Contemporary Living Network: Fresh Ideas, Fresh Content
COW Library : TV & Movie Appreciation : Walter Biscardi : Contemporary Living Network: Fresh Ideas, Fresh Content
I never dreamed of starting my own network. Heck, I never even planned to start my own companies, either. As a video editor, I tell stories. As a production company owner (Biscardi Creative Media), we tell stories for our clients. As an entertainment company owner (MTWD Entertainment), we develop our own stories – mostly around lifestyle interests because that's one of my main passions: enjoying life. Here and now, it's the right time to start up something like this because so much of the infrastructure exists, there's practically nothing that I have to "build" or "develop."
We're coming from this as content creators wanting to help folks enjoy their lives. We all love travel, food, entertaining friends, working around the home, outdoor cooking, some health and fitness, and of course, our pets. So starting a lifestyle network today seems to be the natural progression.
As for what really pushed me to start this now, well I'm just too frustrated with "traditional networks" and what they're looking for. They're always pivoting and changing to be the "hot genre of the moment" instead of staying true to their message. Actual comments from networks for our programming include: "Your characters need to be bigger, they're too hipster, they're not loud enough..."
I honestly have no idea what "too hipster" means. So, TV today is showing BIG CHARACTERS with little regard for the actual content: angry people, yelling people, with little or no point to the content, and with much of the "reality" content being blatantly staged. I can't produce that.
We have the production capability through Biscardi Creative Media's incredible facility to support a lot of original production. We have great original lifestyle concepts at MTWD Entertainment. We found the perfect media distribution and analytical partner. At that point the conversation moves from "Why?" to "Why not?" launch a new network today.
EDUTAINMENT: AN UNDERSERVED MARKET
I've always been drawn to programming that entertains and either teaches me something or has useful information. It's the same concept as when I was part of "Good Eats" with Alton Brown. Each episode was a fun half hour, and there are many things I do in my own cooking and kitchen because of what I learned on that series.
We're taking that same idea of positive, lifestyle edutainment from "Good Eats" and apply it to an entire network focused on Food, Travel, Entertaining, Home, Lawn & Garden, Health & Fitness, and Pets... then give our audience actionable information so that they can replicate what we do on the show.
The basic mantra of the network is "whatever we show, whatever we do, our audience has to be able to experience what we do."
Recipes, itineraries, landscape plans, locations, flights, maps, lumber, hotels, shopping lists and more all become available and obtainable. Our mobile, connected audience can click on the screen, or bring up a menu to download PDFs and other documentation. You can then replicate what you see exactly or take inspiration from our ideas and go create something entirely your own.
If you just want to watch and be entertained, you're going to find a lot to love on our network. If you feel inspired by what you see, all the information is at your fingertips to make it happen.
CONTEMPORARY LIVING NETWORK: WHEN AND HOW YOU WANT IT
Contemporary Living Network will be available when, where and how our audience wants to view it. Video streaming devices, such as the Roku, mobile devices, the website, some strategic television buys – and we're also in discussions to place our shows on video on demand channels. We're a completely non-linear network, so the viewers have control over the programming by selecting the series and episode to watch.
The network will be primarily advertiser supported and free to the viewers, so no subscription will be necessary. All of our programming will also be freely embeddable, as well, allowing our audience to grow organically through websites and other mobile apps. We'll be using real-time, granular analytics, which will help us to monetize the network quickly without being too disruptive to our audience. We also have some fun and different ways we'll be presenting advertising within the various episodes.
The beauty of the digital world is there are no 30/60 minute constraints. Episodes can be whatever length we feel they should be. The only rule is that each series should have a consistent running time to make for a better viewing experience for the audience. For example, if Ice Cream Nation feels like a 10 minute series, then each episode will be 10 min +/- 2 minutes.
People talk about "disruptive filmmaking." I guess this would be "disruptive television."
ICE CREAM NATION INDIEGOGO
The idea is simple. Take the insanely talented head chef of High Road Craft Ice Cream, Keith Schroeder, around the country, find some fantastic ice cream shops, some great ice cream and desserts, and then have him show us how to make the same flavors at home.
Honestly, every time I visit High Road Craft, Keith just blows my mind with what he and his team create. So we thought...why not let Keith show folks around the world what we can all do at home. Keith is very much a "gather the family in the kitchen to cook" kind of guy, and so am I. The idea of Ice Cream Nation just clicked.
We opted to crowd fund Ice Cream Nation's first 10-20 episodes because sometimes you need a little help to get the ball rolling. This is a really simple, yet really cool show that offers a lot of benefits to the home audience and can be produced at a very reasonable budget. CLN is brand new, we're developing relationships with advertisers and sometimes it helps to show them what the series and the network will look like. So we chose to go with the IndieGoGo campaign for #IceCreamNation. [Read the original press release here]
Ice Cream Nation by MTWD Entertainment
We'd love folks to visit our Ice Cream Nation campaign page on IndieGoGo's site, www.igg.me/at/icecreamnation. There are some great perks in there like a Sundae Kit, Tours of High Road Craft, and even a custom ice cream flavor! We have a very modest goal of just over $65,000, which will allow us to produce up to the first twenty episodes of the series... so getting the word out amongst your friends and colleagues will certainly help achieve our goal!
Come "like" our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/icecreamnation where you can tell us your favorite ice cream flavors and suggest places for us to send Keith on his journey. Follow us on Twitter, @MTWDEnt and @ContemporaryLN and help us spread the word with the #IceCreamNation hashtag.
Most of all, just help us get the word out to your friends. This series is just the start of a brand new network developed by creatives to showcase original content.
If you'd like to see some of the other shows we have in development right now, you can see them on the MTWD Entertainment "Projects" page.
We all live once. I plan to have no regrets. Other people have similar ideas, but they're afraid to fail. If you believe in the idea, believe in yourself, then you owe it to yourself to stop thinking and start doing. The only way you'll know what will happen with your ideas is to act upon them.
I see opportunity, find the technology and surround myself with the right people. It's an honor to "plant the flag" of a new digital network. I'm completely humbled by the caliber of people and shows we have in the works...I just said, "let's go do it!" and some incredibly talented folks followed.
The cool thing about Contemporary Living Network is we have the content first, then built the network second so we can move very quickly with programming. Folks from "Good Eats" and CNN, along with incredible producers like April Simpson and others we'll be announcing soon, are going to allow CLN to really hit the ground running when we launch.
It has been quite a ride, and everything I've done up to this point has prepared me for CLN. We're looking forward to seeing what's around the bend.
For more information about CLN, visit www.contemporaryliving.tv
For more information about MTWD Entertainment, visit www.mtwdentertainment.com
And to learn more about Biscardi Creative Media, visit www.biscardicreative.com
When Walter told us about his idea for the Contemporary Living Network, we wanted to hear more. We also wanted to hear more about why he decided to go the crowdfunding route, and how he's making his pitch. So what about you? Do you have a story about a new project or venture that you're trying to raise money for? Drop us a line, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we can help tell your story, too.