Paul Irmiter and I go way back to the days when designers would actually hire photographers to shoot pictures (what a concept!). Paul and I spent countless hours making images for Target, Musicland, and Andersen Windows, among others. I was always impressed with Paul’s ability to be nimble and adaptable with his photo business: one day we would be building a room set in the studio with a full crew of assistants and stylists, and the next, it would be the two of us on location with a handheld camera; always with the same excellent results. So I was fascinated—but not surprised—a couple months ago to see that Paul’s business had morphed yet again with his latest project: The Craig Show, a hysterical web based show featuring golf coach, musician, and budding performance artist, Craig Teiken.
Paul talked about the transition from still to motion photography in a recent email exchange: “I love photography and integrate it in into everything we do, but that’s a changing industry and often lacks the creative spark it used to have. So I came up with the idea for The Craig Show and I have never had more fun.”
Each episode is between 2-5 minutes long and usually revolves around Craig ranting about various aspects of golf and life. “I met Craig through some mutual friends, and after spending some time with him I felt he would be great on camera,” writes Paul, “he has an endless amount of information about golf, so we are never short on material. I tend to pull in some outside weirdness to keep things fresh and different. Jacob the main camera guy is mostly interested in what makes him and his friends laugh. Jacob’s responsible for my returning character of the Caddie…he just thinks it’s hilarious.”
So how do Paul and his partners plan to make this gem of an idea into a business? “We have the goal to build The Craig Show into a profitable business. We have some small advertisers and are looking to line up an overarching sponsor to help fund the production. We have not activated our Google Ad and Blip Ad accounts, but that’s an option too, if our numbers continue to increase.” TCS also serves as a marketing tool for Paul’s production company 612im. “It’s a great way to showcase our capabilities. The ultimate goal is for 612im to be a full time production company working on internet-only content. We also have some ideas for merchandise related to the show and we have a Flickr stream for some still shots related to the show”
One of the primary venues for TCS is a service called Blip.tv, an online hosting and distribution platform which features an expanding range of independently produced shows, video blogs and podcasts. Paul talked about the trend in TV viewing habits, “I am betting that in the next few years there will be little difference between broadcast TV and net TV.” He points to shows like Wine Library TV as an example of how this trend will play out with independently produced shows that target a very narrow niche audience.
I see The Craig Show and Blip.tv as excellent examples of the opportunities opening up in this time of economic, technological, and cultural flux. Compared to just a few years ago, it is outrageously easy and affordable to produce online content and exciting to see creative professionals like Paul Irmiter pioneering this new frontier.