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Submission + - Free Media Comedy by Ford Motor Company (wherearethejoneses.com)

David Bausola writes: "Ford have funded the first Free Media comedy called Where are the Joneses? using the web as a platform. The scripts are written by the audience and 5minutes of video is published daily.

Using various Web services (Wordpress, Wikidot, Youtube, Yahoo!Pipes, Dapper, Twitter, Flickr) it's the first comedy built on RSS feeds. All media produced and submitted is under Creative Commons licence BY-SA 3.0. There are no commercial restrictions on reuse. Video downloads are via the Internet Archive (see link below)

The audience write the script ideas in the project wiki, the production team (BabyCow — owned by Steve 'Alan Partridge' Coogan) work through the ideas and add to the narrative arc.

The on the road team (yes — they really are in Europe filming and uploading video via 3G) are the 2 actors (Emma Fryer and Neil Edmound), the director Sam Lief, 1 Producer and 1 sound man. It's a small agile team pushing out over 40 minutes of comedy a week.

The project launch on June 15 and will run for it's first season for 3 months. At the end of this periods, the project will have 6 hours of broadcast quality comedy for the audience to play with. We're planning on showing the 6 hour epic in cinemas later this year.

The main narrative arc is: Dawn discovers that her real father is a sperm donor and armed with a list of 27 siblings she begins to hunt them down across Europe so that the whole family can be united. The first sibling she finds is Ian, and together they try to find their brothers and sisters.

The project is produced by Imagination for Ford as an experiment in marketing.

As Broadcasters and Publishers fret about piracy, Ford have become the first organisation to embrace Free Media, contributing to culture through audience participation.

— From a gift economy point of view, you contribute a joke and you get back a TV series.
— From a rights point of view, this is Freedom Defined free / Stallman free, although the rights of the actors and any trademarks will affect this as usual.
— This is the Free Culture project equivalent of IBM paying for a Free Software product that runs on their hardware, they lose no money on it because they'd have to pay for it anyway, it helps sales of their hardware, and they may even gain value from outside involvement.
— To relate this to existing models, it's a sitcom with a sponsor remade as Free Culture to take advantage of the realities of the Internet rather than trying to fight them.
— Product placement and sponsorship are standard, this isn't anywhere near as bad as the average Hollywood blockbuster or broadcast TV comedy, and there are no ad breaks.

Some links: —

Main URI: http://www.wherearethejoneses.com/

Project wiki: http://wherearethejoneses.wikidot.com/

Technorati (for responses) http://www.technorati.com/blogs/wherearethejoneses .com

YouTube: http://uk.youtube.com/user/wherearethejoneses

Internet Archive for video files: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=where%20ar e%20the%20joneses

And the obvious Facebook channel: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2410987655"

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