I was recently interviewed by Jeremy Webb for ACTRA Magazine in an article entitled Unlimited Shelf Space, all about the production of web series and its impact on ACTRA members. We met last October at the Island Media Arts Festival in Charlottetown when I chaired a panel discussion on funding for web series.
Also participating in the interview was Ash Catherwood, current president of the IWCC – Independent Web Series Creators of Canada. Ash is a great guy, a very talented actor and is prone to appearing in almost every fucking Canadian web series evar.
I’ve been an ACTRA member for over 30 years and I’m very proud of the work our union does for its members. However, I do not shy away from calling them out when they fuck up or fail to serve as needed.
When it comes to web series production ACTRA has been seriously out-of-date in their approach and lagging far behind the innovative approaches taken by the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA. The IWCC has been lobbying for changes to the way ACTRA works with union members to better enable them to participate in the creation of their own independent works for release online. Over the past few years ACTRA has been consistently fearful and reluctant to address any needed changes in a meaningful way – but recently, in part due to their conversations with the IWCC, and we are seeing a significant shift in ACTRA’s thinking and the entire community of web series creators are eagerly looking forward to seeing how they will approach these issues in the coming months.
Discussions like these are an ongoing process on the part of the IWCC (working with funding agencies, guilds & policymakers) to provide web series creators in Canada the opportunities and tools needed to advance their art and craft. ACTRA’s attention to our constantly evolving world of web series is very encouraging as they tackle what is clearly not a business-as-usual approach to screen content creation by ACTRApreneurs – which is a word Ash coined that I think serves well to sharply identify the new breed of creative minds who are making their own works for release online.
( Note: I myself was proud to serve as the IWCC president back when we first launched the organization ).
You can read a PDF of the article here.