So as you may know if you read my last post I am taking 4 classes here…
WEB TV PREP
I am a little behind as Monday I finished class 2, but so far it has really been interesting and informative. Web TV Prep is essentially four classes that run every Monday in November from 7-10pm that takes you through the steps of creating a web series from the development of an idea to the production and post process to what is the best platform to use when posting your content.
The first class was all about development. As a class we had to think about three projects we would want to make and write a logline (Very brief (one or two sentence) synopsis of your story) for each and then share them with the class. The class is a mix of writers, producers, actors, a new media lawyer and an angel investor (this got my attention!) For those who don’t know an angel investor is an individual who essentially invests in tech start ups (or other start ups). Everyone had a chance to share their loglines and I was actually surprised that not a lot of people really did the assignment. People had ideas, but not necessarily in logline form. Another surprise to me is some people in class had never even seen a webisode nor really understood what was happening online.
Got some really interesting feedback on my projects and received a really nice compliment in class…I was called a writer=) It’s odd to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write. I have loved writing since I was six years old and won an award for best short story in my elementary school about an adventure with Strawberry Shortcake where I took pictures of my dolls in action and wrote descriptions of what was happening them, something about Strawberry Shortcake unable to find her friends. Strawberry suspects foul play and blames the Pie Man, accusing him of dastardly deeds. However, Strawberry gets a surprise when she finds all of her friends have actually hidden in her house to throw her a surprise birthday party. So I guess I have always loved telling stories, but never thought of myself as a writer. I think of myself as a producer.
So back to class. The class ran long, but I actually didn’t mind and preferred it to run long rather than rushing through the material. A lot of what was taught I already know in terms of deal memos, development, casting etc. Some tips and highlights for me were:
1) Season 1 should be about giving it away for free. Go after products for placement, but just get the products not the $. If you can prove you have a following go back to these products and then charge them $ to have them be placed in your series.
2) if you are creating content for the web, write it for the web. You have a much shorter span than on tv or film.
3) Write what you know and what you are passionate about. The likelihood you will make money off your first project is slim so whatever it is you do make sure it is something you are willing to do with that in mind. Make sure it is from your heart and something you believe in.
4) Don’t just shoot a pilot and hope to develop an audience. In order to really build a following or a brand you need at least 6, but ideally 8-12 episodes
5) Cast names from both traditional and new media. Remember there are a lot of celebrities on the web and when casting your series utilize those people who will bring eyes to your project.
6) There is an exception to every rule
After the regular class we had two guest speakers come to class. One was a writer, Liz Shannon Miller from NewTeeVee and the other was also a writer and creator of web series With the Angels, Mary Feuer. They discussed their thoughts on what’s happening on the web now and reiterated a lot that was talked about in class…
Check back in a couple days for details on class two…