Note : before you read this article, I encourage you to go for a ride on my second blog dedicated to the world of the web series and how to create one.
In a very short time, this new format has exploded ! In effect, the competition becomes very tough because in the arena, you can rub shoulders with everyone, from the amateur chronicle the professional confirmed. So let’s be clear right from the start, this is because this tool of dissemination is accessible to all, that he must believe that it is easy. Far from it. Here is a small overview of the things to do and not to do :
Just a fixed plan, consume with moderation !
The famous and eternal fixed plan. The weapon of mass destruction “low cost” to those who want to make the image by investing the least possible. As the CM, there are those who will make up for the severe lack of means by the will to make something personal, profound, a bit like a film author. I don’t say that because the film copyright of me swells – let’s say that 99% they annoy me – and I do not say that the “low cost” rhyme necessarily with crap, far from it !
So, avoid web series with a single actor, in front of his webcam, when it is his cell phone, because frankly, it often is to shoot a ball ! In fact, the actors are not up to the task and with the texts, everything has to be le ! The ideas are far from being innovative. Often, we are treated to an analysis of events or comments on the news, see more original, like the kind of thing that nobody does : criticize movies. Wow. For 5 minutes, it was the “geek” sitting in his armchair, or in front of a screen, we talk about the movie he saw. I’ve seen, and it is more effective than a good episode of DERRICK for you to fall asleep.
A single player, provided you have a good idea !
I make the difference because you can very well make a good web series with only one player. The key is to be creative, and wetting a little of his shirt. This is the case of : MINUTE PAPILLON directed by the collective LANGUAGE OF PUB.
The undeniable example that we can do well with ” low cost “. A single decoration, a fixed plan, but the good idea of an actor who disguises himself and assumes all the roles. Has it, you add a good set of the main actor, of the texts relatively well-written and played, as topics that are current, a good dose of humour and self derision, and all that, in less than 3 minutes !
The duration is the happiness…
What helps to make effective a web series, this is the aspect of DURATION. In fact, time is very important. The ideal range is between more than 2 minutes and less than 4 minutes. I can already see that jump in saying that 4 minutes is very short ! Of course, but it can seem like an eternity when a web series is not dynamic. And here, I speak with knowledge of cause. In effect, the driver of the concept IS WHAT HAS THE TV TONIGHT ? I am the author and which has been performed by the company MAKI AND CO in the framework of the initiative SHOW ME YOUR WEB SERIES is here to amplify my point. This driver is less than 4 minutes, but because of the lack of stimulates the actors, it seems endless.
Of course, I’m sure there are crafty ones who will talk to me about this stew that is MY ROOMMATES, and that was less than 2 minutes. 2 minutes is a format that is double-edged. It can do miracles on a short amount of time, but it is far from being the case of ROOMMATES. You tell me that MY ROOMMATES tops. It is a fact, but this success is more of an effective work of marketing, upstream, and above all, it was the first to open the way. Because if we look at it in detail, during the 2 minutes, it turns in circles, and the visual gags are stupid worn-out and often fall faster than a bellows failed !
A concept please ?
Contrary to what you may believe, a good visual is not enough to save a web series. In the same way as a CM, a LM, or a mini-series : without a scenario, the company goes right into the wall ! And do not think that it is easy to write it in 4 minutes. It is a true exercise in style !
There is an aspect at all costs to avoid : the feuilletonnant. In fact, in the majority of cases, the people who appreciate a web series take on the road, after a positive word of mouth. It would be a shame to lay a plot twist in “LOST” to take spectators and give them some key to the plot.
That said, nothing prevents to develop a plot, he should just do that by taking a lot of space between the episodes. A plot worked out in the larger size of the mini series, designed more for broadcast tv.
(Note to Gary : You should know that a web series can afford to turn into a mini-series if it is successful. This is the case of the visitors of the future that has changed with the time)
Do not rush
The big problem of the web series the current is that, as soon as a pilot episode is shot, we put it on the canvas. The methods of dissemination have become so easy that you are in a hurry to put online and have comments, show their work. Unfortunately, one often waits several weeks to several months, to “finally” see the next episode. And the worst thing is when you see 3 episode, and that after that, it is necessary to wait for months to see the result. This cutoff is often due to the constraints of filming.
The ideal is to mobilize on the whole team and the actors for turn 10 or 12 episodes of a full season. In the meantime, in order to arouse curiosity, to put online a site fully dedicated to provide information about the filming, teasers, trailers, photos. A true work of advertising upstream which will necessarily have its impact, and which will give highly professional image of the concept.
A forerunner has already paved the new path
All the constraints necessary for a web series successful, there is at least one that has it all figured out : it’s Short.
the new phenomenon which proved a massive hit on CANAL+. Tell a story in less than 3 minutes of an original and dynamic, actors and texts to be effective, the feuilletonnant just what it takes to take on the road without being too lost. In short, looks like the series, a success story.