The Rise and Rise of Independent Media

I never really used to take much notice of independent media. Nowadays its something that is difficult to avoid. Lets get this clear, what I am talking about is media that is produced independently of, and offered as an alternative to, that which has been traditionally served through established channels (ie TV, movie houses, record stores, bookshops etc).

A friend of mine who is heavily immersed in the independent media scene refers to the phenomenon as "digital vaudeville". Probably an apt moniker.


I doubt that there would be anybody reading this that doesn't know somebody now who has either released their own album of music, written their own book, or made a video and offered it up for sale commercially. Of course, not all of these are brilliant, some are stinkers and most sit in the ground between. The same can be said however of the material served through traditional media channels.

About 3 years ago I stopped watching TV, something that I used to love doing as a child and continued to do long into my adult years. It wasn't that I had made some sort of resolution to change my life for the better (although I love the extra time that I have now as a result), the simple fact of the matter was there was nothing for me to watch. Only shows where people get voted off or you watch somebody cook.

I still get the urge from time to time to watch something though. I have a few DVDs of classic movies I like but I've seen all those, the nearest picture theatre is miles away. I occasionally will rent something online but again it is usually something that has been produced through the traditional studio system and as such more than likely designed by committee and far from memorable.

The internet provides an easy access point for countless independent video productions. Some are made by film students, some are made by small collectives in the hope of selling their content eventually through established channels and some are made by random people just for the hell of it. Cheaper and more widespread access to filmmaking tools, technology and know-how has made this possible.

A couple of great examples to consider:

A collective making new episodes of the original Star Trek series

A virtual TV network featuring independently made productions in the state of Maine USA

I've made it my post new years resolution to make independently made video my first "go to" option for recreational viewing.




 

1 comment

  • Patchlove

    Patchlove Kansas

    Adam, My father-in law builds hammer dulcimers for a living. If you need help contact me at patchlove@aol.com. Interesting you should leave a note in my youtube inbox. Chris

    Adam,
    My father-in law builds hammer dulcimers for a living. If you need help contact me at patchlove@aol.com.
    Interesting you should leave a note in my youtube inbox.
    Chris

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