We’re pleased to welcome former Director of the Melbourne WebFest Alexander Hipwell to the 2020 festival Advisory Board.
A part of the festival since 2014, Hipwell played a key role in building the foundations of the organisation – from festival programming, curation of the festival’s annual official selection, content creation, liaising with key stakeholders and helping guide a team of interns to build on their career objectives. Hipwell now works at RMIT University in the Master of Media course running units on web series and contemporary media.
Working amongst communities, Hipwell also works with local B2B agency xGrowth and runs a B2B Growth Marketing community, Growth Colony. He has produced a wide range of content ranging from graphic design, fashion photography, press shots, web video advertisements, music video clips, marketing films and cinema ads for large-scale developments.
Hipwell believes the future of web series could still travel in different directions. With the introduction of corporate players – with the likes of AT&T purchasing Time Warner and HBO, not to mention YouTube’s dominance he’s concerned modern media is starting to go the ways of monopolies and the old school cable companies. He sees the biggest challenge for independent web series creators is fitting into the right platform. “It has been great to see in this process more independent creators getting work funded and seeing more and more content,” says Hipwell.
“Jeffrey Katzenberg’s attempt to build Quibi has been very interesting to watch over the last few years. I think that the model is potentially flawed anyway, especially as the value proposition was quick bites watching in line for a coffee – but that space is really already filled by platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram.”
“It’s been great to see a lot of experimentation in this space when it comes to streaming and supporting independent productions but I still think there’s a lot of work to do if independent television on the Internet is really going to break into the mainstream. YouTube is great and it’s very powerful, but I find web series really struggle to find curation – that’s the challenge.”