SXSW Film 2015

How "High Maintenance" is Redefining Storytelling

The creators of the hit series "High Maintenance" never set out to be filmmakers. But their love of film and talent for storytelling led them to create a beautifully comical and often poignant tale of a weed delivery man in New York City and the characters he encounters. Katja and Ben’s commitment to this series and their character’s narrative resulted in them creating an internet darling with a substantial critical following. This panel will explore Katja and Ben’s journey with "High Maintenance," which ultimately caught the eye of Vimeo, who acquired it as their first original series. The panel will also provide insight into Vimeo’s philosophy when working with filmmakers, which is to maintain the integrity of the content, while giving creators the power to grow their audience and continue to make the films they love. Katja, Ben, and Kerry will share some anecdotes, talk about High Maintenance’s relationship with Vimeo, as well as some successes since the series launch in late 2014.

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  1. Why did you decide to partner with Vimeo? What about the format and platform appealed to what you want to do with your work?
  2. How was the creative development, production, and post-production process different in partnership with Vimeo, versus when you were doing it entirely yourself?
  3. How did you promote the series' release and cultivate its audience for VOD? How was the process of gathering an audience different when releasing for paid content versus releasing for free?
  4. What are some of the key things you learned along the way that you could convey to other filmmakers or content creators looking to the internet as their primary distribution platform?
  5. The episodes seem to get more and more ambitious both in terms of length and scope. In your further work, are you interested in using formats like Vimeo to continue to push the limits of short (or not so short) form content? Or is a feature the next step?



Jessica Casano-Antonellis, Director of Communications, Vimeo

Meta Information:

  • Event: Film
  • Format: Digital Domain
  • Track: Entertainment and Immersion
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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