Multimedia storytellers have found a niche in creating punchy, multi-part stories for video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo. But the visual bookmarking site Pinterest is also open to videos and audio tracks, and artists are taking notice. On Thursday a Web series called “Beat Girl” hit the pinboard running with 145 pins containing both videos and still images. Has a new genre arrived?
The series creators, a London-based, transmedia production company called beActive, say that the series was actually inspired by the photonovels of the sixties and seventies, which recreated films and television series using still photography and written dialogue in a format similar to an illustrated graphic novel.
In this case, the creators uploaded the videos onto YouTube and pinned them on the bookmarking site, augmenting the story with photographs and other images. Another version of the story also exists in book form on Amazon.
“Beat Girl The Web series was designed to exploit the new features of this exciting new social network that is Pinterest,” said beActive founder and CEO Nuno Bernardo in a statement. “The tools and functionalities introduced by Pinterest allowed us to release the content the way we envisioned.”
What’s notable about Pinterest as a medium is that most people come into the content sideways, using the search bar to look up things like mid-century furniture or the color red. A person’s first experience with “Beat Girl,” which could be a video or a photograph, might not be the beginning of the series. Even flipping through the boards from left to right, top to bottom on the “Beat Girl” page, the story line feels more ambient than linear.
Here in New York, an innovative theater experience called “Sleep No More” has audience members walking through a house, catching bits of action that play out in different rooms in no particular order. “Beat Girl” brings a little bit of that spirit to the Internet.
To watch the series, Pinterest users will have to take a break from planning their perfect weddings or picking out furniture for their homes, but that might not be a bad thing. They weren’t really going to refinish their antique chairs, anyway.
For Pinterest, it’s a chance to host original content, making the site a place to create as well as to curate works of art.