HOW OPEN TV INTERVENES
Open TV intervenes by bringing diverse arts and audiences together to pilot original stories and the platform for their distribution.
TV needs soul and Soul! inspired Open TV. Soul! premiered after black urban rebellions in 1960s alerted mainstream media, non-profits and local governments to the lack of black representation on television. As scholars Devorah Heitner and Gayle Wald have studied, Soul! featured in-depth conversations with artists, scholars and community leaders, alongside performances of dance, music, poetry and other arts. It provided an important forum for black people to come together around shared and shifting social and political circumstances. When I first saw Soul! I was blown away by beautiful and sincere it was, and how gripping such honest TV could be.
Soul! is our goal. Open TV follows Soul!’s art- and community-focused mission, but we are open to all artists and independent producers creating beautiful and sincere stories under-represented on TV. We believe television is an art but must also showcase different types of art outside of the competition formats we see on reality TV. We are committed to developing work from artists most often left out of commercial production: queer, trans, and cis-women and people of color.
All Open TV artists keep their intellectual property and distribution agreements are non-exclusive. This ensures when we develop programs we are focusing on the artist’s voice and value. Artists can produce with us and, after we premiere it, they can show or sell it elsewhere. We believe authenticity cannot be bought and culture should be as free as is sustainable.
Open TV will grow slowly. Artful stories are difficult to finance and coordinate. We have a small amount of start-up financing and a growing track record obtaining grants. Still, Open TV is in beta. We are developing new works, but we are also in development.
We will premiere one program after another. Every month an original episode or series will premiere on one of our three content verticals:
Open TV Presents, a series of experimental pilots about artists exploring alternative relationships.
Open TV Re-Presents, re-releasing complete or director’s cuts of existing series.
Open TV Originals, wholly produced scripted and reality series.
In the beta stage Open TV will function more like a digital indie music label start-up or band than a TV network: releasing work for free from a select group of artists who reflect our values and aesthetics. We are not focused on “scale” and “big data” but rather on showcasing exceptional artists who have earned a few minutes of your time online or live.
From March 11th until June 3rd we will be premiering episodes of the first Open TV Original, You’re So Talented, created by Sam Bailey. You can watch the first episode right here:
You're So Talented is a series following Bea (Sam Bailey), an out of work Chicago artist, as she navigates her twenties and its inevitable dramas.
Over the next few episodes you will see more meticulously crafted glimpses into Bea’s life, right here, and even on screens in Chicago! On WeAreOpen.TV you’ll also meet the artists, crew and organizations who made and helped make this happen. We’re planning for a second season, and we hope to open up production to many more!
There’s much more development! We’ll announce every production when it happens, sometimes before.