Reasons to make a web series
After you have completed a few short films, developing a web series can be a good bridge from creating shorter content to longer content like a feature. Filming a web series takes much more time than filming a short film. If your web series is six episodes long and each episode is three to six minutes long, you are likely looking at a minimum of six filming days to get all of the coverage you will need. This means finding crew that have the same goals as you, and finding cast members who are willing to take on a longer commitment.
With filmmaking, from the story to production it is best to be deliberate in your choices as a filmmaker or director. The script should fit the style of filmmaking. The Katydids were able to pull a crew together for their weekend film shoot. Ted Tremper filmed his actors with himself as crew (one camera, one mic, and one shot). In both cases, the stories they were trying to tell fit the production values under which they were working.
When you look at your available resources, you can create a web series that fits those resources. Maybe all you have to film with is an old DV camera, then what if your web series was a video diary that took place ten years ago? What if you have a coffee shop or a book store available to you for one weekend? Then maybe you create a web series that primarily takes place in that coffee shop or book store.
Web series give you as a story teller to develop a story over several episodes. You can have something happen in episode one that informs something that happens in episode four. Or you can have an episode that concludes in the following episode.
This is also a great format if you have one or two characters you would like to develop over the course of a season. In our web series, Harold in the Zone, the lead character Harold inevitably learned the same lesson in each episode.
Creating a web series can also give the writer and the director opportunities to experiment with ways of telling a story. When I started writing the web series Squarehead, I was very cognizant of starting the series in the ordinary would and making it relatable. As the series progressed, it would become more and more surreal.
Taking some tools from previous chapters, we will talk in this chapter about how to develop a web series. There are some aspects of creating a web series that are similar to breaking the story for a short film or a feature.
In the next section, we will talk about the foundations of a web series.