UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned made-for-the-internet content for the first time, having spent £20m (US$40m) on revamping its website. The result is Web Lives, a series of three-minute shows from Roger Graef’s Films of Record that follow several individuals with lives inextricably linked to the internet.
"Everyone’s using the web and we were interested in how it’s changing people’s lives," Graef says. "It’s all unscripted, it’s a genuine observational doc." The search for suitably engaging characters was, appropriately, carried out online. In one instance that involved the producer’s avatar working in the second life virtual world.
There are five strands: musicians, cyber-celebs, online daters, social networkers and second lifers. ITV plans to debut a new three-minute show fitting one of these categories, every day at 1pm.
Graef is better known for mainstream factual shows. He says: "The storytelling and the structure are different [online]. ITV wanted something of quality; a lot of the [online] content out there is pretty awful."