This is short history of the zoapz project.
Originally I was approached and asked if I could come out with a new and unique idea for a web project. At the time it appeared that there were a lot of interested parties actively looking to invest in new web projects and it would be easy to gain backing. The idea t I came upon with was an alternative to ‘youtube’. The creation of a web portal that in place of having hundreds of thousands of short videos, had a large number of short video series. At the time ‘youtube’ was a great success but there was little good content, mostly it was just a vast amount of disjointed amateur videos.
I looked at ‘youtube’ and found a 20min short film that was entertaining. I downloaded the film and re-edited it to see if I could bring over the same story in a shorter time. I was quite amazed to discover that I could take the 20 min and reduce it to 3min and not only was it shorter, it was more dynamic and exciting, it worked really well. This was the beginning of the idea.
I had discovered that it was possible to make short dynamic videos. It struck me that if the story continued then people would want to watch more of the same. Hey! and if it ended on a cliffhanger then there would be an even greater desire to watch another video. The next question was how could I make more. At first I thought that I could take a film of 90 min and cut it into 5 or 6 episodes but then realized that it was highly unlikely that a film would be so neatly split into sections so I would be missing the cliffhangers.
I thought that I had a great idea and so I presented my edited video with the proposal to make a new web host/portal. The proposed idea of short video series would be of a format that was similar to television “soaps”. The portal would host a number of series and each day new episodes would be added to the channel. People could view an episode in their lunch break or even via their mobile whilst commuting to work.
The person that had asked me to come up with a new idea was Patrice van der Walle. Patrice who had worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment where he helped launch the German music channel VIVA and managed the Indian satellite channel SET, was at the time working in London for the company Gallup. He was excited about the idea and thought that it had a great chance of attracting investors. We agreed to make up a detailed proposal. The one main problem with the idea was the fact that there was no video content of this format available. So that meant it would need to be produced and that could be quite expensive.
Someone had left a comic magazine in my office. How it got there I don’t know but there it was sitting on a table. Asking me to pick it up and realize a solution. And there it was – comics. Comic mags tell pictorial stories. They are short exciting, episodic and they end on cliffhangers. I was off to the comic shop to look at what was available. I quickly came to the conclusion that we could find some comic book that would work perfectly for the short video format and that could also be used as story books for film shoots.
… to be continued…
A couple of clips from the zoapz project.