Though she's had a few minor successes with roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, Felicia Day has been quietly building herself a successful career under the radar of mainstream Hollywood. Her self-produced web series, The Guild
, which follows a nerdy crew of World of Warcraft
players through their offline hijinks, is now on its third season. In an interview with Wired
, Felicia Day shows that, whether she knows it or not, she is definitely dabbling in CwF + RtB
(if you're new here read this
Felicia has done a great job connecting with her fans. Her @feliciaday
twitter account boasts nearly 1.4 million followers, and the nature of her conversations on twitter demonstrates that she is well versed in the medium. The Guild
is funded by sponsorship from Microsoft and Sprint, DVD sales, and individual donors.
It's a good start, but like others, Felicia seems to fall into the "give it away and pray"
trap -- while it's great to rely on the good grace of donors, she could do much better if she gave her fans a better reason to buy. On her recent appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show, Felicia expressed her surprise at the prospect that someone would support The Guild
with a $100 donation; however, what if, for $1,000, you could spend a few hours tackling quests on World of Warcraft
with Felicia? Surely there's a fan or two out there that would leap at that opportunity. Day does not disclose the economic details of her franchise, but she keeps alluding to small budgets and tiny profit margins. I would be curious to see the exact numbers, but there's nothing wrong with running a small, lean, efficient operation: given the choice of owning GM or Craigslist, I'd definitely choose Craigslist. This metaphor works for entertainment too: remember Waterworld
? This doesn't mean calling for the end to the lavish spreads of food on movie sets. Of course not. From what I hear, Google has great food too.
Much like with the music industry, it is getting easier for creatives to self-produce quality works without the support of a major studio. And, as we experiment with new business models (like CwF + RtB), perhaps we will find a better way to produce TV shows and movies than the traditional model. In the traditional paradigm, starving actors work jobs as waiters and waitresses while plying their craft during their off-hours in the hope of being "discovered" and hitting the acting "lottery." Otherwise, many live job to job or eventually burn out and go find a different job. With the tools of production and distribution now being available to the masses, when can acting be
the "day job" for more people? Hopefully soon.