The TV CONTENT video category shows examples of how the JFC New Media Department integrated content into the TV series itself and organically extended the universe and narrative online.
Thanks to David Milch, HBO, the cast and crew for the opportunity to be the first embedded New Media Dept. for a TV series from pre production through post.
The Yost site – on the surface at least – was a long-neglected fan-built page, circa ‘97. When the viewer went there, they had access to some archived footage of Mitch and Butchie Yost, old photos from surf magazines, and an outdated (but still functioning) message board. After a minute on the site, yostcan.com would begin to “break”. Once users solved three problems/clues to fix the broken site, they were redirected to another site called “The Pipeline”. This was the gateway to content for avid fans of the show.
The content was a mix of new media on-set video, show clips, licensed and original photos and text. Users were able to watch seeded “Node” videos (below) or watch user-generated videos. Once a video finished, a tool palate would emerge and users could then create their own “node” video, save it and enter it into “The Pipeline” for other users to discover, creating a feedback loop of creativity.
StinkweedUSA.com was the commerce and branding site for the surf/skate company owned by Linc Stark (Luke Perry). Stinkweed’s URL address and apparel were seamlessly featured in the world of TV series and led fans to discover the website (see TV Content section of the site). The Stinkweed site also featured a traditional retail page offering apparel and promoting their brand/culture. The site’s “news” section kept users up to date on latest events with Shaun Yost, Stinkweed’s newest sponsor. In addition, a fictitious surf team, complete with profile videos, was created to lend authenticity to the site.
The JFC New Media Dept created over a dozen YouTube videos with several stars from the series. The videos gave a deeper look into the characters’ lives and help expand the narrative, themes and ideas of our vision to blur the lines between the online world and TV series. These videos were also featured in various episodes during the season.
Another achievement in our organic fusion of the show and the locals was the series of videos centered on Butchie Yost (Brian Van Holt). In these digressive storylines, we deepened the reality of the character of Butchie by having him be profiled by a surfing fan (One Day in the Life) and by hanging out with metal guirarist, Eric Dogol.
We also took on the John Monad storyline and shot it through the lens of the local band, the Resentments, as they composed a song in tribute to the new stranger in their town (Monad Song HOME) and the performed it live to their local fans at a tavern. We treated the Shaun Yost storyline of his near death accident through a vigil scene where locals come to pray for him. Finally, we extended the Vatos characters storyline with an online scene of them hanging out in the van before their deadly attack on John.
These documentaries were essentially mini-portraits of the residents of Imperial Beach. Metal garage bands, Luche Libres, environmentalists, Mexican immigrants and hot-rodders are a small sample of the subjects. David Milch’s vision of blurring the lines between fiction and reality were put into practice by taking many of the subjects we documented and placing them within the world of the show (Rosa, Jesus, Luche Libres and Kevin & Kirby). Many of the video and audio elements were also dissected and used within the yostclan.com’s “Node Videos”.
Ostrick and Pozzi were often called up to set by Milch to document the creation and explanation to the cast and crew of his key scenes, as for example in the Dream Sequence speech and for the finale Stinkweed Parade sequence speech.
Working in tandem with production on many of their JFC New Media projects, Ostrick and Pozzi also took opportunities to document the creation of the show from small moments on the beach during the filming of the pilot (Beach Crew) to Milch giving notes on a scene at a liquor store.