This is an update on A Tribute to Lonely Girl 15, (LG15 for us insiders). I’m not really an insider but I’m sure I’m its oldest loyal follower.
I had written in a previous post about my fascination with LG 15 and how creative the show is, building a compelling story in small chunks that range from the occasional long video of four minutes to the riveting 45-second video of a drugged, brainwashed Bree who has just been kidnapped back from the cult by her friends Daniel and Jonas.
Since I last wrote, the story has included murder, kidnapping, brainwashing, a mysterious chemical experiment and the introduction of the sexy, provocative, sarcastic emo girl Sarah.
We can learn a lot from this series. First is the power of the story, which, I’m sure they’re making up as they go.
Secondly, the Creators fully understand the Web 2.0 philosophy, taking reader criticism seriously and often having the characters asking the audience for suggestions in a way so intimate you find yourself thinking of suggestions.
They take Marshall McLuhan one step further. The medium isn’t just the message. They use the medium to create the message.
Third, what they’re doing with the camera is intriguing, using out of focus shots that slowly clear up as if an amateur is operating the camera. There are blackouts, jittery hand held camera, audio ups and downs, all things amateur.
The camera itself becomes a character, a third person through whom they communicate with each other and the audience, asking for understanding, forgiveness, support. . .and suggestions.
It has all been done before, but never quite in this way.
Fourth, they mix story with close-ups. Each character takes a turn telling the story in an intimate way, directly into the camera. Sometimes the camera is so close only part of the face fills the lens.
And the eyes. They understand the power of the eyes. They used this effectively in the beginning with Bree, the main character. In fact, in the beginning, it was Bree’s big brown eyes and playful pretty face that was the show.
One can see the evolution of this as the videos progress. I’m sure they hired the actress who plays Sarah open the basis of her beautiful and expressive green eyes (and pouty lips and rebellious nature).
Fifth, the genius of this show is how the creators and the actors have involved their audience. As I said before, the comments range from the immature and silly to discussions about chemistry, biology and medicine to Biblical text and obscure writings about religion.
They’ve created a large community whose members have their own in-jokes and talk about from work to hangovers but it all revolves around LG15, a situation PR people dream about.
Check out LG15. To watch all the shows might take you a few hours but you’ll find pop culture enlightenment. This is some of the most innovative and engaging storytelling around.
If you watch the shows, do three things:
- Start from the beginning and watch the development, knowing that the Creators had no idea how long the show would last.
- Watch the camera, lighting and sound techniques.
- Read the comments and understand that LG 15 is driven and influenced by an audience that has become a community. The show and audience influence each other almost instantly and create one large, living entity.