A survey, compiled as a reference work for yours truly to familiarize myself with what’s out there.
Isuma: Inuit video.
Volksmovie.com, “the complete online resource and community base for the digital filmmaking movement.”
Videoactivism.org. Clarification unnecessary.
This area looks much to me like online comics; there’s clearly a huge amount of work being produced without much headway to identifying a self-sustaining business model. I think that the lower costs of creating this sort of entertainment directly threaten the dominance of the feature film and TV market by Hollywood, but don’t expect to see significant pressures on Hollywood to adopt indie-style production techniques as a regular, day-to-day thing for at least a couple more years.
I think the genre based fan-films I often highlight here are the probable nexus of that threat (Blair Witch Hunt, anyone?). Knowledgeable and passionate genre fans have already shown that they can create work that is more entertaining and compelling than the material coming out of the studios targeting the same audience. Of course, indie production places some constraints on the pieces themselves that limit the direct threat at this time.
But what happens when someone in Hollywood recognizes that you could make an entire season of Starship Exeter for less than the cost of a single episode of Enterprise, and get better ratings with the product? Havoc will ensue in the industry. It will be like NAFTA for film and video professionals, and it’s going to be ugly.
In the meantime, indie video people will have a couple choices. They may seek to perfect their imitation of the commercial product, (which seems to be the goal of most of the genre stuff). Or they may perfect their own idiosyncratic techniques and themes while firmly aiming for mass-market accessibility. in a way, this has already happened, with the commercial success of Girls Gone Wild and Bumfights. Yet, the extreme and prurient content of these videos, by design, makes them unacceptable media for broadcast, ensuring the unit-sales that underpin the producers’ business models.