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June 20, 2008

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Malachy Walsh

Love the subject of the post.

Do you really think more voices will result in more quality?

I don't particularly feel that writing in newspapers right now is any better than it was before. If anything, since media outlets make so much information instantaneous, the only practical change I see is that, in straight journalism, there is more emphasis on the scoop.

With regard to YouTube, I'd say that nothing is changing. It's changed. And we are only witnessing the aftereffects. Particularly when YouTube is considered with an understanding of how cheap (and easy) the means of film production has become (and will continue to become).

This lower economic and creative threshold has meant a flood of independent films - too many for the market to support.

Yet I haven't seen a markedly higher overall quality of product coming from anywhere. I mean, in any given year, there is always a handful of films that are widely regarded as having real merit. Has it been any different since 2005 when YouTube really made itself known?

Still, if I've got an idea for a movie, I can make it for a few thousand dollars and distribute it quickly and inexpensively. (In 10 minute chunks on YouTube, or in full broadcast quality on a DVD or Website or in a smaller HD showing in a theater....)

This is part of why James Cameron talks up 3-D filmmaking and people flock to action movies. You can't make that stuff on a Sony 24f or Canon 24p 3ccd HD camera. That actually requires something beyond a script, a few actors and time.

For television (both network programming and for TV commercial makers), the change has maybe even more dramatic. Webisodic television is everywhere. Corporate sponsored "branded content" is just as ubiquitous. ("Branded content" will only become a bigger presence in the future - blurring the idea of product placement in a way that's reminiscent of 50's TV, but also way beyond it.)

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