Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making 'Internet odysseys,' like their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside TV and films. In the coming months, they’ll take Globe readers on a journey about what it's like to be 'upcoming' in a business that won't stop changing.
So far, Whatever, Linda has been to seven Web and independent-television festivals and has won five awards
(If you must know: Miami Web Fest’s Best of the Fest; ITVFest’s Best Web Drama; Raindance Web Fest & British Independent Series Awards’ Best Achievement in Production, Best Lead Actor and Raindance Discovery Award.)
And we’ve just learned that we were accepted into our eighth festival, Los Angeles’ Lawebfest, where we have received a massive seven nominations.
Amazing, right? Come on, you must know ITVFest – the annual Independent Television and Film Festival in Vermont. Or, um, the Unofficial Google+ Film Festival? It’s totally cool and happens all online. There’s no red carpet or anything, but you can certainly watch it from your bed.
Web series (like Whatever, Linda) and Web fests: People are talking about them … right?
Okay, maybe not so much. Here’s the thing: It’s all new territory, this web series stuff. It follows that so, too, are festivals themselves. They’re all self-consciously groping around to find their identity, their confidence, their relevance – just like we are on this new terrain. Web series are at the awkward teenager stage of life: all legs and no hips.
Going to some of these festivals – the ones we could afford to attend – has been really interesting. We’ve met movers and shakers representing some of the top YouTube personalities. We’ve been courted to pitch the series after jury people (who also happen to head up multi-channel networks) have watched our series and loved it. We’ve also sat in screening rooms with 15 people and wondered what the hell we’re doing there – and alternately sat in rooms packed to the rafters where we think, “Oh, shoot – ya this IS good.”
It’s an odd experience being part of the in-between stage of Web series and the festivals that are popping up to feature them. There have been precedents: Television wasn’t cool until it got cool, right? Movies were uber-pop until they became the height of mass artistic mediums, weren’t they? The Internet, by comparison, is only a few years younger than us. And isn’t it the nerdy, pimply kid in high school who grows up to be the thoughtful, successful and utterly interesting adult?
We could be wrong, but it’s both humbling and exciting to be at the forefront of the Web-fest phenomena, where no matter your budget, you get to be a star, for at least 15 people, for 20 minutes or so.
We are the weirdos driving in a packed car to Vermont to eat cheese and watch six-minute episodes of a Web series from Brooklyn in a white-top tent. And it’s been nice seeing the lanky teenager named Linda getting asked to slow-dance.