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Finding Independently Produced TV Shows?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the look-in-the-studio-dumpsters-for-scripts dept.

Sci-Fi 151

bornagainpenguin writes "Slashdot recently reported that Stargate Universe was canceled, taking with it yet another of the vanishingly smaller network Sci-Fi shows to watch on TV. In the comments of that story someone mentioned Pioneer One as an alternative to traditional network series. I'm downloading it now and looking forward to seeing it, but I'm wondering what else is available that is independently produced and has a greater emphasis on plot and actually finishing the story? I'm already a fan of efforts like Batman: City of Scars, Starwreck: In the Pirkinning, and Star Trek: Phase II so I know that great things are possible, I just don't know where to find them! Can you help by making some recommendations?"

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Working links? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595610)

If you fix those links then you have a few right there.

Re:Working links? (4, Informative)

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Re:Working links? (-1)

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SyFy (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595670)

So is that not Scifi network now just wrestling?
They might as well just go ahead and brand it as a network for overly butch homosexuals.

SyFy just doesn't get it (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595830)

Don't forget their plethora of B-class [wikipedia.org] horror films. The Sci-Fi Channel wasn't well managed even before it changed its name to look more like an STD [wikipedia.org] . Talk about a network that doesn't "get it."

They need help. Revolutionary vision -grade help. If Comedy Central and Food Network could do it, there's no reason SyFy can't ... but that's not to say it's easy. With this genre, it's damn near impossible. Especially if you have to fight execs that cite profit margins on things like WWE (this is the short term versus long term issue, specifically with respect to brand-delusion).

Re:SyFy just doesn't get it (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595852)


Before somebody "corrects" me, that's an intentional wordplay.

Re:SyFy just doesn't get it (2)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596302)

It's happened to everything. Sci-Fi and TechTV are only but a couple that have succumbed to the lure of being SpikeTV. Really, television isn't even worth watching nowadays. All the channels are pretty much the same.

Re:SyFy just doesn't get it (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598446)

What Sci-Fi channel, I believe you mean the Sy-Fy channel and nothing sums up more the 'dumb' of that channel more the the title itself.

Here's the catch science fiction has one of the most expensive production costs, due to special effects and high set design costs. To attract it core fans, the science fiction aficionados, the stories must be rich and complex and hold to premise behind the series as science fiction types have long memories. Problem this is a very limited audience and the drooling wrestling and reality TV fans just don't get it, don't understand and because it shows up their ignorance don't want to watch it.

So high cost, small audience just doesn't cut it when it comes to the insatiable greed of the mass media set, they ain't interested in the art, they are only interested in living to excess. Basically you are stuck waiting until low cost animation catches up allowing quality science fiction stories to be told at a low cost, minus the celebrity airheads, minus greedy publishers ie direct from the story tellers and animation geeks to their most supportive audience.

Re:SyFy just doesn't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34598696)

"...reality TV fans just don't get it..."

White trash wants to look at other white trash getting their ass kicked, just like them.

Re:SyFy just doesn't get it (2)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | more than 4 years ago | (#34599424)

Ah yes, animation, probably the best hope real scifi has left. Unlike live action, two aliens talking on a space ship costs the same as two guys talking in a kitchen. A battle using advanced weaponry or psychic powers costs only slightly more than a good fistfight or car chase.

But unlike Japan, the US has an aversion for animation being used for anything other than comedy or kids' shows. Even Stargate Infinity was targeted for young audiences and aired in a kids' block.

Re:SyFy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34598792)

I think the "Syfy" behind wrestling is how many idiots don't realise it is all an act, and will defend this point till almost violent reactions.

I know this from personal experience, several times. Even after showing them unedited clips recorded by other people where NO CONTACT HAPPENED AND THEY STILL REACTED.

If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (5, Informative)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595720)

You'll like:

Starship Farragut: http://www.starshipfarragut.com/ [starshipfarragut.com]

Starship Farragut Animated: http://www.farragut-animated.com/ [farragut-animated.com]

Star Trek: Intrepid: http://www.starshipintrepid.net/ [starshipintrepid.net]

Frontier Guard: http://www.frontier-guard.com/ [frontier-guard.com]

These will give you a good start...

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595822)

You know, I had mod points earlier today. No idea where they went, but I really wish I had them now.

+1 Awesome.

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596506)

Somebody should make a series about fictional character Bix Nood. Except, not all racist and condescending. He would surely have a lovable, innocent charm and he would unwittingly put himself in all kinds of wacky situations.

And best of all, nobody could troll him. When faced with a tough situation, he would look at the camera with an innocent smile, shrug with his palms out, and say his famous catchphrase.

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596456)

Your list shows one of the issues with trying to find the independently produced stuff. It's mostly unfunded. A lot of production happens around existing stuff like Star Trek fan works and parodies, Bat Man, Ghost Busters, etc. When you are trying to get volunteers to work on something, the stuff with a recognizable name that people are already fans of is the most likely to actually get made. That means that it's hard to find a lot in the way of original programming in continuous series that is independently made.

You can find some things like independent short films, and independent minisode series which add up to about the length of one normal TV episode. But, they are naturally harder to find, since they are generally one-offs. There are also TV-ish video podcasts which tend to cover things like news and gossip, but are much more rarely in the form of things like narrative dramas.

So, what does it take for something like a completely original independently produced science fiction TV show? Well, mostly money. Something like SG-U costs a lot to make. You hire actors, writers, etc. If you didn't partcularly like SG-U and you are happy it was cancelled, then assume an even higher budget for writers or vfx or whatever you thought was the weak link.

Money for production only comes if there is an expectation of money for distribution. If you won't get paid to put something online, you won't pay to make it. YouTube will do some revenue sharing, but not enough for people to work full time making a show. And, there is no guarantee that YouTube will pay you anything. Hulu shows make money on ads, but Hulu is run by the major networks, so they aren't going to be very active in promoting new production that competes with the existing structures. It's very much an Internet experiment by networks that see broadcast as The Right Way, and want to defend their positions. That leaves Net Flix, which really promotes itself based on movies, and TV shows that have been released on DVD. It would be a (possibly sensible but) very large and expensive strategic shift to really promote original production for NetFlix.

I think NetFlix is best positioned to move into creating distruptive new productions, but it would be risky to spend enough money to give such a move a real chance of changing the way things are done.

Until then, fiction series created by people completely independent of the well known Big Players both in terms of money and borrowing IP will be rare, small, done in spare time, generally intermittent, and frequently terrible. Hell, a buddy of mine and I have been working on post production of something that we shot in March in our spare time, and we don't expect to be finished before the end of the year. It's only like ten minutes, but a few amateurs dedicating spare moments just aren't that efficient. With a real crew working full time professionally on our little project, it would probably have been done in a week. That sort of productivity doesn't come for free, and that's part of the reason why independent stuff is so rare.

You also frequently have the problem of a specialist trying to work as a generalist. An actor decides to create something, and characters are fine, but the lighting and technical aspects are a disaster. A technically minded 3D modeler decides that he can do better, so he creates something where every frame is absolutely beautiful, and the audio is perfectly clear, but you don't care about any of the characters, the writing is awful, and the acting would be improved by overdubbing the dialog with something from espeak.

Re:Every frame beautiful (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596564)

A technically minded ... decides that he can do better, so he creates something where every frame is absolutely beautiful, and the audio is perfectly clear, but you don't care about any of the characters, the writing is awful, and the acting would be improved by overdubbing the dialog with something from espeak.

This seems to be the easy way out the critics took to unite in panning Tron Legacy. Tron 2 was just gutsy by Disney, out of nowhere, and all the critics can do is sandwich it between the slam of Michael Bay's Transformers as "all action and boring" to "all dialogue and boring".

I think instead something happened culturally so that we are no longer satiated by even decent SciFi. Lord of the Rings coupled with Harry Potter is the End of Fantasy.

I think we're on the verge of being culturally exhausted, to the boredom-terror of proportions never before seen.

Re:Every frame beautiful (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598158)

I think we are culturally exhausted on the consumer site, but on the production site there is TONS more waiting in the wings.

The problem we have is that the studios decide what we should see, and that means that they push out mostly same-old crap because that has historically made money.

They are loathe to produce really off the wall stuff because it is not safe.

Taking care of the bottom line is killing creativity universally.

TRON: Steaming Pile of Dog Crap (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598962)

This seems to be the easy way out the critics took to unite in panning Tron Legacy. Tron 2 was just gutsy by Disney,

I walked out of Tron Legacy last night. About the point where we started to get more exposition instead of show. The 3D was horrible to non-existant. I found myself hoping the kid would get killed. It was friggin painful to watch. I was awed by the original Tron, even when it was light in areas of story. This was a LOST opportunity, much like the sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean and Matrix. Except this one actually induced me to WALK OUT. The last movie I walked out on was Kevin Costners "The War".

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (0)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597618)

The two episodes of Phase II I saw had such shitty acting that I never felt compelled to watch another. Indeed, the acting was so poor that I don't even remember the plot. I was too busy wondering why they couldn't find better student actors.

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (2)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597790)

You obviously haven't watched it in a LONG time.

Star Trek: Phase II is a labor of love, and it's insulting to call the performers "shitty". YOU put up hundreds of thousands of dollars to make one of these things. You'll have more of an appreciation of the work that goes into it.

And, they just don't have the money to hire many real actors, because they have to be paid a certain amount of money based on the time they spend working due to SAG rules. Not-for-profit productions just can't afford to use SAG actors on a regular basis.

Just for full disclosure, I was crew on two episodes: "Enemy: Starfleet" and "Kitumba".

There are now 6 released episodes, and one vignette. There are another 4 in post production with another episode slated to be filmed next summer. The quality of the show is much improved over the course of the shows, just like ANY show.

The first few episodes of TOS and TNG were nothing like the quality of later shows.

Give the later shows a try. You might like them better.

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598560)

Note that I didn't call the performers shitty, I called their performances shitty. Perhaps it's a tiny distinction, but it matters to me. I will check some of the newer material out.

Re:If you like Star Trek: Phase II... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598762)

Whee, more shows I have to find an alternative source for because they want me to stream but I can only do that at lowest quality with a lot of buffering... at least that last one.

Why do people still not get this whole bittorrent thing?

Look at it from the other side. (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595722)

We're seeing the availability of new Sci-Fi content on TV decline.

But the people who would produce Sci-Fi are letting it decline not because they're mean jocks who hate geeks. They'd love to make money off Sci-Fi fans. But it's clear they're seeing a decline in ROI for it.

Possible metrics that are declining:
Fewer viewers for that kind of show.
Fewer of those viewers being observable by the viewership tracking system on which the ratings, and thereby the revenues, are based.
Lower payback to an advertiser for any given viewer.

And why? Probably because Sci-Fi fans are being distracted by all the online stuff that's available, or by their smartphones and gaming systems. I'd mention time-shifting, but most of those boxes report usage, which means the time-shifter demographic are even more deeply tracked than the Neilsen system, which has only one box per N thousand TV sets. But maybe they're time-shifting and sharing. And then there's the fact that in a declining economy there's just less of a profit and Sci-Fi has always been the marginal edge of TV, not its loamy bottomland.

But answer me this question: does Summer Glau count even when she's not doing a geeky show?

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0, Redundant)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595912)

You want to know the hard truth? There is no money in producing a genre for a fanbase mainly populated by people who are proud of their ideology of free entertainment and ignoring advertisers. What, you think they can keep donating their productions to you?

But please, go on pirating like there are no consequences, then bury your head in the sand while cold reality splashes in your face.

It's a pretty simple thing. If they can't make money, they won't invest money. Dur.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595950)

I saw your posts in today's net neutrality thread. You must be great fun at parties.

I understand that antipirates can't resist taking any chance they can to bash file sharers, but the parent didn't mention p2p at all. At least try to keep your hate-mongering on topic.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596006)

I did mention p2p.

"But maybe they're time-shifting and sharing."

I'm not sure he needed that to get him started, becuase he spalled off like a pion from a hadron-hadron collision, but he's at least got it as an alibi.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596340)

'Hate' mongering?

Re:Look at it from the other side. (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595972)

I use netflix. If I want something not, I watch online legally or I buy the dvd. In the case of net series I donate.

Try again, oh painter with the wide brush.

What you meant is this audience will not tolerate as much commercials and as cheap a program as the average $Nation_Idol, other reality crap and WWE watchers. Thus they chase the biggest profit percentages never realizing that they are many that must share one pie.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595974)

I just said that.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596084)

Some of the best Sci-fi is from the 80s or earlier (though there are plenty of exceptions). If I torrent, say, ST:TNG (a show I saw through reruns and videotaped most of in the 90s), am I hurting current Sci-fi? Hell, I have the whole thing on tape if I want to watch it, so either way they make no money.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596158)

No, but you are hurting yourself. ST:TNG was utter crap.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596296)

Not if you're a MacGuffin [tvtropes.org] fan.

Son... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596310)

...them there be fightin' words round these parts.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596386)

Go away, Kirk fanboy.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (4, Interesting)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596124)

No money, hmmmm.

So please explain:

All of the Batman movies and series.
All of the Spiderman movies and series.
All of the Star Trek movies and series.
All of the Star Wars movies and series.
All of the Stargate movies and series.

Yes some of those are comic superhero series but you're delusional if you think there isn't a majority crossover between the audiences.

Sorry, but reality says that you have it wrong.

There *IS* money to be made with a fanbase of Geeks, you just have to do it RIGHT. You can't throw your typical half assed TV schlock at it and expect it to work.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598086)

And that's exactly the problem. Why bother trying to make quality program for people who can see through shady ad deals (thus limiting the amount of advertisers that would buy ad space, knowing that your audience does not fall for their crap) when you could make $country Idol and "reality" TV shows that cost jack (500 bucks for the family that drops every pretense of shame and privacy and about 2k for crew and post production and you got an hour of program, try to beat that price!) where everyone watching is a willing idiot buying any crap your advertisers want to shove down their throat?

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598368)

The problem has nothing whatsoever to do with money! It has EVERYTHING to do with inflated egos!

The "suits" who run the studios don't understand or trust any "geeks" who write, produce or consume real SciFi.

They will do whatever it takes to preserve their "know nothing" view of the world!

Re:Look at it from the other side. (5, Interesting)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598512)

Hi, I'm executive producer on four TV shows and I've pitched several that didn't get picked up, so I believe I can provide your explanation.

For a start, you've cherry-picked the biggest franchises, and completely ignored the hundreds of failures.

Many of the series you mentioned are cartoons, which are easily sold for morning timeslots or dedicated kids cable channels; consider the Tamagotchi series, and you'll understand how easy it is to sell even the most stupid idea in that market (as long as there's an action figure set to advertise). Sure, there's a crossover between the superhero and sci-fi audience, but that doesn't translate into advertising revenue, it's that base kids market that pays for most cartoons, some extra eyeballs in an adult time slot is just gravy. Hey, I like the wry humour in Batman: The Brave and The Bold, but it is aimed at audiences aged 7 and older, once you go PG you lose your main cartoon audience (what can I say, most people grow out of cartoons, but that's their loss).

There hasn't been a TV series of Star Trek for 9 years, Stargate's last spinoff has just been cancelled (and the first TV series came as a result of the movie anyway, so all the props and sets were already paid for), the last English language live action Spiderman series finished in 1978 and Batman in 1967 (both cancelled after two seasons), and there's never been a Star Wars live action TV series, so all of those examples are exceptionally bad if you're trying to argue that TV sci-fi is commercially viable today.

In the case of the movies, Batman, Spiderman and Star Trek all had long existing fan bases to build from, and unlike the Flash Gordon movie and cartoon from the 80's, were done well enough to stand on their own merits and attract new fans (not counting Batman Forever or Batman & Robin, of course). If you're trying something new you're starting from a fan base of zero, so there's no word-of-mouth promotion, no nostalgia factor, any publicity buzz has to start from scratch and the show has to be good enough to overcome that inertia. Besides, the economics of movies and TV are different: in television there are no ticket sales, the only source of revenue is indirect (until the DVD release, but if you do that before the show airs the networks won't touch it).

You can't throw your typical half assed TV schlock at it and expect it to work

And there's the problem in a nutshell. To make a successful sci-fi series you need a premise that isn't rubbish (which means you're not appealing to the network's imaginary core audience of idiots), intelligent writers, actors who can babble convincingly (it may surprise you to learn that most actors aren't scientists, they really have no idea what they're talking about even when the science is accurate) and a budget for props, sets, makeup and special effects sufficient to create a consistent and believable universe for the characters to inhabit.

That's not impossible on no budget, as Starship Exeter demonstrates, however because everyone involved in that is donating their time the production progresses as fast as their free time allows; in other words, not very fast at all, certainly not fast enough to fit a 13 week season's production schedule into a single year, and TV networks can't operate with shows that turn up occasionally.

I'll close with the piece of advice I give to everyone I meet trying to get into film and television who hit these brick walls in reality: if it was really as easy as you think it is, everyone would be doing it.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598760)

Yes some of those are comic superhero series but you're delusional if you think there isn't a majority crossover between the audiences.

It's not so simple.

Movies and TV have a completely different demographic. Sci-Fi movies are generally targeted at the teenage male market, specifically 14 year olds. Whereas if you do that for TV, you will have no audience that pays you, since Networks only pay for the A18-49 viewers. Plus, movies generate revenue for the producers from cinema tickets sales, TV rights, iTunes Sales and DVD sales. That happens for TV shows too -- but in most cases the Network sees none of that money, since they are not the producers of the shows.

Star Trek TOS crashed and burned on Network TV. It only worked in syndication. Subsequent ST shows were produced directly for syndication. While there were some great ideas in some of the ST shows, it was a franchise that was pretty much lowest common denominator TV, it rarely took risks or was innovative. It had pretty much 10-12 plotlines that it recylced every season. Plus most of these shows aired in times when there was less cable and less timeshifting. All the networks had MUCH higher ratings for all shows.

If you are willing to produce a show with little artistic integrity, one that basically recycles the same good vs bad two dimensional characters that everyone has seen an hundred times, with theatrical actors that overact and deliver melodramatic technobabble with the words "duty" and "honor" on every page of the script, then you probably will produce a successful show.

If, however, you want to try something new... you have to be very lucky. SGU, was the first Sci-fi show to really base itself in truth. Truth in terms of complex characters, realistic dialogue, realistic acting, realistic pacing and momentum, minimal vfx that actually added to the story, and the best cinematography on TV, period. Unfortunately, it was borne out of a franchise that lacked all of these things previously. It was on a channel that generally outputs light, cheap, dumb, badly produced, shallow, two-dimensional shows -- see Eureka for proof, but you could pick pretty much any other show.

SGU might have worked on HBO, or AMC or Showtime, where its audience would have been higher-brow and more adult. It would have appealed to a non-sci-fi audience if marketed correctly. Unfortunately that was never going to happen on Syfy, and unlikely to happen with the burden of the Stargate lineage.

The fact that the show is produced by MGM, and that Syfy gains no revenue from international distribution, nor DVD, nor iTunes sales, didn't help it.

SGU is still probably a viable show. It will sell well on DVD, it will sell internationally, it will sell on iTunes -- however, with the business model that is currently setup by networks, there's too high a marketing curve without a network pumping out the show. And it is too expensive a show for a network to take the risk of losing ad revenue by scheduling it.

MGM could take risks and try to break the network business model. It probably would work, there's enough of a global audience out there for the show -- however, even money they won't try to do that.

The business model for networks is broken. Neilsen does not work. There's too much of a gap between production companies and networks. HBO works, because it does not follow this model. They produce their own shows, their subscriptions pay their admin costs, and their international sales and DVD revenue give them profit. This model works. This model would work for intelligent sci-fi too.

There is absolutely no technical reason whatsoever, why someone cannot set up an HBO style network for Sci-fi. And even have that network available all over the World by subscription through the internet (it works for MLB.TV). That way you can say fuck you to Neilsen and cancellation due to low A18-49 ratings, forever.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596238)

Not to mention that Scifi is an extremely expensive genre to produce -- it can cost over $1m per episode. With this economy, people are probably investing in lower-risk shows like sitcoms and such.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

fwarren (579763) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596928)

1) I upgraded my cable package so I would have SyFi so I could watch the 2nd season of SGU. I saw the first season on my NetFlix subscription.

2) I watched IRT so advertisers had every opportunity to "impress" me with their commercials.

Not much more I can do. My major problem here is not having Nielson box in my house. I will watch the next 10 episodes, and would probably like a 3rd season. It certainly has been better than the 2nd season of Heroes.

Maybe SyFy will get the picture when I drop back down to the lower package and the no longer get any money from me. I want Sci-Fi on my SyFy. Wrestling, Ghosts and Horror movies do not cut it for me. Neither does Blade Runner and a Star Trek marathon once a year.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598788)

He is right in a way. To me the solution is not to stop pirating however. The solution is to use the pirate and geek networks that are forming to produce our own sci fi. I even have an idea of how to do it on a shoestring budget: My idea was to film a sci fi tv series purely from frame captures of sci fi games. Then all you would need are voice actors. You then release the film under pseudonyms so you cant get done for copyright infringement by the game companies (they would be smarter to be proud you used their engines and use it as free advertising but I wouldn't count on that). The quality would be low and it would clearly be an amateur production, but with a decent storyline and and a deep immersive world one could still produce a great show. I have been in the planning stages of such a project for some time and would welcome any offers of collboration, just pm me. The other genre that game engines could be used to film is world war two. I would love to recreate some of the great untold stories of soldiers especially in the non US armed forces as there is a vast untapped well of jaw dropping stories there that no one has heard.

The bottom line is that while a distributed shared system of entertainment is working really well for geeks at the moment, eventually we are going to have to integrate the production side of things into this model. Then we will get the tv shows that the genre deserves.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596102)

Sci-fi fans are likely to not be counted in the all important C3 rating from Neilsen. I can't imagine sci-fi fans even agreeing to be tracked by Neilsen though. DVR ratings also dont matter as much to networks because they cant use those stats to sell ad time, and online ads bring in significantly less revenue than cable/broadcast. Frankly I'm a bit surprised they are so far behind with regards to accurate rating systems, but it's no surprise as to why we have shows that cater to those whom are technologically behind the curve...

Ars has a fantastic article on all of this: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/future-of-tv/2010/12/who-watches-the-watchers-tv-ratings-in-the-age-of-digital-tv.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596290)

I really don't understand why online ads are worth so much less. Or perhaps more accurately, I don't understand why TV ads are worth so much. If I happen to be watching non-timeshifted broadcast TV (a rare event in itself) I'll hit pause for 15 minutes at the start and do something else specifically to avoid the seemingly interminable ad breaks. Exposure to advertising (other than product placement) there is zero.

If I'm watching Hulu I might tab over to another window, but the fact that the ads are only a minute or so long means I'm a lot more likely to watch them - hell, there's even the rare occasion where one of them is somewhat entertaining (although that invariably wears off after the first showing, and becomes progressively more annoying the subsequent 35 times they play it).

In any case, I'm continually amazed that most of the TV industry, Facebook, Google and the press are all supported by ads; I just can't believe that advertising is really worth that much (although very successful people obviously appear to think differently). I'd say about 75% of the ads I see do nothing beyond reinforcing the existence of the brand name in my mind (of value to advertisers, I know, but half the time 'big name' brands are crap anyway), maybe 5% tell me about a product I might actually be interested in (and will subsequently research online if it costs any significant amount), and the remaining 20% are so bad that they make me actively avoid the company that made them.

Obviously slashdotters are not the most representative group, but my totally unscientific and anecdotal experience does seem to indicate that it's not just us geeks that this applies to.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596160)

But answer me this question: does Summer Glau count even when she's not doing a geeky show?

Summer Glau counts even when she's reading from a phone book.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596484)

And why you ask? Perhaps because the average IQ in the US is 97 and declining. Demand for a Science Fiction channel is pretty low unless it offers back to back explosions and wrestling. This is why they are "SyFy" and not "SciFi" anymore. Its joke. Same channel that canceled Farscape, a classic comparable to the original star trek.

They're trying to reinvent themselves to be more then science fiction. I just wish they would drop the name and allow some other channel to rise up and take their place. They don't like the demographic they targeted from the beginning...its not sufficient. So they need to get out of the business.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597448)

But it's not just Sci-Fi - all scripted TV shows (you know, the ones with writers, and sets, and paid actors, and therefore lots of bills to pay) are under great pressure from reality shows and gameshows because they're cheap to produce.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598282)

Science Fiction is declining because every year we learn more and more about what isn't possible, and every year we get closer and closer to the singularity. Even twenty years ago you could imagine a future where space cowboys wrestled with aliens in a space station cantina, but even now we're all tacitly aware that our future is being funnelled in a particular direction and that wide open science fiction dreaming is just that, dreaming. Whatever version of humanity eventually does meet an alien, will be as alien as anything out there in the vastness of space, compared to modern, western mankind.

Speaking as a reasonably intelligent viewer, shows like Eureka, Stargate, Warehouse 13 and a bunch of others, actively insult my intelligence. They're written by old men or young men with unbelievably cynical attitudes, who either wilfully deny what's currently possible or casually treat technology like magic - and no, I don't want to read that ACC quote again because it isn't accurate - technologically deficient peoples will regard technology as magic, technological peoples will regard advanced technology as just that, they won't start pulling magicians out of their asses.

Stargate Universe had Scalzi on board and much as I love his first couple of Old Man's War books he obviously couldn't do much to staple together a bunch of glaring plot holes and plain stupid decisions. I hope he made a boatload of money off it, but he'll be tainted if he hangs around TV studio execs too long. The last decent TV SF writer was MJS and before that you probably have to go back to Ellison, god bless his cantankerous soul.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34598316)


I cringe whenever I see humans in a star ship "in the year 22xx". I'm going to get uploaded within 50 years.

Re:Look at it from the other side. (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598466)

Fringr, Lost, The Event. These are all huge shows that I'm aware of, and I don'y really watch TV much. There was also that show about the multi-planet mission that got canceled last year.

Miro (4, Interesting)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595728)

Miro [getmiro.com] , previously called Democracy Player (as previously [slashdot.org] noted [slashdot.org] on [slashdot.org] slashdot), is an aggregation of independent TV programs. I believe it is exactly what you are looking for.

See also the Wikipedia articles on Web series [wikipedia.org] and the (now defunct) Open Media Network ... and YouTube.

Other recommendations would include Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog [drhorrible.com] and The Guild [watchtheguild.com] as well as others listed on Wikipedia's Internet television series [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Miro (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595804)

You forgot Chad Vader.
http://www.blamesociety.net/chadvader/index.php [blamesociety.net]

Re:Miro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34595998)

Smooth moves, h4rr4r. Now I have /another/ thing to watch. :-p

Iron Sky (3, Insightful)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595752)

You will have to wait some time, but if you are like me, you'll be first in line for Iron Sky [ironsky.net] .

Moon nazis. What's not to like?

Re:Iron Sky (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595810)

By the way, from the makers of Star Wreck: In The Prickenning.

Re:Iron Sky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34595870)


Journey Quest (2)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595784)

From the makers of "Dorkness Rising" (Greatest indi movie EVER MADE!) Journey Quest follows a humorous troop of adventures along their quest... err... journey... err... well... you get the picture.

Anyway, great series. I think most of Season 1 is up and their funding for Season 2 is coming along.

http://www.journey-quest.com/ [journey-quest.com]


Re:Journey Quest (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595866)

I would download and seed this if I could find a .torrent on their website, but it looks like the only way to watch it that they offer is embedded YouTube videos. The Pirate Bay doesn't have anything either.

Re:Journey Quest (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#34595882)

In their FAQ they tell you to use a youtube downloader. They even plug one. I think their dvd image is on the normal torrent sites.

It is CC licensed so nothing wrong with downloading it.

Re:Journey Quest (1)

djconrad (1413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596140)

I went to college with these guys. Demon Hunters was good about 10 years ago, for a college production. Have they improved?

Re:Journey Quest (1)

Toze (1668155) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597772)

Tremendously, in both expertise and budget.

Mod parent up (1)

Toze (1668155) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597768)

JQ is ruddy brilliant.

No central authority for these ... I wonder why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34595790)

What you seem to be asking for is a central distributor, or hypersavvy review mill for these productions. I guess I hadn't really heard of any such thing.

Vodo.net, seems to be trying something like that on the distribution side, though obviously enough I'd expect most efforts to self-distribute like Phase II or RedLetterMedia.

I'd look forward to seeing a dedicated review blog for these sorts of things, though.

Re:No central authority for these ... I wonder why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596024)

I'd take an Indie Web media section over the idle section anyday.

It's not even that labor intensive. Just change a few letters... idle to indie...

And just like that, everyone wins.

You can't be fracking serious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596014)

What lead to the cancelling of SGU was the excessive weak pseudo-drama, and someone tries to plug an even worse psychological drama/thriller wannabe sci-fi with no sci-fi at all?

Heck even Lexx with low budget sets and props managed a better plot than this advertised Pioneer One 'alternative'.

P1: worth supporting their business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596054)

I wasn't familiar with Pioneer One but I just had a look at their page and wikipedia entry. They produced the first episode on $6000, released under a Creative Commons license. Future episodes are supported by fan donations.

I haven't watched the show yet, but if it's anything decent at all, I plan to contribute to this. This is exactly the kind of thing we need to take our culture back from Big Evil Media. These guys seem to be doing it right. The biggest limitation small-scale indie efforts like this have got is advertising: nobody knows about them. Word of mouth can help that. And of course donating and/or buying some of their merch.

This kind of thing should succeed (unless it just sucks, of course, but reviews of it were generally positive, so I'm cautiously optimistic).

Re:P1: worth supporting their business model (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596162)

I'm not in much of a position to easily donate funds to projects like this, but I can (and do) help out by seeding their episodes. Since the release of the first two episodes I've uploaded about 38 GB total for both episodes combined, and I plan to leave the torrent going for a long time.

I'm happy to help in this small way, and the beauty is that anyone who downloads the eps can do the same thing.

Re:P1: worth supporting their business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596698)

I agree,

If it were not for this post I would not have known about pioneer one.

Since this post, I've downloaded and watched both and seeded the episodes.

I'm not a tremendously big fan of shaky cam, and some of the acting is so-so, but the Robert Zubrin characters and the plot itself kept me extremely interested in what happens next.

Probably going to buy a t-shirt. I like being able to support things I like and get a material reward for doing so. Much like buying a t-shirt at a band's show.

Give up on US shows - too much studio interference (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596064)

The US model where something can be cancelled at every time and where the director can get over-ruled by studio executives even over something as trivial as the leads hair style (Babylon 5 season 1 - a lot of meeting over a haircut) has drawbacks.
Japanese animated productions avoided that first by being low budget enough to get under the radar and that established a trend where 99% of productions last an entire season. There is occasional weirdness from fixed budgets running out - for instance the end of Neon Genesis Evangeleon where they could only afford stills with voiceovers or Live Action Sailor Moon where the CGI character of the first episode was replaced with a stuffed toy. Reduced production values or not you know the series is going to make it to episode 12 or 24.
I think the desperate scrambling to make sure funding continues in US shows drives towards lots of action but as little content as a rock video to keep studio execs happy. I think a better situation would be similar to the Japanese one where the show has a budget for a season and the director and team are left to go and do it. Shows have been cancelled for highly arbitrary reasons or even to get out of the way to let an execs friend have a show.

Re:Give up on US shows - too much studio interfere (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596086)

The BBC method is probably the best, they make a series on using whatever funds they get and if they get renewed they do it again. So never any random stops.

Re:Give up on US shows - too much studio interfere (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596416)

The BBC method is probably the best, they make a series on using whatever funds they get and if they get renewed they do it again. So never any random stops.

Of course that's easier when your sets are made from old cardboard boxes and your 'monster' is a guy wrapped in bubble-wrap and sprayed green :).

Re:Give up on US shows - too much studio interfere (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596988)

Invisible monsters are often good for this.

Re:Give up on US shows - too much studio interfere (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597092)

Better cheap props or a weird reduced budget "gainax ending" than going from episode to episode with the sword dangling overhead. Special effects are there to add to the story and are of course pointless if they become the difference between the story getting filmed or not.
Nobody turns off Blakes 7 just because the ship is steered with study lamps and Viller's hi-tech box of tricks is a red esky. Bad plot, dialogue and casting via nepotism are the flaws in a few episodes that will annoy people more.
Metropolis (1927) is set for re-release soon now that a few more reels have been found, and among other things it has examples of how even very good special effects can just look silly today. The very good model shots of the city of the future are full of biplanes and cars that look like model-T Fords.

Re:Give up on US shows - too much studio interfere (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598726)

'The very good model shots of the city of the future are full of biplanes and cars that look like model-T Fords.'

That's not silly, that's just the Gernsback Continuum:

http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/it/1988/1/1988_1_34.shtml [americanheritage.com]

Re:Give up on US shows - too much studio interfere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34598834)

Better actual series that is finished than things cancelled HALF-WAY through, right?
The story is really what matters, regardless of the fact that a wall is made of cardboard with some cheap paint and splatterings of tomato sauce for blood or whatever else.

Look at Red Dwarf, the series was practically threw together in a blender. There was almost no hope of it going past even series 1.
9 series, bunch of specials, mini-series (considered to be 10), and a new series supposedly in production now. (haven't checked in a while)
The scenes looked perfectly fine, if a little dreary looking because of the recording.

Fixed budgets are great because it requires the teams to actually, well, you know, make intelligent budgets for this, that and the other thing.
So much stuff that is done in filmography, set design and everything in between, is massively wasted amounts of money.
Need a wall? Why waste money on chalk when you can just get some cardboard, paint it, then put random bits of chalkboard at any required breaking points? (if the chalk was being used purposefully for being broken through while the rest aren't)
Cardboard is sturdy stuff and can hold out for very long periods when painted as long as the air isn't too damp.
Even wood-shaving compacted thin walls are good enough. (lesser "flat-pak" essentially, just barely held together with whatever mushy, sticky material you decide to use, such as wallpaper paste)
Building overly extravagant sets is pointless if your show ends up being cancelled.

Of course, that still doesn't matter anyway since all TV is viewers viewers viewers without a care in the world for the fact that the rating system(s) is(/are) heavily broken anyway.
Apparently all those channels they have don't have enough slots for brand new content flying out of the eyeballs, so they need to cancel stuff to make room for reruns of shows from the 70's... or generic-comedy-number-769 where generic dude is trying to find generic chick for life and generic friends in a generic workplace cause complications.

There are about 10 good shows out there, and... (5, Informative)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596114)

I'm an indie filmmaker myself (used to be a tech nerd a few years ago, but turned into movie magic 3 years ago). I'm constantly trying to find such good shows too, online. And I have quite a list for you. :-)

- Continuum, scifi: http://www.facebook.com/ContinuumTV [facebook.com] (shot with a Canon 7D dSLR)
- Pink http://www.pinktheseries.com/ [pinktheseries.com]
- http://mindseyeseries.com/ [mindseyeseries.com]
- http://www.minglemediatv.com/CursedWebSeries.html [minglemediatv.com]
- http://www.crackle.com/c/Trenches [crackle.com]
- http://www.crackle.com/c/Fear_Clinic [crackle.com]
- http://www.asylumseries.com/ [asylumseries.com] (shot with a RED One)
- http://www.crackle.com/c/The_Bannen_Way [crackle.com]
- http://www.crackle.com/c/Urban_Wolf [crackle.com]
- condition:Human http://vimeo.com/user1160921 [vimeo.com]
- http://compulsions.tv/ [compulsions.tv]
- and of course, the videos in these two Vimeo Channels: http://vimeo.com/channels/hd [vimeo.com] and http://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks [vimeo.com] if you have a Roku, or a GoogleTV you can view most of these shows above via RSS, or via the Vimeo application for these two platforms. The videos in these two Vimeo channels, are really, really good indie work.

There's one more sci-fi web series coming out soon, but I can't remember its name. They use Canon dSLRs to shoot it.

Feel free to email me btw, if you like to discuss any of that, I'm a lot into indie filmmaking: http://eugenia.queru.com/ [queru.com]

Re:There are about 10 good shows out there, and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34597760)

There's also Infest Wisely [infestwisely.com] , a no budget sci-fi feature in seven episodes. It's about chewable nanotechnology that lets you take photos with your eyes, cures cancer and eliminates body odour, but of course, there are unexpected side effects. Fire up your torrent client and grab it, it's free to share under Creative Commons By-Nc-Nd.

And of course, there's The Scene too. Free to download and share on Technutopia [technutopia.com] .

Re:There are about 10 good shows out there, and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34598902)

www.crackle.com has nothing available for "my region"... Feels very ironic that people gone indie don't want me to see their production because I live in the wrong country.

Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

edfardos (863920) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596404)

SciFi is circling the corporate toilet bowl by cost cutting. Normally I'd be bummed, but this thread shows an overwhelming amount of good content which is freely available. I think I'm done paying the corporate no-talent-ass-clowns money for a bad signal with worse programming.

To the no-talent-corporate-ass-clowns reading this, you might want to put this year's cost-cutting bonus in the bank, because I'm pretty sure it'll be your last.


Re:Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596490)

I personally signed out of Comcast CableTV *exactly* a week ago! Between the web series, Netflix, Vimeo via my Roku box, and Hulu Basic via my laptop's HDMI, I don't need any cable box. I bought an indoors TV antenna too, just in case, but I haven't connected it yet.

Re:Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

slobarnuts (666254) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596758)

If you want more variety you could always go with the Ku band FTA receivers as well. A receiver and dish cost about what you pay for three months cable, and there is always something on. They even have some stuff that would normally pay for on cable... There are alot of Jesus channels though... alot...

Re:Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

slobarnuts (666254) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596772)

Well I didn't format that right.

Re:Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596492)

The people determines what keeps going and what doesn't. If there isn't enough people watching it, than the support goes away.

Re:Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

noc007 (633443) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597516)

I have to disagree with this assessment. The metrics used by corporations to track a show's viewership are generally based off of the estimations of the Nielsen ratings. Nielsen tracks a very small fraction of people and then multiplies those numbers based off of the population. IMHO, this is inherently flawed. Let's also not forget studios that just don't know how to properly manage and air a good show.

Take Firefly as an example. Great writing, cast, production, and special effects and is something that can appeal to a broad audience. It aired on Fox who has developed a reputation for killing off shows that they don't completely know how to handle and decide to kill it off only a few episodes in. I don't think Fox properly advertised it and they apparently didn't know it was a serial by airing episodes out of order. After the cancellation, there was a lot of vocal fan interest to get it back, but that just wasn't enough to get Fox to pick it back up or at least sell it to someone else.

Re:Fantastic stuff! Wish i'd dumped cable earlier! (1)

cboslin (1532787) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598830)

Does seem like they cancel almost everything, you would think they would re-evaluate their methods. They are obviously not working at all. I know if I were an advertiser I would not pay extra based on that misleading info.

Journey-Quest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596518)

It's a journey, and also a quest: http://www.journey-quest.com

Agent 12! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34596546)


Is there are hope for comcast to save SGU? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#34596582)

Is there are hope for comcast to save SGU?
or some other network?

Re:Is there are hope for comcast to save SGU? (1)

cboslin (1532787) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598822)

Is there are hope for comcast to save SGU?

Was talking with a friend about this today. We collectively realized that FX, and AMC specifically seem to cancel great series. Started to wonder if they too were owned by the networks. As for Cable Companies, remember that they all have relationships and percentage ownership of joint projects with telcos, movie companies etc...

I wonder if directors, producers, writers and actors will wise up and start to refuse to work for the studios that constantly cancel their series prematurely based on outdated and obsolete metrics...? While I too agree that Independent development is the answer, I can only hope that they can find a way to make money so that we will have even more content.

I know I would not want my efforts to be shelved and never get made or to have something start only to have the rug pulled out from under me in spite of the growing fan base. My guess is that there are specific studios that cancel and de-fund series more than others. Seems like you would want to avoid those studios.

I have heard rumors that one or two networks might start delaying first run shows for 7 days to a month before releasing it on the Internet. Seems very counter intuitive in all areas to me. Especially with their bread and butter, advertising revenue. If you were an advertiser, would you want to advertise on a show that can only be viewed over a single network, I know I would not. People are simply too busy to expect them to watch a show the same day/night it is aired, therefore delaying its release on the Internet can not help revenue. As more people will stop watching the broadcasts simply because you do not want to watch one or two and have work keep you from watching the next episode. We are just too busy and any system that does not allow for time shifting can only further erode the number of people watching.

Thanks to Hulu and CBS I have noticed that when I watch 1 or 2 commercials that is fine...better if they are funny and entertaining. However when I am forced to watch 3 or more commercials, I tend to find something else to do and miss them. Thus keeping the number of commercials to less than 3 during a break will increase the effectiveness of the advertising in my opinion.

I have also noticed that if the volume is increased during the commercial, I will often tune it out, mute it or turn the sound all the way down to avoid the annoyance, thus that also causes viewer ship of the commercial to drop. You think they would know better, but they obviously do not.

Oh and car manufacturers, stop showing me meaningless bells and whistles that insult my intelligence. If the car does not get 100 mpg or more than I am not going to buy it no matter what you say. Just as I want to be off Cable complete, so do I want to be off direct gas/oil as well. I doubt I will ever be off indirect oil/gas (delivery of food to a market and prices of products are increased when fuel prices increase). But I can set myself up with the location of where I live so that I do NOT have to have a car. Until than, at least I can pay cash for a used vehicle thus do not have to worry about it getting towed away because I lost my job.

I now get 100% of my content via the Internet, I will never go back to Cable TV no matter what. If the current powers that be play games with the on-line distribution of content, all its going to do is further ween me off of watching anything they provide. Good for me, bad for them, but of course they do not care or they think they know what is best....so sad for them.

One last thought, when Hulu skips episodes in a vain attempt to get me to purchase their monthly premium service, well that is not going to work, I will get the skipped episodes elsewhere or simply stop watching that series all together. When I get Fiber To The Home FTTH in the future, I will at that time subscribe to Hulu. The reason I will wait until I have FTTH, is because the Cable company throttles bandwidth all the time. Whenever content skips, slows down, pauses or stops, I check my DD-WRT enabled firewall/router and low and behold my bandwidth is throttled to less than 40Kbps...often all the way down to 0Kbps, no wonder it skips. Every time I see this which is whenever I stream anything, it makes me loath the Cable Company - Telco - Cellular duopoly even more.

Once I am out from under that corrupted industry, I will NEVER go back. They have been pestering us with their Customer No Service business as usual system for well over two decades, exactly how would they regain my TRUST?

I do not see how they could, my bandwidth is crippled constantly whenever I am on-line...does not make me like them at all. And if you call in for service they lie to you and tell you that it is something else. Their problem is they do not know which of us worked in their industry and which of us do not. So when they attempt to BS me about the nature of the problem, I actually know better....does not make me like them at all.

And lets not even talk about them slowly increasing the monthly cost to subscribers every year!

bleh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34597278)

indie films & shows are horrible.. I hope that's not where sci-fi has been relegated to.

Funding is the key (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#34597852)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Keiser [wikipedia.org] a film-maker, broadcaster ,former broker, options trader, software creator - did suggest :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Stock_Exchange [wikipedia.org] to fund upcoming films.
Then "we" could all help fund sci-fi ideas we liked.

fcdvfdgv (-1)

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Online TV Shows (1)

Bad_Feeling (652942) | more than 4 years ago | (#34598988)

RantMedia produces a variety of shows, they aren't exactly the sitcoms the author was looking for but they are indepedently produced and they even operate their own streaming tv channel.

http://rantmedia.ca/ranttv/ [rantmedia.ca] - Online streaming

http://rantmedia.ca/sktfmtv/ [rantmedia.ca] - Sean Kennedy The Fucking Man TV

http://rantmedia.ca/patrolling/ [rantmedia.ca] - Patrolling with Sean Kennedy

Patient J + My big online tv show list Ive been wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34599114)

"Patient J" is absolutely must-watch. Its another Batman one by the same people, but much better then City of Scars.
Really MUST watch;

I have also been working on a list of independent webshows shows here;
(you can also add your own reviews)

Its work in progress, but theres a lot there already. I'm a massive fan of internet tv shows :)
Yes, this is self advertising. Yes my site still needs a lot of work, but its exactly whats asked for and I AM working on it all in my free time.

Anime (1)

LainTouko (926420) | more than 4 years ago | (#34599154)

Several years ago, I was lamenting the almost complete lack of anything worth watching on television. But since I starting watching anime, I've never really been lacking something new and interesting to try. Since most shows run 12-26 episodes and then stop, you don't get problems with things being cancelled half-way through, and while there's a strong studio system, the studios are small, and make most of their money from fans rather than the general public, (plus sourcing many of their stories from one-man or two-man productions), there are plenty of new ideas and experimentation. Even just in terms of the use of moving pictures to convey mood and emotion within the context of a story, the industry has probably advanced beyond what is possible within the limits of live-action in the past decade and a half.

It doesn't make much sense to me to scrabble for scraps of new telefantasy purely within the output of Western TV, where finding anything is rare, and finding something which isn't just a remake or a re-imagining of a decades-old idea is almost impossible, when there are tens of new telefantasy shows being made every year in Japan, and acquisition is no longer a challenge.

Audio dramas (1)

Swami (84553) | more than 4 years ago | (#34599278)

Don't forget that there are some independently produced audio productions that are just as engaging and high quality as your TV shows. Here are some that you may find worthwhile to download:

Wormwood [wormwoodshow.com]
We're Alive [thezombiepodcast.com]
Leviathan Chronicles [leviathanchronicles.com]

Leverage (1)

dysan27 (913206) | more than 4 years ago | (#34599664)

Leverage [wikipedia.org] is a high quality independitly produced show currently about to finish it's 3rd season. It's backed by a produciton company, but that company is owned and financially backed by Dean Devlin who is a producer of the show. Reading lead writer/producer John Roger's blog will show you that at least he considers it independent
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