Case Study

'LonelyGirl15' Creators Explore New 'Resistance'

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The Creators: Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried are the founders of the online studio EQAL, which is best known for the "LonelyGirl15" series. The latest installment of the series is "LG15: The Resistance" and it premiered online on Sept. 20, after the producers debuted the first episode at the New York Television Festival earlier that month.

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Distribution: "LG15: The Resistance" is being distributed on MySpace, Veoh, YouTube, Hulu, iMeem and LG15.com. Those partners have offered varying levels of promotion and marketing support on their sites. A new six-minute episode runs every Saturday during the show's 12-week run. The show's own site (link: http://www.lg15.com/theresistance/) also includes daily content such as short videos, blogs, photos, puzzles and other interactive elements. Fans can also create their own profile pages and participate in chats with characters from the show. The producers chose to release weekly episodes this go-round because that viewing schedule is more manageable for most fans, Mr. Goodfried said. Collectively, "LonelyGirl" and its spinoffs have been viewed more than 170 million times on the Web.

The Sponsors: "LG15: The Resistance" does not have any advertisers integrated with the show and is instead sharing advertising revenue with the partner sites where the show runs. Past advertisers have included MSN, Paramount, Disney and Procter & Gamble.

The Content: All three "LonelyGirl15" shows have centered on the "Hymn of One," a religious cult that has infiltrated society. But beneath the religious exterior of the cult lurks an evil force known as the Order that has discovered a fountain of youth in the blood of certain girls born with a regenerative gene. The main characters in the first two "LonelyGirl15" shows were killed because of their special genetic traits and "LG15: The Resistance" picks up where those shows left off. In the new show, a group rises up to fight back against the Order. The new show shares some of the characters from the earlier shows in the "LonelyGirl15" series.

Backstory: Mr. Beckett graduated from medical school and practiced to become a plastic surgeon before devising the idea for "LonelyGirl15" in 2006. A law school graduate, Mr. Goodfried began crafting "LonelyGirl15" during his first year as an attorney. Their parents helped them finance the first installment of the series and after its quick success, the pair secured $5 million in venture funding from Spark Capital to launch EQAL and continue to produce series for the Web. The producers also have a first-look deal with CBS Interactive. With the cash influx from Spark, the show's creative team has grown from two to more than 10. As more cooks stir the pot, the producers must be vigilant about maintaining the voice of the characters, Mr. Beckett said. "As things go from treatment to script to shooting to editing to post production to going live on the site, the voice needs to be 100% consistent from the character as if the character made the video and that is hard," he said in an interview with TelevisionWeek. But that's important because that's what makes the show feel real. That's what allows people to suspend their disbelief."

Endgame: Mr. Beckett said he's not pursuing TV deals for the show right now. "It's low on my list."