Black Web Series:<br />
Going Boldly Where TV Wonât

Screenshot from the 'Roomieloverfriends' web series

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was in Vancouver, and my producing partner was in DC,” said Neal during a recent phone interview. “It’s been a really interesting experiment and it truly happened online.”  

Neither riches nor fame are guaranteed for those in the web series industry. In fact, the chances of acquiring either are slim to none. But the possibilities are endless, the barriers to entry are all but non-existent, and unprecedented opportunities are on the horizon. Welcome to the Wild, Wild West, as Dortch likes to call it. “Creating and distributing content online is a brand new business with no rules and things changing everyday,” he noted. “It's a great time to be in the entertainment business online, because no one knows what they are doing.” Hulu and YouTube have embarked on original content initiatives, tapping independent web series creators, but as Christian mentioned, Black content continues to be underrepresented in those efforts. To sustain their series, many Black web series creators and producers have looked to crowdfunding websites Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Both the Black & Sexy TV and Spicy Wit team have successfully raised thousands of dollars for their series, confirming the special ingredient crucial to any web series’ survival: support from the viewers.

“Inspired, the audience valued what we were doing and stepped up when we asked,” said Dortch.”

“We gave a gift to them and they gave it back to us. That's how the world should work.” 

Patrice Peck explores the complex intersection of culture, entertainment, race and gender as a multimedia journalist. Follow her musings at Twitter and Facebook, and visit her at www.speakpatrice.tumblr.com for more writing and video.