Last week NewTeeVee writer Jackson embedded himself in the wilds of SoCal to study a flock of NewTeeVee personalities in their natural habitat. He turned in a five-part Lunching in Los Angeles essay series. Here’s the whole set:
- Monday at Tengu
- Buzznet at Langer’s
- Almost There, JETSET
- Invisible Engine, Can We Do That?
- Sunny Gault, Micki Krimmel
Today, having returned to San Francisco, Jackson reflects on his series:
All week, whenever I turned the tables and offered to answer any questions my subjects might have had, I generally got, “So why did you come down to LA?” There were a lot of reasons, some personal, but professionally it was because if there’s a place where motion picture production and online publishing will inevitably intersect, that place is Los Angeles.
There was lots of talk of gatekeepers — the roles traditionally played by agents, casting directors, studio executives, network programmers and the like — and how disintermediation will change their roles, if not make some of them obsolete. For instance, Los Angeles’ status as the world capital of movie magic could shift thanks to new technologies. A production in Sao Paolo could send their footage to an editor in Austin, who posts it to a video sharing site based in Silicon Valley, who in turn host the data on servers in Yakima, Washington, until it finally becomes a viral hit in Portugal — only hours after principal photography was “in the can.”
What Los Angeles offers the world of online video are Angelinos. It was made clear to me on a number of occasions that everyone in LA is either in “the industry” or services it in some capacity. Your average landscaper in the Southland is probably better versed in some aspects of show business and motion picture production than the hypothetical webcam kid. There’s a really, really big difference between posting video online and filmmaking.
In my exploration of Los Angeles and discussions with people who are doing what they can to answer them, I was hoping to come to some conclusions about the state of online video “as a whole.” Of course, I just ended up with more questions myself, and expected from the start for everyone else to draw their own conclusions. My hope is that all the fun I had having such interesting discussions comes through, and people begin to realize that what’s exciting is that there are no rules yet.