The Internet is quickly becoming the home of creative projects. It’s a place where we can publish what we create with the click of a button without having to convince a third party that our work deserves to be seen by the rest of the world. However, this has caused some debate among the involved industries that this new method of creative enterprise is damaging, that it is encouraging a lack of quality. While in some cases this is true, there are some projects that just could not be as innovative if they were not online.
One such project is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, produced by Hank Green (of Vlogbrothers Youtube fame) and Bernie Su. It’s an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice but completely contemporary, as it takes a vlog format on Youtube. Twice a week Lizzie Bennet regales her viewers with the dramas of her and her sisters Jane and Lydia, her best friend Charlotte Lu, and their romantic entanglements with Bing Lee, George Wickham, and of course William Darcy. What’s wonderful about this project is how innovatively it uses social media to involve the audience. Each character has their own Twitter account so that you can watch the events of the novel, (although slightly twisted for modern times, I don’t think Wickham made a sex tape with Lydia and threatens to put it online in the 1813 version) Jane has a fashion Tumblr blog so you can see what she’s up to when she goes to LA, Lydia starts her own vlog channel by filming on her iPhone. The world is so completely immersive that some viewers do not even realise that it is an adaptation of one of the world’s most famous novels and think that it is documenting the real events of real people.
The Internet is providing a platform for creativity, and creativity with quality, whether people like it or not. There’s teenage girls getting hired by Lady Gaga because they have posted fan art online, there’s amateur dramatic musicals getting millions of views for their clips on Youtube. If you’re creative, whether you’re an actor, an artist, musician, writer … the Internet is where everything is happening. Creative industries are evolving, and there’s no point in whining and moaning about how the Internet is taking business away because in the end no one can stop it, the only thing they can do is go along for the ride and try to use it the way everyone else is.