the end of television as we know it



 2.0 Evolution Future Internet Television TV Web YouTube

The other day, swayed by the central heating and the lazy rythm of a sunday afternoon, I fell asleep and dreamt that the screenwriter's strike would never end. It wasn't a bad dream, actually, but for those preying on the entertainment industry I think it would've been nothing short of a nightmare.

Let me start off with a disclaimer: I work in that fuzzy, grey area where Internet and television intersect each other (openly). I spend my days trying to find out which course to take and so it is understandable that I end up dreaming about it. As such, this isn't an innocent post, but a 'hands on' entry.

That's why I like talking about the Web 2.0, about the power of community, the way any person, nowadays, can make a movie, even if it's not a real movie (let alone cinema), but only a 320x240-pixel movie file that repeats and multiplies the millions of clichés already in circulation around the Internet. When I find this "model" minimally interesting, I don't really care about the screenwriter's strike - we have enough entertainment to spare.

During other times of the day, however (usually at night), I am the author of varied writing and I do believe that writing is the most selfish, personal and intimate creation in the world and something only a few have confidence enough to do, to overcome their shyness and reveal their inner self. Even less people are able to do it with quality, so applying the 2.0 model to entertainment is the equivalent of suicide and we should leave television in the hands of the professionals, who know what they are doing - the screenwriters on strike.

This is where the dream comes in. Imagine the screenwriters got tired of negotiating and decided to move to the Internet... They'd write original fiction, the best humour, the most humane dramas and the most disturbing silences. But would ignore the networks, the DVD producers, the Video On Demand services, the mobile phone operators and their annoying ringtones. And they'd find people to film their stories, or they, themselves would pick up "digital weapons" and make images out of their words.

People who still watch television would follow the scent of a good story to the Internet. The Internet would stop being the realm of the-cute-kitten-rubbing-itself-against-a-cute-little-baby or of the dumb-girl-in-the-tv-show. And, who knows, somewhere, these stories might truly be multimedia, free from the 16/9 or the 4/3, living in blogs, profiles, obscure places and popular sites.

Should I believe in this dream?

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