Years ago I saw a play called "The Church of God's Glorious Light" by a guy named Werner Trieschmann. Its characters were a naive girl from the country named Taffy who had moved to the big city because she wanted desperately to be an artist, and a jaded, alcoholic punk rocker whose name was a mystery and who didn't want anything from life anymore. I didn't quite fit either description, and I had never met Werner, yet somehow it felt like this guy from Arkansas had written a play about two characters who were both me.
Not long after that, Werner (who had become a friend) and I wrote a screenplay called "God's Ashtray" featuring these characters. One executive at a now-defunct but formerly bigtime indie studio pronounced that it would never get made because "The characters are more interesting than what happens to them." When I realized that I didn't necessarily see that as a flaw, I decided I should write for TV, where characters could survive without exploding buildings. I filed "God's Ashtray" away in my head under failed experiments, and that was that, until Strike TV came along.
When the opportunity to do a show for Strike TV came up, I immediately thought of Taffy. She had been kicking around in my head refusing to shut up for years, and her combination of geeky shyness and rambling talkativeness seemed absolutely perfect for the first-person narrative style that works so well on the web. I had learned an incredible amount about writing for the tiny screen from my bosses during a three- month stint as head writer on Lonelygirl15, and I was really eager to do some more exploring. While LG15 relied, by the time I got there, on a fair amount of plot and action as its teen characters battled the all-seeing Order, I really wanted to write something where the story came from characters interacting with each other rather than reacting to an external threat. So Taffy moved to Los Angeles from Arkansas and "With the Angels" was born.
I look at Strike TV as UGC* with a certain pedigree: we're no more sophisticated, no smarter or more adept than a thousand bloggers and creators out there who've been posting their work on YouTube for years. In fact, some of them know a hell of a lot more about this very different medium than any of us do. But the waters have gotten really, really muddy because of the sheer volume of content out there, and it's getting hard to find your way to the pieces that speak to you. I think the web is moving toward a model of "curated" sites, networks like ours, that are easier to navigate. Otherwise, a lot of great content is going to get strangled by things with racy titles and tit-filled screen grabs. Not that there's anything wrong with tits; I have a pair myself, and I'm sure when the Tit Network gets up and running (if it isn't already) it will be quite popular. But I'm looking forward to a time when people don't have to click through a thousand and one things to find their way to shows they can be passionate about, shows created by people with equal passion. That's where Strike TV comes in.
The shows on this network have one thing in common: they are made by people who make their living creating visual/verbal entertainment.
Other than that, it's an incredibly diverse line-up of stuff. For the most part, Strike TV creators are writers, but we've got contributors from all different areas of the business. The idea isn't to close the door on all the incredible content creators out there who don't come from this world, but to give those of us who do an opportunity to present our work, free of interference from the people we usually have to take notes from, in an organized way. Which hopefully means you can find your way to it. Because what fun is it if nobody watches, right?
So we've made the shows; pretty soon we'll be presenting them to you.
Then it'll be time for you to do YOUR Job, which isn't going to be to just sit back and watch. We hope you'll get involved, tell us what you think, interact with us and our characters. But for now, what you can do is this: SPREAD THE WORD.
Tell your friends. Because it's a big, wide web out there and we need all the friends we can get.
*(UGC= User Generated Content for you Luddites)