There we were, roaming the web in search of a good illustration to accompany the article before this one, when suddenly – Wham! – not only did we just the right pic to run with an article about turning your indie feature film into a web series, we found it accompanying another terrific article on creating your own show.
So here, courtesy of TomCruise.Com (yep, that Tom Cruise) is more exciting info on one of TVWriter™’s favorite topics:
From Team Tom Cruise
We’re back with another installment in the #Aspiring2ActWriteDirect Series. This time TeamTC tackles the rapidly evolving world of web series and provides a primer on how to plan, prepare and produce your own original content. Of all our aspiring guides covering the entertainment industry—that list includes guides for actors, directors and filmmakers, film editors, producers, screenwriters, stuntmen, cinematographers and visual effects artists—this one on how to make a web series delves into a field that is just now beginning to take shape.
WHAT IS A WEB SERIES?
Loosely speaking, a web series (also known as web originals, web shows, webisodes, and online series), is a show in episodic form released online or, in some cases, across various mobile platforms. The series is created to live on the web, and given the nature of online viewership, individual shows within a web series tend to run between 3 minutes and 6 minutes, with an entire season, from beginning to end, averaging an hour to an hour and a half. That’s both the appeal and complexity of the industry: Trying to say something engaging in matter of minutes. The hook, however, must come even sooner than that. According to the Youtube Creator Playbook, viewers decide within 15 seconds whether they are going to spend the next few minutes with your web series, let alone the next 90.
When making a web show, the question is what kind of web show will you make? While web series take many forms, TC.com will focus on scripted (fictional) episodic digital entertainment. Typical categories include sci-fi/fantasy (The Guild), comedies (Wainy Days) and dramas (Anyone But Me), but many shows are multi-genre experiments (The Crew). Regardless of where your web series falls, the lion share of information here can be applied across the board, and to content like talk shows, tutorials, documentaries and other reality-based programming.
WHY MAKE A WEB SERIES?
Web series are attractive projects for filmmakers for many reasons—and the majority of content creators are experienced filmmakers. To begin with, the only restriction on content is your imagination. Unlike other more established mediums, web originals can be just that: Original. In fact, originality is encouraged. Online audiences tend to appreciate the diversity of content found there, and if they can find it, are likely to seek it out. And unlike television or even independent filmmaking, quality online programming can be achieved on a small budget.
In fact, the vast majority of web series are funded out of pocket by aspiring filmmakers looking for a way to highlight their talent in a crowded and fiercely competitive industry. In many cases, they aren’t concerned with making their money back. Instead, they make web series as a way to create a marketable portfolio piece at an affordable price. Creating your own web show could be the calling card you need to gain access to larger projects….