You might be asking yourself ‘Self, why hasn’t KAB written about web series in a while?’ Well, I’m here to solve that mystery.
Web series arrived online as a magical new medium for ambitious, self-generating filmmakers – and TV series creators – to introduce their concepts, characters and stories unfettered by no-no-no-type network gate keepers. Back in the olden days of the new medium, circa 1996, they were just a series of crudely shot, usually comical scenes of re-occurring characters.
Then Jeff MacPherson created Tiki Bar TV which changed the landscape. Never mind that he was Canadian and doing it in his own apartment. And never mind that the late, great Steve Jobs made one mention in one keynote and this little ‘podcast’ turned into MacPherson’s new full time job.
Since that moment, web series has become a viable, intriguing, exploratory genre that has resulted in a myriad of curiosities around the world, and spawned a multitude of awards and festivals.
In fact, in the last three years, the world of web series has taken a drastic change for the lucrative and Canada might be ahead of the pack in anticipating its potential. I speak, specifically of the IPF Webseries portal, the CMF funded/TV series associated convergent projects and the NSI’s web series training course in development.
But before I sugar coat your maple leaf with the dew of west coast rain drops, I plunk this reality stone into your dream pond; US online networks are paying big bucks to commission original web series from seasoned TV professionals, to wit; Eli Roth, Jenji Kohan and Tom Hanks – to name only a few.
So how can Canadians compete? By being better, brighter and more unique and by staying keenly aware of the now borderless competition. Also, by knowing that as web series mature, commissioning editors are going to need an endless supply of experienced, inventive, cost-effective, proof-is-in-the-pudding content producers who can meet the growing demands.
That’s how Canadians have their edge. With the IPF’s announcement this week of their raft of new funded web series we are producing a country of skilled web series craftsman who can compete in this growing field. With the NSI’s choice to put web savvy Jill Golick in charge of their web series training, they’ve enlisted exactly the kind of thinker who can force the forward thinking in upstarts determined to own this genre.
So, in essence, and to long-windedly conclude the opening conundrum, the reason KAB hasn’t written about web series in so long is because there’s SO MUCH happening that I can’t single handedly keep up.
This is where you come in.
Start watching and talking about your favourite web series. Don’t know where to start? Click on any one of the links above that will take you to a plethora of choices. Choose one, click, watch and report. Tweet, like, follow, blog – whatever, just tell people about the shows you’re watching, what you like or don’t and where they can find them.
Because the TV watching that you grew up with is over. If you’re not already watching TV on your laptop, then be forewarned that pretty soon it’ll be as normal as peanut butter and jelly. Which means the line between TV series and web series is about to evaporate, and we’ll all be talking about our favourite series without having to define its portal.
So now you know why I’ve been too busy watching to write and I expect everyone else to get watching too. Enjoy your viewing everyone, I know I am.
Kellie Ann Benz is a columnist who writes about short film and web series on the NSI website. Read Kellie’s own blog The Shorts Report