I discovered UbuWeb from the Self-Reliant Filmmaking blog. The author’s wish that You Tube was more UbuWeb got me thinking.
UbuWeb is a place where you can watch and learn the techniques of filmmakers who were very innovative in their time. YouTube is a place where you can be entertained, you watch the latest viral gimmick, and discover what innovative, aspiring filmmakers of today are doing.
UbuWeb bills itself as an educational resource and the content is well organized and presented. On the other hand, YouTube can be overwhelming and it can be hard to find stuff you like. But there is always a level of craziness about community generated content (look at eBay for example) and that craziness is what allows the 13 year old with a dream to have his works up there for the world to see.
But with all the craziness (and probably because of it), YouTube also serves as a *great* educational resource. A quick search of YouTube tells me that you can also find wonderfully educational material there — Bunuel, Cassavetes etc. AND you can find this next to films that pay homage to the greats with their own shorts. How cool is that?
So, if anything, little known UbuWeb should use YouTube to get the word out on it’s content. Throw in a few cool videos and draw users to UbuWeb. And, as YouTube grows, it will need to find a way to let the people who are “less inclined to wade through stuff to find what they are looking for” find things more easily. eBay faced similar challenges in its growth – I think all community-content sites do. If YouTube wants to keep all the niche content segments on the site, it could so easily create a “great filmmakers” channel. They could even outsource that to an UbuWeb or another non-profit that exists for that reason.
I am convinced that there will be more filmmakers from the YouTube generation that ever before. Because for the first time in history, you can get relatively inexpensive high-quality equipment and there is a method of distribution that doesn’t involve a small set of gatekeepers (i.e. studios). And that is a very good thing because we will see levels of experimentation we’ve never seen before. And if by some chance, YouTube starts to play gatekeeper, there will be lots of other sites that will eagerly accept the content and the traffic.