Will 'Web-Based' Be the Sustaining Force the Texas Film Industry Needs?
STATEWIDE — When the crew sets up and cameras roll on the set of the show "Day 5," it looks like a full fledged film production.
But you won't see any of this on the big screen, or even on TV.
This is an apocalyptic web-series made by Austin-based media company Rooster Teeth Productions, and its second season will expand the company's cache of online programming.
"Basically the world is going to web series right now. I think it's legitimized by Netflix and Amazon and all these things," said "Day 5" showrunner Josh Flanagan.
A geeky collection of sci-fi and animated shows helps Rooster Teeth claim one of the country's top 10 subscription video on demand services.
They're expanding the second season of "Day 5" to eight episodes with higher production values.
"We have a little bit more leverage to push things to new edges or take unexpected turns on the set," said actor Stephanie Drapau.
Veteran actor Jake Busey guest stars in two episodes. He says his first role in a web series is an eye opening experience.
"I thought perhaps it'd be a couple of guys with some iPhones and maybe a light and a tent but when I got here and saw the production was quite comparable to a TV show I was impressed and I realized, wow, things really are changing direction," said Busey.
The industry greatly needs this potential for new work as state lawmakers consider major funding cuts to the state's film incentives program.
"It's tough, web and TV like this is really what's keeping us going," said one of the show's directors Aaron Marquis.
That's why many in show business see web-based movies and series as the next frontier for Texas film production.