglia was quick to brush any production or quality doubts aside. ”We shot six 30-minute episodes. If you line those up against any TV show nowadays, tell me the difference,” he said. ”I think they stand up to anything on network or cable television at the moment.”
“With digital, I feel like anybody can access it. Anybody can get to it.”
Ventimiglia also noted that the actual production experience for digital doesn’t change much from normal proceedings. He said “all of the typical” problems occurred for his crew just as they would on a regular movie or television set. ”Sometimes the camera jams, sometimes you have to do more than a couple takes,” he said. ”I don’t think there’s any difference between digital production and television and feature films. I think what we’re particularly hoping to do with Chosen was show that – it’s a cinematic release on a digital platform.”
He expressed his desire to see more stories brought to life in the future through digital means. ”Hopefully as it builds and the profile builds and people understand that you’re going to get the same quality on digital as you can in a movie theatre if you actually have the bandwidth for it, then great.”
Fortunately, Ventimiglia isn’t leaving the digital scene anytime soon. ”For me, being a part of projects like Chosen and working with Crackle, and just being a guy who’s been in the digital space for a long time now, it’s something I’m going to continue to do.” We’re guessing that Ventimiglia will undoubtedly be one of the big names remembered in digital history along with Wong and Day.
Don’t miss the first episode of Chosen tonight on Crackle.com! What’re you looking forward to the most about the show? Tell us in the comments below!