Some years back, a well known Hollywood screenwriter told me that when the next big revolution in storytelling happens, it won’t be on the big screen, but it will probably something smaller that we’ll see on YouTube or some place like this. While webisodes may not have sparked a huge revolution in Hollywood, it’s much easier to tell a big story 5 to 15 minutes at a time, much like the Halo web series that has a big YouTube following.
Now Variety tells us that Marvel is making shorter episodes through their “Geek Week” campaign to try and sell more DVDs and Blu-Rays. These shorts are being called Marvel One Shots, and one includes the female spy character Agent Carter from Captain America.
Other episodes include The Consultant, which is on DVD discs for the Avengers, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer, which appears on Thor, and Item 47, which appears on Captain America. The Consultant is about the Hulk nemesis Abomination, and features Robert Downey Jr. Thor’s Hammer has Agent Coulson trying to regain the tool of the title. And Item 47 is about the weapon of the Chitauri aliens being discovered after the Avengers New York battle.
We at TGD think this is a cool idea, much like the cliffhangers back in the ‘30’s where each installment was less than half an hour, and you had to come back to the theaters every week for the next episode. This could be the modern equivalent, and if it does indeed help spark a storytelling revolution some day, we say cool.