Thursday, May 8, 2008

Make your own damn Webisode!

Years ago, my friend Trent Haaga wrote a book called Make Your Own Damn Movie. Well, Texas filmmaker Blake Calhoun and writer Mike Madden did just that. Sort of. They made a TV-like series for the Web ("webisodes") called Pink - The Series.

They posted the series on YouTube, and it took off: 4 million views in just a few months. Mike Madden, in a podcast interview with Pilar Alessandra, writer Madden explains that part of the success, he feels, is that the 3-minute shows are scripted with a 3-minute arc, not a 90-minute arc that's been chopped up into 3-minute intervals. The fact that it's action fare, with a woman in the lead role, no less, probably didn't hurt. Shows like La Femme Nikita and Domino did pretty well using the same basic formula.

Recently, Hollywood sat up and took notice. New Webisodes of PTS are being shot now, and their recent deal with Generate bodes well for the DFW team to be at the leading edge of Web-based filmmaking.

That's good for Texas producers, directors, writers, and actors, and most of all, good for consumers, who are looking for quality content "outside the box." It's the obvious conclusion of the major studios' crumbling business model, which they are fighting hard to hold onto, seemingly oblivious to the lessons of their music industry brethren.

It's motivational to me. I'm in the process of self-producing a few features and possibly even my TV series, which might be a nice end-run around Hollywood Development Hell.

Did I mention that I'm writing a book, too?

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