NEW YORK Is bornready.tv the next quarterlife?
The site, which is set to launch Jan. 15, will chronicle the junior year of New York high school basketball star Lance Stephenson. (For those unfamiliar with the world of high school hoops, watch highlights of Stephenson here.)
The goal of bornready.tv, said Rob Stone, founder and co-president of Cornerstone, is to build an audience on the Web and then get the show picked up by a traditional TV network. "We want to capture Lance, who's a tremendous talent. You're probably looking at the next LeBron James," said Stone. (Cornerstone is handling the marketing and promotion of bornready.)
Bornready.tv launches at a time when TV networks, currently enduring a strike by the writers' guild, are looking to nontraditional areas for content. NBC recently announced that it would broadcast quarterlife in February. (The show made its debut on social networking sites such as MySpace.)
Stone said the site would have banner ads and that the ad sales team would target categories such as sports drinks and video games. (Sponsors have not been determined.) There will be no product placement within the show because of concerns that it could affect Stephenson's eligibility to play college basketball in the future.
Born & Bread, a New York-based film company; Den of Thieves, a content production firm that is a division of Warner Music; and Fader Films, a sibling of Cornerstone that was also co-founded by Stone, are financing the project.
Episodes ranging in length from one to four minutes will be posted once daily during the first week and then shift to a twice-weekly posting schedule. Footage will show Stephenson's games, workouts and interactions with his family. Filming has been taking place over the past year, and Stone said "hundreds" of hours have been shot to date.
"This is documentary filmmaking, we're just documenting what's going on; it's not reality TV," said Stone. "It's this guy's life and it's showing the richness of Coney Island [where Stephenson is from] and the dynamic of his family."