#1  
Old 03-15-2010, 04:07 AM
Question about web series

I've been wondering, is making a web series a good way to get notice and possibly help start your career? Is it any different than making shorts and entering film festivals? How much money can you make off of web series?

I ask because I've actually been considering trying my hand at making a web series. And I've actually seen some good ones. But I wonder if it's a waste of time and that I'd probably be better off doing the normal making shorts and going to film festivals route. Or maybe I try both?
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2010, 05:17 AM
Actually, the cinematographers (they work as a team) that shot the feature film I was 2nd AC on in January worked on many web series, including a new one they just completed now, and I think they make about as much from shooting web series as they do shooting indie features, so I think that the financial opportunities that both types of filmmaking offer are about the same.

I'm not sure exactly how you "break in" to the web series world, though. I'm guessing its not unlike breaking into the film world: If you just go out and make a web series, for example, you will still be faced with the same difficulties as a short film: Making it is the easy part, the hard part is getting it seen and noticed. And on this topic, I unfortunately do not have any answers for you.
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2010, 06:45 AM
Well it looks like, much like a feature, there are many various degrees of budget. Some of the web series I've seen look like they've been made fairly cheaply while others are more professional in quality.

I'd probably start with something extremely cheap. It's probably no different than making shorts though.
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2010, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
I've been wondering, is making a web series a good way to get notice and possibly help start your career? Is it any different than making shorts and entering film festivals?
Yes, but only if the web series you make is absolutely fantastic. Similarly, writing screenplays is only a good way to break in if you can write fantastic screenplays. Short films are only useful if you make excellent short films, as in, better than 99% of everything else that's out there. No matter what route you go, there's no shortcut for skill, so just do what you want to do.

Quote:
How much money can you make off of web series?
None. Remember, youtube might get a billion hits a day, but nobody's figured out a way to make money off of it yet. That's the thing with online. If a million other people are putting their stuff up for free, there's no incentive to pay for anything.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2010, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by XvoorheesX View Post
None. Remember, youtube might get a billion hits a day, but nobody's figured out a way to make money off of it yet. That's the thing with online. If a million other people are putting their stuff up for free, there's no incentive to pay for anything.
Well, the more successful web series (The Guild, for example) actually do make a profit. They are relatively cheap to produce, but they have enough viewers and enough of a following to sell merchandise, DVDs, and most importantly, ads on the series website, which provide the most revenue. There is money in web series, but it's no easier to reach that level of profitability than it is making shorts, that's for sure.
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2010, 11:18 AM
I think it would kind of depend on the story/sort of movie you want to tell. Think of the webseries versus the short-film as different mediums with different conventions, styles and audience expectations.

This is a rough brainstorm off the top of my head, and by no means a comprehensive analysis of the two forms, but:

Webseries: Digital. Narrative arc. Often, but not always, humorous. Openly accessible to everyone via the internet. A lot of emphasis on character.

Short-Film: Film (though lots are digital these days). A single episode. Limited access to a specified audience. Usually more plot driven or focused on a conflict, so arguably less emphasis on characters. Often seen as more "avant-garde" since shorts are not typically shown/available to a mass-audience.

Again, I'm posting this more as my own personal expectations for a short-film (targeted toward film festivals) vs. a webseries. However, I do think that most people would share similar expectations -- though those these may not reflect the reality when you consider all shorts/webseries.

My advice is to pick the one that best fits your story. I'm no expert in "breaking into the biz" but as so many people say, there isn't really one way to do it. I'm sure you've already thought of this, but don't make your short into a webseries (or vice versa) because one seems like a potentially more successful medium.
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2010, 11:59 AM
I just got done watching the first episode of Angel of Death starring Zoe Bell. Awesome stuff although it looks like it cost a LOT of money to make. Almost as much as an actual TV show episode.

I've seen a few episodes of another web series called The Black Dawn. It has some dialogue issues, but it's otherwise well made and looks like it could have been made fairly cheaply.
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2010, 07:12 PM
It's certainly a way of getting exposed if it becomes successful in anyway. I don't think a web series alone will launch your career but it can lead to bigger things if your show gets a cult following or is well received by a wide audience.

Saying that the same can be said for short films on the web. I get more viewings online of my shorts than any festival.

I normally produce shorts but I am now trying my hand at my first web series. I have just posted a link to the pilot episode on this forum. We're shooting on a ratio of 75 an episode...

It's called Captain's Blog. I'll let you know how it goes!

(link to other thread here: click here
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:46 AM
Web series are the one format where a budget honestly does not matter. There are series with plenty of money being put into the budget and they show it, but there are a couple of very succesful series that generate millions of hits where the main character has a mustache taped, obviously, to his face and thats the extent of the budget. What matters most is effective writing and storyline that fits the budget you are going for. Oh, and also a fresh idea.

http://feliciaday.com/blog/web-serie...efore-starting

http://www.avclub.com/articles/felicia-day,14329/

they are both Felica Day but both very informative.


One way you can generate money also is advertise on you home website and use a proprietary video format that generates the hits for you. Put episodes on your home site first and then follow it up with a youtube release a couple of weeks later. This will push the geek community to visit your site to see the episode 'first,' because we all have that elitist drive, and you get paid for each hit. Merchandising as well.

You will be lucky to make much money off of it. The creators of 1/4 life said they knew they had a hit when the money earned could pay there rent. They went under not too long after. You will probably depend on donations to fund each season. (paypal donations) If you are good you'll get the money.

As with everyone else here I actually have my own webseries in the works right now. Got the site freshly up and everything. Finishing up the first episode(good music is a bitch and a half to get), and am finally putting up a trailer in the next week or so on youtube.


By the way, would you guys think it was cool if I came in here every week or two and posted about a different aspect of indie filmaking I've experienced as a way to try and generate advise giving and conversation?
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2010, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mutesaint View Post
By the way, would you guys think it was cool if I came in here every week or two and posted about a different aspect of indie filmaking I've experienced as a way to try and generate advise giving and conversation?
Is that not what this forum is for?
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2010, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mutesaint View Post
By the way, would you guys think it was cool if I came in here every week or two and posted about a different aspect of indie filmaking I've experienced as a way to try and generate advise giving and conversation?
By all means. People would eat those posts up - myself included.
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