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Monday, April 12, 2010

Streamys: This was a Celebration of Web series?

The Streamy Awards

I like web series. I like the people who make them, I like to watch them, I like to read about them, and, obviously, I like to write about them. Unfortunately, this appears to be a sentiment the producers of last night’s Streamy awards do not share. Instead of a celebration of web series, the Streamy producers treated us to a roast. Actually, a roast is funny. The Streamys were crude and vulgar, an oft retweeted description of the event, and frankly, insulting to the people who the show was designed to honor.

Last night, the Streamy awards made a mockery of web Television. According to the Streamy website, “The Streamy Awards is the first and most prestigious awards ceremony devoted to honoring excellence in original web television programming and those who create it.” However, segment after segment did nothing but belittle the industry. The presenters had little if anything to do with web TV and either through their own volition or the magic of the teleprompter acted as if the event was beneath them. At one point I wondered if anyone involved in the Streamys actually wanted to be there. Felicia Day, one of the few people for whom a Streamy award has meaning, had to accept her award from a guy in his underwear. No one is going to take web TV seriously, if it treats itself like a joke.

There were numerous production mistakes, which were likely the result of poor planning. Towards the end of the show, the host, who looked like he was seeking the nearest exit, exclaimed that next year he was going to insist on a tech rehearsal. The live stream suffered from constant skipping, there was an open microphone resulting in background chatter, and the official Ustream chat was unmoderated resulting in a takeover by YouTube people, doing what YouTube people do. As for the show itself, well if you watched it you saw them. Honestly, I do not blame the producers too much for the video system crashes, glitches happen, that’s life, and to be fair the ‘vamping’ during the tech difficulties was perhaps the most entertaining part of the show. In fact, free of the structured segments and forced dialog, the host was actually rather funny. Perhaps the show’s failing was less a result of under-producing and more the result of being forced and over-produced.

One of the most common complaints expressed on Twitter was that the show was vulgar and at points, obscene. From the opening monologue and its numerous masturbation jokes, to the five minute bit about vaginal rejuvenation, yes really, to the seemingly never ending porno bit, the show threw itself at the lowest common denominator and started digging. The entire show felt raunchy. I doubt any of the attendees knew just how raunchy the show was going to be. On the red carpet, I saw a lot of open-toed shoes. If they had known there would be so much filth, they probably would have worn boots.

The Streamy awards were a disaster. In the coming days there will be plenty of finger pointing. However, the award show blunders in no way detract from the work that was supposed to have been honored at the event. The nominees should be proud of what they accomplished, even if the award show designed to honor them treated them like a joke.


  1. I can't believe the way they did the show. I was embarrassed for the people in the audience.

  2. Actually, the show could have used more dick jokes.

  3. Agreed.

    A brown streamy mess.Share
    Today at 8:13am
    OK, so the Streamys were pathetic.

    Just plain awful. I hope everyone involved with the show's production is permanently barred from participating in or even attending any future events - assuming this unmitigated disaster doesn't kill the Streamys outright.

    The Red Carpet was the only thing that worked - its producers should be proud of their work, but at the same time embarrassed by being associated with what will go down in history as possibly the worst Awards presentation ever.

    I know many of the nominees and some of the winners. I sincerely congratulate all of them, but I can't help feeling a little sad for them and for us as a group. Our evening of celebration was marred by the people putting on the show - and that's a damn shame. This community is filled with good people doing good work and whose efforts were being awarded and ridiculed at the same time. Whoever approved of this show's production should be identified so we can avoid working with them in the future. Amateur hour doesn't even begin to describe it.

    Everything inside the building was an abject failure on almost every level. Extremely crude humor not appropriate for a show trying to be taken seriously (I mean really - the AVN Awards are cleaner), technical incompetence and an utter disrespect for nominees and the audience.
    To me as a nominee, this awful mess of a show was insulting and embarrassing. The producers and director (assuming there even was one) should be ashamed - and tarred and feathered.
    Yes, it was really that bad. The two streakers were not even the worst part. The nadir of the show had to have been the "bit" featuring the pimp who spent way too many minutes on stage being as vulgar as possible. Or maybe it was the Chatroulette "you're gay" gag that went on for what seemed like days.

    As someone who was proud to have a Streamy nomination on my resume, I now feel embarrassed to be associated with "that show." If I was a new member of the Academy, I'd want my dues back. This was a missed opportunity of epic proportions and did incalculable damage to the image of produced web content - the effects of which we won't know for quite some time. This could actually cause a lot of hard working people to miss out on sponsors who now might think twice about financing a series for fear of being embarrassed like I suspect last night's sponsors were - and for that, and everything on display last night, the IAWT & the Streamys executives and producers should all hang their heads in shame and beg the forgiveness of the community it supposedly represents.

    And that, as they say, is that.
    Now, let's move on and make our wares the best we can.
    Despite what you may have seen last night, produced web content is here to stay.
    We do our work because we love it and the people we're working with and I look forward to doing more of it with my wonderful and talented friends.
    But never again can there be anything like what we saw last night. Never again.

  4. Hey, folks!

    Just dropping my opinion of the Streamys as well...I directed readers back to Web Series Today for more info.

    Stay Classy, WST! :)


  5. ( Just throwing out real quick that I updated my Google Account Info - 'Austin' was a BIT too generic :D )

  6. Great post Mathieas.

  7. One really needS to wonder who thought this would go over well?

    We have long called for more transparency in terms of how the @IAWTV is run and how it makes decisions. The IAWTV needs to engage in an active dialogue moving forward. The organization needs to open itself up to a frank discussion with the entire web series community.

    The @IAWTV cannot or should not continue to act as a closed "society" because in the end it is accountable to the entire web series community and we have just seen what happens if we just let those in power "run with the ball". Like it? No? Then we need to see a total change in the way the @IAWTV is run.

    I think we can be pretty sure that the majority of the members and possibly even some on the Board of Directors of the IAWTV had little knowledge of what was going to happen. That does not make them any less accountable.

    Those who did not like what happened need to step forward and work with the community at large to foster the change that is needed. We can move forward and we can make things better but only if there are substantial changes in how the IAWTV is set up and operates.

  8. I guess next year's Streamy Drinking Game will be played by a very different set of rules.

  9. As usual, Mathieas, your post is both well-written and insightful (and had me BOLing re: the digging comment).

    I especially agree that the nominees and winners should be proud of what they've accomplished. For most people in new media, their work has primarily been a labor of love, which makes their contributions to this new art form all the more impressive. My hope is that from this day forward, the IAWTV keeps its focus firmly on the celebration of that labor so that some day soon, it will be possible to earn a real living creating innovative, entertaining short form content.

    And P.S. my thanks to Thor for the shout-out about the Red Carpet show!

  10. Thanks Sandra, I have to admit that was my favorite line too. :)

    Speaking of the red carpet, a little birdie told me we might have a piece on that sometime today.

  11. I guess this was my most famous, most read story.


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