TV IS YOUR MASTER

Once again, new studies report that online video programming is taking over the media landscape in more ways than one.

Two separate yet equal reports were recently released stating the notion that video content created by and for online platforms is the new medium that is replacing the so-called traditional methods to how such video programming is consumed, and the ways it is being utilized for the better or otherwise.

This first report is the results to a study as stated by Nielsen, the company that’s been tracking TV viewing since the medium’s early days, notes that thanks to the belief that “TV is everywhere”, some three quarters (76%) of those that replied to a poll taken worldwide stated that they enjoy the freedom of being connected anywhere and anytime through their electronic devices. 55% note that video programs are an important part of their domestic lives. The majority of respondents (63%) believe that bigger is indeed better when it comes to screen size. 59% think watching video programming on their mobile device is convenient, in spite of the smaller screen ratio. 53% note that a tablet is just as good as a desktop or laptop computer for watching programming.

As to the social aspects of viewing such content, live TV has become more of a social event that goes way beyond the confines of a home base setting. 53% said they like to keep up with shows so they can join the conversation on social media, while 49% say they watch live video programming more if it has a social media tie in. 47% stated that they engage with social media while watching video programming. And more than half (58%) say they browse the Internet while watching video programming.

It’s no surprise to note that who is watching is more into a generation gap breakdown.

Although TV is the primary device of choice for viewing video across all generations, 91% of those aged 65 and up say they watch video programming on a traditional TV, followed by 84% of those 50-64 (The “Baby Boomers”), 75% of “Generation X” (ages 35-49) watch a traditional TV device, 62% of Millennials (ages 21-34) as well as those that are 15 through 18 years, the generation dubbed “Generation Z”.

When it comes to other devices, those that are much younger rule within this category. Generation Z and Millennial respondents (42% each) note that they watch video programming on a computer device, compared with 31% of Generation X, 25% of Baby Boomer and 15% of though 65 and up. One-fifth of Millennial and Generation Z respondents (22% and 20%, respectively) say they watch on a mobile phone, compared with 14% of Generation X, 6% of Baby Boomer and 2% of 65+. Tablet use is highest among Millennial and Generation X respondents, cited by 16% and 15% of respondents, respectively. 12% of Generation Z, 8% of Baby Boomer and 4% of the elder seniors respondents say they watch video on a tablet.

The report filed by Neilson polled 30,000 online respondents in sixty nations to grasp upon how the changing digital landscape is affecting how, where, and why consumers watch moving imagery via a video screen on a traditional TV device, a computer (laptop or desktop), and any other mobile device. (Smart phone, electronic tablet, or an e-reader).

And while on the same subject of viewing content online, a second report filed by video optimization company Conviva notes that users viewing a video experience quit watching after more than four minutes. Only a quarter of those viewers rarely go beyond the four minute mark.

The report as complied by this marketing company notes that the reasons for this short viewing time is due to poor video streaming quality and/or excessive interruptions. After encountering a poor video experience, nearly half (49%) close the video to try again; 29% close the video and try a different Web site/media platform; 11% stop watching video altogether; and 10% look for new content.

So what does all of the facts and figures mean? It generally notes that video content is alive and living, and will only head toward one direction: A state of growth! Not only for the content, but how that same content is distributed. The classic TV antenna that’s been around for the last 70 years, is in good company with signals fed through a coax cable, a mini satellite dish, and through an internet connection. More programming is now seen on such streaming sites from Amazon, Netflix, HBO To Go’s streaming service, and all points in between. YouTube has their share of video content that’s so mind boggling, one can barley keep track to what’s available! (Hours of content is being uploaded as you read this article!) And devices, in spite of the small size and sound quality to boot, is a kept method to keep one amused wherever they go just as long as one has an internet connection to grab it all in.

There are many questions that do remain. Perhaps the most obvious one is the quest if such content is even worth one’s time when it comes to viewing it all? That depends on what one wants to see at that moment. Many of those woman’s magazines out there (Redbook, Woman’s Day, All You, etc.) features plenty of articles and notes on watching a video for any issue or concern that is helpful toward its demographic–everything from exercise videos to humorous segments featuring cats(!) This gives a notion that many females are just as wired and tech savvy as their male counterparts, breaking a long theory that the computer world is for men only–although the fact could be debatable in that aspect. Too many articles have been posted (online mostly, but some in print) about those 35 and under that grew up with this virtual reality. Kids as young as two years (possibly younger) are playing with mobile devices as supplied by the parent or its equivalent; A parent, etc. that is just as wired as their offspring.

Many may wax poetic over the notion that, although having video content at one’s whims and fingertips may be ideal of having said access, at times where it just may just be too much of a good thing.–assuming that it’s good to begin with whatever the term “good” means! However, it’s nice to know that just like air–video content is there if you need it or not. But air is free, while video content may not. You really get what one pays for!

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NEWS AND REVIEWS

     Performing in the intimate Studio C theater space at Hollywood’s Stella Adler Theatre is Stephen Adly Guirgis’ DEN OF THIEVES, a black comedy about a pair of recovering twelve steppers who become involved with a small time hood, only to get in trouble with a bigger team of hoods that mean business.

Taking place in one of New York City’s underbelly neighborhoods finds Maggie (Alexandra Lemus), a Puerto Rican street savvy gal meeting with her “sponsor” Paul (David Thor) on her addictions. She belongs to a number of twelve step programs over her vices, from being a chronic klepto to her overeating. While Maggie is more street smart, Paul is book smart, taking his followings of his twelve step programs to the letter, and insists that she do the same. Maggie just broke up (again) with her boyfriend Flaco (Chris Petrovski), a hyper and somewhat lower lever street hood always looking for his next big score. It seems that Paul’s grandfather was a member of a gang known as the Den of Thieves who many years before successfully did a number of safecracker jobs without getting caught. They played Robin Hood by taking their “earnings” and spending it toward social causes to make the neighborhood a bit better than before. Flaco, knowing that Paul has a knowledge of cracking locks and safes learning the skill from his granddad, informs the pair about a score where they can get 750 Gs from a neighborhood club known for its book making and drug dealing. With Flaco’s new girlfriend, a streetwalker called Boochie (Montana Roesch), along for the deal, their heist doesn’t go as planned, only for this team to get into serious dutch with Little Tuna (Fletcher Day) the son of mobster Big Tuna (Stan Harrington) who placed his kid in charge while he went out of town for the weekend. With the aid of Big Tuna’s nephew Sal (Corey Michael Jantzen), they have plans for this four where they play for keeps!

This is a kind of play that is very street savvy, jivey (in a good way), and is very over the top humor wise. The characters portrayed are the type usually found in any urban based scene, full of quirky characters that are amusing once seen on stage, but would be very scary to encounter in one’s so-called “real life”! The cast of six fit that form of persona to a royal “T”. The stage setting this play as presented is very intimate (no need for stage space as the cast works well close to one another), and its stage set as designed by Brian Frisch is relatively simple: Only a few furnishings along with a set of four chairs. (It’s part of the plotting here!) This method of theater is part of the classic school of thinking where “less is more”. The performances and the play itself are the real stars of this show, and this kind of function proves itself out!

Directed by Alex Aves, this DEN OF THIEVES will keep one very amused in spite of the overall theme and characters. Whatever the case, it just doesn’t get any better than that!

     DEN OF THIEVES, presented by Out House Productions in association with Stella Adler Lab Theatre, performs in Studio C at The Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd. (at Highland), Hollywood, until May 31st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For tickets, call (323) 873-5149, or through Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.DenOfThieves.bpt.me

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THE ELLIOTS, a world premier stage adaptation by A. J. Darby of Jane Austen’s classic novel Persuasion and currently performing at South Pasadena’s Fremont Centre Theatre, speaks about Anne Elliot (Kelly Lohman) a young woman barley out of her teens, receiving a proposal of marriage from her suitor Frederick Wentworth (Travis Goodman), a captain in the Royal Navy. Although he is an officer, he is not of wealthy resources. Her family consisting of her father Sir Walter Elliot (Steve Peterson), and her two sisters, the elder Elizabeth (Emily Greco) and Mary Musgrive nee Elliot (Kalen Harriman) the youngest of the three, do not approve of this proposal due to his lack of financial means, and her family feels that this possible marriage would tarnish the family name. Some eight years have passed. Anne, now in her later 20’s and still unmarried, attempts to rekindle her relationship with Fredrick who has become successful in his naval service after serving duty fighting in the Napoleonic wars. Although he has become a wealthy naval officer, he has never forgiven Anne for rejecting him those many years before, and is willing to find another woman that would catch his interest. Meanwhile, the Elliot family estate is at risk as Walter, due to his financial irresponsibility, has their manor placed in control through other members of their domain. Its the saga of the keeping of the family legacy in stable order, and the personal battle of Anne’s romantic stage in the man she loves, in spite of having her heart and spirit being broken too many times before.

This stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s last published novel in the early years of the 19th century, takes the basic plot points and condenses the essential themes by limiting the story structure down to only nine characters; The Elliot family as noted above, the Musgrive clan consisting of Mary’s husband Charles (Nicklaus Von Nolde), and his two younger sisters Henrietta (Paula Deming) and Louisa (Madison Kirkpatrick), as well as Naval Captain James Benwick (Jeffrey Nichols), Henrietta’s suitor the Reverend Charles Hayter (Ryan Young), and Frederick Wentworth. This play itself is very talky where the characters speak with their period British charm and pose with limited stage movement. There are many elements covered in this two act play that keeps the sprit of a Jane Austen novel alive that has latched its following of readers and fans engaged for some 200 years and counting!

As to this stage production, the cast of nine maintains the previous noted charisma and allure. The costumes as designed by Allison Gorjian hark of that era, full of flowing gown-types for the woman folk, and long coats for the men. (The Reverend dons black with a suggestion of a white collar piece). Mark and Lily Ceri’s sets consists of period English furnishings where the characters are either seated while speaking, if not standing while verbalizing. Again, there is a lot of coverage to be depicted in this two act play, and playwright A. J. Darby holds on to these important notions affixed while Karissa McKinney’s stage direction keeps modes at pace.

As noted before, Jane Austen’s following through her collection of novels has carried its readers (mostly of the female demographic) allured for some two centuries and more. Added to the fact that all of the characters and settings are British in nature, this place of origin adds to the appeal to its background and circumstances. This play is ideal of those for noted Jane Austen fans to experience, and for those that may not necessarily be too familiar with her writings. Being that novels of that time were the only form of entertainment that existed in a fixed format, they were created at length with lots of complex side plots and points. THE ELLIOTS show love, passion, emotional control, and the sense that broken hearts can be mended after all, from 19th century England to 21st century USA! The more things change…

THE ELLIOTS, presented by Little Candle Productions, and performs at the Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Avenue (at El Centro), South Pasadena, until June 7th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. (As of press time, the performances for Saturday, May 30th and Sunday, June 7th are sold out)

     For tickets and for further information, call (866) 811-4111, or via online at http://www.FremontCentreTheatre.com

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2015 Linear Cycle Productions.

All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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