Kevin Smith and the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards

One word describes last night's Streamy Awards ceremony... Sad.

If you don't know what I'm talking about read this first:
http://www.webseriestoday.com/2010/04/streamys-2010.html

These folks do a good job of describing it.

So here's my take...

I didn't mind that there were tech issues - that happens (although it was ironic that the tech issues started during the Craft Award videos). I didn't mind the poorly written jokes - again, that happens with most awards shows. What I did mind was the overall tone and sloppiness of the presentation.

The Streamys are supposed to celebrate the best in Web TV, but last night (pretty much) the entire show was dedicated to demeaning it (I'm not talking about the actual awards or the winners of course - I'm talking bout the comedy bits and a lot of the presenters). Now don't get me wrong, I love a little self-deprecation. Making fun of yourself or your place in the world is fine. I joke all the time about being the "red-headed step-child" of the TV industry. But to keep that up for almost the entire show was just too much.

I was also very surprised at the amounts of sex references, sex jokes and just plain vulgarity throughout the entire production (and I'm not even talking about the two streakers - which was, um, yeah..). And trust me, I'm not a prude.

Web video already has a stigma of being dumbed down, vulgar, pornographic, etc. and the Streamys played right into that stereotype. This was a huge mistake in my opinion, and why in the world the very smart guys at Tubefilter (and I do mean that sincerely) would approve the various comedy bits, etc. is beyond me. Not to mention that there were entirely too many acts/bits and they were all waaaaaay too long. They should know better. They work in the world of web video where most entire episodes are 3 to 10 mins total. Some of these bits were that long or more. Btw, some of them were very funny. I laughed a lot (early on more so than later admittedly). But each and every bit could have been cut in half and they could have easily lost a third of them.

The final main thing for me was the sloppiness in the presentation. If we (the Web TV industry) really want to be taken seriously I think the industry's most prestigious (or supposed to be) awards show should reflect that. I actually thought last year's show did for the most part, but this year was a big setback.

The video playback tech issues (forgivable, but still..), the sound issues, NOT HAVING A VIDEO SCREEN in the theater so us in the "cheap seats" could see what was going on (on stage and in the front rows), the general pacing of voice overs and host coming on and off stage, SECURITY (how many times did people crash the stage??), the lame 3D Streamys animated nominee intros (this is subjective of course, but I thought the animation looked comedic, like it was from 1997 - it was not contemporary at all), and the list goes on. But all these "little things" really add up to one big mess.

So this is why I'm sad.

I want the Streamys to be successful (heck, I'm an IAWTV member and I won a Streamy last year for Best Direction in a Dramatic Web Series for 'Pink'). I want the Web TV industry to be successful. I want sponsors and financiers and distributors and our audiences to take the industry seriously. And I know the Streamy Awards and the Tubefilter guys do too.

So I liken this misstep to Kevin Smith's early movie career. He made 'Clerks'. Was a big hit. Went out and made 'Mallrats' next. Was a huge flop. But then he made 'Chasing Amy'...

Let's hope next year's Streamy Awards is our 'Chasing Amy' (without all the dick jokes of course). :)

-Blake


6 comments to "Kevin Smith and the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards"

  • I agree fully. It was an opportuity to bring New Media to the next level and be taken serious, however I feel like now, we(web series producers) will have to work 3 times as hard.

    A blow to New Media

  • In another note: looking forward to your new series. In other words, we just need to keep our eye on the ball. Great content is where that begins and Pink was some of the best ever created for the web.

  • In terms of this post, I have already posted this comment else where, but it is worth repeating:

    "One really needs to wonder who thought this would go over well?

    We have long called for more transparency in terms of how the @IAWTV is run and how it makes decisions. The IAWTV needs to engage in an active dialogue moving forward. The organization needs to open itself up to a frank discussion with the entire web series community.

    The @IAWTV cannot or should not continue to act as a closed “society” because in the end it is accountable to the entire web series community and we have just seen what happens if we just let those in power “run with the ball”. Like it? No? Then we need to see a total change in the way the @IAWTV is run.

    I think we can be pretty sure that the majority of the members and possibly even some on the Board of Directors of the IAWTV had little knowledge of what was going to happen. That does not make them any less accountable.

    Those who did not like what happened need to step forward and work with the community at large to foster the change that is needed. We can move forward and we can make things better but only if there are substantial changes in how the IAWTV is set up and operates.

    An apology is only as good as how well the person making it understands and articulates exactly what they did wrong. So far there has been little more than lip service. We need accountability and that begins with those responsible stepping forward and telling us how things went SO far wrong.

    Then there needs to be changes. BIG changes. The day of brushing things under the IAWTV carpet is over. We are a world wide community and we need to take our genre back and make sure that this organization aligns itself with the entire community… not just an insider faction."

  • To be fair, Mallrats was a good flick that was poorly marketed and took a while to find its eventual audience on DVD, where it has since found longevity. I cannot imagine that for this year's Streamy presentation, which just set the wrong tone for a fledgling industry looking to be taken seriously. Let us hope next year is a 180 degree turnaround from this year's show, which was just bad and should be learned from and then buried.

  • modelmotion - thanks! we look forward to getting new show out too. and good point for sure. :)

    alex - I personally am not a fan of Mallrats - subjective of course - but I do agree this year's Streamys will not find a following like it has. I was really just using it as a "sophomore slump" analogy and of course because Kevin Smith movies tend to be pretty vulgar (in a good/funny way most of the time though)...

Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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