I was browsing Twitter the other day
Yeah, I know, BFD. But really, it was. Because I clicked on this. Having recently participated in the making of a webseries, it was easy to appreciate the points expressed in the article. The three that I’d have to agree with most are:
- Audition your writers
- Get a good sound guy
- Get a funny editor
1) Audition your writers
So in high school, I went through an intensive creative writing program, and in college I minored in creative writing. I have also applied for MFA programs recently. Writing’s kind of my thing. BUT I still don’t feel like I can just sit down and write something good. It takes effort and a lot of good editing time.
Needless to say, it frustrates me when people assume “anyone can write”. You may not have to be formally trained, but writing is a difficult and time-consuming process. AND relying on your actors to come up with good dialogue is a cop-out. Take the time to write something good. If you can’t do it, find someone who can. It’s not easy.
2) Get a good sound guy (or girl)
All the good acting, writing, directing and editing in the world won’t improve the quality of a web series with poor sound. Especially when your room tone is off (i.e. the background noise noticeably changes when the camera angle changes).
3) Get a funny editor
Disclaimer: I am not an editor. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I used to edit promotional film for the U of Richmond Business School. On iMovie. Yeah, super complex. Not. HOWEVER, even I can appreciate the importance of a good editor. For example: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS = amazing. DJANGO: UNCHAINED = not as amazing. Fun fact, DJANGO was the first of Tarantino’s films not edited by Sally Menke, who unfortunately passed away in 2010. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Happy little guillotine studios
The author of this article was none other than Yuri Baranovsky, pioneer in new media and co-founder of Happy Little Guillotine Studios. One of his first web-series, BREAK A LEG, gained a cult following and was even aired on San Francisco public Television. The Baranovsky brothers actually entered it into a sitcom contest inspired by IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. One thing that sets this series apart from others is its length. Unlike most webseries, which tend to be between 5 and 10 minutes long, BREAK A LEG is the length of a full sitcom. Check out the first part of the pilot ep below.
Congratulations, you now have another reason to waste time on the internet.
Other cool stuff
My old roommate worked on this webseries a couple of years ago with mostly SCAD students. It’s called Greg Prime, and I found it incredibly entertaining. Perhaps you will too.
This group of filmmakers in Charleston, SC have created a promotional webseries that chronicles the making of their film, WARRIOR ROAD. Check it out below.