16 Comments

Summary:

After two weeks of debate across many sites, including ours, the Streamy Awards organizers this morning released a statement on the issue of whether geoblocked series would be eligible for consideration in this year’s awards. The answer: Despite the fact that the IAWTV, whose members cast […]

After two weeks of debate across many sites, including ours, the Streamy Awards organizers this morning released a statement on the issue of whether geoblocked series would be eligible for consideration in this year’s awards. The answer: Despite the fact that the IAWTV, whose members cast the votes for the Streamy Awards, is officially an international organization of web series professionals (that’s what the I in the acronym is for), shows only available in one region are still eligible, though “will be at a disadvantage to web series the whole world can watch.”

To exclude geoblocked shows from the Streamys would mean that many of those released via Hulu, Crackle and other major players would be ineligible, thus dramatically lowering the award show’s potential star power while also failing to accurately represent the breadth of web series content currently being produced. Also, because the event is an annual one, it would be tough at this point to change the rules for the 2010 show. The decision does, however, create additional difficulties for the IAWTV in building a truly international presence, which has been a hot-button topic ever since the group’s first public meeting.

The important issue to consider here is the fact that the Streamys, by virtue of the event’s position, does have influence that it shouldn’t be afraid to wield in the future. For example, The Bannen Way deliberately premiered its first three episodes during the 2009 calendar year (a week in advance of the show’s previously advertised premiere date) so that it would be eligible for this year’s awards. If the Streamys also required that episodes not be geoblocked, who’s to say that Sony and Crackle wouldn’t have also conceded on that point, at least for the first three episodes? After all, the Streamys are a one-of-a-kind event, and based solely on the outreach being done by both creators and companies, it’s clear that shows are hungry for the recognition.

The deadline for public submission to the awards has been extended through the holiday weekend. So keep submitting your favorites at Streamys.org — geoblocked or not.

Disclaimer: NewTeeVee is co-hosting the Streamy Awards, but is not involved with policy decisions such as this one.

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  1. I think that they made a huge mistake by including these shows. The internet doesn’t have boundries and the Streamy awards is supposed to be celebrating internet video, not supporting old TeeVee businesses with myopic business models. Maybe a little bit of star power will give them more sex appeal and put more money in their pockets, but it’s not fair to the countless number of independent artists who’ve made their content available for the whole world to see instead of just a tiny part of the net. We are living through a revolution where release windows are quickly becoming a bygone feature of the past and instead of helping to usher in this new world, the Streamy awards have just taken a step backwards to appease the big media conglomerates who’ve got the money to give their shows an unfair distribution advantage to begin with. To me this is a clear violation of the spirit of these awards and personally, I plan to boycott the event over the issue.

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    1. The internet has many boundaries. One is that it competes with traditional media for dollars and attention, like it or not. For this medium to be successful, a workable business model will need to unfold and as such, all individuals and companies need to have the freedom to explore and seek one. It’s not myopic to take advantage of the sale of international rights, to enable the inclusion of foreign brands, to sell at home entertainment, or to sell to or withhold territories or rights in the hopes that in success a series or creators can recoup their investment or actually make some money. It’s called a business just for this reason and we’re all searching for workable models.

      “Star power” is necessary to be heard above the fray if you will of ugc, to enable sell-thru at home entertainment (many retailers will not stock,support or market w/out a name to help sell the proverbial box) and also in doing so, it upgrades many of the performances from the amateur to pro or semi-pro. “Amateur” actors working together often are hindered in upping their chops by their surroundings. For most actors, working with professional or experienced actors gives them the opportunity to both up their own game and learn from those who have come before them. It’s a dream come true that is being ridiculed by some as “selling out”. Absurd.

      I’m not sure who’s putting money in who’s pockets, but I promise you it’s neither Mark Gantt and Jesse Warren, nor Sony at this point in regards to The Bannen Way. Mark and Jesse have put three years into this project. The last year has been full time. They’ve survived by a little initial money from the studio and by the help of friends and family. What little money they were to earn for their services in the creation of the series, they put back into production because they felt they did not have enough money to make the series the way they wanted too. (btw, this was not a $1mm production by any means, despite rumors otherwise).

      Finally and most importantly, the idea that Crackle is a media conglomerate is itself myopic. Let’s stop repeating rumor and innuendo for a moment here. There has been little money or PR put behind Bannen Way in terms of marketing, virtually no help from other divisions at the studio, and certainly nothing that arises to the level of a studio release. In fact, it’s been frustrating to watch it not happen.

      Mark and Jesse were two guys who went out and made something they thought would be a cool way to showcase their talents as a first time director and a new actor, on their own dime and thru favors of friends. That a studio chose to buy it and create a series around it should be a good thing, not a bad thing and should be celebrated.

      I don’t hear any complaints aimed at the relative success of The Guild and it’s success in partnership with Microsoft (a company who btw, geo-filter, window releases, restrict content from appearing on competitive platforms and sell to brands, etc). I believe The Guild is or has sought cross over success in traditional media, as are the stars of the series. And they should. What they’ve accomplished is PHENOMENAL and any success they have is hard earned, well deserved and a step in the right direction that benefits everyone as we try to make this business (and it is a business) both relevant and profitable. And I believe Microsoft is a great partner for them and not something to be looked down upon either, just as I think Sony’s Crackle can be a good partner to creators as well.

      I’ve met few content creators who wouldn’t leap at the opportunity to sell their idea to a studio, to appear in a network show, or to earn a living creating content or whatever their artistic endeavor of choice is. Those that are pillorying The Bannen Way for attempting to do so (within the rules btw) have I would suggest, not really thought thru the ramifications of what they are saying, nor do they truly understand many of the actual details that have transpired in this deal and are relying on rumor and speculation.

      No one was more disappointed then Mark and Jesse that the series waited until Dec to debut. This was scheduled for far earlier in the year. Let’s cut them some slack, stop all the infighting (much of which comes from a competitors btw), and start working together to make a new and burgeoning medium a true vehicle for success in whatever form it takes. Content should not be defined nor judged by the platform it appears, but by its quality. Perhaps we should start discussing whether content even needs to be judged and voted upon by it’s peers rather than supported. But I’ll save that argument for another day.

      Disclaimer: While I represented the sale of The Bannen Way while employed as a Sr. New Media Agent at ICM, I am no longer an agent nor is anyone affiliated with the project aware that I am writing this. This is simply my personal opinions and if anything will earn me the wrath of those involved.

      It is neither thought out nor complete so poke all the holes you like and we can continue the dialogue, but only if it’s not mean spirited and only if the conversation is about the industry and not singling out one project in a mean spirited fashion.

      Best,

      Jesse Albert

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      1. You may feel that it’s mean spirited to boycott this charade, but I disagree and I think that independent content producers who support this type of show are only hurting themselves by giving credibility to this farce.

        The media conglomerates already have the academy awards, the Emmys and a bunch of other awards shows where they get to pat each other on the back and tell each other how awesome they are. Why do they also have to take over the internet video awards as well?

        You may feel that the internet is competing with TV for attention and money, but I don’t see it that way at all. Both can be successful. I see shows that wouldn’t be able to command enough attention or money finding niche audiences that value their content a lot more than what is packaged and sold to the masses.

        There are a lot who fail or who produce really bad content, but because they’re the ones producing it, they get to own it and the audience that goes along with it.

        For years, we’ve had to sit back passively while major media companies have dictated to the consumer what it is that we get to watch. Now that we are approaching infinite choice, I want to see these small artists who own their audiences recognized and celebrated for not selling out and taking the easy money.

        Is it wrong for a content owner to try and maximize sales? Absolutely not, but the reality is that the professionals already have access to vast resources to command attention with, while many independent producers have nothing but a good work ethic and creativity. For the studios to use that money to then muscle in on something that is supposed to be community driven is absolutely wrong.

        When someone is able to spend a lot of money on development of a show, it creates an unlevel playing field for the rest of the artists who are starting out. When the Streamy awards were started, it was to reward those who took risks. To change the rules to benefit the very studios, who continue to try and dictate when, where, and how we can watch our content is a travesty of justice and violates the very spirit of the event.

        Those who care about internet video should recognize this and make it clear that they won’t have any part of it. Instead of bending the rules so that well funded companies can once again have an advantage over the independent producer isn’t fair to anyone.

        Instead of selling out for the big names, the Streamy awards should be helping unknown, but talented artists get the recognition that they deserve (and the money that comes along with it)

        To try and argue that shows can’t make a living, if they don’t create artificial time and geographic restrictions is an old way of thinking and one that we should do away with. If Crackle, Hulu or whoever wants to restrict content, then by golly let them, but lets not reward those who are maximizing their revenue at consumers expense, by putting them in competition with those of us who have a Flip camera, a couple of friends and a desire to produce unique and interesting niche content.

        Maybe you don’t feel that this is wrong, but when I see shows like the Guild and Dr. Horrible taking all of the top awards, it makes me wonder why any independent content producer would support such an event. Not sure how you can claim that Crakle (aka SONY – a major media conglomerate) or Hulu (aka Fox, NBC, and other major media conglomerates) aren’t major media conglomerates, but I completely disagree with your assertion.

        What the Streamy awards have done is terrible for the industry, it’s terrible for the very talented but unknown stars who’ve work hard to get their 15 minutes and it’s terrible for consumers because it continues to reward a broken system, instead of supporting the openness and community that originally allowed the Streamy awards to happen in the first place.

        Maybe they feel that they need that “star power” to rise above the fray, but the real stars are the ones who haven’t been discovered yet and rather than creating an award show that finds and highlights this talent, we now have another show that will be dominated by the professional businesses who are quickly moving into the online video industry (even if it’s not as fast as you would like.)

        If there really wasn’t money to be made, why did Sony pay $65 million for Grouper to begin with? Why are professionals setting up sites like Funny or Die to compete with those who are on YouTube? Why was Hulu able to raise $100 million in financing at a billion dollar valuation? I understand that not everyone is going to share my opinion, but to allow these powerful companies to use their influence, money and power to change the rules to their benefit is a fraud on the content creators who care more about building an audience, then trying to maximize what they can milk out of them.

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      2. I admire the tenacity with which you stand by your clients.

        Would you be willing to take a meeting with us now in your new capacity about the idea of taking our current and future projects to the next level?

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      3. Hi:

        Seriously Jesse:

        I admire the tenacity with which you stand by your clients.

        Would you be willing to take a meeting with us now in your new capacity about the idea of taking our current and future projects to the next level?

        Share
  2. First off. If it’s for the one independent internet award, then its primary distribution platform should be the world wide web. Not the web minus territories where we have the ability to do pre-sells, guarantees, franchises and distribution deals based on the high monetary value of the project. I don’t know of a single individual producing on the web who can do that. Companies can do that. But last time I checked the awards were for individuals not companies.

    None of the web producers I know who finish their edit alone in their back room and then baby sit the upload at night to YouTube are terribly concerned with preventing Romania from seeing it for leverage later, as its supposed to be shows on the world wide web and the awards are for them too aren’t they?

    You know, the “www” part you have to enter every time in the public Streamy nominations. Like http://www.koldcast.tv/video/a_strange_sucking_sound or say http://www.koldcast.tv/video/private_rocket_tours_to_the_stars. Do have a look at those… any one can, hopefully everywhere, that was the point of a web series.

    You can geo-block, good idea actually if you want to charge and make a profit and you SHOULD if you spent a significant amount on it, but those of us with nothing but our ideas and talents have to scream to the whole world and give it away free to even get it watched let alone noticed by anyone who can help us make more.

    Geoblock as long as you know you can only win a Webby, Emmy, Telly, Oscar, People’s Choice, Critics Choice, various guild, or Golden Globe in the “new media: category if you choose to be selective who sees it so you can make money at it unlike 99.9% of us doing this.

    If you have the luxury of being selective as to who can see it, you have a commodity with value already dont you? What do you need a Streamy for? You have a way of making money with internet programming?!?! if you can afford to withhold it?!? Id take that over a Streamy, most would.

    The rest of this is a re-post of my writing relevant to this from anchorcove.net.:

    Wow. Some amazing discussions. I just left a commercial set where I was lucky enough to be hired to act for scale pay as I have done for many, many years and after this long shoot, I sat down to read the new posts after hearing about a new discussion here from one of the posters. At home, I can be the real actor/writer/director/producer/editor I already am and would be more noticeably, if someone would finally just take a leap of faith and give me a chance to show what I can do for a wide audience with support and resources.

    I am not a Hollywood player. I am a reasonably skilled actor, director, editor and writer who gets paid sometimes, but never “got in.” First, thanks to both Jeff Keonig and Chris/Venus Spa for their support of my own work with Safety Geeks: SVI and Invention with Brian Forbes ; I have to say it is so wild to even see the shows mentioned in a discussion let alone as a good example. LOL Those shows and the Dave and Tom “one off” comedy videos we’ve done are passion projects.

    I would love to one day have more of them actually help pay the bills, instead of make more bills.

    Both of you, I am very grateful for your liking and giving a damn about my work.

    I have been reading both of your points and reaching a conclusion. Here are two very intelligent, opinionated people who have strong viewpoints on the Streamy Awards. Reading their points strengthens my own arguments by forcing me to question, agree or defending my own. I have a few opinions I have voiced as well in the past which were authentically passionate at the beginning of all this controversy. In reading your discussions, one must come to the conclusion that in many ways both of you are pointing out what needs to happen if an awards system for us and “big media companies” is to accomplish anything in the future.

    The best analogy is boxing.

    A skilled heavyweight is not going to be judged against a skilled featherweight.

    They are equally valid, but do not belong in the ring together in a legitimate competitive setting. The harsh reality is that the Streamys are there originally to watch “Jack slay the giants” to have “an award for us and our work in this new media” and now we are all going to be quickly frustrated because in practice that ignores the reality. Even the well-deserving “The Guild” didnt win when it was in its’ first season, (I know there weren’t any Streamy’s but it might have been a different story if there had been) it won riding a wave of support, becoming an icon and already having Microsoft and Sprint stories swirling around this success story several seasons into their run. The Joss connection also helped. The Streamy Award was the punctuation on that story, making Felicia a symbol bigger than herself and the show, it was not the genesis of their road to success and financing.

    It will cease to be an “honor” to be considered in the company of our entertainment heroes who now populate the mainstream with our little show being toe to toe with them, because it will stop happening. It’s why you have to be millionaires to be president, a system forms to get there and the system will become designed to be self selecting.

    The example was given of a conversation like “Have you heard about the show…. No what’s the budget?” That doesn’t happen. True…

    But, in a twisted way, this is precisely the point I am making about how you find out about it to tell your friend in the first place. I see the reasons growing out of both sides of this discussion, because WHERE you heard about it to tell you friend to watch it is a very good indication of its “weight class.” that is what the Streamys will need to have not because the little guys aren’t as capable, talented, or “worthy” but because you heard about them discovering a diamond of a show posted on Facebook or Anchorcove.net and not in Variety, Maxim, or Entertainment Tonight.

    You might not care what it cost, true and if it’s good its good, but if you all saw it in dozens of mainstream magazines, TV interviews with celebrities involved, business trades, top brands and agencies talking about their involvement in the web series or expensive ads running on sites all over the internet then that is one kind of WAY of hearing about it and telling a friend, (Heavyweight Class projects)

    If you heard about it only here on Anchorcove, or a blog, or Tubefilter, especially blog like this among passionate artists and web series viewers like actually hearing the names Gold, Safety Geeks, Compulsions, Invention they are like it or not (Featherweight Class Projects) just as good but its just me at my computer typing about it. designing my own poster, or uploading files and not a well-oiled interconnected business mechanism designed to make you aware of their productions.

    If you talk about a GREAT featherweight project, it was most likely mentioned by one individual to another because they were emailed about it from the creator of the show, they know them, or through the individual hard work of a person who has other jobs as well who took time to self-market a project they believe in. (I am in that class)

    1. There needs to be a featherweight (low budget class) $0 – $10,000 level (Did it do the best on what little it had?) I did all eleven Safety Geeks episodes for $8,000 and a lot of my free time, friend’s time, talent and favors. I would be judged against my class or equally talented great productions, but not against productions and their agencies, companies and “staff”

    2. Medium Budget (tricky but can be determined as a range) $10,000 to 100,000 perhaps if you get over 10,000 you are starting to be able to do something with PR as well as production. Maybe you broke even and were able to even pay people or had some distribution or sponsor involvement and they will help you push the show too. This would be a wonderful class because it has resources and a properly scaled idea with a $20,000 budget can be judged against an idea which required say 70,000 to produce as both paid what they needed or budgeted and the rest is talent, resources and ideas. If I’d had $30,000 Safety Geeks would have looked like a $100,000 show and been done more painlessly.

    3. Standard budget – $100,000+ When you start getting into 6 figures on a web series you are probably looking at a few additional, powerful factors helping things along,perhaps a company paying for all of it, perhaps a rich person with a lot of disposable income that can also be involved in PR, or a distributor has a financial stake in it so they are pushing, an agency has packaged the project because you now have money to pay some “names”, when you get into six figures there is probably real serious media cross promoting, businesses financing, branding, sponsoring, and vested in getting a return of the money so they push.

    So it an award show with all the same categories but 3 Levels of production receiving equally valid, equally weighted, and judged acknowledgments of excellence.

    If bigger media companies and distributors don’t work to find web audience, recoup and seek awards, they are foolish media companies. So they will do what they do best. That will bring the media and funding and prestige faces to the awards. But this allows the “not so lucky or connected” to have a chance to win too. And it will mean much to them for they will have to fight again to even get there in a way the highest level entry is insulated from, until they are briefed “where they are” possibly minutes before hitting the Streamys red carpet by the assigned handler or publicist.

    We can be assured big or little productions wont be around for long if they don’t push the shows they put money into, and the Streamy Awards will be a great way to have an award winning show for them to sell as well.

    For them, a Streamy is one of the many factors that make a production have prestige, for the featherweight it is EVERYTHING because it will mean so much and possibly be the one way of getting the light to shine in your direction to get noticed, to get a phone call accepted and a meeting as an award winning creator.

    Winners of Emmys and Oscars get meetings, but of course they weren’t “you” the day before they got them. You can be “you” and next day get a Streamy!

    Those of us who have not gotten $100,000 cannot conceive of the focus it can open for you to concentrate on the acting, directing, or whatever you want to excel at in a production because you arent doing and worrying about everything else too. You are concentrating and supported, instead of meeting the delivery person with the pizza at the gate between shots and checking each other’s makeup before action. Staff and say…a real orchestra to do your web music. Or actual departments with people that do something to help you show happen. Well, that must feel amazing.

    A standard budget makes for an amazing opportunity that is yours to squander, but it gets you in the door to squander it in the first place, that’s where the judging comes in. The best in this class is as valid as the best in the low budget or medium because ideas cost nothing but RESOURCES, AWARENESS AND ACCESS TO PEOPLE does.

    The difference between a bad web series and a good web series is subjective sometimes, but in general it’s “did they do what they set out to do successfully” and is what they set out to do well made on many levels?

    The difference between a good web series and a GREAT web series is what they set out to do in the first place.

    What you do with your idea at any of those levels as judged against your peers at each financial level is grounds to win a Streamy Award and to have an awards show that means something to the people who enter, care about and win it.

    Share
  3. In reading your discussions, one must come to the conclusion that in many ways both of you are pointing out what needs to happen if an awards system for us and “big media companies” is to accomplish anything in the future.

    The best analogy is boxing.

    A skilled heavyweight is not going to be judged against a skilled featherweight.

    They are equally valid, but do not belong in the ring together in a legitimate competitive setting. The harsh reality is that the Streamys are there originally to watch “Jack slay the giants” to have “an award for us and our work in this new media” and now we are all going to be quickly frustrated because in practice that ignores the reality. Even the well-deserving “The Guild” didnt win when it was in its’ first season, (I know there weren’t any Streamy’s but it might have been a different story if there had been) it won riding a wave of support, becoming an icon and already having Microsoft and Sprint stories swirling around this success story several seasons into their run. The Joss connection also helped. The Streamy Award was the punctuation on that story, making Felicia a symbol bigger than herself and the show, it was not the genesis of their road to success and financing.

    It will cease to be an “honor” to be considered in the company of our entertainment heroes who now populate the mainstream with our little show being toe to toe with them, because it will stop happening. It’s why you have to be millionaires to be president, a system forms to get there and the system will become designed to be self selecting.

    The example was given of a conversation like “Have you heard about the show…. No what’s the budget?” That doesn’t happen. True…

    But, in a twisted way, this is precisely the point I am making about how you find out about it to tell your friend in the first place. I see the reasons growing out of both sides of this discussion, because WHERE you heard about it to tell you friend to watch it is a very good indication of its “weight class.” that is what the Streamys will need to have not because the little guys aren’t as capable, talented, or “worthy” but because you heard about them discovering a diamond of a show posted on Facebook or Anchorcove.net and not in Variety, Maxim, or Entertainment Tonight.

    You might not care what it cost, true and if it’s good its good, but if you all saw it in dozens of mainstream magazines, TV interviews with celebrities involved, business trades, top brands and agencies talking about their involvement in the web series or expensive ads running on sites all over the internet then that is one kind of WAY of hearing about it and telling a friend, (Heavyweight Class projects)

    If you heard about it only here on Anchorcove, or a blog, or Tubefilter, especially blog like this among passionate artists and web series viewers like actually hearing the names Gold, Safety Geeks, Compulsions, Invention they are like it or not (Featherweight Class Projects) just as good but its just me at my computer typing about it. designing my own poster, or uploading files and not a well-oiled interconnected business mechanism designed to make you aware of their productions.

    If you talk about a GREAT featherweight project, it was most likely mentioned by one individual to another because they were emailed about it from the creator of the show, they know them, or through the individual hard work of a person who has other jobs as well who took time to self-market a project they believe in. (I am in that class)

    1. There needs to be a featherweight (low budget class) $0 – $10,000 level (Did it do the best on what little it had?) I did all eleven Safety Geeks episodes for $8,000 and a lot of my free time, friend’s time, talent and favors. I would be judged against my class or equally talented great productions, but not against productions and their agencies, companies and “staff”

    2. Medium Budget (tricky but can be determined as a range) $10,000 to 100,000 perhaps if you get over 10,000 you are starting to be able to do something with PR as well as production. Maybe you broke even and were able to even pay people or had some distribution or sponsor involvement and they will help you push the show too. This would be a wonderful class because it has resources and a properly scaled idea with a $20,000 budget can be judged against an idea which required say 70,000 to produce as both paid what they needed or budgeted and the rest is talent, resources and ideas. If I’d had $30,000 Safety Geeks would have looked like a $100,000 show and been done more painlessly.

    3. Standard budget – $100,000+ When you start getting into 6 figures on a web series you are probably looking at a few additional, powerful factors helping things along,perhaps a company paying for all of it, perhaps a rich person with a lot of disposable income that can also be involved in PR, or a distributor has a financial stake in it so they are pushing, an agency has packaged the project because you now have money to pay some “names”, when you get into six figures there is probably real serious media cross promoting, businesses financing, branding, sponsoring, and vested in getting a return of the money so they push.

    So it an award show with all the same categories but 3 Levels of production receiving equally valid, equally weighted, and judged acknowledgments of excellence.

    If bigger media companies and distributors don’t work to find web audience, recoup and seek awards, they are foolish media companies. So they will do what they do best. That will bring the media and funding and prestige faces to the awards. But this allows the “not so lucky or connected” to have a chance to win too. And it will mean much to them for they will have to fight again to even get there in a way the highest level entry is insulated from, until they are briefed “where they are” possibly minutes before hitting the Streamys red carpet by the assigned handler or publicist.

    We can be assured big or little productions wont be around for long if they don’t push the shows they put money into, and the Streamy Awards will be a great way to have an award winning show for them to sell as well.

    For them, a Streamy is one of the many factors that make a production have prestige, for the featherweight it is EVERYTHING because it will mean so much and possibly be the one way of getting the light to shine in your direction to get noticed, to get a phone call accepted and a meeting as an award winning creator.

    Winners of Emmys and Oscars get meetings, but of course they weren’t “you” the day before they got them. You can be “you” and next day get a Streamy!

    Those of us who have not gotten $100,000 cannot conceive of the focus it can open for you to concentrate on the acting, directing, or whatever you want to excel at in a production because you arent doing and worrying about everything else too. You are concentrating and supported, instead of meeting the delivery person with the pizza at the gate between shots and checking each other’s makeup before action. Staff and say…a real orchestra to do your web music. Or actual departments with people that do something to help you show happen. Well, that must feel amazing.

    A standard budget makes for an amazing opportunity that is yours to squander, but it gets you in the door to squander it in the first place, that’s where the judging comes in. The best in this class is as valid as the best in the low budget or medium because ideas cost nothing but RESOURCES, AWARENESS AND ACCESS TO PEOPLE does.

    The difference between a bad web series and a good web series is subjective sometimes, but in general it’s “did they do what they set out to do successfully” and is what they set out to do well made on many levels?

    The difference between a good web series and a GREAT web series is what they set out to do in the first place.

    What you do with your idea at any of those levels as judged against your peers at each financial level is grounds to win a Streamy Award and to have an awards show that means something to the people who enter, care about and win it.

    Share
  4. Gerald van Wyck Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Tom, do you really want to ghettoize independent content?

    Who do you think is going to get the big headline when the media runs a story on the Streamy Awards? The $100k+ show caegory (and I hate to break it to you, shows like The Guild and The Legend of Neil, and countless others fall into this category) or the winners of the 3rd tier award for shows that have a $0-10k budget?

    We should all be extremely happy that the Streamy Awards haven’t been ghettoized this way.

    Should Joel Bryant be in the 3rd tier ‘low-budget male actor’ category because After Judgment had a small budget and he wasn’t paid as much as someone who acted in Sorority Forever? NO! That’s insulting and does a disservice to him, his show, and the entire space.

    Think about what you are really suggesting here… You, and the people like you who are advocating for this, are just trying to recreate the old paradigms of the television world where everything is all about money. You just don’t know it yet.

    Truly disappointing coming from a professed ‘indy’ like yourself.

    Plus, how in the world would this be enforced? Imagine the amount of paperwork necessary to pull this off. Every series that submitted would have to send in their entire budget, and supporting paperwork. That becomes a complete nightmare to review and police.

    Plus, do you really want potential advertisers to know that you only spent $5k on your show? How much are they going to give you for season 2 then?

    How about the value of your blood sweat and tears? Are those counted?

    Stop selling yourself down the river man. You’ve got a great show. Worry about making it better, not diminishing your work by arguing that it isn’t good enough to go up against the lackluster faire from the studios.

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    1. Yes I think if you want to be considered a professional and not a hobbyist the least you can do is have an accounting of what you spent. That is most basic in producing and business. If you are asking for an award it’s the least you can do to accurately show accounting as a producer ESP if you ever want someone elses money. It’s ours to take on to be pro. And to deserve a award which should reqirements culpability from us to step up and be honest and organized.

      Agree?

      I would hope if we want to do this for a living we won’t think we spent 5000 only to find it was 150000 lol

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    2. Gerald.

      I understand your concerns.

      I do. But if you want an award and be a professional producer there is already paperwork and should be esp if you want to spend other people money. Shouldn’t be too hard to provide a top sheet to a budget to the committee if nominated. I have one. Scary if you dont . The rewards should come with the minimal responsibility of honest production accounting. Yes. A top sheet signed? Not that big a deal. If your lying well…claim 20 dollars and spending 100,000 thats gonna be obvious. Claim 100,000 budget and look like 20? Brother, you’re gonna lose.

      Lying will take care of itself. I prefer to keep it clean and straight up, you have to remember less and frankly I am proud of my nothing budget making a show like ours.

      However, we have to be honest here. If advertisers or producers have a choice they usually go with the cheapest possible option to get what they need, so if you did something good and very cheap you are probably going to get the call before the expensive winner.

      They did that with only that??? Imagine what they could do with a budget for costumes, etc…frankly I am sick of gluing together props, going home after acting and having to edit it all and shopping for makeup the night before when I should be actually…working on my character in the script or reading the script.

      Acting performances are unaffected by budgets. I am an actor. I can act well in a 20 dollar production or a million dollars. I have been in both and some of the 20 dollars ones were my best. That is not an issue. Its all the trappings that come with a million dollar budget like having more money to spend to put it in the public, EPK crews following you on the shoot, and pieces on the show in voters and academy’s faces.

      So Joel Bryant acting well in After Judgment has nothing to do with the budget class, acting would be in budget classes, shows are. Its entered in a class for producing. Thats for the producers. Joel is good when HE is paying to perform let alone getting paid.

      I know cause we started onstage together in the 1990’s [ Note: he was 5 :-) ]

      Joel Bryant is the American Hugh Jackman, deal with it.

      Performance can transcend budget. Ideas can. Execution cannot always transcend (I try) and budget cannot transcend budget. Especially when it’s needed to get things to happen outside the idea itself and get companies vested in the success of a production or to wage an awareness campaign. I work on these two shows 24/7 for no money. If I had money, my time would be halved.

      If you really like my work. Did you vote for me and Safety Geeks for the Streamys? Everyday? Like the numerous employees of companies with shows are encouraged to vote for the shows their employer have in the race? If you did I REALLY appreciate it because most of the world doesn’t know of its existence and I wish they did but I dont have the money to tell them.

      The studio fare is FAR from lackluster.

      The Bannen Way is slick, well directed by Jesse, HAS dolly shots (LOL), location sound mixing, PA’s, color grading, great acting from Mark and an amazing sound/music/visual fx look. In its budget class, it should win. I am not sour grapes I do comedy there’s no head to head in genre other than new series or ensemble and tech awards. tech is where budget is also a factor. Me vs a hollywood post and mixing facility. Hmmm. Not looking so good for me. LOL

      Hell, watch Invention with Brian Forbes too!

      Lets leave him and Jesse out of this because I know that he’s not walking around thinking he’s better than me because of our web series budgets, (life’s too short for us) this isn’t about that; I’ll see him at an audition sometime and we’ll go have a beer. This isn’t about that. It’s us (little indys) for so long thinking that when the big trucks roll in and the companies we grew up watching enter our media, then they will let it be about the quality only and let us have the space equally too if its good and we are doing well we will be treated well as equals whether they profit from us or not.

      One day, Mark and I or Joel and I might be on the same set working equally together and our budget is what it is, but at the moment, some people are in or have an “in” at Sony/Paramount/Warners/Babelgum/Deca/ICM etc…and some don’t its not just Mark and Jesse with an in. They proved they can do it well on a budget to Sony so they should take their call but Sony wont take my call, my agents call about me (maybe his other clients who knows LOL), or a call about me from anyone I have asked to help me call studios, financing, distribution or brands. They want to say no. It’s cheaper to say no. You have to turn it into a yes somehow. So, the next thing for me is going to be A LOT harder to get made.

      The point is that if tables turned then Mark would feel great if he sat around reading about Safety Geeks and me all day, seeing the ads, interviews, all the blah blah, and he realized some are more equal right now then others and I then responded to him and acknowledged him as a colleague and we could BOTH have a chance at a kind of award for excellence that would be wonderful. I felt great because Mark saw my show in the community while I could be just as good but invisible. I am a man on the outside. WAY outside of the action unfortunately.

      If they had shot The Bannen Way with his camera and friends for 9,000 on a credit card and I assume it would turn out well…they’d like any chance to be seen too.

      Say their show is really good, best 9000 spent on a Lock/Stock/Tarantino-style gangster show and they spent it all to make it, now how to they get it out there for more, and awards, meeting, PR if you knew none of the “go to” people the movers and had no more personal money to spend? I asked around for our show. Pretty much everyone said no. Brands. Distributors. Financiers. development people.

      Assuming its not because its just god awful ( I think a few might have thought that actually its edgy not edgy is good but 2010’s edgy is bad and scares adverts LOL) assuming that WHAT then? How does it get marketed? How do we make more?

      Don’t say network yourself. I do it all the time. Effectively. Been to EVERYTHING and done it right. So what. There are still different kinds of barriers only blood, pre existing relationships and dumb luck can bridge because I have been networking for years lots of cards, follow ups, calls and almost helps for me.

      When someone like Mark or Sean Becker or Adult Swim wrote me that Safety Geeks is awesome, it bridged the gap for a moment and, though it highlights the very different air we breathe and circles we move in it mattered to me that someone who has passed me on the way up still liked my productin and took time to acknowledge my passionate work on something I did for it not for any money.

      If tables turned and I looked at his show and said you did a great job to him I might even talk about it too in the community to help you then that’s a community that would mean something to me, him and Jesse cause life isn’t fair.

      Sometimes your the ones up and with the money and push and sometimes you are not..

      I do these shows. I see the team of people that some productions have working on them and it takes me a year to try to equal that if I can. I know its a lot of work for any amount of people especially having to do it myslef with two friends doing VFX comps and animation after their day jobs til 4am for weeks. I am SORRY guys I know I pushed, challenged and drove the time late and hard. Thor and Mike are awesome to do it because you are friends and wanted to help me realize my mad vision of live action animation that was not supposed to be real.

      I am dropping in comps or rendering I am writing music, mixing the sound and making sure the thing comes out the other end with no one else to even watch it cause I dont want them in the bedroom at 4am disturbing my sleeping kid.

      I don’t have ANY ads for my show. Anywhere. I don’t have any upcoming TV interviews leading up to the Streamys. I don’t have any stars that make for good stories.

      So. I do have a great show I think. I love Geeks and Invention for very different reasons. Invention is all about my performance and writing in front of a piece of colored paper with one camera and Thor to push the button. Thats it. Actors dream. Directing myself and Dave and writing it with him is a pleasure on Invention with Brian Forbes.

      Thats why I did it. Its too much work to make it and not like it.

      I hope a few people agree with you that its great or Ill get out of the business.

      But I am not completely stupid. I see the chain of twitters for the bigger shows with heat now and companies backing them as distributors or production companies that made them, my original distributor/sponsor hasn’t mentioned the Streamys and my show together publicly at all in months and months probably because we haven’t made a dime on it for whatever reason. I do the marketing grassroots til I fall asleep at night and its all that I can doreaching a few thousand people asking them to take a look at voting for us if they like it.

      But, a brilliant featherweight fighter is not in the ghetto. Neither are we. The 10,000 and under. If you like Safety Geeks I NEED HELP to get it recognized to get it nominated.

      I cant do it all with no money and I want to do more I have so many other great ideas for the next season and for many innovative, entertaining shows already written and ready to pitch but NO ONE cares.

      Perhaps a Streamy would open up a meeting. A story. Something. Because the big ones are getting all that BEFORE the Streamys.

      Are you saying that Sprint and Microsoft are spending less than $10,000 on the Guild in total this year? That Comedy Central is spending less than $10,000 on Legend of Neil?
      Then they TOTALLY deserve a nomination with me :-) in they 10,00 under category because those are fantastic and look great and are amazing shows by people I respect and am happy for them all unreservedly and hope they want to be my friends regardless of money, what we do or any of the Hollywood BS.

      I dont want anything from the creators, producers, actors, directors who do The Guild or Legend of Neil other than continued our friendship and mutual respect. I want an opportunity just like the ones they got by busting their asses like they did to earn theirs.

      I deserve a chance too without Sprint, Microsoft, Comedy Central or anybody else spending less than 10.000 on me, don’t I?

      I don’t know what the future holds this year, whether I will ever be able to do more of what I love to do at all, if I will get Safety Geeks: SVI nominations or Invention with Brian Forbes or sink to the peanut gallery again and watch the parade go by leaving me behind. I have it all in perspective.

      I am happy already, so I don’t need anything to “happen” for me to suddenly be happy.

      But, I want to enjoy the web series process more and have a chance at a fair comparison of what I have to work with is that wrong of me to also want?

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    3. Gerald.

      I understand your concerns.

      I do. But if you want an award and be a professional producer there is already paperwork and should be esp if you want to spend other people money. Shouldn’t be too hard to provide a top sheet to a budget to the committee if nominated. I have one. Scary if you dont . The rewards should come with the minimal responsibility of honest production accounting. Yes. A top sheet signed? Not that big a deal. If your lying well…claim 20 dollars and spending 100,000 thats gonna be obvious. Claim 100,000 budget and look like 20? Brother, you’re gonna lose.

      Lying will take care of itself. I prefer to keep it clean and straight up, you have to remember less and frankly I am proud of my nothing budget making a show like ours.

      However, we have to be honest here. If advertisers or producers have a choice they usually go with the cheapest possible option to get what they need, so if you did something good and very cheap you are probably going to get the call before the expensive winner.

      They did that with only that??? imagine what they could do with a budget for costumes, etc…frankly I am sick of gluing together props, going home after acting and having to edit it all and shopping for makeup the night before when I should be actually…working on my character in the script or reading the script.

      Acting performances are unaffected by budgets. I am an actor. I can act well in a 20 dollar production or a million dollars. I have been in both and some of the 20 dollars ones were my best. That is not an issue. Its all the trappings that come with a million dollar budget like having more money to spend to put it in the public, EPK crews following you on the shoot, and pieces on the show in voters and academy’s faces.

      So Joel Bryant acting well in After Judgment has nothing to do with the budget class, acting would be in budget classes, shows are. Its entered in a class for producing. Thats for the producers. Joel is good when HE is paying to perform let alone getting paid.

      I know cause we started onstage together in the 1990’s [ Note: he was 5 :-) ]

      Joel Bryant is the American Hugh Jackman, deal with it.

      Performance can transcend budget. Ideas can. Execution cannot always transcend (I try) and budget cannot transcend budget. Especially when it’s needed to get things to happen outside the idea itself and get companies vested in the success of a production or to wage an awareness campaign. I work on these two shows 24/7 for no money. If I had money, my time would be halved.

      If you really like my work. Did you vote for me and Safety Geeks for the Streamys? Everyday? Like the numerous employees of companies with shows are encouraged to vote for the shows their employer have in the race? If you did I REALLY appreciate it because most of the world doesn’t know of its existence and I wish they did but I dont have the money to tell them.

      The studio fare is FAR from lackluster.

      The Bannen Way is slick, well directed by Jesse, HAS dolly shots (LOL), location sound mixing, PA’s, color grading, great acting from Mark and an amazing sound/music/visual fx look. In its budget class, it should win. I am not sour grapes I do comedy there’s no head to head in genre other than new series or ensemble and tech awards. tech is where budget is also a factor. Me vs a hollywood post and mixing facility. Hmmm. Not looking so good for me. LOL An efx company vs me and Thor and Mike my two friends who did comps and some CGI after their day jobs til 4am for months on end just because they are quality friends. I pushed, challenged and drove them to help me realize my idea of live action animation that wasnt supposed to look real but look unique and funny. Thank you guys.

      Heck, watch Invention with Brian Forbes too!

      Lets leave him and Jesse out of this because I know that he’s not walking around thinking he’s better than me because of our web series budgets, (life’s too short for us) this isn’t about that; I’ll see him at an audition sometime and we’ll go have a beer.

      This isn’t about that. It’s us (little indys) for so long thinking that when the big trucks roll in and the companies we grew up watching enter our media that they will let it be about the quality only and let us have the space equally too if its good and we are doing well.

      One day, Mark and I or Joel and I might be on the same set working equally together and our budget is what it is, but at the moment, some people are in or have an in at Sony/Paramount/Warners/Babelgum/Deca/ICM etc…and some don’t and he proved he can do it well to Sony should take their call and Sony wont take my call, my agents call about me (maybe his other clients LOL), or a call about me anyone I have asked to help me call them. So, the next thing for me is going to be A LOT harder to get made.

      The point is that if tables turned Mark would feel great if he sat around reading about Safety Geeks all day, seeing the ads, interviews, etc blah blah, and he realized some are more equal right now then others and I then responded to him and acknowledged him as a colleague because I KNEW they saw my show and me everywhere in the community while he and Jesse were just as good and invisible that would mean something to them I hope like it did to me.

      I am a man on the outside. WAY outside.

      If they had shot The Bannen Way with his camera and friends for 9,000 on a credit card and I assume it would turn out well…they’d like any chance to be seen too. Say there show is reallygood, best 9000 spend on a Lock/Stock/Tarantino style gangster show and they spent it all to make it, now how to they get it out there for more, awards, meeting, PR if you knew none of the “go to” people the movers?

      Dont say network. I do it all the time. Effectively. Gotten a lot of almost help. There are still different kinds of barriers only blood, pre-existing relationships and dumb luck can bridge because I have been networking for years lots of cards, follow ups, calls and almost helps for me.

      When Mark or Sean Becker or Adult Swim wrote me that they admire and liked the show, it bridged the gap for a moment and though it highlights the very different air were breathe and circles we move in. If I looked at his show when I had resources and said you did a great job to him I might even talk about it too to help you then thats a community that would mean something to me, him and Jesse cause life isn’t fair.

      Sometimes your the ones up and with the money and push and sometimes you are not..

      I do this I see it the team of people that did that it takes me a year to equal because I am doing it Safety Geeks here on my computer alone in the back of my room and when I am dropping in comps or rendering I am writing music, mixing the sound and making sure the thing comes out the other end with no one else to even watch it cause I dont want them in the bedroom at 4am disturbing my sleeping kid.

      I don’t have ANY ads for my show. Anywhere. I don’t have any upcoming TV interviews leading up to the Streamys. I don’t have any stars that make for good stories.

      So. I do have a great show I think. Thats why I did it. Its too much work not to make it. I hope a few people agree with you that its great or Ill get out of the business. But I am not completely stupid. I see the chain of twitters for the bigger shows with heat and companies backing them as distributors or production companies that made them, my original distributor/sponsor hasn’t mentioned the Streamys and my show together publicly at all probably because we haven’t made a dime on it for whatever reason. I do the marketing grassroots that I can reaching a few thousand people asking them to take a look at voting for us if they like it.

      But, a brilliant featherweight fighter is not in the ghetto. Neither are we. The 10,000 and under. If you like Safety Geeks I NEED HELP to get it recognized to get it nominated I cant do it all with no money and I want to do more I have so many other great ideas for the next season and for many innovative, entertaining shows already written and ready to pitch but NO ONE cares.

      Perhaps a Streamy would open up a meeting. A story. Something. Because the big ones are getting all that BEFORE the Streamys.

      Are you saying that sprint and Microsoft are spending less than $10,000 on the Guild in total this year? That comedy central is spending less than $10,000 on Legend of Neil?

      Then they TOTALLY deserve a nomination with me :-) in the 10,000 and under category because those are fantastic shows and look great and are freakin amazing by people I respect and am happy for them all unreservedly and hope they want to be my friends regardless of money, what we do or any of the Hollywood BS.

      I dont want anything from the creators, producers, actors, directors who do The Guild or Legend of Neil other than continued our friendship and mutual respect. I want an opportunity just like the ones they got for busting their ass like they did to earn theirs.

      I deserve a chance too without Sprint, Microsoft, Comedy Central or anybody else spending less than 10.000 on me, don’t I?

      I don’t know what the future holds this year, whether I will be able to do more of what I love to do at all, if I will get Safety Geeks: SVI nominations or Invention with Brian Forbes or sink to the peanut gallery again and watch the parade go by leaving me behind. I have it all in perspective.

      I am happy already, so I don’t need anything to “happen” for me to suddenly be happy.

      But, I want to enjoy the web series process more and have a chance at a fair comparison of what I have to work with is that wrong of me to also want?

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      1. Sorry for all the typos and grammar weirdness. There is no edit after it goes up and I wrote this as one stream. I wish I could clean it up now!

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  5. Gerald sorry I misread your first statement about 100+ yes Guild and Neil have that 100+ not 10k and I am not looking for the headline I am looking to be included in the body of the story as winning one of the Best Comedy series, best comedy actor, writing whatever anywhere in the story.

    I didnt have a show in the running last year so I didnt have an argument to be part of the story. This year I have two.

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  6. Great points Tom and some very constructive suggestions.

    I think what we all want to see is a level playing field where the World Wide Web can live up to its potential as a distribution medium for everyone.

    The Streamy Awards have a choice. They can stand up for the philosophy, or they can walk away.

    What is it going to be Streamy Awards?

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  7. [...] produced and distributed by the digital arm of Sony Entertainment, has already proven itself as a bit of a lightning rod for controversy. And when Crackle told us that the crime noir web series had racked up 8.4 million streams since [...]

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