Maintaining High Maintenance
The New Yorker gives high praise for this web video series called High Maintenance. The episodes are short (~5min) and there are eleven episodes in all. It is about a pot dealer who rides around NYC and meets all sorts of strange and outrageous people. This bit from the lead actor in the New Yorker piece rings true to me after I watched a bunch of episodes last night:
The thing about weed is, we didn’t want to use it as a punch line. Instead, it’s this substance that, like chocolate, causes people to expose their own foibles. People become so human in pursuit of this thing. And the interaction they have with the person bringing it is often tragic, because there are a lot of lonely people out there who order it and then that is their human interaction for the day.
But here's the part of the New Yorker article that has me thinking outloud this morning.
When I spoke with Sinclair and Blichfeld recently, they were on the West Coast signing a script deal with a major network, newly on the path to converting “High Maintenance” into a full-length cable show.
It's a bit upsetting to me that the "major leagues" for filmmakers, writers, and actors who make it on the web is still the cable business. Why can't entrepreneurs build something that will work better for emerging web filmmakers than that? We have investments in Kickstarter and VHX, both of which are changing the game for filmmakers. We are also big fans of Vimeo, where High Maintenance is hosted.
But this High Maintenance story tells me that we haven't yet built enough technology, distribution, and monetization systems so that filmmakers can be truly independent and realize their vision and have the financial sucess that should come with great work.
So there is more to do here.