Internet technologies such as youTube have revolutionised the way ameteur filmmakers can release their work. It has given them a place to broadcast their stories to the world. In recent time, it seems that it is not just the ameteurs that are taking advantage of this platform. Amanda Tapping’s science fiction series Sactuary started life as a web series before getting picked up for TV.
More recently, Warner Bros. have entered the arena with H+ The Digital Series, written and produced by none other than Bryan Singer. This episodic story is told through glimpses of various characters, alternating between past, present and future. It has a style that feels reminiscent of the TV series LOST. It’s well worth a look.
The long-anticipated prequel series Battletar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, which we all thought was dead and buried, has been revived as a web series on youTube channel Machinima Prime. The first episode premieres today. (It is with sadness that I must add this. In a disapointing move that goes against the global spirit of the Internet, they have chosen to geographically limit the viewing of this series, so unless you happen to be American, don’t even bother with this one.)
The big Hollywood studios may be the newcomers to this party but they’re certainly not the only ones making content. Just earlier this year, Australian group Cheese on Toast Productions won the LA Webisode Festival for their series SYD2030. It’s not exactly my genre but well produced. Old youTube favourites like Freddie Wong and CorridorDigital are putting out increasingly impressive work such as Video Game High School and Sync respectively.
I guess the one obstacle with all of this is that without a rating system, like we find on traditional TV, it’s hard to know exactly what sort of content you might find in a web series. This can make this new frontier a potential mine field.
It seems that traditional TV stations are giving up on story telling. With more and more people becoming disillusioned with TV (especially in genres such as science fiction) I think we’ll see many of them turning to outlets like youTube for their entertainment. The humble web series has come of age.