Southland Adventuring, Video Projects, New Media Musings & Web Ephemera

Monday, December 22, 2008

What if the World were made of Pudding?

Story from North America (FULL VERSION!) from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

I love coming across videos so fantastic I have no choice but to repost them. Inventive, catchy, bizarre and funny, "Story from North America" is worth of second of your time. Click it with your whole heart children!

via Cartoon Brew

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Celebs or Cewebs?

Stunt casting is old hat, even on the Internet. Whether you're friends with Will Ferrel or Michael Buckly, star power pulls in views. Liz Miller wrote a piece for NewTeeVee a while back that asks whether it’s better to cast cewebrities or old media celebs. The article stuck with me, and as a person who’s intimately aware of the pros and cons of both Independent and Hollywood content production, I thought I’d weigh in.

Star power is a time tested tactic old Hollywood knows too well, so of course Strike.TV, a Hollywood organization (with a capitol H), would go with what we know. Has it worked for Funny or die? Either way their model appears to be structured around one off skits, not full blown series (for now). 60 frames hasn’t seen anything take off and Strike.Tv hasn’t found the smash hit we’re looking for ( I don’t see anyone wearing a House Poor t-shirt yet). It’s interesting that My Damn Channel’s biggest hit, You Suck at Photoshop found it's audience without proper star power.

So why do we keep hedging our bets on Hollywood types? You can’t turn around without seeing another web series starring Jessica Rose. Shouldn’t Strike.Tv wise up, cut costs, and start turning out the next Hooking Up? I’d love to say that it has everything to do with creator rights and artistic integrity – and it does. But the ruthless business person in me wouldn’t be a part of an outfit if it weren’t for the fact that those ideals work in conjunction with business sense.

If this “new media” space is to be supported by advertising, then we need to make it friendly for advertisers. Just as the likes of Ask a Ninja and French Maid Tv have done a great job paving models for distribution, marketing and merchandising, we’re doing our part to make it easy for Advertisers to get comfortable in the new media space*. It's one thing to pitch a solid new show to an advertiser as a web producer, it's something else entirely when Kristen Wiig stars in your show. The more advertisers spend here, the more comfortable they'll be, and the more money we'll all see.

It’s clear to anyone paying attention that there’s plenty of room for content so long as it's quality. For all the press that Strike.TV has received, if we’re not out busting our asses 17 hours a day to build an audience, then that early surge of views isn’t going to earn us more than a bar tab at the next Digital LA mixer (at least the way I drink).

Pretending that it’s an “old media” vs. “new media” world is counter productive. Just because we Independents have been kept out of the game for so long, we think that Old Media is going to get hip to whats up and sidle us out of the game. Some would like to, believe you me, but they can’t. And even when they figure out how to play the game right, they still wont be able to keep independents from making a splash. Content is now, and will always be king. So let’s acknowledge that we’re all figuring this out together.

And if anyone can get me a meeting with Fred's people, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve got a part in my next project that’ll just knock his block off ;)

* Not that Kent Nichols and Tim Street haven't set their own precedent with advertisers as well.

The Outlaw Emmett Deemus

Yesterday I had the pleasure of posting a personal favorite: The Outlaw Emmett Deemus. It's got a ring to it, right? Obviously, this series is right up my alley. Outlaws and weirdos and Desert rats; it's too perfect. It's so in line with my sensibilities, that I worried that it may actually be too close to a project of my own (Mountain Man). Luckily, these pieces are more like companions than rivals.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hoots the Owl: American Icon

I decided to play the saxophone at young age because, well, the sax is cool. I came to this conclusion thanks to Hoots the Owl:
What's not to love? He lives on Seasame Street, he's a fixture in the local Jazz scene, and he wails. I see no problem in aspiring to be like this particular owl. If we were talking about Owl from Winnie the Pooh, maybe you'd have reason to judge. Anyway, the point is this: I admire musically inclined animals, especially ones that play the sax.

Maybe I would have re-thought my decision if I saw this video instead.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Liberty Chew Chewing Tobacco Presents...

Back in 2001 I went to go see The American Astronaut, and I never got over it. I think about that film all the time. Even today, while meditating on a script of my own, the film crept into my consciousness. I love it as much as a man can love a film.

So you can imagine my joy when today, while cruising the web, killing time before guilt got the better of me and I began writing again, I happened upon this little nugget of joy via Laughing Squid.

A miniseries suitable for all sizes eh? Sounds like a web series to me. What wonder will Cory Mcabe bring us? We'll have to wait for Sundance.