In November 2017, C3P with support from Global Challenges, UOW, hosted a symposium that brought representatives of industry and academe together to discuss the value of the web series. We interpreted ‘value’ broadly, in terms of its value to audiences underserved by mainstream television, its value to creative practitioners and its value to the Australian screen industry. We welcomed a distinguished group of people including Rick Kowalski, head of comedy at the ABC, Rosie Lourdes who was then interim online investment manager for Screen Australia, Boaz Stark, writer of The Horizon, one of the world’s most watched gay web series (50 million views and counting), Julie Kalceff, creator of the international hit Starting from Now as well as a number of leading scholars including Stuart Cunningham,Distinguished Professor of Media and Communications at QUT, and our own Professor Sue Turnbull and Dr Steinar Ellingsen who cofounded the first web series in Australia and the fourth web series in the world, the Melbourne Webfest.
On day two, a smaller group of web series producers and academics met for a sustained discussion of the questions that need answering about the web series sector. You can find a summary of that discussion in the next post: Valuing the Web Series: Symposium Summary