Thursday, September 20, 2007

'Goodnight Burbank' Pokes Fun at TV News



Of all the web shows that I've come across, one category that seems underrepresented is comedy. That is no longer the case with the discovery of Goodnight Burbank, a well done laugher that takes aim at the ripe target of local TV news broadcasts, and for the most part, hits its targets.

The idea is very simple. What goes on in a TV studio when the talent tosses to video? Or a live shot? Currently working in television news, I can fully attest that anchors say the darndest things. Goodnight Burbank capitalizes on this "down time", showing what can happen off camera. It goes a bit outlandish sometimes, but can also catch you off guard for a great belly laugh. And that's what matters.

Written by Hayden Black (who also co-stars), it's obvious this guy has some experience in television. His bio on the site discloses his experience in television marketing, but the show reveals his time spent (at least observing) in the studio. He cleverly hones in on mispronounced words, bickering talent, and dorky conversations. All of which go away, of course, when then cameras come back on.

While technically simple (everything is shot in front of a greenscreen (or chromakey if you're in the biz), the actors do a good job, and play well off of Black's crisp writing. I really like this show and recommend you check it out. It's great news that this "little show that could" is doing well and is fun to watch, while the bigger budgeted, star-laded, network-sourced Back to You is getting panned. It just goes to show that the little filmmaker with the big idea can do what the big boys sometimes can't.

Also note the website. Not only is it well designed, but there is a lot of stuff to do there, from forums, to archives, to anchor "bios", to behind the scenes info. The idea is clear: provide lots of content and the user will have more reason to hang around. It's the "special features" effect. A good tip for anyone creating a site for their creative projects.

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