Alternative channels

While working on getting the NOAA project together, one of the frustrations is with the existing channels and their various mechanisms for filtering. Originally we conceived extracting the elements of drama from the NOAA story, putting them in the hands of an award winning writer who has experience fictionalizing reality, and producing a dramatization that would fit the most widely seen stories in our society- prime time television. In spite of the recent success of science oriented dramatic presentations (CSI & Numb3rs for instance) we got no traction at the development offices of the big broadcasters. It was not a ‘procedure’ crime show like CSI, nor was it clear enough to development folks just “who dies this hour”. So at this stage we have taken up the more conventional approach and are pitching a documentary pilot. Even that has its frustrations as the mechanisms are not funnels attempting to gather all the ideas and filter for the most appropriate or marketable, or cost efficient to produce a net gain.
So the idea of alternative channels keeps popping up. Is IPTV going to be a breakthrough? I can’t say. But over the past weekend I saw one example of a creative inspiration applied to create a new alternative channel to the fine art audience.
“Ashes and Snow” is currently on display by the pier in Santa Monica, in what is a far more interesting an example of an artist developing an alternative channel than it is as either art or nature conservancy, which is the project’s stated purpose. The site of the project is more about experiencing the project than learning about it. Here is a better description of the artist and his background.
The most fascinating aspect I found was not the impressive photos of animals and people together, nor the very cool architecture ( shipping containers as walls, large paper columns supporting a fabric roof, plank floors and black river rocks for floors, the swag stor all out of large cardboard) but the fact that in a totally artist organized and defined place and space, people were going, at about $12 per average, to see this presentation. The artist not only concieved and created the conventional forms of photos and films that were the content, but the package, the marketing and every other aspect of delivery to the audience. Truly an alternative channel.

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