Victims of the Hollywood Paradox

Seth’s Blog: Victims of the Hollywood Paradox.

The studios spend ever more on the blockbusters they make because that demonstrates their power and pays everyone in the chain more money, which creates more (apparent) power for those in charge.

But since they pay so much, they have no choice, they think, but to say, “This must work!” So they polish off the edges, follow the widely-known secret formula and create banality. No glory, it seems, with guts.

Every meeting is about avoiding coming anywhere near the sentence, “this might not work,” and instead giving ammunition to the groupthink belief that this must work.

And as soon as you do that, you’ve guaranteed it won’t.

Every bestseller is a surprise bestseller, and in fact, nobody knows anything.

(And of course, it’s not just movies, is it?)

Ah, Seth Godin, you sayer of sooth. Scratch around on this blog and search for references to “EastSiders” and “Husbands” and “The Outs” and “Whatever This Is” which are all independent productions, done for miraculously little money by writers and filmmakers who are truly committed to telling great stories and presenting them in innovative ways. None of the banality of “Hollywood,” I can assure you.

Actor Hunter Canning Talks ‘The Outs,’ ‘Whatever This Is’

Actor Hunter Canning talks to MBS about acclaimed web-series The Outs and new series Whatever This Is.

Tommy Heleringer as Scruffy and Hunter Canning as Jack, two of the stars of the web series The Outs.

Tommy Heleringer and co-star Hunter Canning on the set of The Outs.

Nice interview. Of the web series’ I love, ‘The Outs’ is right at the very top. Adam Goldman’s Rascal Department is filming their latest creation (also starring Canning) right now. I didn’t discover ‘The Outs’ in time to contribute, but I did to ‘Whatever This Is.’ I am enjoying immensely watching these talented young people work.

Interview: Filmmaker Adam Goldman on “Whatever This Is,” “The Outs,” and Crowd-Funding

Interview: Filmmaker Adam Goldman on “Whatever This Is,” “The Outs,” and Making Crowd-Funded Series | Tribeca.

AG: And that allowed us to finish up the show. But with Whatever This Is, you know I talk about this a lot. We don’t purport to take any responsibility for this but if you look for the release schedule for The Outs, it turns pretty clearly with the way that people have evolved the way that they watch television online. And when we started The Outs the first episode is 12 minutes and people said “fuck you, nobody is going to want to watch something that is 12 minutes long online.” And I had to sort of say you know I bet they will if it’s good. And then by our last episode they sort of grew and grew and the last one is 43 minutes and by the time out last episode was out, House of Cards was out and Netflix has been so huge in that arena.

This is a great interview with Adam Goldman and, if you’re interested in this sort of thing, it’s well worth the read.

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(l-r) Hunter Canning, Sasha Winters and Adam Goldman star in the exceptional Web series, The Outs. Winters and Canning are back in front of the camera in the latest Goldman-penned series, Whatever This Is. Photo: Interview/Unusually Fine Photography

What he says above is not sui generis, people absolutely will watch something long online AS LONG AS IT’S GOOD. This nonsense about not watching anything longer than a 2 or 3 minute YouTube video online is lunacy. It flies in the face of all conventional wisdom we know about motion pictures and television viewing. Now, with online viewing patterns changing, we know that not only will someone watch an hour of House of Cards on their laptop, they’ll watch a whole damn season in one sitting!

Anyhow, Goldman and his Rascal Department are possessed of significant talent. I am so looking forward to the next episode(s) of Whatever This Is and am ecstatic that I was able to contribute to this project and help it get off the ground.