Craig Brewer, the director of Hustle & Flow, is set to take on the internet with a new pseudo-doc, web-only music series that will focus on the lives of “real-life local musicians” in Memphis, Tennessee.
$5 Cover, which is being produced by MTV films, could open up an interesting niche in web programming, if it is able to deliver compelling stories in a condensed webisodic format. I’m still curious, however, about the potential audience for this kind of series: is it infinitely larger — or necessarily smaller — because it is being distributed exclusively on the internet?
Craig Brewer isn’t the first Hollywood name to jump into the web series game, but his pitch is one of the freshest. Brewer directed the indie hit Hustle & Flow, and his web series seems like it will capture some of the same sensibilities.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Brewer is creating $5 Cover as a web series for MTV Films. Set in Memphis Tenn., the series stars real-life local musicians basically playing versions of themselves. Dialog will be improvised around Brewer’s ideas taken from the musicians’ real-life experience, and each episode will feature a music performance.
$5 Cover will have 15 eight-minute episodes and will reportedly cost just $350,000 to produce. MTV will host a social-networking component that will include interactive maps to help make Memphis its own character. The idea is to then take $5 Cover to other music scenes in different cities across the country.
In a time when people are either creating sci-fi series, or thrillers that are more style than substance, it’s refreshing to see someone try something new. If done well, $5 Cover is almost a bridge between old and new media. It may have MTV, a Hollywood director and a relatively large budget for a web series — but it promises to have a soul with real locations, real music and real people.
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