Saturday, July 22, 2006

Web Auteurs

There's an extremely interesting article in the N.Y. Times (registration required) called "Hollywood Clicks on the World of Web Auteurs." Hollywood is tripping over itself to sign up David Lehre. His YouTube video MySpace - The Movie! has almost 7 million viewings.

The article hits many of points that have been raised here. Some quotes:

Some people say that the film industry has more to fear than just being late to the party. If the Net begins spawning films — and not simply helping to market or deliver them, as has happened to date — studios’ grip on the business of putting pictures on screens may be challenged.

“Their nightmare is a direct feed from moviemaker to audience,” said Walter Kirn, a frequent contributor to The New York Times who has been serializing his novel “The Unbinding” on and saw one of his other novels, “Thumbsucker,” adapted to the big screen. “Their only trump cards are that they are pools of capital for making expensive things. Otherwise they are cut out of the action.”

Geoffrey Gilmore, director of the Sundance Film Festival, said: “We are probably at a period of greater change than we have had in the past 50 years. The industry is scared about what they should make and how they should deliver it. What’s the next step? Where’s the development coming from?”

Of course what makes the Web attractive is that there are no gatekeepers — managers, agents, studio executives, or film-festival programmers — to get past. But that’s also what makes finding truly satisfying entertainment difficult. On YouTube alone tens of thousands of videos are posted every day.

Mr. Kirn predicted that “all of the zoo animals are going to get out.” He continued, “The question is whether they will be paid,” because the Net so far has offered virtually unlimited freedom but very limited rewards.

(I know that I've been concentrating heavily on the industry here, lately. I'm going to be reviewing The Long Tail in the next day or two and then I promise to get back to another mosaic and some animation history.)

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