Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Online Video May Affect Production, Distribution and Our Income

Sort of a follow up to my previous post about small format video, sites like You Tube, Google Video and myspace (now that it has videos) may signify a shift in the production and distribution of media. Mobisodes are also here to stay, at least in the short term. While I doubt the audience will stop watching television, or going to the movies, other options are starting be viable alternatives.

Below are some excerpted thoughts of writer-producer Rob Long on some of the recent phenomena:
So a few weeks ago, on that lumbering occasionally funny warhorse, Saturday Night Live, Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell made a short digital film... called Lazy Sunday... it was pretty funny.
I saw the clip on You Tube. Some kid somewhere took it off the TV and zapped it on the web, probably with the heading "This Was The Only Funny Thing on SNL Last Night" or something. So that's where I saw it. That's where a lot of people saw it, too, apparently, because it spawned a constellation of responses from all over the country - people - normal people, people NOT in the 212 or 310 area codes - young men, mostly - remember them? They're the ones who aren't watching TV anymore or going to the movies - did their own versions of the sketch using the DV cam and the computer software they've been fiddling around with since Christmas...and it turns out that two guys from Indiana did one and zapped it up to You Tube and called it "Lazy Muncie" and it's pretty funny. I mean, funnier than anything that appears on Saturday Night Live after, say, 11:53pm. Funnier than the last Albert Brooks movie. Funnier than an episode of Joey.
So what does it say if you're Lorne Michaels - the guy who runs Saturday Night Live - or, for that matter, the head of comedy development for pretty much any network - and it turns out there are two funny guys in Muncie who don't really need you to give them permission to make a funny little movie because You Tube is their network and You Tube doesn't have a vice president of comedy development to say, "Yeah, yeah, um, I just don't see where this goes. Can it be about people in their 30's juggling relationships and their careers?"
What does that say about that huge, packed auditorium at the Oscars, filled mostly with people who get paid to say yes. Or no. It means, I think, that in the future, a lot of them are going to be scrambling to get out of their pricey car leases. I mean, maybe I'm delusional, but it's just possible that what You Tube means is that sooner, rather than later, this privileged, pompous, overpaid class of gatekeepers - studio executives, network executives, development executives - is going to get squeezed pretty tight. Of course, that also means that the privileged, pompous, overpaid class of writers and actors is going to get squeezed tight, too.
(from Rob Long - KCRW's Martini Shot Podcast). Part two of the Small Format and Online Video series of posts:
  1. Confusion Over Small Format Video
  2. Online Video May Affect Production, Distribution and Our Income
  3. TV to Become Small Format Online Video More and More
  4. SNL Half Gets Online Video
  5. Warner Bros. Domestic TV Embraces Small Format/Online Video


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