“In 2004, Russell Boyd won an Oscar for Master and Commander. Lately, the Sydney cinematographer has been working on a show that is more like Morbid and Cadaver,” Sacha Molitorisz reports for The Age. “The show is Watch with Mother, and Boyd was attracted by its bizarre blend of sketch comedy and horror. More than that, he was fascinated by the way it will harness new technology for its distribution.”
“Instead of airing on television, or even the internet, the six-part series will be released only via app and iTunes,” Molitorisz reports. “At $1.49 an episode on iTunes, or $8.99 for the virtual box set on app, the producers are banking on at least 200,000 sales. Free-to-air and pay TV stations will be watching anxiously, keen to see if the radical new distribution strategy works. ‘It’s far too early to call the death of television on the back of one app, but if you have quality content, people will watch,’ says Justin Diddams, a media analyst at Citigroup. ‘Just look at HBO [the US subscription network]. It will be fascinating to see whether this succeeds as an alternative distribution platform for bespoke content.'”
Molitorisz reports, “Watch with Mother is certainly alternative. To be released this month, the series, shot late last year in Sydney suburbs including St Ives, is Freddy Krueger meets Full Frontal. In one recurring storyline called Killer Roo, a kangaroo takes macabre revenge for all the marsupial roadkill on Australia’s highways. In another, a benign-looking music teacher tortures his pupils behind closed doors… Rated MA, the content is too edgy for mainstream TV… In part, the dark material explains the risky, groundbreaking distribution method.”
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