Most businesses try to reach customers using the 30 second commercial, but with DVRs, Video on Demand and the Internet being a growing choice for watching programs, a lot of 30 second spots never reach their audience. Movie & Marketing Company Prelude2Cinema LLC has planned a creative way to help businesses reach customers. Prelude2Cinema is using “Branded Entertainment” a form of product placement where the product or business is creatively written into the storyline to fund a new web series titled “Prelude2Cinema Presents…”
Although, placing businesses in a dramatic production is a tricky thing. Done incorrectly, it interrupts the story and irritates the audience. The business has to come in early in the production and allow the producer creative control. In return, the producer has to respect the business and give it exposure without disrupting the story.
This isn’t the first time Prelude2Cinema has used Branded Entertainment to fund a production. Prelude2Cinema was founded by Emmy winning writer Alex P. Michaels. A few years ago, Prelude2Cinema created a half hour cop/sci-fi drama named “Out of Darkness.” The series aired nationally on Dish Network and in Cleveland on Time Warner Cable. Local sponsors included bakery Lucy’s Sweet Surrender, Italian restaurant Massimo da Milano, night club The Velvet Dog and other businesses. A few scenes were shot in the Bratenahl Jail. Only a few episodes were shot. More episodes were planned but it became too costly to continue production.
Prelude2Cinema based its’ decision to do a web series instead of another TV series not only on cost, but also on the recognition of “The Web Series” as a form of entertainment. Hollywood talent like Tom Hanks and Anthony Zuiker, the creator of TV’s hugely successful CSI franchise are using web series to reach new audiences. While Hollywood web series have larger budgets, it is possible for indie producers to create short quality work.
“Prelude2Cinema Presents…” will be an anthology series composed of different genres. Scripts are being written by Michaels, staff writer Cindii Eggers and others. Michaels says “Characters from “Out of Darkness” will appear in some episodes, but the web series will be a way to try out new characters and storylines. We hope to have something that will appeal to every type of business.”
“Prelude2Cinema Presents…” will be aired online as 3 to 5 minute episodes, then packaged as 30 min shows and sold to networks. “Prelude2Cinema Presents…” will also be released on DVD with bonus material. Depending on production budgets, the series may feature name talent. Like with “Out of Darkness,’ Prelude2Cinema plans to shoot all around Northeast Ohio.
Prelude2Cinema is working out of Shaker LaunchHouse, a business accelerator in a 23,000 square feet renovated 1950’s car dealership. Michaels says “LaunchHouse is a great place to work since it is open to helping all types of businesses grow. We are raising money for our own studio, but for right now, it is good to be around so many inspiring entrepreneurs.”
Businesses who wish to be involved in “Prelude2Cinema Presents…” can visit the company online at http://www.prelude2cinema.com/webseries.php