If you want to learn more about our documentary, visit ThePerfectionOfGiving.com. It’s a documentary series that explores the theme of generosity and giving. I will be reporting here more about it. It started as a short documentary film and as it evolved, I decided that I was going to go all out and build an online series of several episodes of 25 to 30 minute episodes. Check out the trailer of our Chapter 1:
Another project that I will be talking about, of what I have learned and the process that we are going through, will be Scent:Velvet Mist (still working on that title). The project I am collaborating with my writer friend Jason Levy. It’s the story of a detective who falls in love Continue reading →
The idea, the spark that makes web series, TV and film so magical, usually starts in one single brain… maybe two in some cases. But also truth, film, video, visual storytelling in general, don’t become a reality without a team of people that work hard to make it happen. That is what this post is about. The team that you will need to bring together as soon as you have your web series screenplay ready.
There is a lot of debate about the length of a web series episodes. It ranges from people that have tried 1-minute episodes to people that make shows that are 1 hour long! I guess it depends on who is making the web series.
The truth is most people agree that somewhere between 5 minutes and 10 minutes is a good mark. Certainly the most successful web series are close to that mark.
So how are you supposed to define how long your episode should be?
The argument for a short episode:
If your show is comedic, targeted to a younger audience, or meant to be watch on the run, then shorter episodes are very good for that. A bit size. If you are doing a show on tips to do something, short is also better. The key about short content is to design it for people and platforms where they are not going to invest much of their attention spam. So make a killer first 10-15 seconds, and make sure to keep people engage for your minute by keeping that energy and stimulation up!
The argument for the long format:
The only way that a long format can stick, other than coming from a big TV network and be available on Hulu, is to have a very well defined audience and for that audience to be willing to sit through an hour or 45 minutes of content. Interview and educational shows that are targeted to a very specific niche. Those web series episodes can hold up to 45 minutes, even an hour. The best way to go about it is to break your show in three of four segments that change the speed of the show. Will help keeps the viewers engaged.
The Real Length of a web series episode.
The truth is that it will depend on the story and your interest as a producer. Some things need 25 to 45 minutes to be said. And that is fine. Somethings can be said in 2 minutes. Start from your guts and follow what the audience asks from you.
For those of you who have been following up the Open Process (here #1 and here #2) of me making a web series, I have been working a lot in two very important things:
1. I am developing the Characters.
2. I am developing the story for the first season and what are the open loops that will be addressed in the second and third season. Or maybe the second and the Online Movie? Depends on how this flies!
I wanted to share a little bit with you my writing process and I how I have been going about it. My goal is to set the rules of a universe (a very realistic universe in many ways) that will allow me to tell several stories with this characters, and build on that. So for these characters and this particular event: Continue reading →
Very few web shows get a large substantial following. Some of them get a great substantial following, and then reach a plato and can’t get more followers. One of my pilots (Carlitos is Pisssed) had 1400+ views in the first episode and around 400 in the second and 300 in the third. I made a clear mistake there, I launched all three episodes in one day, just a few hours apart.
So here are some ideas for not letting your web shows die to soon, or better yet, die at all.
1. Post new content all the time.
Now, new content is not a new episodes every day, because that might not be story of financially possible. Koldcast.tv shows a new episode everyday. That might keep the first kick going but it dries out the content in a week or two!
The more people I talk to, the more I hear the phrases: “My web series is a labor of love, I can’t expect to make money. It’s just to show the world what I can do.” Exactly what everyone was saying 5 or 7 years go when they talked about their short films. People put short films and web series in the same category.
Now, when you make a short film, they are usually anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes long, but really over 15 minutes is not really a that short any longer. Even the festivals have a hard time adding it to their programs when they start getting longer.
On the other hand, must narrative web series are divided in seasons. Usually anywhere from 3 to 7 episodes. Around 5 to 10 minutes each. So people are making up to 70 minutes of content (almost a feature film), not expecting to make any money from it. Continue reading →
Last week I announced I was creating a web series from scratch out in the public. Although, not really from scratch because I had already thought of the idea and visited it several times in several forms, I am really starting from scratch on the actual hands on creations.
In that post I told you that Scent is a crime noir with a super hero twist to it. I mentioned that we are telling the story through four different story-lines, base on 4 important character of this universe, each the main character of their own story, although the main story belongs to Danae, who is the main suspect of a murder she did not commit, and it is up to her to find the real killer.
So these last few days I have ben developing Danae, so here is a little of what I know about her.
She is close to 25, very ambitious young woman. Super beautiful, but with certain insecurity issues, the she compensates being very tough on men. She grew up close to Buffalo NY, i a little town called East Aurora, with an older brother. When she was in going to UPenn, her mother was killed, after suffering, she found some peace practicing aikido, a martial art based on relaxation and flow. Her sansei was a jamaican master name Devain, who had being practicing aikido in japan since he was very little.
Now, as I get ready to start raising money again for two new projects (I am in the writing process of Scent), I have been forced to do the exercise to realize what has worked and what has not worked. And here are some of the things I have come to realize.
1. You cannot expect to raise all the money in the same way
What does this mean? Well, that some of the money will come from private investors, other will come from a fundraising party, some else will come from crowd-funding initiatives (like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter), and some more will come from you own pocket. So not you, not I, Continue reading →
I have been flirting around with the idea of creating and writing something openly! Write a screenplay with many people! Somehow crowdsource creativity. I even bought the domain name socialwritingproject.com and .org. But I never really got around to figuring out how the project was really going to work., so it got stock.
Today, I decided to take a new approach. Instead of crowdsourcing the screenplay (which I still want to do in the future), I can create my own web series out in the open. And also use the openness to maybe test some ideas. Let’s see what happens with that.
I am officially, as of this moment, creating one of my new web shows out in the open. From where I am standing right now, until I make it a successful web series! Continue reading →
I just finished watching what has come out of the second season of Awkward Embraces, what will become a web series classic! Funny, witty, nerdy, fresh! I love it! I laughed a lot. I am very glad to have ran into then through twitter. I couldn’t trace who twitter the link I clicked on. It’s a shame, I would have liked to thank him/her for that tweet. The web show is about this group of three geeky girlfriends that have girl-talks in a very geeky manner! XD
In season 2 they are doing something interesting that they didn’t do in season 1: They have added “minisodes”, although not really much shorter, but they are following (in the two that are already online) two new characters that don’t really play a roll (for now!) in the three girls life! I like that. That is the organic growth of a web series, the freedom that web shows give producers, the freedom of form!