If you’re an IAWTV member or follow the Academy on Twitter — which you should — you’re probably aware the group is calling for submissions to its upcoming awards show in Las Vegas at CES in January 2012. This will be the first show from the IAWTV, of which I am a member, and it’s a pretty big deal.
There’s a complicated history behind the event, which I won’t recap here. In a nutshell, the IAWTV once partnered with the Streamy Awards, but after the last much-criticized Streamys, the group decamped to start its own program. That decision made a lot of sense at the time. Google “Streamy Awards disaster” and you’ll see what I mean.
But it was a long time ago, and everyone is moving on. The Streamys are moving on as well and we should hear more about where it’s going in the coming months.
So now we’re left with a great opportunity: multiple awards for independent television! Initially skeptics said having multiple award shows for web programming would confuse viewers, many of them still perplexed by what a “web series” is.
Most art forms have multiple awards. Film has the Oscars, Spirit Awards and more from the guilds, critics and television networks. Television has the Emmys, plus many of the same as film, like the Golden Globes and those from various interest groups (NAACP, GLAAD, etc.). Theatre has the Tonys, Obies and Pulitzers.
Web video programming so far has the Streamys and Webbys, primarily, with a few more if you count recognition from individual websites, networks and festivals, plus larger institutions like the Writers Guild and Emmys.
What’s the point? The more, the merrier!
Award shows take years to mature and are constantly revising rules and procedures to adapt to changing audience tastes and artistic innovations. No show should be written off until at least several years of tinkering and experimentation.
More importantly, awards are one way new media producers establish who they are and what kinds of programming they value. Awards are marketing opportunities, both for individual brands and the medium as a whole. Since the web series market — or whatever you call it — is still developing, there’s little reason to dismiss any individual program.
I’m both an IAWTV member and a contributor to Tubefilter, which produces the Streamys. We should support both!
Click here for submission guidelines for the IAWTV Awards. The online entry deadline is October 31.