Today’s a pretty magical day. It’s the day our events become easier to experience than ever. It’s the day we introduce the WRITERS GUILD FOUNDATION PODCAST. It’s the day you can start listening to our events on your phone! Your iPod or non-Apple music player! Your tablet! Or right here on your desktop in this very blog post!
Click the play button on the media player above to listen to our recent GENRE SMASH! evening with the amazing Marti Noxon, who wrote (and ran) unforgettable shows like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and PRIVATE PRACTICE. She’s also the seasoned feature writer behind the FRIGHT NIGHT remake, the upcoming TOMB RAIDER reboot and the (also upcoming) film adaptation of the Jeannette Walls memoir THE GLASS CASTLE. It’s a great chat; Marti is a goldmine of insight into the writing process, the unique hurdles faced by women in the industry, and the value of pop culture in the public sphere (during her time at BTVS, Willow came out as gay, becoming one of a relative few LGBT characters on television at the time).
We’ll be releasing new episodes every two weeks, including one-on-one chats with writers, panel discussions from our day-long craft symposia, and more great stuff we’ve got in the works.
For many moons now, folks who love what we do have been asking us: Is there any way to watch your events online? Are you going to stream this event for people who don’t live in Los Angeles? Are you recording this event?
Over the years, our approach to recording and distributing our events has varied. As recently as the late 1990s, we were recording our events on VHS tapes.
You used to be able to come to our library and watch any event you missed. We still have the tapes, but, uh… we don’t have a VCR to play them on anymore. So you can watch them if you want, but you’ll have to bring your own VCR. We’ll loan you some headphones.
After VCRs, we moved to DVDs, which we sold at events and here on the website (and still do, actually – but more on this soon). As most of the folks reading this may already know, we’re a nonprofit (HINT HINT, YOU GUYS) and so any little source of income is welcome. And this was definitely a “little” source of income; DVD sales made us a few thousand bucks in a good year. Not bad, but there were production costs to consider, as well as the annoyance of having to lug a bunch of copies around to sell at our events.
So we switched to online streaming via Ustream. Click the link and check out our channel, and you’ll see just how skilled we are at using the latest technology to produce masterful videos with crystal-clear image and concert-quality sound. You’ll also see that we’re pretty good at sarcasm.
Long story short: Maintaining a live stream of an event is a fairly cumbersome process when you don’t have a staff dedicated to it – or even a staff member dedicated to it. Streaming was a huge pain, and in the end it wasn’t making us a heck of a lot of money. So we started uploading all those Ustream videos – which, despite their poor video quality, were chock full of great information – to our YouTube channel, where people could access them for free.* We figured: Better to make them available to thousands of people around the world for free than to make a pittance selling them to a couple dozen people a year. People don’t like paying for stuff on the Internet, as it turns out. Who’da thought?
And now, today, we introduce our podcasts. They’re audio-only, but don’t worry – we’ll still record video of many of our big events like our BREAKING BAD panel or our WALKING DEAD panel and post them here. We record nearly everything we do, so if you miss an event, don’t worry – you’ll eventually have a chance to hear it on the podcast.
* Please note – because we have a small staff and a lot to do, uploading these can take a while.