Showtime creative director of digital content Trevor Noren spoke with the YouTube Blog about the premium cable network’s decision to mine Web-video talent for its SHORT stories YouTube channel. Highlights (including “Walks of Life” by Cyriak, one of the SHORT stories):

YouTube has become a venue for animators and filmmakers to explore new ways to communicate a narrative. Whether it’s an established artist like Don Hertzfeldt or a talent the community has discovered, like Cyriak or Levni Yilmaz, YouTube has offered an opportunity for artists to experiment and find out what people respond to. That spirit of innovation seemed like a natural fit for our brand. Unique storytelling is the hallmark of what we do as a network: Our shows challenge viewers with characters they haven’t seen before. SHORT stories is a way for us to bring our brand to a new audience, while at the same time showing the work of these amazing artists to our subscribers.

Our mission statement to the artists was pretty simple: “Tell a story in a way people haven’t seen before.” We figured a directive that open-ended would create a huge range of results. They didn’t disappoint.

SHORT stories will be ongoing. We’ve identified a few potential candidates. We’d like to keep who they are a surprise. That said, the YouTube community is already helping us identify potential filmmakers. Names pop up all the time in comments on the videos.