The Directors Guild of America announced this week that made-for-Internet shows are now eligible for the DGA Awards. Perhaps the fact that Netflix originals have been nominated for fourteen Emmys served as a wake-up call.
The DGA said in its announcement, "In recognition of the increasing level of original programming being created by our directors and their teams specifically for Internet distribution, the National Board has determined that programs made for Internet distribution in the following eight categories are now eligible for nomination: Dramatic Series; Comedy Series; Movies for Television and Mini-Series; Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming; Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials; Documentary; Reality; and Children’s Programming. The Commercials Award category has included commercials specifically made for the Internet since 2007 and will continue to do so. All programs created for the Internet must be covered by a DGA Agreement and be directed by a DGA Director. All categories except Commercials require that a made for the Internet program submitted for awards consideration to be at least a half-hour in length. Exact program length required is determined by the rules in each individual category."
That should just about cover Netflix's original offerings, which are expanding to include more documentaries, stand-up comedy specials and kids content.
Of course, there are other players besides Netflix, like Amazon, for one, which is also working to rapidly expand its original content offerings, and the doors are really opening up for high quality, professionally-produced shows and films on the web at large. Along with the Emmys, this is a huge landmark for online video.
"The National Board has determined that all dramatic scripted programming that is part of a series, including daytime serials, will be incorporated in the Dramatic Series Award category," the DGA said. "This decision was made in recognition that scripted dramatic series are now programmed beyond ‘prime-time’ and that with the increase in series programming created for Internet distribution without set times for viewing, the definition of what is a dramatic series has fundamentally shifted. In addition, because of the compression of entries over the past few years in the Daytime Serials Award category, the National Board elected to merge this category into Dramatic Series.
The National Board of Directors voted on the DGA rule changes last month at a board meeting. The next DGA Awards ceremony will take place in January.
Image: David Fincher (Wikimedia Commons)