In 1982, media critic Ben Bagdikian wrote The Media Monopoly. The book recounted the buyout of smaller media outlets by a few, large corporations. The consolidation of media eroded the pathways that linked the creators with the consumers. Information and entertainment was filtered by a dwindling number of gatekeepers. In recent years, access to cheaper, better-quality equipment coupled with the advent of the Internet has reopened these pathways and made it possible for almost anyone to envision, develop, and produce media.
“User-friendly technology has only increased the ability of talented filmmakers to reach their goals quicker, although it doesn’t increase the potential of anyone with an idea to make quality product,” said Jason Klamm, founder of Stolen Dress entertainment. “Can you throw a camera in front of a subject with a cheap, but sophisticated HD camera and have it work? Yes, but without the requisite skill, your success is up simply to luck, and provides no guarantee that you can recreate that success.”
Klamm conceptualized and directed “Looking Forward,” a largely-improvised mockumentary centered around a political campaign, which he completed in 2012, in time for the presidential election. “I was fortunate, and still am very fortunate, to be involved with a group of creative people who are willing, quite often, to help me out for free,” Klamm added. “The money spent on this movie, which was created almost entirely during weekend shoots, was spent primarily on food and water for my actors and crew.”
One young production team that is also taking advantage of varied skills and available technology is Hanging Charlie Productions, which just released the new webseries “Find Love, NYC,”a Manhattan-based comedy centered around a quirky collection of misanthropes who run a dating service. “We are all very passionate about our work, and put in the effort and quality of production much higher than one would expect from our micro-sized budget,” said Kimberly DiPersia, an actor and producer for Hanging Charlie. “We commit to long hours, sacrificing sleep and money from our pockets, making films we can be proud of, asking for nothing but the very best we can give.”
The five-member troupe, came together for the 2013 NYC 48-hour Film Festival. Teams compete in the festival, which spans multiple cities, and are tasked with making a film from a list of specific requirements in two days. Their short film, titled ‘Hanging Charlie’ was selected as one of the Best of New York 2013 and received an honorable mention for Best Score 2013.
The small production company sees “Find-Love, NYC” as a sort of “virtual tourbus,” in the words of actor/writer Sean Gallagher, who created the show. “Releasing the show on the Internet allows us to build fans in the same way rock bands would in the past,” Gallagher said. “They would pile into a van and go on tour from bar to bar, small stage to small stage. The difference is, we are virally on tour and people anywhere can come to our small stage.”
To Paige Bennett, a public relations analyst who specializes on the impact of technology, the opportunity presented by technology far outweighs the over-abundance of people now in the media market. “While some may argue that the market has been over-saturated by hundreds of YouTube and Vine celebrities, these vehicles have made it easier now more than ever before to create a brand,” reasoned Bennett. “Longevity of fame past its 15 minutes of fame is still up to the creator, but content is now anyone’s game.”
Sean Gallagher and Kim DiPersia: (484) 225-8343
Paige Bennett: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Klamm: (310) 709-7049