Anyone else feel like despairing? (The future of web series)

i hate twitter but i was reading through yesterday’s recap post for that weekly chat thing, and man it is bumming me out. i’m kind of an experimental dude so web series and new media stuff is really exciting to me, but it sometimes seems like there’s not a future there, not for us little guys, you know? i’m not thrilled by the concept of selling out and going branded, but i’d rather do that than just make the same old show over and over, with the same episode lengths and same kinds of characters and same storytelling conceits again and again.

sorry for the downer but i can’t be the only one, right? anyone want to join the pity party? (or shine their flashlight from the end of the tunnel if you’ve got one)

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I don’t really have a light at the moment, so your pity party just got a little bigger! Congrats/sorry? Tagging @Alex_LeMay because he’s legit made a career out of web series, as well as @JulieK @EmilyBest @Monica_West for their crowdfunding advice which may be the future of funding creative projects as we know it, @ronVceo and @georgereese because their companies are some of a couple who want to change the tides of your despair, and anyone else who wants to either join the party or shine the light!

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welcome to the party. i made cookies but they kind of suck. at least that’s on brand

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I appreciate your commitment to the theme.

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Joining this thread to get notifications of updates because SAME. So I guess I’m joining the party? Can I have one of your bad cookies?

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yeah here ya go.

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Wow yeah there are extremely bad.

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Sweden calling: I totally understand that feeling of not getting anywhere. With our web series, Happy Street (Yes, soon to be “up-loaded” here at Stareable as well…) we took the rules of the big players and down-sized to a format suitable for us. That is: We pitched an idea to several possible financiers (is that the word?) and then “delivered”. The pitch was, don’t you want your area to be more in the loop? Don’t you want to be able to speak about something a bit more fun than your usual works that actually has something to do with your business? Don’t you want to call yourself an executive producer?? And as it is a web series without any formal distribution, yes, then there is no big money in it, but yet, there is enough for us to be able to do something together with the other film-workers out there who go around longing for more experience or just to have something to do…
Hope this might put you in a little more optimistic mode. :smiley:
So far you can find us at happystreetwebseries.com but as I said, soon we will be here as well.
Best wishes!

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did you guys end up getting financiers? what was persuasive to them? looking forward to your show, by the way- i saw the trailer a few weeks ago on here. looks cool.

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I dont feel like despairing. We can either have this stuff in our lives, or not. We can be focused every day and work year in and year out. I am grateful when anybody connects with the things I have made at all. Each of us has our work ahead and challenges we face, but being excited about your own work and thrilled to write a bit or heighten that scene, or edit or whatever, that cuts thru all this bullshit. The drug of excitement about your work should be stronger than the existential despair about YOUR PROBLEM HERE. I think of my webseries like a band. We are making songs and albums and the world can fuck off.

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Do you ever worry that this will only ever be a hobby? I think that’s the root of Sam’s existential crisis (and mine, sometimes)- wanting to make a career in the wild west of the web but not knowing how to do that.

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What’s the difference? There is always more competition and everything in ‘the industry’ is more or less a limited run. People will not remember what you do, there are millions of people who are further along and unhappy. Robin Williams choked himself to death and he was the greatest success. Our love for what we do MUST sustain us and feed our hope machines, becuz the reality is that even if we get somewhere, there is no telling it will last OR give us happiness.

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Great post Jonathan.

As a wise person once said, it’s about the journey not the destination. If you aren’t enjoying the journey then you probably will be disappointed by the destination.

In this business there are very few people with any real creative control. Even when you have it you are still at the mercy of investors and studio guys. The only time you have control is when you are the money person, and that is what web series affords us.

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As a Licensed Panicker-Pessimist, I will say that you can both enjoy the journey and worry that I’ll never reach the destination. I can’t speak for Sam but for me, I don’t want to live my entire life off of survival jobs.

Even if I’m not a showrunner in a few years or running my own production company, I still want to make a living off of something in the entertainment industry that pays me enough to send my kids to college and rent or buy a home larger than a one bedroom apartment and also fund side projects that I don’t hate. I just don’t want to wake up every day hating my day job but knowing that next weekend I’m gonna get to work on a less than $1k set, and then also get my kids ready for school, you know?

I understand I might hate my day job, whatever it is, sometimes. But I don’t want to hate my day job for the rest of my life, you know? And as cool and exciting as web series are, realistically, there’s no lasting money in that. I’m happy to move into TV (unlike how it seems Sam feels), which is a whole other can of panic-worms, but yeah, it sometimes bums me out that this might be… it. You know?

(wow, this took a turn for the morose even more than I was expecting.)

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I believe in u

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haha thanks buddy

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yeah i agree with a lot of this except moving to tv… i wanna make weird experimental stuff of different lengths (which you can’t really do in tv or other traditional media) and make a living off of it but it doesn’t seem like there’s gonna be a market for that that’s accessible to the rest of us until way too late and i have an accounting degree or some shit

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nice dude

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Hang in there and follow your voice. Just on Netflix right now is Jerry before Seinfeld, about his early years right out of high school doing stand up in the city. Something I loved about this was his complete commitment to what spoke to him about the art form he was pursuing and his insane level of focus and unwavering dedication. I was really inspired and just wanted to re-invest in who I am after seeing it.

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