I’ve spent the past few hours reading the blogs of some very creative people in the Machinima niche. People that are extremely talented and as far from mainstream as it comes. Their ideas are quirky, way out there and entertaining… at least to some of us. But I also notice one common factor. One over-riding theme.
They are all angry. Very angry.
So I have to wonder… is anger what drives them or it is a result of what drives them? All voiced some sort of frustration over not being at a certain place in their life… generally a better place than they are now. Some were angry that no one leaves comments. Other were angry at some of the comments that were left. Some were angry that critics exist at all and that has to be a tough one since we are all a critic at one time or another.
To the last one they were all mad that their creative works weren’t embraced by enough people or that financial success was eluding them. The lack of financial success has so many factors it really can’t be intelligently discussed but for the sake of this article let’s boil it down to a simplistic concept. If the work is quirky… the audience will be quirky and all that comes along with that plus more often than not it will be a very small audience.
Being labeled as Machinima to me is neither here nor there as most casual viewers have never heard of the term. However factor in all the years they’ve spent watching high quality MAINSTREAM work in animated cartoons and movies then you can start to see the uphill battle Machinima faces. While it’s very admirable for a single person or small team to put together a great piece of work it will need the proper software and thousands of hours of work to even come close to grabbing and holding the attention of the general viewing audience.
You can have the best story that ever existed and not make a dent in the viewing public with it because of poor production methods. Most of these things are obvious to readers of this blog so it shouldn’t come as a shock when that epic you just produced only gets hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of views.
My stepson can fire up his pickup and record himself sitting there racking the pipes and draw more Youtube views than most of my videos combined. It is irritating? Sorta… does it make me mad? No. It’s the way things are and easily understandable.
I’m not a lover of commentary game machinima but it has a large audience that is loyal. I do not begrudge the Youtuber that makes good money on commentary or critiquing other people’s work because that is the wonderful part of the Youtube platform… people watch what they want to watch instead of what is spoon fed to them and content producers benefit financially.
If you can’t get enough views because of the quirky nature of your work then getting mad and writing a missive about a misguided viewing public isn’t going to gather many more views and may in fact alienate some existing viewers.
Maybe one day that big break will come and someone with decision making authority will see your work. You just have to hope they have viewing standards that fit your niche… and considering the cost of production for broadcast or cinematic release… those odds aren’t good.