Just Doing It
The Internet and Going It Alone
Most people have heard the word ‘entrepreneur’ and know what it means. However, many have never heard the word ‘auteur,’ and most would assume it is related to the word ‘autism.’ However, the only thing these words share is the root auto, meaning self or same. ‘Auteur’ is currently defined as a filmmaker or artist seen as having the sole vision behind a project, but the word is beginning to be used in other areas as well, such as game design. One of the largest forces behind the growth of this sort of auteur is the internet.
In the past, it was very difficult for desirable projects to break into the mainstream. Most artists, directors, writers, or musicians needed to go through some outside source, such as a publisher, in order to gain an audience. With the advent of the internet, though, this all changed. Now, amateur filmmakers can debut on YouTube, artists on DeviantArt, writers on Reddit, game designers on Steam. Platforms exist for every variety of creative project, and many are entirely free. Even some well-known figures in various industries have abandoned traditional industry structures and moved to auteur status, using crowdfunding and other methods to pursue their pet projects.
But it isn’t just publishing that has been streamlined by the internet. It has also become easier to create projects. For artists, free programs such as FireAlpaca or Krita are alternatives to Photoshop. Filmmakers can use Windows Movie Maker or VSDC instead of Sony Vegas. And programs such as Blender and Unity allow game designers to start a project with virtually no investment. In every creative area, the internet is providing access to free tools that greatly reduce the entry barrier to new auteurs.
Finally, promotion has been revolutionized by the internet. Instead of having to seek advertisement from a publisher or producer, the internet provides a forum where peoples’ favorite content will be promoted rapidly, meaning that an artist who has made an exceptional product will not have to work nearly as hard to grow his audience as he might have twenty-five years ago. The internet itself will drive a large part of his promotional strategy, and platforms such as Twitter and Instagram are incredibly useful for creating hype for a product, and, of course, are free.
The internet is steadily revolutionizing, enhancing, and expanding the auteur movement. Whether it is by allowing self-publishing, handing auteurs tools, or allowing easy promotion, the web is creating an environment friendly to anyone who wants to launch their pet project.