I take the PATH train in everyday to work, usually blasting my IPOD loud enough to not have to hear the rest of the world. I either close my eyes and nap or read a magazine during the ride. Many times I just daydream, thinking of a world outside of my own, thinking of the world of the future.
In the advent of this new digital age, where blogs and websites like Gawker or Gothamist replace traditional media, I also see the same happening for entertainment.
If you can get a digital camera, a computer to edit your film and a server to host your file - you, too, could write your own movies or TV shows at a fraction of what it costs to make in traditional Hollywood. Think about popular blogs - how fast does the word get out about a good blog or website? One click of an email and thousands of people tell thousands of other people about something they discovered on the net.
I'm sure this has already started. We have "podcast" now, where people like you and me record audio and distribute it to Ipods. When will a "vidcast" start? Some 15 year old kid from Carrollton, Texas stops making videos of him and his buddies doing skateboarding tricks for dumpalink.com and makes a 45 minute movie that inspires, entertains or saddens the world.
What I want to find out is how a person could do this and what the costs involve. What kind of camera do you need? What kind of editing equipment do you want? How much does it cost to host on a server? I just think that there are tremendous changes coming, as costs come down for production and bandwidth increases for our homes. I don't think it takes a big budget film to make a movie or TV show.
I'm a Dr. Who fan. If you haven't heard of Dr. Who, it is a BBC production that began on November 23, 1963, with a mysterious anti-hero in the mold of Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger. The production costs were minimal, the special effects were made from bubble wrap & tin foil, but the storylines were superb and many of the actors were theatrical veterans of the English stage. In fact, if you watch many other BBC classical productions (Shakespeare, etc) you will see many of the same Dr. Who actors in various parts, too.
You can't convince people to like Dr. Who. Either you do, or you don't like it, but the people who like it the most are the ones with the greatest imagination. They don't see a tin gun & a spaceship made from balsa wood, they see a Cyberman Standard Issue Rifle and a Dalek Space Cruiser. They are enthralled by the characters, from the long scarved Doctor, his robot companion K9 or the alluring female tribal warrior. Most of the early Dr. Who was filmed using London and the countryside as a backdrop. By today's standards the filming was primitive - but at the TV shows height, it was ridiculously popular in Britian with children and adults on Saturday nights.
My point about Dr. Who and vidcasts is that someday, sooner than you think, someone out there is going to put 2+2 together. Instead of being some starving actor or director at New York University - they will just sit at home and write, direct and produce their own visions in a digital format. It may be just as cheesy as Dr. Who, but if written well enough and if a buzz starts - I think the sky is the limit for anyone who first can make something entertaining.
Out of curiousity I bought 3 new books from Amazon:
• What They Don't Teach You At Film School : 161 Strategies to Making Your Own Movie No Matter What
• Digital Filmmaking 101: An Essential Guide to Producing Low Budget Movies
• The Digital Filmmaking Handbook (Graphics Series)