Introduction: Why am I writing this?

introspection 5 comments

It could just be my perspective, but it seems like the concept of a “webseries” went from being something that only the most internet addicted had heard of to being relatively mainstream in record time. I know “serious” filmmakers who used to scoff at the idea of creating something specifically for online distribution who are now acting like they never doubted the eventual rise of online entertainment. The exciting part for me is how the medium allows for a total transmedia experience. Just the fact that I’m writing this blog, and (hopefully) people who came to the site to see Causality will read it, means that the way people seek to be entertained has changed.

When movies first came out, they were this mysterious, magical thing that only a few knew how to create, and the public was in awe of the larger than life characters who created and starred in them. Television and pay cable networks exploded the amount of content available and demystified the art form somewhat, but most people still had no idea how their favorite shows came to be. DVD commentary tracks opened the door a bit to those who were interested, but for the most part, only true fans really listened to them, and the information about the production only sometimes went beyond witty anecdotes into useful knowledge about making a movie. Now everyone has a digital camera capable of shooting video, and iMovie, or Windows Movie Maker, or some editing program and therefore at least a rudimentary understanding of how to make a movie. That changes how they view entertainment they watch, and raises the bar for people who consider themselves professionals.

So everyone can create entertainment now, post it on Youtube, and get viewers. That’s great…but what does it mean for professionals? How does one compete when there is so much to choose from? I don’t really know, but what I THINK is that you create a community. Share the process of how (and why) you did what you did, and people can choose to read about it after watching your video, or not. This also provides opportunity for viewer feedback every step of the way, which can help make the production better and more appealing.

In that spirit, I’ll be blogging about my experience as director and producer of Causality, and my goal is to be very real, honest, and not promotion-y about it. I want people who read this to gain some insight into how a webseries is made, see what I was thinking when I made the decisions I did, and give me advice or ask questions when they have some. It’s a conversation, and hopefully we’ll all get something out of it. I hope you’ll follow the process with me, and contribute. It’s kind of a new thing for me, this kind of openness, so bear with me as I learn how to admit to the problems we face without spin, and talk about the successes without off-putting pride.

Here’s to the beginning of an exciting journey. Along the way I’ll learn a lot, teach a little, and hopefully gain lots of friends who share my passion for creating.

Posted by   @   January 8, 2011 5 comments
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Jan 8, 2011
12:26 am
#1 Matt Genovese :

Ralph, great intro post. I’m really excited to see what Causality will become. I also am very interested to watch your success at building community. You are on the right track there and also on the very cutting edge of the entertainment industry. Your pioneering a path with Kevin Smith and Ed Burns who seem to be the first big names that get it. Funny that your all around the same age, too. GenX leads the way! Haha

Jan 8, 2011
5:00 pm
#2 Joe Wilson :

Excellent idea to write about the process! It also helps keep you in touch with the why!

Jan 8, 2011
11:52 pm
#3 rfontaine :

Thanks Matt, glad you’re following from the beginning. I can’t wait to see how everything grows and changes as we go through this process.

Interesting that you bring up Kevin Smith, Ed Burns, etc. and the fact that we’re all in a similar age group. I think that they are part of the last wave of directors who have come into the public eye ONLY by directing for traditional, theatrically released films. Not that theatrically released films are going away any time soon, but my theory is that it will take more than that to rise to fame for the next generation. That means directing for the web, television, and THEN (maybe) projects with a theatrical release. Since theatre attendance is down, studios are very wary who and what they greenlight, so a director already needs to have a following before the bigger studios will give them a shot to lead a major production. SO, they will gain their following by creating a community around work that is produced and marketed for the free-for-all that is online entertainment. If it is compelling enough to stand out from the crowd, then they may get tapped for more. Even if they never go on to follow what has been the traditional path directors take, that’s OK too, because the online medium is evolving into a legitimate entertainment forum as well.

Joe, staying in touch with the “why” is so important, and you’re right. Blogging will help me and the other members of the team who will post throughout the process put things in perspective for ourselves, as well as for anyone listening, and that will affect how we move forward and take the next steps.

It’s a little like the old Wild West here, and I’m excited to be taking a small part in it. Thanks again for joining us, and for the comments!

Jan 9, 2011
2:21 pm
#4 Mike Tobin :

Stumbled on this via Twitter. I am intrigued & will follow with interest . There are a lot of us out here over 60 years old ( ! ) who are still involved 24/7 in Music , “The Arts” and all the new, but ever evolving technology. Exciting times just like the 50,s /60,s/ 70,s/ 80,s – I even recall when the 45rpm record was a revolution.Everything changes, yet all remains the same.

Jan 13, 2011
7:22 pm
#5 Ralph Fontaine :

Thanks for joining us Mike! Staying artistic and creating whatever you enjoy is one of the best ways to stay positive when life throws things at you. This is a time of new innovations, but I’m sure the feeling is the same. Good luck with your music, and thanks again for following!

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