Last Spring, I attended the IFP web panel What’s the Web Got to Do With Me. At this panel, the speakers spoke on their various web series. The panel was moderated by Dan Schoenberg, and the panelists were Ingrid Jungermann, Jared Neumark, Nonso Christian Ugbode, and Ben Wareheit. All of the panelists have web series that cover material that deals with stereotypes/discrimination, major political issues, or gay issues.
Ingrid Jungermann has two popular web series where the protagonists are lesbians. Her latest series is F to the 7. Nonso Christian Ugbode has a series called Black Folks Don’t, which explores and debunks the stereotypes surrounding Blacks in the USA. Ben Warheit’s Waco Valley was an animation about dinosaurs who they faced bigoted comments from ignorant jerks. Jared Neumark’s Explain It Like I’m 5, covers a number of controversial topics.
These 5 creators spoke on how filmmakers, by using web series, can bypass traditional television and newspaper editors to explore contemporary and controversial social themes. And there’s a direct interactive experience the audience can have with filmmakers in the new media context as they can post comments about a video on film series on its channel or site. As our entertainment continues to shift to the web, traditional censors are being bypassed. At the same time, the filmmakers spoke of how major success on the web can lead careers in the mainstream media.
In short, the web can help filmmakers get through traditional gatekeepers. This is particularly useful for people who create non traditional content. The metrics that are easily shown on the web can help filmmakers attracting funding, as popular web series are much more likely to attract investors or other financial backers.