‘writers will move online’

A story in the Financial Times about the Writers Guild of America strike talks about the possibility that film and television writers will begin bypassing working with the film and television studios and go straight to their audiences via the web.  Here’s the link to the complete story.  FT

And here is the core of the piece:

"But with the strike in its second month, Patric Verrone, president of the WGA West, said the dispute was creating “entrepreneurial possibilities for the talent community to go directly into production and distribution”. He added: “With every day that goes by, our members are exploring internet TV. The ability to explore this business without media conglomerates is becoming a real possibility.”

Some writers have already enjoyed success with web-only content. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have attracted millions of internet users to their Funny or Die comedy site, where original comedy sketches and short films are available."

I have heard some people in the business side of film and television write this off as posturing.  And certainly there are many writers who have neither the inclination nor the business mindset to become web content entrepreneurs.  But it seems to me there are plenty who do, and since writers are on the whole perhaps the most disaffected of all who work in creative businesses, whether it’s television, film, magazines or books,  this possibility is not so far fetched.

The tools to make film and video, books and all the emerging new forms of content creation like blogs are readily available.  The traditional businesses have money to invest,, but no particular knowledge of what new business models will work, and perhaps if writers do put their creativity to work on the web new business and investment sources will arise as a result.  Money will follow success.

Novelists and nonfiction authors who have seen their advances disappear and sales decline and who now cannot be published at all may in fact have no choice to but to explore new business models.  If the WGA strike does spawn some new writer generated entertainment on the web, book publishers and authors should be watching.


Posted by on 12/17 at 07:38 AM






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