Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

how-to-be-awesomeChapter 53 – More on the Tween Front
by Leesa Dean

So I met with Kai yesterday. I’ve been SO busy, working till midnight most nights animating and in post, working on THE TOP SECRET project, but had promised him we’d get together to discuss the project we’re doing.

Before we got into it, we discussed the Disney buying Maker for $500 million news and, on the heels of that, AwesomenessTV buying Big Frame for $15 mil. Big Frame has more than 300 creator-run YouTube channels and more than 3.6 billion views to date. And it’s projected that together, AwesomenessTV and Big Frame will deliver 80 million subscribers and nearly 1 billion views a month.

Maker is huge and much bigger than Big Frame, but Big Frame has a couple of hit shows like DeStorm Power and Squaresville. AwesomenessTV, the digital media arm of Dreamworks Animation, was created by Brian Robbins, who’s an actor (among other things, he starred in Head of the Class), director and producer whose focus is mainly, you guessed it, tweens. Did a mention AwesomenessTV is also now a tv show on, where else, Nickelodeon.

Kai and I discussed the chess game aspects of it all. And considering Big Frame is one of the biggest MCN’s out there, $15 mil doesn’t seem like much. And what does this mean for the future of MCN’s and, more importantly, creators? What happens to the web series on Big Frame? Can AwesomenessTV sell them and, if so, exactly what type of deal would the creator get? Pretty lousy, I think. The flip side is, the lines are getting blurred between tv and web. Which, ultimately, means yes, you can put something out there and (with a massive, massive ton of work) actually make a little noise.

Really exciting.

Meanwhile, Kai and I did have time to hash out a few ideas and I’m pretty psyched about what this project might become.

I’m involved in so many projects right now, it’s tough to keep everything straight, much less move forward with everything. But slowly, I somehow am.

This is a really interesting time to be a creator.