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What Is Immersive Entertainment?

Welcome to the new Smashface site and blog!

Smashface was founded in 2003 in New York. At that time, we were doing small-scale documentary work and doctoring screenplays. Seems like a lifetime ago.

When we came out to Los Angeles in January 2005 online video was maturing into a force to be reckoned with. After some experimentation we developed JETSET, where we were free to explore the best ways to interact with the people who watched the show.

Shooting JETSET @ 2AM
shooting JETSET in late 2006

After a couple of months creating that show we realized we were not utilizing the concepts and tools that make web shows unique. To truly engage and interact with our audience we needed to set up the show in a way that made them a part of it. It took some trial and error, but we experimented with our format, our calls to action, and we developed a community tool that works quite well.

Now well over a year and half into JETSET, we have serious experience cultivating a community around a web show and we're going to use that knowledge to inform all of our projects going forward. And we intend to push that interactivity as far as present technology can take it, as long as it's a good experience for the audience.

The Smashface definition of Immersive entertainment is character-driven narratives that make the viewers an indispensable part of the show. This means a time-tested narrative story arc, but one structured in a way that is intelligent enough to use audience contributions to mold the voice and feeling of the show. That sense of ownership is empowering to an audience, and they remember the experience.

Immersive entertainment can be non-fiction, as well. JETSET is a good example. We constantly hear feedback from viewers who tell us about the sense of intimacy they feel with the show and how different that experience has been from other video they have watched on the web. To say nothing of their experience watching television, which is almost totally passive.

We'll use this blog to discuss some of our thoughts around immersive entertainment and the landscape of the online video world. We are actively developing shows that are intended to bridge all forms of media, and to use the different experiences to inform each other.

This is a transformative time in the world of media, and now is when we can afford to experiment with the ideas that will shape the face of entertainment for many years to come.

Let us know what you think about immersive entertainment and online video by posting a comment or sending us a message.

Later,

Steve
Co-founder & Principal

comments
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Clintus McGintus said:

Great, another blog to subscribe to :) You know I love you guys and what you're doing with everything JetSet. Looking forward to your future projects for sure. Love the new site too.

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C.C. Chapman said:

I was late to the game on falling in love with you guys and the show, but I am so glad I did. It has been fun to watch you grow and try new things and I'm psyched you'll be blogging now as well. Great way to get your name and services out there even more.

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Steve Woolf said:

Thanks, guys! Glad to have such a strong and supportive community. It's an amazing time, it truly is...