Everyone in Hollywood has a Web Series

BFF - Episode 1
I think it was at the Streamy Awards during her acceptance speech that Zadi Diaz said, "It used to be that everyone in Hollywood had a screenplay. Now everyone in Hollywood has a web series." I don't think that's entirely true but there are people from my past life that are coming out of the woodwork showing me their web series, their trailer for a web series or just pitching me their web series and I love it. For so long in Hollywood the gatekeepers kept out the independent producers and made it hard for people to produce. But now because of Internet video all that has changed. Producers don't need studio approval anymore and for many frustrated filmmakers this is incredibly enlightening. Now, everyone has access and doesn't need approval. I think it's so exciting that everyone can make a web series including those people who had the hardest time of all - The Hollywood Executive producers who in the past worked at studios on staff and were involved with executive decisions at the highest level but were never allowed to really roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. Well all that's changed with the democratization of the Internet and digital video production. Now former studio executives who had the rough challenge of getting approvals from higher ups before they could move forward on anything can just go make a web series. You have no idea how freeing this is for these downtrodden people that in the past had to share producer credits with countless other producers who were attached to a film that "THEY" never really worked on. It doesn't matter anymore if it's a studio, Indie or even a rare hybrid studio / indie division (most of them have closed shop) project. You just need an idea, a camera and an Internet connection. No approval from the corporate suits, you just go do it. That's right, you the studio development person can make your own without a greenlight from your boss' boss' boss. Unfortunately because of studio downsizing many executives are now unemployed but that means that just like the Writers' Strike they have extra time on their hands. Time they could be using to make a web series. I think that if a lot of these unemployed former mini major executive producer types hadn't lost the value of their 401ks in the past year we would see a lot more web series from these creatively stifled individuals that for too long had to say, "No" to so many independent projects that they "really wanted to greenlight" but just "couldn't get the team on board." The interesting thing to me will be to see if these executive producer types who have such great IMDB credit lists and great Hollywood connections will be able to build audiences in the millions and monetize their self-greenlight projects because there's nothing holding them back now from doing the type of work they have always wanted to do. Take for example former Miramax executive and acclaimed producer, Meryl Poster who's credits include Chicago, The Cider House Rules, and according to the MySpace press release, the Academy Award winning Shakespeare in Love. Because of the Internet and web video Meryl Poster is now free of the corporate constraints of Disney. Meryl no longer has to work on stuffy critically acclaimed feature films, Meryl is now allowed to pursue true passions by producing shows for the world’s leading social portal with projects like the newly launched MySpace Game Show, “BFF.” "BFF," The MySpace original program, which tests how well best friends know each other, is produced by Meryl Poster and David Rubin and sponsored by Ortho Women’s Health & Urology™, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Each “BFF” webisode will feature a pair of best friends who are challenged to answer questions about each other in several rounds. Based on the number of correct answers, prizes will be awarded at the end of each round. To check out “BFF” visit: www.myspace.com/bff. It's great to see that Everyone in Hollywood has a Web Series.
  • http://www.johnnyhugel.com Johnny Hugel

    The companion piece to this post could be Everyone Outside Hollywood Has A Webseries… Or maybe that just goes without saying.

    While it’s daunting to be see the increased competition from professionals, I believe that the up-and-comers still have a decent chance since content is still key to keeping people interested and engaged. BJ Novak made the excellent point at SXSW that the shows that people watch on TV just because they are on would have a lot harder time on the Internet where so many other options exist, and people are much more engaged in their watching experience.

    I still have faith that a great concept and execution will level the playing field against these professionals.

  • http://1timstreet.com 1TimStreet

    I agree with you Johnny. The tough part for all of us now is how to create new business models that are open to all.

    While there are still farmers’ markets all across America most people get their fresh vegetables from super markets and to get your food products on a shelf in a grocery store you have to have a distribution deal and pay slotting fees. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slotting_fee

    Let’s hope we can keep the Internet free and open so that we can have our own “Web Video Farmers’ Markets” without having to pay the big guys slotting fees or be shut out again.

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