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Monday, June 10, 2013

The Times has a piece about fans who re-edit their favorite series. In the cases quoted, it seems to be mostly to put out-of-order series like LOST into chronological order. But the possibilities are intriguing. It reminds me of Mike J. Nichols's The Phantom Edit, a famous remix of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. That trimmed a lot of Jar Jar Binks and tried to make more sense of the story in general, prompting Salon to say "Materialized from out of nowhere was a good film that had been hidden inside the disappointing original one."

Nobody predicted "remix culture," not even John Brunner. No one knew that out in Santa Clarita there was an editor with an arguably better story sense than George Lucas. When Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi for $9,000 in 1992, it was considered incredible that someone could make a good movie for nothing out in the middle of Texas. Now YouTube and free editing software have unleashed the creative potential of a hundred or a thousand times as many people as actually work in the biz. Used to be, if you wanted to tell stories, you would pretty much write a novel or a script and then show it to your bartender. Now you can make a film and get total strangers to see it.

I keep harping on this because I think we're just at the beginning. Right now there's elementary editing software that will stabilize your shots and give you an optical zoom and make the whole thing look like an Instagram. I think that's like the first word processors that allowed you to cut and paste. Later the software is going to help you build Gangnam Style on your Mac.

This could, in a little while, make it less necessary to go live in LA. Why suffer in LA when you can suffer at home? Come to LA when you've got 250,000 views on YouTube. Then they have to talk to you. Right?

My friend Jill Golick just got her web series Ruby Skye, P.I., picked up by the CBC. She's been making this series on the web for years, winning all sorts of writing awards and web awards. It is very easy for a network to pick up a web series. They don't have to guess what the writing will be like, or the tone, or the cast. They can just watch it and decide, "yes, please."

Because so many people will be out there making their own stuff without the benefit of going to film school, some of them will come up with storytelling styles that nobody in Hollywood is coming up with. I'm excited.

I'm excited.


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By Blogger Jesse Berger, at 12:56 PM  

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By Blogger Jesse Berger, at 12:57 PM  

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