Archive for August 11th, 2010

Terry McMahon Article

11th August 2010 by Maura McHugh

We’re delighted to add another article to our On Writing section by award-winning screenwriter Terry McMahon, entitled Two Actors, a Camera and a Taboo.

Here’s the start:

I got a second tattoo recently. The first one I got a few years back in a tattoo parlor sandwiched between a Chinese Takeaway and a strip club on Hollywood and Vine when Daryl Hannah flew me out to Los Angeles, first class no less, to write a script for her. Living in a council flat on Dorset Street with my missus and young kid, and, having just written my first screenplay, I was naïve enough to think the world would give a damn. It didn’t. But Daryl did, and for a long time I kept the stub of that advance cheque; her name on it and the three most exciting words I’d ever read: Twenty-five thousand dollars.

Click here to read more…

Original Web Content Develops

11th August 2010 by Maura McHugh

There’s an interesting article on The New York Times about how made-for-web original drama and comedy seems to be finally developing its place and market.

According to the measurement firm comScore, 86 percent of Internet users in the United States now watch at least one online video a month. Some of those shows originate on traditional TV, something that Hulu specializes in; others originate online, and that portion is growing.

“There’s an inevitability to Web video that makes it exciting,” said Rob Barnett, the chief executive of My Damn Channel, which features original comedy and music shows.

Reaffirming its belief in made-for-the-Web programming, YouTube last month announced $5 million in grants for online producers. The grants will seed new content for YouTube, a unit of Google, which has largely failed to persuade big television networks and studios to place TV episodes and films on the site. Encouraging more professional Web video is another way for YouTube to expand its inventory for advertisers.

Despite the evidence that viewers are eager to watch more on the Web, the recession was an ugly reality check for purveyors of such programming, and many start-ups were closed. At My Damn Channel, Mr. Barnett hunkered down, trimmed staff and took solace in the fact that he was seeing repeat business from his existing advertisers like Southern Comfort and HBO, even though he was struggling to add new ones. Now, he says, venture capital will allow him to hire more advertising sales staff, add business development workers and broaden the types of shows he creates.

“I often think of my daily business life as a guy running a cable network in the early 1980s,” at the dawn of that medium, Mr. Barnett said. “There is, no matter how you slice it, a timeline for any new industry to grow.”