Sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether it’s one or the other.
As many of you will know, Prim Perfect has a sister programme on Treet.TV – Designing Worlds. It originally started as a Homes and Gardens show called Meta Makeover back in January 2008, and has grown to become a show about design and designers in virtual worlds. It is one of the highest-rated shows on Treet – and we are hugely proud of it.
The phenomenon of virtual world television has long been an interesting one. Unlike machinima, which is often short and intense, television shows have followed formats that echoes more closely the TV medium in the wider world. Treet has pioneered the way in live filming – filming and streaming in real time, so that audiences could attend in-world shows such as Tonight Live! with Paisley Beebe in the studio, while others watch on in-world TVs or else follow on the web, with the opportunity of taking part in interactive chat.
This has been a revolutionary use of TV as a medium, and of virtual worlds as a medium too. And its success has been, in large part, down to the work of talented producers and directors on the different shows, but above all, to Wiz Nordberg, Texas Timtam and Starr Sonic, who have proved immensely talented at providing the filming of sometimes highly complex scenes and events – ranging from the frequent challenges we throw at them on Designing Worlds to the wonderful anarchy of the Giant Snail Races.
Today, in a message sent to all Treet TV producers, Treet has announced a major shift in their focus – that, due to real life issues, they are cancelling all live video production indefinitely. However, this does not mean Treet are shutting down the website, live streams, or that their work will stagnate.
In a letter to Treet producers, Wiz said, “What is really occurring is a shift of priorities for us. Because the market is still quite small, Texas and I need to engage in Treet only part time. Using 100% of that time to film has left us with time for nothing else. Exciting changes to the website, new promotional features, and an exciting “Timeline of Virtual History” archive site never even have been started, not to mention many improvements in distribution, iPad and iPhone support, etc. We feel such innovations are necessary in this industry. So, shifting our priorities away from live filming is important for us to create more enabling technologies to help people contribute shows, manage shows, and get the most out of archives.”
Wiz added, “We are committed to enhancing and enabling the community. Our website, resources, and streams will not only remain live, but we’ll be seeking ways to expand their availability to more and more people, and establish programs for showing people how we’ve achieved what we’ve achieved.”
The end of live filming is a very sad occasion for many who have enjoyed attending the filming of Treet’s various programs, and there will also be a period of adjustment for the station and its scheduling. Some shows may close and Designing Worlds, which has fairly heavy filming demands, will be looking for ways forward. But the opportunities for new developments are exciting, and something to look forward to.
Some people may be wondering about how this will affect the Relay for Life Telethon. That will be going ahead, co-ordinated by Mal Burns at Metaworld Broadcasting with input from Treet and other stations as well – watch this blog for details!