Episode 58: Open TV with A.J. Christian March 6, 2020 Lena Bhise Leave a comment It’s time for another new How Do You Like it So Far? folks! Henry and Colin are joined this week by A.J. Christian, an Associate Professor of Communication at Northwestern University and Founder of OTV in Chicago. He discusses the concept of Open TV and the origin story of the group, mapping the ecosystem of TV and web production in Chicago and how that inspired him to start Open TV back in 2014. AJ dives deep into the problematic structure of TV pilots and how it used to be impossible to penetrate without being based in LA and represented by a manager or an agent. But, in the dawn of the digital era, Christian argues that pilots can be made by a much more diverse, representative and community-focused people who can create and distribute without the blessing of the studio system. He explores whether the digital era might be the next wave of public access programming, and notes that although the nature of TV shows are changing, the old systems have not been replaced overnight. As researcher-practitioners, Christian and his group view “everything as data” and use information from qualitative surveys to online comments that they gather from their videos to look for what the community is hungering for in terms of content. Listen in as Christian breaks down the studio systems and how OTV is a revolutionary model for developing diverse and complex TV shows for a future we all want to live in. Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper: Open TelevisionOTV is on most social media platforms – @weareOTVOn Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram Pilot TV process was apart of the problem Chicago TV ecosystem:Dick Wolf with Law & OrderChicago Fire franchises Artists on OTV: Sam Bailey – You’re So Talented Reports available on website People who have come out of the Open TV Movement (but not specifically from OTV):Issa RaeAbbi Jacobson and Ilana GlazerLena Waithe Short episodic film festivals:SundanceTribecaSxSWTorontoAmerican Black Film FestivalFramelineOutFest Gente-fied by America Ferrara – Lead creatives came up on the Internet MACRO → Charles D. King’s studio for all kinds of diversity Corporate efforts to make short form web series Huge demand for TV writers Brown Girls → most popular series on OTV High Maintenance – Character driven web series Netflix is canceling shows Our Scott McCloud episode The Irishmen Special Netflix Series Chicago School of Television Chicago as a radio hub → Big 10 center for communication departments Burr Tillstrom’s Kukla, Fran and OlliePhil Donahue and Oprah – Transvestites and sexual harassment discussed on TV Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry and Colin and also through email at firstname.lastname@example.org!