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Some Hollywood Types Do Actually Get Web 2.0

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My best friend is an extremely gifted film talent. But he hated Hollywood, hated the hoops young aspirants had to go through, hated having to play ball, so he left Hollywood and came home to be an English professor. It’s really too bad online video hadn’t taken off just yet.

Not that he’s given up, just that if and when he makes a movie, he’ll write it, direct it, and find funding on his own. He’ll do it on his own terms.

The point is a lot of talent is lost in the Hollywood shuffle. Traditionally, it has been incredibly difficult to break into media. The system is designed to be formulaic, to exploit what works and makes money until it doesn’t anymore. This usually occurs once it’s clear the public is sick of the current trend.

Hollywood has also not liked YouTube. No control of their content, and a real threat to their traditional media dominance. Worse, it was amateurs with sub-par equipment, making videos that cost nothing, and they were stealing the audience. "Bad is the new good," said one confused media exec.

But now we are on the brink of something new. Hollywood, or at least those on the cutting edge of it, is coming online, forced to readjust how it makes and distributes content.

Comedy goldmine Will Ferrell is on this edge, recently launching FunnyOrDie.com, which features short comedy clips. Perhaps the most well known in this infancy (pun intended) is a two-and-a-half minute video called "Landlord," in which the landlord is played by a foul-mouthed and drunk two-year-old girl (but we don’t think Child Services needs to called, though – she just has "a buzz," she says).

ArsTechnica’s Jacqui Cheng also informs us of a site called MyDamnChannel, orchestrated by Rob Barnett, previously of MTV and CBS Radio. MyDamnChannel is YouTube for professional content producers. So not just anybody can submit.

There are channels like TV, and TV personalities, but the beauty of it is, the site has not put restrictions on the content. Supported by advertisers, MyDamnChannel provides the code so that videos can be embedded onto websites and blogs.

One particularly cool offering is record producer Don Was’s "The Wasmopolitan Cavalcade of Recorded Music." Don explains that new songs will be featured, and the one featured this time, by newcomer Jill Sobule, was recorded four days earlier. But the best part is, for music lovers, is that Don gives permission to download to an iPod, or burn it to a CD so that users can share it all they want.

"We’ve already been paid," he said.

And that’s a major step forward for the entertainment industry, especially as the RIAA is strong-arming everybody.

So who knows? Maybe my very talented best friend can take another shot at the movie directing biz, now that the biz has changed.  

Some Hollywood Types Do Actually Get Web 2.0
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