Open Letter to Soap Fans
Here is a Letter i received which I found interesting. Tell me What you think.
“An Open Letter to Soap Fans from the Creator of THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CUPID AND EROS.
Confession time: I was never a soap fan. Growing up my sister watched General Hospital, and some of my female classmates obsessed over The Bold and the Beautiful, but I didn’t think much of it. The serial fiction I obsessed over took place in Gotham City, and the NYC of Spider-Man, not Port Charles or Pine Valley.
Flash forward to me now, a 31 year old filmmaker in Los Angeles and I find that despite never having been a soap fan myself, some of the most supportive and encouraging people I’ve encountered since starting to create web series are from the soap opera community. I’m not alone. Almost every web series creator I’ve come into contact with has benefited from the passion of soap fans. You guys are an amazing audience and one that I’ve loved getting to know. A huge part of that has been following your twitter streams reading your blogs, and interacting with you on Facebook. As a result I’m keenly aware of the dismay you’re feeling right now over the state of some of your most beloved shows.
On April 14th ABC announced they had decided to cancel All My Children and One Life to Live, leaving only General Hospital to represent scripted daytime drama on their network. This follows the cancellation of Guiding Light and As The World Turns whose final episodes aired in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Of course, you know all this. Like I said, I’ve seen the posts and tweets, and status updates. And I’ve seen the utterly amazing mobilization of the Soap Opera fan community as you all try and rescue these shows that you care so deeply about.
And I can relate. Even leaving aside the times I’ve watched TV shows I love unceremoniously yanked (Firefly, Lonestar, Jericho), as a comics fan I’ve been right where you are more times than I care to recall. When comics I loved were threatened with cancellation there were always two things that I was told by retailers. One was always “Write or call the publishers, let them know the book’s fans are out there.” You need look no further than SoapFansUnited.com’s May 17th rally in NYC to know soap fans are doing just that. But the other thing I was always told was to find other books that were like what I was losing and start reading them. Or, follow the creators of the cancelled books to whatever they were doing next. The idea was that while you may not be able to revoke a cancellation of a specific book, you can continue to prove that an audience for that type of storytelling exists.
And so, in the spirit of kinship, I’d like to make a suggestion, if I may, on one other way to deal with what’s going on in daytime right now
Find an Independent Soap, however you define that, and support it. That support could simply mean watching it. Even better it could mean spreading the word about it. And if the creators are seeking, and you can, perhaps you can make a small financial donation.
An indie soap could be something like Venice or The Bay, which are similar to the established soap format. Or maybe its something like Anacostia, Out With Dad or Anyone But Me that represent communities that are underserved on mainstream TV and deal directly with topics that tend to not show up on major television networks. Maybe it’s something that’s not quite what one would normally expect in a soap, like Ragged Isle or Cell. And yes, it could be my show The Further Adventures of Cupid and Eros (what, I’m not allowed a little plug?).
By doing that, you’re sending a clear message that these are stories and creators who have an audience. And you’re helping to lay the groundwork for those stories and those creators to thrive. A lot of the talents from daytime have already found their way to the Web (both in front of and behind the camera). A lot more will be looking for new places to share their creativity as the landscape of daytime changes. Supporting indie soaps means supporting a vibrant place for them to do just that.
I don’t pretend that doing the above will magically change the financial calculus that studios have to draw upon to make their decisions. Nor would I ever presume to tell you that that a newly discovered web series, no matter how great, can take the place of a show you’ve spent years with. But I do think that we, content creators and fans alike, are living in a time when the harsh financial realities that face mainstream media don’t necessarily have to be the be all and end all for us. We have options. And we should use them.
So there it is, my 5 cents. If you agree with me, please pass this on. If you think there’s something more we can be doing I’d love to hear your thoughts. But most importantly, if you’ve found an indie soap that speaks to you, or that you feel is giving you something that isn’t available elsewhere spread the word about it to anyone and everyone you think might enjoy it too.
Hopefully they’ll listen.
Writer/director THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CUPID AND EROS “