Thursday, July 27, 2006

Trading Up

The most interesting thing about the latest Dreamworks project might just be that nobody involved has yet decided if it's going to be a movie, a TV reality show or perhaps a comedy series. They just don't care - it seems - as long as they somehow capitalise on the central idea. I dare say they'd like it to be a T-shirt, a book and a flavour of ice-cream too, but they don't make such things. Maybe a concept album from The Eels?

Kyle MacDonald has sold the studio his true story, about how he started off with a single red paper clip and used Craigslist to make fourteen barters, each for something that bit bigger and better. From the clip to a pen to a doorknob, on through a camping stove, a power generator, snowmobile... on and on and on.

Perhaps, more than anything else, Dreamworks simply wanted to lock the concept up - to prevent any of their competitors milking such a simple, clear concept. It must seem eminently marketable.

Maybe they'll start out with something cheap, hoping to follow the MacDonald model and trade up, going from reality show to sitcom to feature film? Or maybe they'll try this and the resulting reality show will be so inert the whole concept will be ditched?

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