Does This FREEFALL Interview Prove There’s Financial Hope For Black Gay Content Creators?
In a recent interview with the small UK based LGBT blog, Vada Magazine, the creator of the web series Freefall, Lamont Pierre, opened up with interesting details about the show that may give hope to new content creators.
For those unaware, Freefall is a black gay web series popular amongst the BGClive crowd of young, sex starved gay men. It features melodramatic stories of sexy young black gay men who date, work, rob, commit crimes, kidnap, murder, have sex with and rape each other.
It’s also the most successful black gay web series currently dropping new episodes.
Having said that, success is relative in the wild west world of the web. There are many gay men with thousands of Twitter followers, hundreds of Instagram Likes and tons of YouTube views who still can’t pay their rent on time every month.
Be that as it may, Freefall is very popular amongst a select group of people. This is not in question.
It’s no secret that we here at Cypher Avenue (and many of our readers) don’t like this series. Nothing personal, we just don’t critically find the story, writing, acting, directing, lighting, photography or audio quality to be very good at all. To be honest, we haven’t even seen the new episodes of the show since its muddled second season featuring a bareback anal male rape scene between two main characters that was never acknowledged or resolved.
This article is not meant to (once again) disparage the overall low quality of the show. We genuinely do appreciate creator Lamont Pierre’s stylized marketing and his desire to at least attempt to add something different to the limited realm of black gay cinema.
As black gay content creators ourselves, Ocky Williams and I often have conversations on the lucrativeness of developing non-porn related media for gay men. Especially film and video content, one of the most expensive art forms in existence.
Seems like every week a new black gay web series, reality show or YouTube Blog series is popping up on the Internet. Unfortunately, 100% of the time these projects are either self-financed for peanuts or dependent on donations from fans via crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, IndieGogo or GoFundMe. Even established filmmakers such as Patrick Ian Polk (Noah’s Arc) and The Gossfields (The D.L. Chronicles) have resorted to virtual panhandling to finance their works.
Even still, many of these fundraisers have failed to meet their projected goals. Even in a world where a guy can raise over $55,000 in donations to make a pot of potato salad.
This leads to a chicken and the egg scenerio. You can’t create quality content to profit from without the resources and you can’t get the resources without first having the money to create quality content. There appears to be no real profit to be made in creating black gay media content that entails quitting your day job and paying people who work for you (unless you are making sex/porn related content).
The main explanation for this seems to be the “fans” themselves. Will black gay supporters actually pull out their wallets for anything other than admission and drinks at the club?
At the start of their third season (aka what they call the official second season), the Freefall team premiered a Vimeo On Demand page where exclusive content and extended episodes would be available for rent for a fee. This is the same method we saw employed by the creators of The D.L. Chronicles for their amazing short film Episode Thomas.
This month old interview with Lamont Pierre seems to offer some insight on if and how he’s managed to make Freefall profitable through this rental method for himself and the people who work on the show.
Excerpt From Vada Magazine:
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