Since 2006 Mark Strong and Guy Gadney have highlighted their selection of the most interesting and innovative online films as part of each years Sydney Film Festival.
This event was a free part of the Sydney Film Festival which meant that I didn’t have high expectations but it was well organised and quite interesting, I would have paid the standard festival ticket price to see it.
Mark Strong is Managing Director of Wandering Eye Pictures, a non-traditional film and TV production company.
He’s previously been Head of Content & Programming – Digital Media at Network TEN and General Manager – Online at Austereo Pty Ltd.
Guy Gadney has worked in digital interactive media since the early nineties, graduating from videodisc and CD-ROM production into the internet and interactive television shortly afterwards. He’s currently the GM Digital Services at PBL Media
- This year they were back to talk about the state of play in the world of the digital film-maker.
- The issues this year cut across online serials, films on mobile, the decline of YouTube and the emergence of niche video sites, and young film-makers without money or distribution attracting big audiences on the internet … but still not making a profit
- Very much about the community and openly communicating with them about the trials and tribulations of producing online video
- Quote from Minushi creator Tyler Gibb “the old system still has no idea what the new system is all about” encapsulates the struggle of online film-makers to make money from their work because they’re dealing with people in the film and entertainment industry who can’t make the connection between online popularity with an established fan base and potential profit off-line via sales of DVD or merchandise.
- The internet gives voices and exposure to groups that didn’t have them before.
- Animation has been revived by the internet, especially stop-motion animation.
- The creator of the Oedipus video is now head of Video for the online think tank TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)
- Mark & Guy question the higher production values and whether they can be sustained and make $$ considering the increased costs involved
- In their opinion “user generated content has hit the wall”, Web 3.0 video requires true story tellers to make the good content.
- The issue with monetising internet video is not that people aren’t willing to pay for episodes but has to do with the culture of the internet where people aren’t used to paying for ephemeral products like entertainment
- Successful “mass niche” videos online don’t necessarily translate to success in mass media TV eg: Sanctuary was picked up by the USA Sci-Fi TV channel but it got bad ratings.
1 – Minushi
Minushi is a flash-animated feature film produced, directed, written and animated by Tyler Gibb, an independent film-maker living in Montreal, Canada.
2 – Elephants Dream
Elephants Dream is the world’s first open movie, made entirely with open source graphics software such as Blender, and with all production files freely available to use however you please, under a Creative Commons license.
Making of Elephants Dream
3 – A Touch of Kindness
A Young Girl Helen is collecting feathers for a pillow she’s making. In order to complete the pillow she wishes for hundreds and hundreds of feathers. Helen’s wish is granted but at a cost. Directed by Brent Armfield. Funding from NSW Film & Television office. Distributed through Niceshorts and Atomfilms.
4 – The Silent Years
After years of repression, a woman journeys back to her past and confronts memories of teenage abuse. Adapted from selected poems by renowned Hawaiian author Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Silent Years tells a universal story using the unique dialect of Hawaiian Pidgin English.
5 – Hacksaw
Serial drama aimed at mobile phone platform about a group of “hackers”. Shot in close-up, jittery video style to fit the mobile phone platform it will be viewed on.
Not supposed to be available online yet. Found a slow loading copy at a Chinese website. Photo of Hacksaw below taken during the Sydney Film Festival screening,
6 – Food Fight
Food Fight is an abridged history of American-centric war, from World War II to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict. Watch as traditional foods from different countries slug it out for world domination in this chronologically re-enacted smorgasbord of aggression.
7 – Oedipus The Movie
The story of OEDIPUS, in 8 minutes, performed by vegetables, in the tradition of BEN HUR.
8 – Monster
The life of a single mother is never easy; and the domestic woes for one mom and her young boy are exacerbated by the child’s visions of a haunting monster. Does the problem lie in his youthful imagination, or does the issue run deeper? Is there a real monster in their house?
9 – Kate Modern
Kate Modern is the first international spinoff of the most popular show on the internet, lonelygirl15. Set in London it revolves around the lives of four young adults struggling to maintain a normal life while battling dark forces that threaten to destroy them.
10 – United 300
United 300 is a short film that spoofs United 93 (2006) and 300 (2007). It won the MTV Movie Spoof Award at the MTV Movie Awards 2007. The short was created by Andy Signore along with some of his friends. During his speech, he said, roughly, “The film was not making fun of a tragedy; it was a tribute to those who stood up against tyranny”
11 – Sanctuary For All
Each webisode of Sanctuary follows the exploits of Dr. Helen Magnus (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis) as she seeks out all manner of terrifying and monstrous creatures. She is aided in her quest by her reluctant protégé Will Zimmerman (Dawson’s Creek, The Big Hit, Species 3) and her intrepid, if somewhat reckless daughter Ashley (Battlestar Galactica). Together they will be drawn into a frightening and mysterious world populated by beings that defy explanation.
Sanctuary has to date been the highest budgeted direct to web broadcast show. You can buy episodes of Sanctuary at Vuze.com