NYWIFT Recap: The Content Creator’s Journey

Video courtesy of thehipsway.

NYWIFT presented the panel DIY: The Content Creator’s Journey at the Tribeca Film Center on October 17. Moderated by Thelma Adams from Yahoo! Movies, the panel featured Shari Berman (award-winning filmmaker, My Life as Abraham Lincoln), Alysia Reiner (actor, Orange is the New Blackdirector, Speed Grieving), Al Thompson (writer/director of web series Lenox Avenue), Adam Leon (director, Gimme The Loot), and Maria Therese Guirgis (producer, The Loneliest Planet, Tarnation).

There is a sea of content being created for the web currently, especially after the game-changing success of Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix, and this DIY panel had a lot of good advice for both established and nascent producers entering into this “wild west” area.

Leon was quick to point out that storytelling should be the paramount consideration, since anyone can throw up a web series made on someone’s couch. “You have to have quality control.” Guirgis elaborated: “You have to know what you want to make, how does it fit in the world, and you have to put your heart and soul into it.”

All panelists agreed that web series allow them to have more control, and that collaborating with other writers and producers is essential to creating a successful series. Reiner also pointed out that having a concurrent social media campaign running as a second screen experience is increasingly becoming the standard and she gave the example of how the Orange Is The New Black cast have successfully live-tweeted events where the cast answers questions tweeted from fans.

Many panelists suggested potential areas of opportunity. Thompson stated there is a “dearth of managers and agents experienced in web producing that can represent writers and producers in deals with sponsors and networks.”

Berman proposed there is room for more “local brands to give in-kind donations or money to promote web series,” and Reiner suggested “if you have an idea, make a list of all the brands where there might be synergy and get them to aid in the production.”

For more advice given at DIY Content Creator’s event, you can watch the videos. To register for the next event in the DIY series, Create The Buzz: The Audience Will Follow on November 21, register here.

— M.A ST JOHN (@theReelScoop)

(Edited on Dec 17, 2013.)

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