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Echo beach

*Update* Well – as if by magic it turns out that Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach are very much a multiplatform project so for those that read the old post – I’ve updated to reflect this change. Produced by Dare Digital, Kudos productions & Red Planet Productions, online there is a section called ‘The Mole’, and from here you can watch mobile phone videos of behind the scenes of the behind the scenes show (Moving Wallpaper) and try and figure out who the mole is leaking the footage onto the web… Confused? Well it all makes sense if A: You’ve been watching the shows and B: You head on over to the website and take a look. Needless to say this now means my post title isn’t actually true any more hence the edit!

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So Tony Jordans new pairing of a comedy show Moving Wallpaper and TV Soap Echo Beach aired last night on ITV1, and… I really enjoyed it.

The way it works is that Moving Wallpaper is a behind the scenes comedy show that follows the trials and tribulations of making a TV California Style soap called Echo Beach. What makes the pairing so innovative is that the programme Echo Beach is then shown after Moving Wallpaper in its own 30 min episode that is played straight but does include in jokes for those who watched Moving Wallpaper. It sounds confusing, but in practise works really well.

Tony Jordan, best known for Life On Mars & Hustle, has created what truly feels like a great example of a British multiplatform programme… And about time too!

In an interview with the Guardan newspaper Tony says that this concept has been sat in his drawer for 12 years and I think it is very much due to the way in which broadcasters are becoming more adventurous with multiplatform storytelling that this has finally been commissioned. The more that broadcasters understand and embrace that content can be delivered in multiple ways, the more this thinking crosses over into the way in which content is presented on TV. What needs to continue to develop is to make sure that multiplatform content is of equal quality across all platforms. Not just in the quality of the assets but the way in which there is an incentive for the audience to consume it and a real reason for it to exist.

There is something really refreshing in the structure of these prorammes and although I think Moving Wallpaper outshines Echo Beach in the writing department (and acting), as part of a package it sits perfectly well as the in jokes and back referencing make the viewing experience engaging.

I notice that the online presence will ramp up and am interested in what they do with that space. Whether the viewing figures will reflect how highly I rate the programmes is another matter, there were moments during the viewing where I was confused as to whether Echo Beach was in fact a stooge for Moving Wallpapers comedy or whether it had the depth to stand up on its own. Only time will tell I guess. Definitely worth checking out though. 2nd episodes are on tonight between 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

*Update* Reviews are in… Nothing that insightful, but opinion seems to tally with mine in that Echo Beach is the weaker of the two propositions. Tonights epsiode (EP 2) was even funnier than the 1st, I’m having to kick myself to make sure I’m really watching this on ITV1!!

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