Tag: Web Series
Well, it’s late May in Seattle, and that means it’s time for the Seattle International Film Festival. And that means you can come hear me talk about filmmaking type stuff.
I’ll be speaking on two panels this year—the short film panel and a panel on web series and such. Come on down. It’ll be like the blog, but with that extra uncensored live-event goodness, I try to shake these panels up, so it should be a good ol’ time. I’m bound and determined to make the Short Film panel very different from those I’ve been on before thanks to my Open Source Short Film Business Plan that I’ll be happy to discuss if anyone is interested.
Here’s the deets:
Friday, May 24, 2013 4:30P-6:00P SIFF Film Center
Come hear me talk about short films and what to do with them with filmmaker pals Lindy & Kris Boustedt and moderator Chris Hammersly. Tall filmmakers also welcome. Drinking optional but encouraged.
Saturday, June 1 10:30A-noon SIFF Film Center
I’ll be chatting with Darlene Sellers (Chop Socky Boom), Matt Vancil (Journey Quest), Vanessa Driveness, and Amy Lillard, moderated by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment’s Tony Becerra. That’s a pretty awesome representation of Seattle’s mighty web series machine. I’ll probably learn more than I teach. (This is not a happy hour event, so any drinking should be done ahead of time.)
We have entered the Golden Age of Independent Series over the Internet
All media and formats have their Golden Age where artists flock to the new and—unbound by rules, standards, or precedent—create a great variety of amazing and original artworks. The trouble with a Golden Age is that they are awfully hard to recognize when you’re in the middle of them—and even harder at the beginning. But I’m here to tell you that the Golden Age of Independent Series over the Internet is beginning.
My bold prediction:
Within two years an independent series airing on the Internet will be generally recognized as being as good as any of the better content on broadcast television—and better than much of the network dreck.
Depending on where you see the state of independent series, this statement is either ludicrous or obvious—I doubt there’s much middle ground. To me, it’s so plain to see that I worry that I’m pussy-footing around the issue—I should probably shorten the time period to one year and expect a half dozen independent series to be recognized in this way…on the cover of Newsweek. However, many people are understandably stuck in a Fred/machinima/montages-of-cat-photos mindset when they hear the words “web series” or anything similar, so it’s hard for them to see past the current glut of user-generated content.
I’m changing the focus of this blog to creating Internet-based television series and distributing them to an audience. In the past I spoke about independent film because that was what I was interested in and where I thought I had some experience worth sharing. The fact that I’ve become an infrequent blogger reflects my waning interest in independent film. I’ll always love indie films and may even be fortunate enough to make more. But I’ve come to believe that there are better formats for both audiences and content creators—namely, serialized long-form stories distributed over the Internet.
I’ll be posting more about this soon, but in short, I believe we’re entering a golden age for visual storytellers and audiences where the confluence of new production tools, new modes of internet-based distribution, and new socio-economic realities are coming together to allow experienced filmmakers to create series for web-based audiences that rival the quality of network shows without being reduced to the least common denominator in order to satisfy a network-sized audience.
Of course, people have been talking about this possibility for several years now, without it yet becoming a reality. I believe that’s about to change. Changes on all three of these fronts: better cameras and software, more effective web distribution channels, and a recent societal and economic shift all push this closer to reality. All of this will be the topic of several posts to come as I lay out my vision of what seems to be coming and how filmmakers can reap the benefits.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey of discovery. I believe that this is going to be the most fecund and rewarding time that filmmakers have seen in decades. I’ve spent the past three years creating a media company—Popular Uprising—to explore and exploit these rapidly emerging opportunities. Popular Uprising is the product of untold hours of work from myself, my business partner Dan Southworth, and a few other amazing collaborators. We would not have put the time into this if we did not see a very real opportunity. We’ve learned a lot along the way and I’m sure we have much, much more learning ahead of us as we release our various series. The first series, DIVERGENCE will begin airing in 2012. I want to share what I’m discovering in the hopes that it paves the way for other filmmakers looking to play in this sandbox. I also want invite you to share what you’re learning to keep the dialogue going. I’m here to learn as well.