There’s a seemingly unobtrusive news story this week about a new series called Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures that contains the blueprint for the future of television.
To begin with, the series is to appear on Vimeo, a site previously known for being YouTube’s smarter, lesser-known cousin, a place where student filmmakers posted their latest oeuvres. But no more—Vimeo’s grown up and is looking to become a full-fledged OTT network, complete with original programming. That’s a list that seems to be constantly growing.
Next, there’s who’s behind the show: New Form Digital, a company headed by Hollywood legends Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and backed by Discovery Communications. New Form, as the name implies, was formed with the notion of creating quality programming for web-based platforms like Vimeo. Still, having two big names, and the experience and connections they bring, attached to what is still essentially a web series is most definitely a harbinger of things to come.
Finally, there’s the talent. The puppets are being created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop (another stellar name) and the voiceovers are being provided by Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina, Elliott Gould…and Chris Kendall, Pew Die Pie, Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart and Anna Akana—a fantastic mix of YouTube stars and Hollywood stars.
That is the future of television, or a part of it, anyway—the blending of talents old and new, the Hollywood establishment and YouTube upstarts, each with a different, yet complementary set of skills and talents. The result will be entertainment that’s more polished than what’s currently on YouTube, but far more personal than anything Hollywood puts out.
It’s a great mix and it’s coming soon.