For most of recent history, up until about 60 years ago, the act of creation was just a part of life. Everyone sang or played an instrument or wrote or performed or danced or Something.

But recording technology turned creative output in to a path to fortune and fame. Suddenly, if you weren't exceptional, then why were you trying at all?

This concept is, of course, bullshit.

TV never had a real amateur moment, and filmmaking barely did.

TV came close in 69 with the videofreex, but the FCC made sure that any potential home video might have had for artistic expression would be stiffled by distribution problems.

The video resolution of the 80s unlocked film a little (toxic avenger, El mariachi, an absolute glut of horror films and pornography) but distribution was still limited to single physical copies.

The internet changed that. Even before YouTube there was Wax, or the discovery of television among the bees.

But now we're well in to the Era of Professionals. TV is what other people do. We're left with infotainment and lifestyle vlogging and playing video games.

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly.

We shpuld participate in the act of creation. It is a vital part of human existence.

We have nothing to fear but failure and ridiculue.

Failure isn't worth being afraid of. It is worth celebrating.

Ridiculue is trickier, but it's cultural. I have done my best to establish a culture free from ridicule at the maker space. People have room to try new things without having to worry that they won't be good at them.

Not everyone plays by this rule, and most of us slip up occasionally. Usually, recognition and apology comes a moment later, trust is important here.

We have a few regulars who are bad at this. Cynics. Children of the 80s. Those whose self defense mechanisms are dependent upon casting dispersion. Ridicule is a good mechanism for stifling that impulse.

Set new norms. Make a space in which creativity can be explored.

Every one of us has a high quality camera. Most of us are reading and writing on it right now.

Video editing isn't a mystical unknowable art. The software is free (kdenlive) and reasonably easy to use. Basic special effects are possible. Simple editing is easy.

I'm not good at this! I mean, I'm good enough for my purposes, but others are faster, more precise, more purposeful. That's fine! Sloppy editing doesn't render a thing unenjoyable.

Maybe we need a fediverse film festival?

What might a fediverse film festival look like? Would you be interested in participating?

Alright, fediverse film festival it is. I'll start working on the logistics.

Okay, logistics:

1) we do most of this through peertube.

2) There's a website (and probably a gem cap) with info. Probably hosted on like neocities or whatever.

That bit is easy.

But then like, categories and awards. Do we crowd source votes? That seems like it could go badly. So we have judges, I guess? Yeah. Judges.

And prices. I can fund a couple of prizes through the maker space.

That seems like the way to go?

@alcinnz music is now, for sure. Bandcamp represents probably the greatest trove of creative output that has ever existed, and now it's owned by epic.

Podcasts are having a bit of a professionalism moment right now, but it's small and it's impact will remain limited as long as podcasts keep meaning audio or video distributed via rss or atom, and not "radio show on Spotify."

@alcinnz @ajroach42 This is why I like PeerTube. I can basically just release whatever I want to, without needing to care if anyone other than me thinks it's any good.

@ajroach42 I reject the notion that podcasts have to centralize to succeed. Podcatchers can and have been given a nice UX. Centralization is how the masses understand technology now, sure, but it doesn't have to be.

What I find tends to be the problem is that for many is that the medium of pure-audio is inaccessible. Yet audio video significantly ups the cost, which can be extremely prohibative to make depending on the story you want to tell.

@alcinnz Centralization helps discovery (or rather, helps popular things become more popular), and makes basically everything else worse.

I often find audio only to be inaccessible too, some days I just can't do it. I appreciate the existence of a good podcast when I can focus on it, though.

@ajroach42 Ah yes, the discovery issue. I like advocating for federation there.

Podcasts have largely centralized around Apple for this...

@ajroach42 It's a tough one. There are some people who's entire personality it seems is centered around putting things(and unfortunately often people also) down.

@kelbot it is a big part of online personalities too, but if we can silence that inner cynic, better things will happen.

@ajroach42 Absolutely. I see it regularly around fedi and try to cut those people out of my timeline. We all need to vent or have legit criticisms of things sometimes but when that's the majority of the things someone talks about.

@fabian Sure, in a very mst3k way. I addressed this in a previous thread yesterday.

Game streaming isn't something I really understand, I guess. I support those who do it and enjoy it, but I don't get it (and I worry that it is teaching people that they aren't event good enough at their leisure activities, turning them in to consumers rather than participators in even the act of play.)


Yeah, let's put Game streaming aside – I "get it", but I'm also critical of the business-fication of hobbies in general.

But re your comment from yesterday.

> But now we're well in to the Era of Professionals. TV is what other people do. We're left with infotainment and lifestyle vlogging and playing video games.

Is infotainment/vlogging "bad TV"? Not sure I agree with Era of Profs. Sure, to "make it" on YT you need a certain professionality in investment/equip. these days.


@ajroach42 But for live streaming (Just Chatting/Podcasting) I feel we're still in a Wild West kinda situation. It's *very cheap*. Sure, getting exposure/traction is hard, but *if* you have valuable content, it'll usually come.

Even Big TV downgraded production in the last decade imho with "mobile reporters", online-only formats etc. It's often worse then before – but still I feel "TV" today is more democratically available then ever before.

@ajroach42 (PS: I've never thought deeply about this; just intuitively I disagree a bit with you, I think. No offense :)

@fabian I'm not saying that infotainment and vlogging are bad TV, no. They are largely a new, and entirely independent form of production.

But they're also not narrative television, you know? It's a different kind of thing.

When I talk about the era of profesionalization, I mean that many people who want to make video content assume that narrative work is off limits.

@fabian There are so few filmmakers doing narrative stuff, some sketch comedy folks are out there, but compared to "Look at this old computer" it's tiny.

@ajroach42 @fabian To be fair, I like "look at this old computer"... but it would be nice to have some variety.

@me @fabian I love "look at this old computer"

My favorite channel on youtube right now is Cathode Ray Dude (

Gravis releases everything CC-BY (although, only on youtube, so you've still gotta do the whole youtube-dl thing to get a copy) and produces some of the most thoughtful videos I've seen on a variety of early media topics.

Great work.

@ajroach42 Ah, sure, true. Didn't think of that. I guess narrative stuff falls into the movie/async/not-live category for me, which is not what I associate with TV primarily anymore. I mean most TV is not live, but given that most in released to online before broadcasted nowadays, TV (for me) is either Live TV or merely a showcase for what's avail. to binge watch somewhere else. But yeah, writing stories is hard and production of those as well, yes.

@fabian Ah.

Yes, youtube and various streaming services have done a good job supplementing or supplanting the Talk Show format.

And many youtubers manage to produce something as good as or better than what passes for good enough on actual TV.

It's just in the narrative space, mostly, that there is such a big gap.

@ajroach42 @fabian Animation seems to have some successful amateur productions, but not enough. Not sure how much of Newgrounds animation counts as narrative.
It's also not nearly as decentralized as podcasts, all animators seem to be chained to at least one big video sharing platform.
(Also I love Helluva Boss but I don't think it counts here, since it's very much not an amateur production)

@ajroach42 @fabian I found out about the creator when she started a TERF-friendly fedi instance, so I've been a bit cagey about seeking out her art. I've peeked into Seder-Masochism but it didn't really appeal to me, I think the voice acting was what put me off.
Maybe I should still watch them out of scholarly duty...

@ajroach42 @fabian I do love how a lot of people seem to be making "animatics" nowadays. A lot of them look really amazing. I think that format is at a nice sweet spot, where someone who is comfortable with 2D art could make something that has sound and moves and pops more than a simple webcomic.
The fandom of The Magnus Archives has put out some real bangers.

@ajroach42 I think you've been missing out on loads and loads of stuff going on over on Vine back in the days, as well as absolute tonnes of Tiktoks and other shorts. Long-form is harder for many reasons, but short-form amateur narrative video creation is massive, I think.

@ajroach42 There's also stuff like lonelygirl15, but I think some part of the problem lies in the trouble in finding a good narrative space, and overall in the separation of "fiction" as in "this persona I'm performing on cam" and "this specific story I'm showing the world in an explicitly fictional environment" @fabian

@pettter @fabian I didn't spend any time addressing vine because it's dead, and because it was constrained enough as to create something wholly new.

Tiktok is a more interesting space that I am not super familiar with. I have seen some good shorts come out of it, but with such a distinct style about them that I'd never mistake them for anything other than tiktoks.

And the platform is among the least trustworthy in the world, so that's difficult to deal with.

@ajroach42 @fabian I do want to say that there are people who do game streaming where "being good" is the point, and some where "hanging out" is the point.

The second one is more interesting to me since it's like...

When I was a kid, I would play games with my friends and it didn't really matter if we enjoyed them since the playing wasn't really the point, it was more about having something to do while we hung out.

The best sorts of streaming I have seen have been more like that, friendly voices just hanging out in chat and the game is more there to be a thing to do to fill in silences

@rgegriff @fabian Oh for sure! That's a really cool thing.

But, like, are we doing that instead of meeting people and playing games with them?

I probably wouldn't have a ton of IRL friends today if I had that kind of access to strangers as a kid.

Yes. I'd be interested.

I suspect it could be just like the online conferences people have been putting on PeerTube, but with films instead of talks.

Maybe have live Q&A after?

@TerryHancock I like that idea a lot.

Peertube + Jitsi + matrix + a decent little web page.

Seems simple enough.


I'd be very excited to see such a film festival! The thing that would keep me from participating is that I think I already have enough projects.

Though I am very curious to see how easy Blender Grease Pencil would make it to add visuals to Gregg Taylor's audio & stories... Would make it easier to share my favourite show! I do have a visual design in mind.

@ajroach42 Well, give me a C.A.G.E. and then I won't have to worry about time management...

@ajroach42 I'm afraid it'd be overly self-referential, with too much meta content, like too many conversations and posts are here atm imho

@pixelflowers things haven't been this meta here in years. I'm not worried about that.

@ajroach42 I've been making videos long enough to remember when a frequent lament was that there "wasn't any good video editing software for Linux."

Maybe there was, but a decade ago it wasn't well known.

Now we have more good video editors than we have good audio editors. That competition is important, I think.

(I personally have been using OpenShot, because it has Mac and Windows versions so I can recommend it to my students regardless of their OS ... as long as it isn't ChromeOS.)

@crash Openshot isn't bad! I've used it a lot when I had a mac.

I settled on kdenlive because it was more stable, and *significantly* faster on my linux boxes.

But I don't really care what folks use, you know? As long as they *do* something.

@ajroach42 We're on the same soapbox right now, I think.

On the HS level there's a trend towards Premiere or Final Cut, because those are industry standards and some of our kids are getting hired right out of High School.

But here in Middle School? If it can trim a clip, string a few clips together, and add a title/credits, I don't care what the students use.

Most use Capcut on their phones if given the choice. Having seen it I can't stand to use it myself, but THEIR learning isn't about ME.

@crash I've been trying to find a good video editor for Android to recommend for folks who don't have computers.

Is Capcut usable? I know you said you don't like it, but does it work?

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