The creation of a web series is truly unique, and sometimes as storyteller we are so eager to tell the story that we just go ahead without any direction. But the truth is that if have all the element in line and we have an idea of what we will be doing with the web show, or what are we going to do after we have a few episodes done.
So, before even shooting the first frame of you audition make sure you have this elements ready.
You need everything scripted, even if it is documentary style you need to have every piece outlined before you go out and shoot. This will be useful to you as a guide of what it is you need to shoot so you can edit everything and have a web series. They should be finished before you start. unless you are making a “news like show” where you can try to have several pieces of the script written in advance to fill in when there is little avtivity in your subject. If you are making a Narrative Web Series, then yes, you should have a full first season scripted (as many or few episodes you would like to make for the 1st season).
Yes! You will need some money, even if it to buy some pizza for you camera guy, or to do a full on production, you need to make sure you have that money. Now, if you are in film school or have some good friends that are very talented, or you have some time in your hands, then that is great, try doing everything for free, it will be more fun. But if you don’t have the talent or the time, you will be better off hiring professionals to work with you, even the youngest of the professionals. This will do two things for you: 1. it will help you get a higher quality show because you will be working with professionals, and 2. it will force you to push the project to it’s last consequences because now you have invest money and yourself into it!
3. A solid social network.
If you are not part of at least one of the large social networks (all of them would be better) you most stop everything you are doing right now and join them. I am serious! Stop reading go sign at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and/or Linkedin. In that order. Then come back….
I am sure most of you are still reading, because most of us have social networks. How solid is yours? How much influence do you have over them? (usually more than we think). Harvest the network and grow it. The success of your web series depends on the size of you social network and its strength. Connect to other people, but not in bulk! that doesn’t work. Here is an easy way, choose 10 new proactive connections every week. These are people that you will think are interesting and that could care for what your show is about. Don’t spam people. Make ten true connections this week, and then 10 more the next one! in a year you can have around 520 new strong connections, real people you have talked to, not just follow. That plus all the new connections this connections will generate when they share your links with their connections. Each of this connections are a new set of eyeball for your show! and a new “ambassador” of your web series to his or her own social network.
4. A Marketing Idea.
Why a marketing idea is a Key element? well because most of the web series out there that have not grown and stopped production are not stock because they are bad, or because they are low quality, many of them are awesome! They are stock because they were not properly marketed! Yep! Not properly marketed. They where just posted on Youtube, or where placed on a website that was never ranked in google (what?), or didn’t have an email list, or didn’t write ever to that email list! or just send an email out to their friends and hoped that each of the would share it.
Good Internet marketing doesn’t really require much money. It does require time! Tons of it. So you need a plan for it. You don’t need to sit down and have a plan, but if you want to have 1000 views the first episode, you most know where those 1000 views will come from!
Seriously, you need tons of it! Making a web series and keeping it alive is like running a double marathon. So make sure you have your energy, you eat well and have enough (just enough) rest. And your team too! Hey, they are helping you realize a project (even if you are paying them) and they need to rest too! Work as hard as you possible can without over killing yourself, at the end you will all make a better web series if your head is fully there!
I am sure there are many other things we need, and I will be writing about them more and more. But I thought these are the 5 key elements that will hold a person and a team together to make the project the best it can be.