Not content with its own sizable stake of the modern world, social media has begun creeping its way into places it doesn’t belong, like TV, food, or brain cells. The latest development? The “adaptweetion,” a phrase coined by TNT for their upcoming series Mob City. Adaptweeting, like the name suggests, is the adapting of a particular piece of art for the medium of Twitter, and the Mob City pilot holds the honor of being the world’s introduction to this potentially horrifying new art form.
Here’s how it works. The pilot script for Mob City is chunked down into tiny, 140 character pieces (a line or two of dialogue or a small piece of description), and tweeted along with an accompanying photo or Vine from the actual pilot, creating something like a picture book version of the Mob City pilot. The Tweeting will continue until the series premieres this Wednesday, at which point you’ll be forced to re-watch everything that was previously Twote (Tweeted?) in its boring old everyday not-interrupted-by-constant-hashtags format. The “adaptweetion” can be found on TNT’s twitter page (for obvious reasons), but the whole thing is also being collected at Mobscript.com for those who don’t feel like navigating through the rest of TNT’s Twitter activity.
I’ll admit, despite not being particularly excited for either Mob City or Twitter-based marketing, this adaptweetion has managed to hold my interest. Seeing a screenplay being picked apart holds some appeal for all us self-styled film buffs, providing an experience not unlike reading a script and watching the finished product at the same time. And thankfully, the Twitter-ness is kept to a minimum for all those who don’t speak in hashtags. Retweets are shuffled off to the side, while the one and only hashtag seems to be boilerplate “#MobScript.” On top of that, there’s a neat little countdown timer for the next incoming section of tweet-script, ensuring that no one has to stare at their monitors in silence while waiting for the next two sentences of Mob City to appear.
But aside from being the latest integration of social media and original-recipe media, does script-tweeting actually have a future? Putting trailers on Instagram most certainly did not, but parsing out a screenplay is a far better use of the miniscule social media video size limits than just chopping down a trailer to the barest essentials.
Still, all of this is for nothing if others don’t follow suit with this “adaptweeting” thing (and hopefully a better word will be selected if this idea takes off). Maybe going with an entire screenplay is a bit too hefty. It’s not too much of a stretch to see the opening sequence of a Walking Dead episode or the next trillion-dollar superhero movie throwing its opening sequence, adaptweetions and all, online for the public to see. No matter what the outcome of TNT’s newest marketing venture, one thing’s for certain. Tweets have already begun replacing critical blurbs and invading the lower third of most TV broadcasts. The war on Twitter-free film and TV has already begun.