I've been really curious about creating short-form content for the web for a while now. Sure, there are hundreds of millions of clips on Youtube that technically qualify as short-form content, but the world of webisodes and short-form branded entertainment has been especially foreign to me. I typically like to think of ideas that would work as features, but features take a long time to produce. Plus, attention spans are only getting shorter and shorter. (My eyes won't stop wandering around the coffee shop as I type this.)
I recently attended a Channel 101 screening to see the star and co-producer/DP/editor of my first feature's short-form collaboration. Something clicked for me there: This is a great medium for testing out an idea! Five minutes is the perfect amount of time for introducing an idea before it becomes something longer and more in depth. (I'm now planning on producing a five minute introduction to my next feature over the next or month or so.)
A lot of known content creators have been turning to the web for a while now, too. Kevin Pollack and Lisa Kudrow have become internet stars with their own short-form series, and there are many others. Babelgum is one site devoted to the medium that's worth checking out.
Metacafe, a great hub for online video, is hosting a new competition in collaboration with Strike.tv that's really a leap forward for online video. They're hosting a web series competition featuring videos by well-known Hollywood content creators, including writers from The Simpsons, The Office and several major motion pictures. The "MetaVote" audience-favorite pick will be awarded the honor of bringing a second season to life on Metacafe, supported by a sponsoring brand advertiser. I love this concept as a launching pad for short-form content, and you can check it out here. (FYI -- I voted for "Daryl from OnCar.")