For a good few years now we’ve TV channels have used social media like Facebook, Twitter and Vine to distribute trailers lasting anywhere between 20 and 90 seconds, and have used Instagram (owned by Facebook) to showcase images from series and added little visual extras. Couple that with the whole on-demand viewing phenomenon and there’s no question that the internet is starting to completely level the TV landscape. But now Instagram, which has a video function as well as showcasing users’ static images, has announced its first ever drama. Surely some mistake? (And don’t call me Shirley.)
I only ask whether it’s a mistake because Instagram only has the capacity to produce and share videos of around 12-15 seconds long, and the idea of a drama series on this platform seems a bit far-fetched. Perhaps even a bit gimmicky.
But I’m all for the use of new technology to deliver and broadcast drama – and crime drama, at that – so I am genuinely intrigued by this prospect.
Deadline reports that Shield 5 will comprise 28, 15-second episodes (although ‘episodes’ is stretching the definition a bit) and a special photo for each one, which will be significant to the story. The term that’s being used is ‘social cinema’.
Shield 5 tells the story of ‘security driver John Swift is arrested for his involvement in a diamond heist and subsequent death of a colleague. Determined to prove his innocence, he finds himself on the run from both the police and those he believes have framed him. Embroiled in a perilous game of cat and mouse, he tries to evade capture long enough to uncover the truth.’
We’ve had nano-storytelling in crime fiction, and now we have nano-storytelling in crime drama. Whatever next?