The Storyland competition is live now the RTE Website and seeing as we were shortlisted for it we sat through the videos and off course, we voted. Interestingly there are only nine videos, there were supposed to be ten, Moo Cow Productions Morbid and Sons pulled out early and were replaced by Pub World ages ago, but it now seems that for some reason Sulleybags has been axed/dropped out also. RTE have made no reference to it but it is disappointing that none of the others on the shortlist were considered as a replacement in the way that Pubworld was. Perhaps something happened at the last minute?
When we were viewing the videos their scores were visible on RTE which seemed a bit daft for two reasons, you don't know how well the voting is going on The X Factor or Irelands Got Talent because it can influence voting patterns unfairly and also, with nine videos to troll through most of them over 6 minutes long the natural inclination is to just watch the most viewed or the favourite. Thankfully for those taking part in Storyland, the scores have now been removed so the playing field is more level. For the record Hardy Bucks was waaayyy out in front with 45% while the rest shared fairly equal footing of 8 - 12%
This is the first time RTE have done something like this so teething problems for all concerned are to be expected. One thing that I think is a major challenge for all concerned is the simple fact that 9 videos at an average of 5 minutes each comes up to a fairly jarring 45 minutes, add the fact that the streaming is a little slow, and the time it takes to read the blurb on each one and before you know it you are an hour down, in fact it took us an hour and a half to go through them all. That's one hell of a time commitment, and not one I think a lot of people will make. Instead, I guess, they'll just pop along to view whichever one they've been mailed about or told about in one way or another. This means that if your marketing skills aren't up to scratch then, even if your video is worthy, you could be sunk, which is a shame. I don't know what plans RTE themselves have for pimping the project but as of today it's not linked from their home page.
Another possible improvement might be to include a simple logline with each video on the home page, to entice the viewer a little more to click through and watch it, as it is you have to select the video to find out what it's about, and you don't so much get log lines as paragraph. Interestingly the Pat Mc Cabe penned Chez Spuds has the clumsiest bit of copy.
We're going to publish our opinions on each later but in the meantime pop along to RTE Storyland and have a look. Don't forget to vote!