Monday, September 08, 2008

Los Angeles Interactive Media News: Video Jungle TV Launches

When Tim Berners-Lee created the HTML coding necessary to power the World Wide Web fifteen years ago, he made a critical decision that is disrupting the film and television business as we know it. He chose to share his knowledge for free.

Sunday, September 7, 2008 at Lakay Studios in Burbank, Video Jungle TV launched a demonstration of live and on-demand interactive programming. Whether or not Berners-Lee imagined rich media being distributed over the web, a decade later, the flood of content represented by YouTube during the Web 2.0 period has proven to be only a precursor. More innovative, sophisticated, independent programming is just beginning.

Mic Espinoza came up with the idea for Video Jungle TV about five months ago. As a spin-off of IC News Television, a User-Generated Video site for news television stations and newspapers to upload live or recorded video, he wanted a place for affordable live, online digital broadcasting. “I wanted a programming space not limited to the small digital cameras, one with the same abilities as any other corporate television station.” The one missing piece was a production studio. "The rates were just too high everywhere," Espinoza said in a phone interview.

Creceda Lemaire, the owner of Layak Studios, created a space for Los Angeles' independent artists, a space to broadcast content for commercial and non-commercial use. “Three years ago, I started creating a TV show called, Great People Doing Great Things,” said Lemaire. Lemaire was looking to increase business and like many Angelenos, turns to Craigslist.

Adam Lightplay, the owner of LightPlay Production, saw the advertisement looking for an assistant studio manager. “I saw the ad and came and talked to her and it was a nice match cause I was looking for an office where I can edit, but here I could both edit and have a studio to shoot in.” Lightplay had been working with Espinoza for years, introduced the parties and the package was complete.

On Sunday, all the pieces came together and premiered a demo show with , stand-up comedian/host Sean Hennigan the Master of all Wackiness. The band, Ren Street, performed and showed that the technology pieces worked. Consisting of Ren Hemstreet Lead Vocalist/Guitar, and Rocc Thomas--Bass, Steve Price--Drums, the band was aware of Video Jungle TV for months. “Mic manages me and I got friends all over the world,” Ren said. "But I [now] can say, check me out here, see, listen, watch, learn. It’s a good way to keep people updated on the project.”

Live, online television is going back in time. Where once the national corporate broadcasting companies such as NBC, CBS and ABC promoted live, dynamic content, now it is web producers such as Espinoza, Lemaire and Lightplay who are changing the ball game. At the same time, as the digital broadcast flag and net neutrality struggles demonstrate, corporate television and motion picture actors are working to enclose these new channels. The key questions are: how many will watch and listen and how open will our telecommunication lines stay?

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