The Internet has become center stage in an industry that already has so many different and competing stages. As a result, the way we watch and understand television is changing. Today television viewers are more likely to flock to Hulu, SideReel and YouTube in order to catch the latest episode of their favorite show. Original web-only programming has also found favor with audiences.
In response to this surge of Web television, the International Academy of Web Television (IAVTV) was established this year. The IAWTV has created the Streamy Awards, an award show that honors the best in web television. The winners of the First Annual Streamy Awards were announced on March 28.
Operated by Tubefilter, Inc. and Tilzy.TV Inc., the Streamy Awards were broadcast live online. The nominees in 24 categories range from comedy and drama webisodes to reality and news programs. “The Guild” was named Best Comedy Web Series while “Battlestar Galatica: The Face of the Enemy” was award Best Dramatic Web Series. William Shatner’s “The Shatner Project” won the Best Reality or Documentary Web Series. Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” won seven awards including Best Actor (for Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible) and the Audience Choice award. Other nominated web series to check out are a college mockumentary, “Dorm Life,” a sports mockumentary, “Back on?Topps,” and a Renaissance Fair comedy, “All’s Faire.”
Webisodes are online-only television programs that appear on such sites as YouTube, Hulu, Fancast, FunnyorDie and Vimeo, have expanded the scope of the entertainment industry. Entertainers and aspiring filmmakers have recognized this and are utilizing these Web sites to create unique short films and television series. Broadcast television programs such as Rescue Me and The Office also use webisodes as an extension of a showand a way to keep viewers interested in a show long after its season finale airs. The webisode has emerged as a new method of artistic expression and a major commercial endeavor.
The creation of the Streamy Awards gives the webisode the same artistic credibility as a broadcast television series or a major motion picture. It also recognizes that viewing practices are transitioning to a more Web-based culture. While the webisode presents a series of questions, ranging from the simple-is a title italicized or in quotations?- to the more complicated -what does this say about the future of the entertainment?- it is an exciting development in the always changing entertainment industry.
For more information on the Streamy Awards and to watch the winners, visit http://www.streamys.org.
Source: Mount Holyoke News, A&E