Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick have been producing high-quality television (My So Called Life, thirtysomething) and film (Legends of the Fall, Blood Diamond) for quite some time. Recently the duo launched Quarterlife, a contemporary coming of age series being streamed on the web along with an integrated social network. A significant aspect of the show is that unlike most television properties today, the producers retain full creative control and ownership. In addition to being available on MySpace and their own web site, they recently made a deal with NBC to air the show next year.
I talk with Herskovitz about the origins of the project, its significance in the context of the writers strike, and what's different about producing for the internet compared to traditional film and television. Related to this interview is "Are the corporate suits ruining TV?," an editorial by Herskovitz which appeared in the Los Angeles Times on November 7, 2007 in which he argues that Network control and media consolidation are wringing the creativity out of entertainment.
Photo credit: Elisabeth Caren/quarterlife, the Art Film Talk theme music was composed by Colin Owens.