Today we'd like to shine a spotlight on the excellent collection of shorts (5-8 minutes) we've discovered on the website, California is a Place: Stories from the Golden State. Not your usual travelogues, these little gems are what producers Drea Cooper and Zachary Canepari call a web-series: an emerging genre of online filmmaking, unrelated characters and stories that, when viewed together, tell the story of a place.
If you're one of those short filmmakers who submit their work to Sundance - along with 3000 others each year - you know how hard it is to get your short seen. Cooper and Canepari are figuring out a way. In their off-the-beaten-track road stories you'll meet a scraper bike team, locals disheartened by drug smugglers, a sex doll maker, a romantic mariachi player and an Alameda car salesman. Beautifully shot and edited, these are quirky and compelling vignettes, but not quite so nostalgic as the "On the Road" pieces produced by legendary journalist Charles Kurault in the 1970s. According to Cooper, "the films are really meant to be moments and slices of a person's life." An alternative to reality television programming, anyone?