Everything You Wanted to Know About LonelyGirl15 (But Were Afraid to Admit You Want to Ask)

lonely15.jpgThe world comes in three flavors:

  1. People who have never heard of LonelyGirl15
  2. People who have heard of her, but don’t really care
  3. The rest of us who are rather entertained or obsessed

If you’re in the first two categories you probably skipped this post. Or you’re looking for a good reason to stop reading. Well stop. Nothing here for you. Off you go.

The rest of you will love this Wired article that explores the Secret World of LonelyGirl15. It’s jam packed with all of the “behind the scenes” information we’ve long craved. Some highlights:

  • Mesh Flinders, a 27 year old, is the originator of LonelyGirl15. It’s his apartment in Beverly Hills that has become the set for the popular YouTube gal. He’s joined by Miles Becket, a plastic surgean in training.
  • Bree is played by actress Jessica Rose. She declined the offer to be LonelyGirl15 initially. She finally agreed to work for free, and the founders later gave her $500 a week to keep her from waitressing (lest she become revealed).
  • The team makes about $10K a month on its website a month. Obviously they’re looking for more significant ways to commercialize on the fame.
  • The e-mails you might get from Bree are actually the voice of Amanda Goodfried, the wife of Flinder’s attorney. Amanda was an attorney’s assistant at Creative Artists Agency.
  • My favorite quote: “The Web isn’t just a support system for hit TV shows,” Becket says. “It’s a new medium. It requires new storytelling techniques. The way the networks look at the Internet now is like the early days of TV, when announcers would just read radio scripts on camera. It was boring in the same way all this supplemental material is boring.”

The LonelyGirl15 storyline is starting to get a bit more dramatic. I just caught up on the recent episodes and I think they’re on the hunt for a man with one arm.

8 Replies to “Everything You Wanted to Know About LonelyGirl15 (But Were Afraid to Admit You Want to Ask)”

  1. haha- it was the one-armed man!!!

    while doing my weekly ‘research’ about online video yesterday I caught myself up to date on the last 4 or 5 episodes of this tripe. Admittedly, I am getting somewhat into it. I think the creators have taken a clever new direction with the show that is more serial in nature and will keep people coming back. What I appreciate much more than the new direction, or the creator’s swing of the Online-Video bat, is the acknowledgement that Online Video is an industry in and of itself, and not just a means to get on TV…except that they all seem to still be doing this just to get a TV or movie deal…but I’ll hold my judgement on that as they’re still working for the cause for now.

    I think they’re running into the same issues that we at Endless Europe are running into though. 22 minute episodes (the TV standard) are great because you can fit a bunch of different story elements into one episode. In Lonelygirl’s case this would include drama between her and Daniel, the mystery, Gemma’s warnings, and Lonelygirl’s immature skits. By splitting up episodes into shorter clips, they have to focus on one element at a time that is difficult for the viewer to get used to. For example, one 3 minute episode that deals with them doing this huge escape from the motel – this is good as it gets everyone wondering what will happen next – followed by a 3 minute episode that has LG sittting on a bed talking about absolutely nothing. It kills the momentum of the show. If it was part of an episode the 3 minute boring part would be put in the middle of the show, and the cliffhanger would be put at the end to keep people coming back. It’s a differnt world when the format is just one big long story. How do you incorporate a cliffhanger into every webisode?

    To clarify, I do believe that this is where web video is heading. I think that they, like us, are right on the mark. It’s just going to take some time before the mainstream audience market gets used to it. Here’s a question for everyone – do you think that similar to TV, some web shows are going to step out and be 7-10 minutes (like ER is an hour) and occasionally 24 or 30 minutes (like an NBC Movie of the Week is 2 hours)? I don’t purport to have the answers to these questions, all I know is that this middle ground for web shows is developing quickly and I’m glad we’re part of it.

  2. Some things seem etched into our psyche. Two minutes for the theater. 30-60 minutes for a television show. And 1-5 minutes for something online (preferably less than 3). What I do see changing is that when we’re viewing “web” videos via our television set I think we’ll invite longer form content- 5-15 minutes. But it will need to be paced very well.

    That will allow for more plot development, highs and lows, and more cliff hangers. Good point- hard to end each 3-minute clip with a “Friday soap opera finish.”

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