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The last day of 65i, Television for the Web, was yesterday. Here’s an abstract of what I told the students:

We’ve gone through a lot this semester and honestly, I think that this particular class received the best outcome to this study. With YouTube and iPod Video under 5 years old, the University Academe in Schools of Communication across the country have yet to pick this study up as a mainstream topic. We went through webisodes, codecs and compression, distribution and websites, viral content, advertising and the most important topic of storyline and a guest speaker that defines Web Television, Jamison Tilsner. We conclude this semester with the results of the Streamys, the first ever awards show for web-based television.

We are experiencing an amazing time in history. It resembles 1949, when the first Emmy Awards were given out at the Hollywood Athletic Club. It would be another 6 years after that when the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences would be formed. Due to accelerated culture and profiteering, the International Academy of Web Television has already been formed. The Academy is made up of industry professionals and insiders who have pioneered the new landscape of television, yet they contain not one Academic.

This, in the coming years, will most likely change along with the landscape of the industry.

How many of you watched the Streamys? They were held live this year at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles. The show was live directed with an audience of about 2500 people. The quality? Well, it was not the Emmys, but it was the first Streamys and it was televised ONLY on the web.

But what really entertained me was the irony of it all. The first TWO awards of the FIRST EVER web television awards were given to…. drumroll please… William Shatner (for The Shatner Project) and Neil Patrick Harris (for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog). Two icons of TELEVISION for two separate generations of television viewers. The majority of the rest of the winners were commercial television and film stars and creators.

So what does this mean? Well, until web television has created a Cheers, a M*A*S*H or an ER, web television IS television on the web. Your degrees are safe. The quality shows won the awards this first year. Over 50,000 entries and the television shows or shows related to television won the awards.

You should be so happy to be a television student at this time. The future is gleaming with opportunity in multiple fields!

While I was watching Bladerunner earlier tonight I started thinking about what the audience was thinking about the future in the late 70s and early 80s. While I thought about their visions of the dystopia, I thought about the story and realized that the story isn’t fictional but the settings are: new buildings everywhere, flying cars, replicants…

In a time where thoughts of the accelerated future were omnipresent, is seemed that this was a very possible future. This story COULD possibly occur.

Cut to reality. 10 years before Bladerunner takes place, the world has gone broke.  Instead of flying cars we have a neverending war and a former president who Seth Meyers said, “broke the world”.

The dystopian vision of the future of the film is not in OUR near future. We have our own dystopian present.

This of course brought me to the thought of the Internet’s visual content. Everyday, loads of new content is being created for the web. So much of this content is entertaining, laughable, dramatic and even truthful, but is any of it BELIEVABLE?

This new frontier needs a story that is Believable. A story that sets the landscape.

At some point there will be a Bladerunner or a Taxi or a Cheers.  Something believable to our time and present.

The new outlet will truly take hold. If done right, the “call to arms” for new content will set the standard for the content on the web. It will give the Streamys a guideline. It will give the burgeoning Academy a strong foothold.

Its coming soon. Will you be the one to produce it?

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