Friday, October 30, 2009

the videomakers: reach out and shine

Part FOUR of our exclusive interview with Walter Gottlieb, creator of The Videomakers, a new web series set in Silver Spring. (see part ONE | part TWO | part THREE | part FOUR) Above: the fourth episode. You can see the rest of the series, including newer episodes, at

"The Internet was an opportunity for me to try something narrative and do an experiment in the new media," says Gottlieb. "A lot of my previous work was for an older demographic and I wanted to do something aimed at younger people in their twenties, thirties and forties."

The Videomakers is quickly establishing an online presence, with episodes appearing on the video-sharing sites YouTube, Vimeo and Blip and frequent updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages. The show is featured regularly on the Silver Spring Penguin and even has its own blog. As of earlier this month, the first episode had already received 2,300 views from across the country, Gottlieb says, but he hopes that locals will take to it as well.

"This area could be a fan base for the obvious reasons," says Gottlieb. "It's a wild world out there. And you're competing with forty thousand other web series. I'd like to see it develop as large an audience as possible and earn some revenue and I'd like to see people get a kick out of it. If we get noticed by someone in New York or Los Angeles that wouldn't be so bad either."

"We really want to make this a TV-quality production," Gottlieb says, despite the project's low budget. "When I look at web series on the Internet, if the sound is bad or the lighting is bad or there isn't enough pacing, if the dialogue is stilted, I can't watch it. I want something that would look good enough to go on TV. And I think we've accomplished it."

Gottlieb says that The Videomakers won't stop his Final Cut Productions from making more documentaries in the future. "I wanted to take some of the success we had in celebrating Silver Spring in the nonprofit arena and see if we could translate it into the narrative world," he says. "To still celebrate our sense of place and the fact that Silver Spring is this sort of under-appreciated place."

"It's a big experiment," he adds. "You don't know where it's gonna go, but it's worth a shot."

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