Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog was the first webshow I ever watched. A few of us saw it while ‘working’ at the University of Maryland a few summers ago. It won lots of awards and was the first webshow to make it onto mainstream television on October 9, 2012. What I found interesting about the webshow format was that it was able to accomplish a great deal of plot and character development in such a short time. Everything happens in 42 minutes which keeps it focused. Regular TV shows take their time and degrade the overall quality of the story in order to keep going season after season. Because web shows don’t have to fit a 30 or 60 minute time-slot, the episodes and seasons are just as long as they need to be. Better to have people clamoring for more year after year than for people to wonder why the show’s still around.
Web shows can also experiment with different concepts and keep the project more creatively pure and interesting. They can do what they want. Unique projects like Journey Quest, Character, The Vault, Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and Squaresville garner millions of viewers all over the world for a fraction of the cost that a TV show could.
While the cost may be low, there is still a cost. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow filmmakers and other creators to get funding for their projects. This is a more proactive way of looking at entertainment and is changing how films are made. It’s a win-win because the creator gets to make their show/art/music and the fans (now investors) get to enjoy the results and know that they helped make it happen in the first place. This paradigm shift is a huge break from the typically passive consumer target audience of mainstream media. I loved the first season of VGHS and so I backed their Kickstarter for season 2. Solely due to my paltry $15 pledge (bills to pay you know) they became the most funded project on Kickstarter thus far. The crowd-funding method allows people that don’t live in L.A. to still be involved and help the idea get off the ground.
Since I appreciate the webshow/vlog format, a while ago I tried to start my own. I was going to post a video every week of me talking to the camera about various things I was into. So I shot the first episode from entirely too far away, with a very old tripod and only in 720p. I finished editing in iMovie (bills to pay you know) and then watched the playback. My first reaction to my masterpiece was:
This is terrible.
I wouldn’t even watch this.
Ugh, this is so bad.
So that was that, I deleted the files, reformatted the SD card to get rid of the evidence, and never spoke of that dark day. I don’t think I’m meant to be in front of the camera so I’ll just stick with supporting these video projects from afar.