I really like this new piece of digital fiction – Sam Has 7 Friends. Season one happened at the end of 2006, and there are rumours of a season 2 later this year. The story behind it is fascinating:
“Sam Has 7 Friends” is completely self-financed by the four writer/directors and one producer. They are spending their own personal savings to produce the series and are distributing it for free.
There is no corporate money, sponsorship, or advertising revenue subsidizing the project. The post-roll click-thru advertisements you see at the end of each episode are brought to you by Revver and not SH7F. By clicking on the ad, SH7F and Revver receive literally pennies of revenue – but it is nothing compared to the financial commitment already made by the creators.
This series is the product of hundreds of favors, a budget of less than $50,000, and help from many talented and professional friends behind each episode. It is a show built from the ground up in a passionate attempt to bring a quality production to the internet.
I’ve started watching it and am enjoying it – its so much better than the other attempts I’ve seen at storytelling in tiny bits (i.e. some of the mobile phone fiction and web fiction I’ve looked at in the past). I am so amazed at how many video sharing sites and new forms of “internet tv” channels are just mushrooming all over the place. As I’ve been preparing for my conference presentation next week I have literally been overwhelmed by how much is out there, and every time I think I have something significant to say, I find a new site or a new channel which takes me into new directions of thought and theorising.