I believe you and anyone making a web series can. I am not sure if it has been done before. It wouldn’t happen just one morning when you woke up, but I do believer that a web series, a web show, even a web movie, can make more than just a 1MM$ if it’s good and builds an audience large enough.
Remember something: web shows are always available online and can live for a very long time (if not for ever) and gain traction even years after their release (although these are rear). It really happens, not only with tons of hard production and promotion work, but also with a good attitude and a little bit of luck.
Control Your Luck!
As a web filmmaker, if you are going to do it right you have to serve many videos (this is a realization I just came at lately and I am just starting to apply! I will be documenting some of my progress and my setbacks in future posts), you have a good chance to make some money. Whether it will be 1MM$ or 100K$ will be directly related with your business model, quality of your product and how you market it.
Now, the truth is that most web series will not make a profit. But that is true with most products and companies too. Actually 75% of new bussines will fail. So what do we do to get into that 25% that makes it? Continue reading →
This video was put together by the people from http://www.thefinebrothers.com and played life at the first streamys.org awards back in March 28th 2009. I just saw it again and thought it was well worth revisiting two years later. The tips still stand!
In making a web show there is much more than the video and story side of it, there has to be a web presence, social elements and other media like photos and behind the scenes, that will make this show better and more noticeable than the rest of the shows on the web. And who is in charge of that? Well, like in almost everything else: The Producer.
Web show Producers will first come up with the idea, get the story written (whether himself or a writer), find the money, cast and crew to make the story come to life, get the social media elements in place and start creating an audience, get a website made, market the show, orchestrate all these at the right time, and find a way to monetize the show if he or she wants to keep it growing. It’s crazy. It’s hectic. If done right is also highly rewarding.
If you have a good idea in your hands, a well design marketing campaign with social media at the core (some would even argue that the idea matters less than the marketing) and a way to monetize it, then your are going to have a lot of work but with great satisfaction.
I am very excited about a few new project I am working on. You will probably learn more about each of them as I write and you read the blog.
One of these projects, is a comedy web series that will have a whole bunch of elements around it. So every week, not only the weeks episode becomes available online, but also other content related to the series becomes available as well, on the site and on other partner sites.
I am not sure if it’s a novel method of distribution. I don’t really recall seeing something like it. I like the idea, I think is a fun way to delivering funny content to the audience, and giving them a reason to come back every so often, rather than coming back only once a week to watch one episode.
So the story is told from different points of view and portrayed through different mirrors of reality. Continue reading →
The Guild has to be one of the most talked about, wrote about, and watched show on the web. Do you know why? Because they worked their ass off. Not only they have a great show in their hands and a wonderful idea. The key factor here is the fact that they didn’t give up. They started small, humble, and working hard.
Felicia Day, the creator and one of the stars of the show, produced the first three episodes with her own money, and financed the other two episodes for the first season with donations. Season 2 picked up by Microsoft and release on Xbox Live Marketplace, Zune Marketplace and MSN Video. Still today, on season 4, Microsoft is the brand behind this series.
When making any kind of web show, whether it is a dramatic series, or casual video blog, the creator will more often than not, wear many hats to make the web show happen. Depending on the complexity of the production you might need to build a production team to share some of this responsibilities. But at the beginning, it will be you doing most of the work! I know I have.
It is critical to understand each job and to be sure to make the right decision depending on the hat you are wearing at the moment. Sounds like a lot of work but, it will give you the control to do make the show you want to make.
These are the hats I usually wear in my productions. They will vary a lot from person to person, depending on the skills and passion. They are not listed in any particular order, and they are all as important to make a good web show happen. Continue reading →
Ideas, I am sure we all have plenty. I come up with probably 25 different new ideas for a show every day. Try to count how many ideas you get before you finish reading this post. But not all ideas work for web shows. Nonetheless, having so many ideas doesn’t mean I get to make a new web show every week. Because even if the idea seems great:
Not all ideas are going to fly as web shows.
Many ideas cost way more money than I can afford to create them.
Most of this ideas are not going to make any money back, regardless of the effort we put behind it.
I don’t have enough time to make them all happen.
The Web Show Idea
Before I used to just choose anything that I thought was something I would like to watch. And that is sure large part of it. But I have learned from mistakes and successes that this is not the best way to go about it, it’s just part of it. Now, I believe a Great Idea for a web show should have these four elements:
I most be something you love and you are willing to commit to for six month to a year. You most really like the idea, be passionate about it! Otherwise you are bound to failure.
It should cost little to no money to execute. Unless you are actually sitting on a pile of cash and you can finance the production, you should favor ideas that cost nothing or just a few bucks to make happen. At least to get them started.
It can be delivered in short installments. It is true that now we can watch TV shows on the web, and they last half hour, one full hour, but this are not web shows, those are TV show that made it to the web. On the other hand the longer the show the more complex and costly the production. A web show should be delivered in 3 to 7 minute pieces; ideally it will be divided by seasons in the case of narrative shows – also known as web series. It could also have a periodical delivery for non narrative shows, like a cooking show, or an interview show.
It MOST be marketable. Yes, marketable. Not commercial, not popular, but marketable. There needs to be an audience for it, and you need to know who that is. Think niche. It can be a web show for young single mothers that work full time, or for teen skateboarders that dig ska. If you can go that specific on who you think will watch your show, the more chances to success you will have, because you will be able to put it out there for your audience, since you already know who they are.
What other elements can you think about when it comes to making web shows, or I should say, making successful web shows? How many ideas came to your mind while you read this post?