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Presenting one writer/producer's ideas on using the Internet (& his own projects) to
help bolster regional filmmaking. 


Where Mediums Are Merging

By JD Moores - Jacksonville, FL, 2018

I'm a published and award-winning writer and screenwriter with a degree in mass communications and some experience in video production, but given the resources and stamina needed, an inherited disability has made taking the traditional path towards becoming a Hollywood filmmaker unfeasible, if not impossible. As I got older, though, I began to see that whether it's art, literature, music, movies, or television, it's all online nowadays. What's more, the Internet is producing viral video celebrities virtually overnight with little more than a web cam and whatever editing software came with their computer's operating system. Realizing that so many movies today are not just movies, but rather events that tell stories and explore characters in and through multiple mediums (film, TV, books, etc.), I began to see an alternative in which I might still be able to tell my stories on film/video, but not only have more control, but the means to conceivably help and inspire others to do the same. 

With the Internet currently empowering authors, musicians, and other creative people to have and control their own careers online, Woodlane Intertainment is conceived as a brand of mostly regional and independent film/video entertainment for the Internet that uses the web's resources for monetized distribution, promotion, and merchandising to create opportunity and promote the region's creative and filmmaking community. It is meant to facilitate and encompass not just my projects, but those of others in my region (to start with) facing similar circumstances and obstacles.  Even as I write, this sort of thing is already being explored by people that upload short films and web series everday, but what's too often missing is a reliable support system and the organization, branding, and strategic exploitation and connection of other outlets and mediums to make any production and those behind it truly memorable. Those last few things have typically been the territory and responsibility of major studios, advertising firms, etc., but to some extent, the Internet offers cost-effective and even FREE tools to do pretty much all of it... just on a slightly smaller scale. 

What we call "film studios" are more than just backlots and soundstages. They're organizations with the legal right and literal capability to manage the production, marketing, and sale of motion pictures (film, television, etc.) and the intellectual property at their core. Writers, producers, and directors choose or are matched with the best studio(s) for their movies and TV shows.​​​ ​Studios are an important element from the very beginning of the process because when you remove them, you have what we often see in the independent film world - individual and communities of filmmakers struggling for resources, making technical and artistic compromises, and often losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars gambling on festivals and contests.

Before now, there weren't many options, but today, there is both commercial and open-source software for pre-through-post production, social media to spread word-of-mouth, sites to host AND SELL completed films such as YouTube, Vimeo, Indyoh, and others, or custom publishing and merchandising outlets for promotional tie-in products, the Internet offers scaled down, cost-effective versions of the same general resources and outlets used by studios to develop, produce, and market content everyday, including films. ​​​ Control and access to means of online distribution allows the monetization of finished productions and the cost-effective development and sale of tie-in products. With a company like Woodlane overseeing it all, various kinds of productions can be produced in-house or secured via contract to be rolled out online under the same banner. Without all of this, two filmmakers in the same place can make and upload videos of comparable quality back-to-back or even at the same time, but the success of one has no bearing on the other because nobody knows they're associated. 

​With Woodlane, the best case scenario is that people who like a web series or short film will not only know, but be willing to come back and watch something else because there's a certain expecation of quality. Properly managed, money from monetization, tie-in merchandising, sponsorship, etc., can be used to improve output, and over time, the success of the brand can reflect upon the region. 

​​More productions means more jobs, which means more talent like film school graduates and production hosues stay in business and in the state. This can conceivably have a macroeconomic effect that makes something like a new incentives package from the state legislature seem like a better idea because not only is there now a thriving or potentially thriving industry to be boosted, but new infrastructure and a larger, growing system and community of talent and production laborers for a Hollywood film production to hire if and when attracted to the region by the new incentives.  

Even though the Internet and the accessibility of its resources  make all of this more feasible than ever, this is still an incredibly ambitious set of goals and ideas. While I see my first project(s) as test subjects for the brand, if you will, this cannot be just about me... EVER. And while I'm also using my current home of North Florida as a would-be base of operations, the Woodlane brand is also meant to be a franchisable template, if you will, so that branches can spring up elsewhere to aid other communities. This is important for me because, as I write this in late 2018, I face the possibility of having to move North in a few months if my circumstances do not change.

In any case, there is no way that one person even begins to accomplish all of this. That's why I hope to at least lay out a first draft of a process of steps towards eventually making something like Woodlane Intertainment a reality. My goal is to build a niche in the entertainment industry for my community that can be replicated in others. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Aside from me forgetting that Koch is supposed to be pronounced like "Coke," the above video could be construed as suggesting that there is ZERO professional or meaningful production activity in Florida, which obviously isn't true. The point is that most of it seems to be relegated to smaller-scale commercials, industrial videos, and even plate/stock photography that is often done elsewhere by companies based in Florida.  Hollywood currently struggles to profit from anything costing more than $1 million or less than $80 to $100 million and up while investors favor experienced and famous talent in any case, so the Internet's multimedia platforms and accessible bounty of resources really serve as the only probable if not sure means of basically starting from scratch, building the necessary reputations through locally funded, yet hopefully well-made productions that can reach enough people without necessarily having much if any big talent and no big studio production and marketing budgets. 


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