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Monday, May 10, 2010

Digital Hollywood 2010 Content Summit Panel Wrap Up Part II

I was able to catch a few panels at Digital Hollywood 2010 and just about all of them were for the Content Summit. In these panel wrap ups I'll give you what I felt were the key points made by the panelists followed by a Key Panel Takeaway. This is Part II, you can read Part I here. If you are interested in some of the other panels from Digital Hollywood video is available on their site.

Web Series Development- Pilot Season Without a Net.

  • Miles Beckett, CEO Eqal, Creator, Lonelygirl15, Moderator- This panel marks Miles’ first appearance as moderator. Beckett advocates a slow grow approach. He recommends building marketing into the content. Beckett feels shows should embrace interactivity and the lack of a fourth wall.
  • Hayden Black, Creator, Good Night Burbank- Black warns after the show is created, you’re just starting and if you’re not prepared to do all the non-creative work yourself maybe it’s not for you. Back in the days where only a handful of content existed, they were on the front page of all the video sites. Today what appears on the front pages are not viral but paid for by studios.
  • Chris McCaleb, Partner, Big Fantastic- McCaleb feels when you work with a studio you have more money which translates into higher production quality and better distribution but when you remain independent you retain complete control. He knowing what other shows are out there and not do that but be unique. McCaleb agrees with Beckett that when you own your own IP you can exploit if over time.
  • Will Marks, Head of Business Development, Monkey Wrangler Productions, Code Monkeys- Marks revealed that they don’t do projects without a corporate partner to do the non-creative. When they work with a corporate brand they build marketing into the budget. Marks commented that working with a corporate partner is not selling out. He recommends creators build a reputation by establishing a portfolio. Partnerships=people who can vouch for you. They can make 6-7 figures on their projects.
  • Jim Lauderback, CEO, Revision3- Lauderback says when you do it yourself you prove what you can do. That’s when they like to come in because they are really good at selling and bringing in sponsors. He told how the Annoying Orange brought in iJustine (as a pomegranate) to access her audience. Revision3 don’t look at the web as training wheels for TV. He also reveals some of their shows gross over a million dollars.
  • R Blank, Armor Blank- If you know you aren’t capable or comfortable doing SEO and social media marketing then get someone.
  • Key Panel Takeaway- I thought this panel was about the process of getting a web series onto distributions channels. It was about taking web series off the net and onto TV. This panel for me really illuminates the chasm that exists between the haves and the have-nots. It’s really easy to say make corporate partnerships; it’s a lot harder to do. A good portion of the panelists made their reputation in a different era. As a result they are at a higher level than anyone starting out today who a) don't have that advantage and b) can't really duplicate what they did to get to that level. The bottom line is if you are starting from square one, there is no magic bullet. You are on your own and be prepared for the long haul.


  1. Sounds like an interesting panel.

  2. Also, nicely done on the visual presentation of your article, that is an important factor, which people tend to overlook but I always notice the effort.

  3. Thanks- I think I know why events like this don't get much coverage. These are basically conversations with a moderator trying to direct a panel to stay on topic but ultimately failing. At least Miles actually had an agenda, which was a series of topics based on the life cycle of a web series. They each didn't speak one at a time but I don't think a write up of the conversation as it happened makes for a great read. For example, these are 45 minute panels and a good 15 minutes are spent on introductions with film clips. Factor in the fact that many of these panelists we've heard from before in various coverage and often don't say anything new. Basically I just try to nutshell it so it makes for a quick read.


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