No, not the traditional time off from school given to students in academia. I’m talking about the new web series that’s started up a few weeks ago. It follows 8 recent high school grads as they are spending their last summer together. Summer Break is a docu-reality done in real time with the “characters” tweeting, instagraming, and vineing, and the YouTube summaries popping up a day later.
I am fascinated by this show. The idea of “watching” (or I suppose more accurately following) things happening in real time is a true testament to how far technology has come. While with most social media integration the social media aspect comes after production, this show is doing the opposite. It’s allowing social media to determine what gets put in the final cut of the show.
Personally, I’m only a passive viewer. I subscribe to the YouTube channel, but only watch a few of the torrent of videos that are uploaded. It’s fascinating in it’s newness. Like a frog in a jar that I’ve put on my shelf and every once and a while I’ll pull it down and poke at it with a stick. I don’t think I’m quite the target market, but it’s wildly entertaining nonetheless.
The biggest question this raises for me is weather this form of story telling will catch on. Clearly it’s made for reality TV. But could it be adapted to scripted format? (Lizzie Bennett Diaries anyone?) Is it successful enough for advertisers to consider it marketable? How would advertisements work on a show like this?
So many questions and so few answers, but I suppose that only time will tell.
If you’re interested, you can check out their YouTube channel HERE, and their twitter account HERE. I’m not linking to each individual’s Twitter/Insta/whatnot, it would be too much, but you can find them through these links.