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Friday, November 17, 2006

`Don't call us, we'll call YouTube, agents say'

British newspaper The Guardian has a piece in their Saturday edition about how talent agencies are starting to scour the Web for promising prospects.

Writer Dan Glaister, who is based in L.A., called me up to chat last week, and he used me in his piece as the voice of skepticism. Essentially, I told him that I thought some Web video creators would love to be 'discovered' by movie studios and TV networks, but that others actually have more entrepreneurial dreams: they'd like to make it without caving in to the system. Glaister writes:

    The agencies can offer the promise of money - particularly at a time when many whose work is showcased on YouTube are wondering if they will get a slice of the website's recent $1.6bn sale price - and even a successful transition into mainstream entertainment.

    But creators may be hesitant. Many chose to go on the web precisely to avoid the mainstream. "A lot of people feel they don't want to be co-opted by the system and hand over creative control," said Scott Kirsner, author of The Future of Web Video. "They want to figure out how to use the web to sustain themselves and keep producing more work - they don't particularly want to be assimilated by the establishment.

    "They want to be subversive and they want it to be their voice that's heard, and not filtered through 20 production executives."