Internet to host candid camera soap

You could find yourself an unwitting Internet star, with Net film Insecurity planning to snoop on the public

A new online drama launching on Monday, filmed entirely on the streets by CCTV cameras, is designed to open up new opportunities on the Internet for budding filmmakers.

Insecurity is an eight-part online soap opera, exploring the lives of a range of characters from politicians to the homeless. Inspired by the success of Big Brother last summer, the video-streaming of CCTV surveillance footage is predicted to grab the attention of Britain's voyeurs.

"The Internet can host any line of artistic talent -- opening up new opportunities for media talent," said Kerry Gibbs, Web designer for Insecurity. "With online film it's not who you know, but what you know and how you can do it."

Insecurity is a prime example of how the Internet is creating new opportunities for emerging talent. Produced by Ultralab, a department of Anglia Polytechnic University and a small regional arts group, the team is made up of three multimedia students, two amateur writers and a professional producer. Only £4,000 has been spent in creating the whole sitcom.

Internet films have the advantage of reaching a global audience, especially those made in English. "We are trying to keep the audience wide -- the soap is going out in English, but it's a global project," said Gibbs. Nine out of ten computers connected to the Internet are located in English-speaking countries, and more than 80 percent of Web site homepages are written in English

Millions of viewers immersed themselves into the voyeuristic experiment Big Brother last summer, when ten contestants willingly renounced their privacy for nine weeks living under the scrutiny of myriad high-tech surveillance equipment. Five days after its launch, the Internet phenomenon had received more than seven and a half million visitors. One million people logged on to see coverage from Webcams on the site the day Nasty Nick was thrown out of the house.

The second instalment of Big Brother 2 is scheduled to hit the Web in June.

They can see you... Find out how and why in Surveillance, a ZDNet News Special.

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