RTÉ says ‘Be kind, rewind’

22 May 2008

If you have watched the latest Jack Black film Be Kind, Rewind, you’ll have an idea how the new Sweded TV show on RTÉ 2 will look, complete with homemade takes on popular shows like Home And Away, Lost or X-Factor.

The trend for purposely amateur and funny takes on classics like Star Wars and the Indiana Jones movies has been around for a while on YouTube but really came into the mainstream when Michel Gondry got Jack Black, made a film about it and dubbed it ‘sweding’.

Digital media company Wildwave, along with Dublin-based Still Films, came up with Sweded TV and pitched it to RTÉ: a show that allows users to make these fan films for their favourite or most hated TV show and almost acts as a funny cultural reference or homage wrapped up in a YouTube moment.

“We work across all media platforms and were looking for a way to make them work together ,so we wanted to come up with a TV programme that had a good sense of YouTube-ness about it too,” said Stephen McCormack, CEO of Wildwave.

“Sweding on YouTube is all about films so we thought, wouldn’t it be funny to see what young people in Ireland who are watching more and more YouTube instead of television think of traditional TV.

It is a simple idea, said McCormack, but deep within it is an exploration of people’s attitude towards television, which they still love but obviously the relationship has changed over the years.

“Kids are taking television culture, absorbing it and giving it back in a sense. It speaks for the YouTube generation,” added McCormack.

Sweded TV www.rte.ie/tv/ttv/swededtv is open for entrants right now until Monday 2 June for young people aged from 11 to 18, in groups of between five and 15.

The idea is to send in a concept, like the kind of location, props, dialogue etc that will be used and even some video footage to illustrate this.

The winning entries will work with Sweded TV over the summer making films which will be shown in September on TTV on RTÉ 2.

The objective of Sweded TV is not just to bridge the gap between the web and traditional media, said McCormack but also to get kids interested in creating digital content in a positive manner and not just have it negatively associated with happy slapping and the like.

The response has been so good that Still Films and Wildwave are considering a Sweded TV show for the 18 to 30-year-old audience. This writer is off to find some bin bags, red paint and discarded toilet roll tubes in preparation for the role of Darth Vader.

By Marie Boran