Finally, automatic video content!

by Tom Davis

Here is a clever way to lower the cost of content creation

Website owners know all too well that the cost and effort needed to create valuable content is a challenge. It is pretty much the same way with entertainment outlets — just on a larger scale. The discovery of "Reality TV" was a real shot in the arm for broadcasters trying to fill hours and hours of air time at a lower cost. Especially as the Internet continues to drain ad dollars and audiences away from traditional television and cable. Now enter Slow TV, as exemplified by the 8 hour "National Knitting Evening". With a production cost under $200,000 any self respecting programming manager would jump at the chance to run a single 8 hour show on knitting.

The Norwegian Public Broadcasting channel NRK2 has now shown several long form (and I mean extremely long form) shows that fall under the concept of Slow TV. A concept that this Deadline Hollywood post calls "a hybrid of unhurried documentary coupled with hours and hours of continuous coverage provided by fixed cameras trained on a subject or an event". For instance, the video below is the nine minute trailer for a seven and a half hour train journey. You can view it with the sound off, there is no dialogue. But there are several tunnels! I must say it is strangely mesmerizing.  (The trailer starts in a tunnel so it is black with a tiny white dot when it starts.)

If an American network thought they could fabricate enough drama from watching a field of corn being harvested I think they would give it a shot. It could not be worse than the zillionth rerun of "The Dukes of Hazzard". The train journey show apparently pulled 1.2 million in a population of 5 million. The Deadline post says "Ratings showed viewers weren't only tuning in for two minutes, but were actually engrossed". I think maybe a lot viewers were knitting while they had the train show on.