But if you had the chance and the funding to start up your own YouTube channel and you could do it anyway you wanted, what would you do? Would you approach it more from a business angle (i.e. study the various trends, etc…), a purely creative angle or some other approach?
ANDERSON: To be smart, you have to approach it from both fronts. The business angle and to study trends so that your enterprise can survive, but at the same time, I’m all about maintaining the integrity of one’s artistic vision. But then again I’m not really business minded and would probably greenlight the following:
1. Finance a sequel to SERENITY and launch 22 episode new season of FIREFLY.
2. Launch a spinoff of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
3. Launch a series based on Eliza Dushku’s character FAITH from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
4. Hire Nathan Fillion and to a proper adaptation of GREEN LANTERN.
5. Convince as many Doctor Whos to do one huge reunion movie.
6. Produce an adendum mini-season of LOST to answer all the loose ends still left hanging.
7. Do a proper remake of AKIRA and actually employ Japanese actors.
8. Do a FAST & FURIOUS spinoff with Han traversing around the globe before he eventually makes it to Tokyo (oh, no!).
All wishful thinking, and all ambitious. But, I’d probably run out of money in a week (the rights alone would blow my entire budget) and these shows would never reach fruition anyway. But, it would be really cool.
PHILIP: Anderson, I think you’d run out of money in the first five minutes and your whole budget would probably only cover catering for one day on one of those shoots.
But since I’m pretty much overseeing our YouTube channel, I guess everyone will soon learn if it’s going to work or not. Yikes!
ALFREDO: Anderson, have you proposed to Joss Whedon yet? Okay, forget about the money. I’d call my channel “Litmus Test.” I would put up pairs of similar things, and you would have the option of clicking “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” – say The Three Stooges versus The Marx Brothers – and if you picked the Three Stooges, you would be locked out of the site and mocked forever, and if you picked the Marx brothers, you would get special gifts like trading cards, candy, stickers, etc. Ditto if you picked Poison over Motley Crue or vanilla over chocolate. Of course I would write and direct my own funny, yet heartfelt and thought provoking shorts – where the “thumbs down” button would be disabled. And for any dead space between litmus tests I would just re-run the best episodes MST 3K, Stephen Colbert roasting George Bush to his face at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, voiceover highlights from SUNSET BOULEVARD, weird haunting images from Terrence Malick movies, excerpts of Charles Nelson Reilly on HOLLYWOOD SQUARES, documentaries on the work of architects John Lautner and Craig Ellwood, and maybe a loop of Jonah Hill’s foul mouth in SUPERBAD. Maybe I should just call it the “Alfredo Snobbery” channel instead.
And if that doesn’t pan out, I’d do “Fifteen Minutes,” featuring 15 minute day-in-the-life documentaries of ordinary people: the surly bartender; the patent attorney; the barrista with a Ph.D.; the guy who does lighting for porno shoots; the meter maid; the substitute teacher, etc.
IRIS: Anderson, I didn’t know you were a Browncoat! Yeah, I’m a FIREFLY dork too. Please make it happen! As for my Youtube channel idea, I just happened to have come up with a brilliant idea before I read this blog topic. But it’s so genius, I’m not sharing it until I figure out a way to patent it.
JEROME: Iris, I’ve already sent DiCaprio to extract the idea from you. Sweet dreams…
But no, seriously – cats. A channel with just cat videos from all over the world. Cats all day: morning, noon, and night. To kick it up a notch, I would grab cats from one part of the world and transplant them somewhere else – RUSH HOUR that shit, you know?
…I hate cats.
DHH: I think the great thing about YouTube at this point is that the medium is still at an early enough stage that no one exactly knows how to monetize the thing. Which is fantastic, because that means artists can just do what really excites them, rather than making decisions based on what will make money — since no one knows yet! It’s like the early days of TV, film, or rock ‘n’ roll. If I were running a channel, I’d want artists to tell me what they really want to make. Then I’d greenlight the ideas that make my heart beat faster.
QUENTIN: I second Anderson that I will approach it from both fronts. I am excited to see what will work or not work in the upcoming months from all the channels. I look forward to learning about how to create better programming for Youtube. This is the new frontier with so much potential. I also agree with DHH that if I were running a channel I’d want artists to make whatever they want to make as long as they have an audience is mind. The web is more about niché-casting than broadcasting.
ROGER: If anything, going with your purest creative gut is the only way to go. Especially with the wild west frontier of the internet. To apply conventional Hollywood formulas of ½ hour sitcom, 1 hour drama, etc., to the internet would be fool-hearty. If anything, the internet has proven to be completely unpredictable and nothing like old school network TV and/or cable. The internet has single handedly blown up the conventional models of TV and music. When I started acting in 1995, the coiffures were rich with funds, people were making massive amounts of money, and A list movie stars stayed away from TV. Today, most people I know make 80% less and finding steady union work is becoming almost as rare as a albino, baby unicorn. As a mass disrupting technology, the internet has succeeded in a tremendous fashion. Eventually someone, some group will learn how to create content that will draw people to the media fire and monetary trickle down will begin again – thus allowing a middle class to exist in Hollywood (cause it doesn’t now). Which brings it back full circle to the YOMYOMF network – anything goes. Hats off to them b/c at the end of the day, if you go with you creative gut blazing, only good things will happen. It’s just a matter of time. Rock n roll baby…
SUNG: Such a good question. Following the trend is boring. Why do that? To get enough people to watch your show so there is a tomorrow? I guess. But that probably will be short lived and boring. Go for the pure creative approach you risk looking like a crazy person and wasting a lot of good peoples time. It’s probably a balance of something creatively new, different but digestible…that becomes a new trend. But damn, I have no idea what that is. If it were so simple, all of us would be Youtube celebs. Guess you keep the work sincere and just do. That’s the beauty of Youtube. All can try.
DAVID: I guess I have to go with Anderson on the FIREFLY series. It’s definitely creative for me. If there is one place that I can watch stuff that’s not of the norm… it’s YouTube. Believe me, I see more great ideas on YouTube then many movies out there right now… cough PROMETHEUS cough cough. I love the platform and I love the creative empowerment.
ELAINE: Before YouTube and everyone else starts charging for monthly subscriptions, before movie stars, or “real” people with big personalities and an exhibitionist streak saturate the internet as they have on the boob tube and silver screen, I want to have a YouTube channel that’s the last hurrah for random shit that will soon become extinct. It’s the cable access, AM radio, B-sides version of YouTube before everything becomes packaged and repurposed. It will be like VH-1 I LOVE THE 80s, and do a rotation of all the greatest YouTube moments created by people who just did it for the love of it, to be random, or just to have fun – not to accrue hits, draw ad dollars, or become famous.
EMMIE: If I were doing it from a business perspective, I’d probably commission filmmakers to do quality porn and maybe also educational porn, that taught stuff like Spanish or how to change your engine oil. If I were just doing what I wanted, I’d probably commission filmmakers to do quality porn and maybe also educational porn, no just kidding – I’d highlight and showcase a ton of artists who I admire. There’s so much amazing work in the world and it’s endlessly inspiring.
P.S. – Can someone explain to me why FIREFLY is so beloved? I’m curious – I don’t watch TV, but I’ve heard this show mentioned a billion times.
BEVERLY: I would love porn! (I know there’s youporn.com, but I’m still afraid of getting those computer viruses! Computer herpes!) And you could have 3 different porn specialties by weight (like boxers in the ring!): Featherweight sex, Welterweight sex, and Heavyweight sex. Different hours, different players. I’d be fascinated.
It already exists on Youtube, but I’d love a channel of HOW-TOS. Fun HOW-TOs: How to “roll a joint”, How to “Get an Asian Girl”, How to “Fight the Man”, How to “Pack for 8 days in one carry-on”. Seriously. My boyfriend is building a bat house based on some youtube videos. And I love Jason Klass simply because he does a lot of HOW-TOs on backpacking on youtube (He’s a god in my book.)