Welcome to another fantastic edition of The IndieNet and Beyond! It’s more news and web series episodes, plus… some ramblings from me. I’ve been busy with pre-production for Reality On Demand, so I’m taking a break this week from interviews to talk a little about independent filmmaking and online distribution.
If any doubts remain of the power of the Internet, then the Egypt uprising fueled in large part by social networking via the Internet should put them to rest. If that isn’t good enough, then the countless actor death rumors that spread like lightning on the web should eliminate any doubt.
The rise of digital filmmaking and now HD filmmaking makes it cheaper every year for a filmmaker to create a film on a budget that is a mere fraction of what films cost only a decade ago. Now the Internet, which is finally fast enough to handle high quality video, is helping to cause a new rise in indie filmmaking distribution.
The combination of faster bandwidth, better embed video technology, social networking, growing interest from advertisers and portability make the Internet the perfect place to find an audience.
This all helps to rectify the one thing I hate about indie filmmaking: the near-impossibility of getting your creation in front of people. There are few occupations where you are required to pay people to consider possibly, maybe showing your work in front of an audience that may be no larger that what can easily fit in a large living room. I understand that the festival must make a profit, but it seems kind of silly. Unless it is shown at Sundance (which doesn’t mean as much as it used to) or a handful of other festivals, very few people will even see it. Heck, how many people even go to film festivals? But the Internet is the great equalizer. After all, how many people aren’t on the Internet?
I’ve been keeping an eye on web series creation since 2007 and I am amazed by the progress. Damien Kindler’s Sanctuary was a little too early for the ambitious budget it had, but it turned out fine for him in the end since it was picked up by SyFy. Perhaps the Internet is the new dynamic that will help bring truth to the belief that if you make a good film or series, then people will watch. (Plus, including Felicia Day, Joss Whedon or the words ‘lesbian sex’ in the tags doesn’t hurt.)
Also, who doesn’t prefer the convenience that the Internet brings? We are all to busy to arrange our lives around an arbitrary scheduling of shows that could get moved suddenly by a sports game or a bad call by a network (*cough* CW *cough* Supernatural & Smallville pushed back last minute *cough*).
My only concern is that the few big corporations out there will drown out the indie voice. But if the The International Academy of Web Television can get more focused and web series creators can support each other more, then the indie web series creators will have a chance to get just as many eyeballs as network TV. From my discussions with web series creators, I’m encouraged that it seems most of them do support each other rather than tear each other down. Perhaps that is one of the biggest problems with the independent filmmaking model as it traditionally exists: there is a built in “Survivor” phenomenon where everyone is competing for limited film festival time slots and their awards.
But with web series, there is enough time for a fan of The Guild to also watch GOLD or Vampire Zombie Werewolf or any of the other creative web series popping up. I’m thrilled to hear that creators from Asylum and Vampire Zombie Werewolf made guest appearances in Suck & Moan, and to see different web series retweeting news about other web series.
I have nothing against my favorite shows— Supernatural, Being Human, Sanctuary, etc.—on major networks owned by the media Cabal (Heheh… that sounds so cool when I say it like that.) I’ll keep watching them, but I’ll also be watching The Guild, Riese, Asylum, Vampire Zombie Werewolf, and countless others.
So I guess what I’m saying is, the Internet needs an Indie Internet Revolution! It has already begun and let’s hope it continues to grow.
A quick update for those wondering about progress on my own web series. Reality On Demand had a big table read last Sunday. Now we move forward with rehearsals, fight choreography training, and making those darn costumes and props. I dropped in on SFP-Now to give some hints about the series.
Click to listen:
Elsewhere On The Web…
The big news this week is the announcement of Felicia Day’s (The Guild, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) new web series project… Dragon Age: Redemption. She is writing, co-producing, and starring in this upcoming six-part web series based in the Dragon Age universe.
The series is created in collaboration with BioWare. It will be directed by associate producer Peter Winther (Independence Day) and John Bartley (Lost, The X-Files) will be Director of Photography.
Day will play Tallis, an Elven assassin hired to capture a rogue mage. Those darn mages and their plots to conquer the world. Congrats to Felicia Day’s continued success, and of course she is also preparing season 5 of The Guild.
I’ll continue the low-budget trend set by Lazy Teenage Superheroes and Redd by showing a video from the cool folks at Westhavenbrook who make these fun martial art scifi action films. It’s one of their first, The Danger Element – Episode 1. Enjoy!
What I’m Watching… Are You?
Death Battle! – “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Battle Royale”
It’s sort of Deadliest Warrior, but with a much more scifi flavor to it. An all out battle to death between two or more characters from pop culture. This time we learn who is the deadliest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Mind’s Eye – Episode 12 “Showdown”
It’s the half-season mark for Mind’s Eye. Illia and his friends sneak into the school, but find danger waiting for them.
Throwing Stones – Episode 6 “Death Bed”
Have you been watching the new teen horror web series Throwing Stones? It’s a feature length horror screenplay adapted for the Internet. It’s almost over, but never to late to catch up.
Vampire Zombie Werewolf – Episode 5 Commentary
Vampire Zombie Werewolf takes another week off from a new episode, but they do give us another funny commentary episode to hold us over.
That’s A Wrap
Got a web series, web comic, web… whatever, then I want to know about it. Contact me at: [email protected]
That’s a wrap for now. Take care friends. Until next time… marX out.
You can find me on twitter @MrMarx
Follow ScifiPulse on Twitter @SciFiPulse.
Marx H. Pyle is a writer, martial artist and American independent filmmaker. A graduate of Vancouver Film School, he has worked on a number of projects including the short film he wrote and directed, Silence of the Belle. He is currently in pre-production of his scifi web series Reality On Demand.