Last week we had on the blog, an interesting comment on several points. It was in connection with the topic : create a series and a web series.
We have found interesting and important to share with you this comment and our responses. You can well imagine that the answer, through this article, is more important than the original response.
Here is the comment :
Hello this is super interesting, thank you for this precious help! I’ve always wanted to write, and work with the image but, without training, I only had bits and pieces of ideas that I wrote in the outline. Most of my ideas will never be the same if I can spend months thinking about a story.
Otherwise I have a few questions :
1) what do you think of the series Black Mirror in which each episode is independent of the other, with characters and a plot always different, where each episode is designed with a beginning and an end like a movie?
2) How to sell a mini series (1 season without the following, for example) or a series in the format atypical, such as Sherlock (Steven Moffat, 3 ep per season)
3), or OA with episodes of the duration variable?
4) Is it necessary to provide producers the scenario of each episode with a note of intent and all?
5) What to do when one has in mind several ideas of different scenarios that can each be a feature film project in its own right. They are all in the same universe, which would work more like a background or an expanded universe (which to him, has a beginning and an end). In this case, is it more sensible to do a series or write a saga in the manner of the Marvel universe ?
And here are our answers :
The questions you ask are interesting. We will try to answer you as clearly as possible.
1) Black mirror. The series has as a central theme : the excesses of the new technologies or extrapolations from them. Indeed, each episode takes a different hero…a different universe…we find it a bit annoying because the codes change, the hero changes…this is not a series that you look at and say ” oh, I’m going to meet my hero and my universe favorite “. We look at it and say ” that is what we have invented even this time “. But the series works because the themes and topics treated are strong and well-written. This plays more on the anticipation that the science-fiction and it is in this that the series is very strong because it uses the codes, the universe and technology that we know or that we can consider as true. It is a critique of our society, its shortcomings and its dangers. But this is not simple to sell to a chain. Some of the episodes and ideas could very well be categorised in a series or mini-series as the subject opens up possibilities, but this is not the case for all.
2) sell a mini-series this is not complicated. There are plenty of mini-series broadcast on the channels (even the French) :
– The secret of Elise
– The life in front of them
– The mysteries of the lake
– Ten percent
When I say that it is not complicated to sell a mini-series, it should be understood that this is done on a regular basis ! Of course that’to write a series, mini-series or a unit remains difficult , and even more to sell it to a string or a producer. Sells a mini-series as a series with : bible, timeline, etc…
Platforms such as Netflix or Blackpills are an open door to all series non-standard situations (Tom already spoke about this in an article). They do often seek that a series of atypical as it is in the genre, the length or the subject. These platforms redistribute the cards in the design of the series or movies, in their modes of production, financing and distribution.
3) For the variable duration of OA…the same, hard to sell them on a chain and with a broadcast every week. This is why a platform like Netflix can afford it…the series is available immediately. The duration is at the service of the episode and the plot. More series should follow this example. This is akin to what I just said above.
4) Tom has treated this subject in several articles that you will find in the tab : Items. But I’ll still give you a short answer. For a series it should be a bible, a scénario, a cv, a mood board etc…If you do a search with all these keywords on the site, I promise you that you’ll learn a lot of things.
And you talk to us when intellectual property ???
I come here with this last reply :
5) Your question on the expanded universe…this is a difficult question. You take the example of MARVEL , which is part of an expanded universe of course…but that was not one before. Each comic had its heroes and at the beginning the hero do not meet. When you read these words : strange, nova, x-men, R. O. M, amazing spiderman, strange, the avengers,…the adventures of some does not take into account the stories of others.
The important thing is to create the intellectual property (IP, intellectual property), that is to say that every hero has a story, a past…and find an audience. This means that this character will sell comics, movies, toys, etc…So the important thing is to start somewhere in order to federate people around a hero, a universe. MARVEL started with iron man, thor, Captain America etc…
And each film proved a massive hit…just then : The Avengers…which brings together all the characters and cased even more.
And then MARVEL put on the cross, that is to say that the universe is available in several formats : long, series, video games etc.. But all of this is possible because The IP is viable and known to all the fans. If you take the first Spiderman with Tobey Mcguirre there is no gateway with the first Hulk, and the same for the DC universe the first Batman by Burton or Nolan do not have a gateway with the first superman…
Before thinking about transmedia, and expanded universe it is necessary to create a first IP , and only then think of an application on other media, other hero using the universe of the first. This does not mean that you can have in mind the different applications, or the other stories and bridges possible between each hero or each story. But everything must be aired or watched separately and above all commercially viable.
Not to mention the expanded universe but just of intellectual property there are Asterix and Obelix, boule et bill, lucky luke or the schtroumfs. All these characters are the property of their authors, copyright holders or those who have bought (have). There are movies, games, cartoons, series, comics, toys, bath towels and I could go on with these characters.
Tomorrow if you make a cartoon or a series, or even a movie (short, long, etc..) you create the intellectual property, that is to say that if it works the value of what you have created increases.
The suites of films are proof of “living”. If you take the fast & the furious, the impossible missions, the James bond…the first has created characters and a universe that was enjoyed and that was called a sequel…then another to turn into a saga (franchise). Mission impossible was a series adapted in film. The characters have been taken, the concept also… today, each episode is a real event pushing the limits of the SFX and stunts , and is also transformed into a franchise. For James bond, it was books…the character is always faithful, even if it is more modern compared to what it was there are more than 60 years, but the result is the same today as for the other examples.
Not worth it to talk to you about Star Wars, I think you get the idea.
So much for the article on the intellectual property and the long response to a comment by one of the readers.
The team of How to Make A Movie