Tiki Bar, Rocketboom and Steve Garfield were the first couple of video podcasters online in the dark days before YouTube and the like. Since then webvideo has spawned the careers of dozens of new talents. American Idol creates some of music’s biggest stars from an annual casting call, MTV creates (and recreates) celebrity from its reality shows and a few people with a camera and a greenscreen launch profitable video shows like Ask a Ninja and Lonelygirl15.
But what if you’re an aspiring actor who wants doesn’t want to start your career in community theater or pitch your script to the networks? The United Talent Agency and “leading Hollywood talent” have teamed up in a $3.5 million budget to launch 60Frames to:
[Provide] professional content creators access to financing, speed to market, greater ownership over their intellectual property and participation in all revenue streams including advertising.
You can see the entire press release here.
This is an attempt for the mainstream Hollywood community to make some money off of the emerging world of online video. 60Frames is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great because creative types will have a place to go to sell their content when it becomes a full time job. Take the LonelyGirl15 team. At a certain point, three creative types quit their day jobs to make the story of Bree. Even though it was an overnight success, the money wasn’t there as soon as the audience was. 60 Frames could have quickly bought Lonelygirl15 and put their resources in it. Of course, what you’re getting with 60Frames is a decentralized studio that in the long run views these properties as money making investments and when that happens, focuses narrow and the goal is to make money rather than produce innovative content.
It’s going to be exciting to see who is involved in this project, and how the video community reacts to the mainstream establishment coming into this new field. I do have to say it’s more exciting than the NBC-Fox project video project which will be a breeding ground for airing failed sitcom pilots as webvideo. If webvideo was bigger in 2006, ABC would could have forced a show like “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” which only aired once on the internet video viewing audience.