'Lonelygirl15' creators unveil new Web show, 'The Resistance'

Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried cite geek hero Joss Whedon as a major inspiration behind The Resistance, set in the same "universe" as their groundbreaking Lonelygirl15.

The guys who created Lonelygirl15--the scripted Web series that fooled many viewers into thinking it was the real video diary of a cute 16-year-old girl--are back with a new project.

The re-branded "LG15" production company Eqal , helmed by Greg Goodfried and Miles Beckett, unveiled LG15: The Resistance, a spin-off of the original Lonelygirl15 suspense-drama. It's their third series, after Lonelygirl15 and British derivative KateModern, which found a home on social network Bebo. The Resistance will have its "home" and surrounding community discussions at LG15.com, but it will be syndicated on MySpaceTV, Veoh, Hulu, YouTube, and Imeem.

Fans of Eqal's shows have already been speculating over a Resistancepreview video on the Web for some time now. It'll be premiering on September 20, and features several of the supporting characters from Lonelygirl15 in lead roles. The title refers to the fight against an evil cult called The Order, which also factored into Lonelygirl15 and eventually led to the fictional protagonist's death .

Beckett and Goodfried hope to capitalize on the sort of cult following that surrounded Lonelygirl15, but this time around they acknowledge they'll have to make some tweaks for mainstream audiences. "We've basically taken a ton of lessons that we've learned from Lonelygirl15 and KateModern, and we're applying it to this new series, trying to make it more accessible to a passive audience," Goodfried said in an interview. First off, he said, is to make one longer weekly episode instead of daily videos that can be tough to catch up on.

There will still be daily content, Goodfried explained. "During the week, rather than it being five videos that are these posts that the characters are making leading up to this episode, it's going to be a text blog, maybe a photo post. It's not all going to be video content."

One of their chief inspirations, Beckett said, is geek hero and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon. "I love Buffy and I'm a big Joss Whedon fan," he said in an interview. The original Lonelygirl15 appealed to Whedon fans, too, he explained. "Some of the commenters on our forum were on the original Buffy forum back in the day. They were calling (the world of LG15) originally the 'Breenaverse'," he said, using a fan-created portmanteau of "Buffyverse" and Lonelygirl15 protagonist Bree, played by actress Jessica Rose .

As for Rose--the face that launched a thousand YouTube comments--she'll be starring in Sorority Forever, a new Web series produced by Warner Bros. for its forthcoming TheWB.com video hub.

Beckett and Goodfried said they haven't seen Sorority Forever. But they don't have a problem with big media capitalizing on the marketing and production tactics that small companies like Eqal conceived. "In general it's certainly great to have the big traditional people and new media companies producing content for this space," Beckett said. "It helps consolidate the medium, it makes advertisers feel more comfortable, and it just makes the market bigger."

The Resistance, like its predecessor, will rely on brand integration as well as advertising. It's a shaky line to tread , because it can easily look tacky or as though the ad dollars are altering the storyline. "I would say for the most part we've had pretty good feedback," Beckett said of brand integration. "We've worked with a ton of brands at this point...(and) all but a couple of the integrations we've done went over really well."

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About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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