I hate to be the guy who keeps referencing one particular recent post, but I'm going to reference TED-curator Chris Anderson's CNN article one more time. His piece is all about how online video is pushing conventional boundaries due to the audience size and the candle power of the spotlight it can shine on an individual. These traits, says Anderson, drive innovation across all industries.
I just saw this amateur Transformers fan film on BoingBoing and simply had to share. Check it out:
Now… why did I simply have to share this video? Because it was made by a regular Russian amateur like you or me, with a couple of $1000 cameras and lots of editing time. And some talent.
If you don't think online video is making extraordinary things possible for previously unknown innovators, then you're not paying attention. The "Transformer" effects in this piece are nearly as well-executed as the ones in Michael Bay's films—and those films cost a few hundred million. This film cost… well, a couple thousand dollars if you count the price of the cameras. And that's it.
When in history has it ever been possible for Russian teenagers to create something comparable to a Hollywood studio on basically zero budget? Never… until now. It may take several more years, but I think we're on the cusp of a new age of film—one in which Hollywood shares the power and clout with independent studios, individuals, amateurs, and upstarts. They no longer have a stranglehold on the creative talent and technical capabilities.
And this is what geeks me out about online video—it's why I love writing about this industry. The technology has gotten so cheap and readily available that it's easy for anyone to create great-looking videos on a budget. And the sheer volume of viewers for online video ensures that great work will get noticed and get praised… which will only drive further creativity and innovation from other unknowns.