One of the most exciting parts of the internet revolution and exponentially decreasing cost of media equipment is the dramatically lowered threshold of entry into the creative process of film. We’ll be reviewing Paranormal Activity this weekend, shot on a budget of only $11,000, but they were fortunate enough to land a real distribution deal with Paramount.
Many independent film makers are going the route that comics and writers took a decade or so ago. Fed up with an inability to make any inroads into traditional media at all, some artists and writers simply turned to the internet for distribution. They discovered a couple of things very quickly. First, if they were good enough, they might be able to make a living doing it. Second, the fluid nature of the web allowed far greater flexibility of expression than traditional media. Want to write a comic twenty years ago? One panel political cartoon or three panel family friendly funny page piece, nobody else need apply. Want to write violently angry yet intelligent film reviews? Well maybe if you’re lucky, but you’ll be capped at three hundred words, because speech may be free, but ink and paper ain’t. I exaggerate a bit, but the creamy center of my hateful truffle is gummy with truthiness.
It’s not the first series to start up online (“Sanctuary” made a splash and got picked up by SyFy, and various machinima like Red vs. Blue have been running for years now), but “Riese: The Series” looks interesting enough to take note. They’ve picked up a few bit players from various sci-fi shows to star in the series, which blends steampunk into a fantasy setting. Riese is protected by her father’s wolf and travels anonymously, hiding from a religious cult called “The Sect” which has wanted her captured/dead for quite some time. The teaser is below, but their website has a bit more information on the plot, characters, and making-of videos.
It might be great, it might be horrible, but they get 3.6 extra points just for getting it out there in the first place.