Original Web Series, Added By You!
The third annual Los Angeles Web Series Festival (LAWEBFEST 2012) went down almost entirely as expected, so pretty much the only thing left to talk about was how the festival itself was.
What did you think of the festival? Be the first to comment below.
I thought it was great! I met a lot of great people and had a good time. It was a touch disorganized and I know a few people were a little upset about that, but in the end it was worth the time spent. I'm sure when the web series medium matures so will the Webfest.
What specifically did you think was unorganized?
I thought the awards/presentation ceremony was too long. I understand what Mike is trying to do, but 5 awards per category would cut down the time significantly and make the awards more special and deserving.
Also, at one point I counted almost 40 people on a stage that ideally holds about 10. Also didn't think the band needed to be on stage. They could have moved them to the corner somewhere out of view. The festival isn't about the band and having them on stage [FRONT AND CENTER] took up valuable real estate that the award recipients could have used.
It would have also been nice if Mike had "presenters" instead of presenting the awards entirely solo. Another thing that went awfully wrong was people lining up for food behind the ballroom when the awards ceremony was ongoing. Totally uncool of those who did that. Apparently they came to eat. Overall, I thought the festival ran like a well-oiled machine and I see and support Mike's vision.
I felt the scheduling of the actual blocks was a bit chaotic. Again, it didn't matter to me personaly, but I know a few people were a little grouchy about it. I agree with you about the awards ceremony. Some presenters might have been nice, but that might have taken longer too. I think Mike has the right idea and it will only get better with time and experience.
"Some presenters might have been nice, but that might have taken longer too."
Disagree. Not if you limit the award to about 5 shows per category and get rid of the photographer. What you do is collect the award and go back to a designated area outside of the ballroom for photo ops. You need presenters trust me, just like the Oscars or any other awards shows. The host doesn't present awards... he simply hosts. I would have also loved to hear from the winners... maybe give one person from the winning show 30:seconds to speak? Anyway, LAWEBFEST is only gonna keep improving and I'm looking forward to what the future holds.
Oh and I'm sorry... unfortunately you can't be everything to everyone. We all can't be "award" winners, but that doesn't make us losers. Ideally, one winner per category, simple as that, and maybe limit the festival to 100 shows instead of 178? Doing this will intensify competition because people will be fighting for spots. Then from the 100, select 10 to go to France. Mike said 300 shows were submitted and 178 selected to screen... that's way too many shows selected to screen in my opinion.
Absolutly, I agree with that %100. And I believe this would make the block scheduling easier as well.
Agree. I believe LAWEBFEST potential could someday rival Sundance. Mike has nothing else to prove at this point. Less is more. Less shows in the future so we can have more time to watch selected shows and connect with the makers of these shows.
Hey Rich I totally agree. LAWebFest was a blast and I met lots of great people. Totally get the concept of giving people awards to recognize excellence, but that was a LONG ceremony. But yea it was lots of fun.
What you're describing seems more along the vein of the web series festival that happened last week HollyWeb. They were just one day but they only had one winner per category. Admittedly it's always nice to win an award but I do agree that it makes the award worth so much more when there is one winner and you want to strive to be better. I was so impressed with some of the shows screened and realized I really need to step up my game if I want one of those trophies haha!
Personally, I think around 75 shows would work best... 25 per day to maximize eyeballs and not wear people out. At this stage at LAWEBFEST it should be about quality, not quantity and this last festival was all quantity. Plus, growth doesn't necessarily mean more shows.
Rich, I agree with you 100% in your thoughts around the Web Fest. I’m being the devil’s advocate so you can see both sides. As we only attended your panel on Friday evening and the awards ceremony it is hard to comment on the overall perspective if it was unorganized. However based on what we did attend please see my list of pro's and con's below:
Thank you for your well thought out observation, Jen. It's good reading comments from [non web series folks] such as yourself and I can't disagree with what you said.
I loved the festival this year. I think it's good to be critical, but this is still the early stages of everything. Mike himself said that it felt like year one again. Each year it should get a little bit better. Remember the Beatles!
I think the awards ceremony could use some reconstruction in order to make things move a bit quicker, but I personally really value their approach on not over emphasizing awards. It sounds like you really want the "honor" of being one of the few or as you said increase the competition, but those go against everything the Fest stands for. Which is that we aren't competing and no single show is truly the best. I personally could do without awards entirely, but I think people would freak.
Also a point on dress code, Jen I was in sandals with socks at the awards ceremony and I had plenty of people come up and say the appreciated that I came as "me" (including some of the ppl running the festival). I personally don't even own a suit and am curious why it is so important to dress up for awards? I may just be some rag tag kid who doesn't know better, but I personally prefer seeing people being themselves rather than gussing up for an awards ceremony. I like the laid back feel of the festival and that it is about meeting other creators and seeing their shows. I don't really respect anyone more because they are in a suit or less because they aren't. That being said if the festival required a dresscode in the future I would totally abide it.
I don't know if they should accept more or less shows honestly. Mike said the original cut off was around 120 but felt that there were 50 shows that really deserved to go. I can respect that. LAWeb Fest isn't about competition and it isn't about who's the best, so I really appreciate that Mike and his team simply want to celebrate web series. And this weekend was a fantastic celebration.
I love how un-important Mike makes awards. Everyone really is a winner and like another poster mentioned Hollyweb Fest and other festivals provide the heated competition, LA is about coming together, not standing apart.
I would be disappointed if awards became more important.
The festival was amazing and I has a fracking fantastic time meeting tons of people.