Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Creating...

it's better than destroying.

So, I only wrote my last post about the manager to SET-UP the PAY-OFF of this post.

After meeting with the manager, one thing was clear...people are only interested in new people that have created content. I keep hearing it over and over...get a youtube channel, create some shorts, do a webisode. If don't have any of those things, you are FAR behind the eight-ball.

I have a history in internet television, and I can tell you that the movement to the internet is real. I can also tell you that hollywood has no idea what they are getting themselves into with the internet. They know that youtube is cool, facebook is better, and webisodes are a good way to develop new talent.

They do not care that it costs hundreds, or thousands of dollars to create a webisode that has virtually no chance of turning a profit or even breaking even. They don't understand that writing a webisode has no bearing as to your ability to write for either tv or film. In fact, the more I get to know studio people, the less I think they understand anything about how the real world operates.

That being said, the topic of this post is creation. I got the bug after talking with the manager. I've done a lot of research on various shows, lengths, number of episodes, etc, and have come to the conclusion that a show can gain a rabid following in 4 episodes, be done in 10, and catch the world a flutter. Four Eyed Monsters, The Guild, Buddy Jackson, clark and michael etc. They didn't have huge runs...now prom queen and quarterlife did/do.

However, it's important to distinguish a show you are planning on making money from, i.e. prom queen, with a show you are intending to get a buzz around town. For that, I say you need a ten episode story arch. Each episode needs to be 3-5 minutes in length, with a cliffhanger. This is about 1/2 the length of a normal commercial break, so get into the show, punch it, and get out of it as quickly as possible.

Next, decide on a topic. For the best appeal, pick a topic that lots of people on the internet already know about, World of Warcraft, failing at love, or trying to be a filmmaker are all pretty good ones. Next, make it funny. The only shows that truly succeed on the internet in small runs are hilarious ones. There is some market for highly styled shows as well, but for simplicity, nothing beats hilarity.

Next, write the script. It's best to plan out the entire run of the series in one fell swoop. So, you're going to write a script roughly the size of an hour long pilot, about 50 minutes or 65 pages. Make the act breaks every 3-5 pages, and make sure there is a cliffhanger at the end of each to start a new episode. Now, I would think this goes without saying, but since you are writing a comedy, Do Not, i repeat, DO NOT, go crazy with locations, character, effects, or stunts. Make it simples, and funny.

Now, you need to set up a site dedicated to the show. Make sure it has a blog, somewhere to add video, a message board, and an about page, and somewhere to contact and talk about the cast. Oh, and if you're really smart, put up a donation link so you can try to recoup some of your investment. You will need to upload to at least YOUTUBE, REVVER, MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, along with any others that you can think of. SPROUT helps Four Eyed Monsters get established.

Next, CREATE! finally you get to cast the show, and produce the show...oh yea, and PAY for the show. So, you will most likely need to produce 5-10 pages a day over a 5-10 day window, in order to get the whole run completed. I know a lot of people are only producing 2-3 shows at a time...put YOU are better than that. If you have been watching the strike, then you are aware that the studios hate interruptions in production because it increases their costs exponentially. So, if you are able to produce the entire run in one swoop, you will not have to deal with things like overages, coordinating schedules again, or reestablishing communication with your vendors. It keeps your costs down as well. That way, when you are getting donations, it's all profit, or recoupment.

That's all for now. When I get to this point with my next great idea, I'll be able to talk about marketing and getting people to notice.

1 comment:

michaelwong38@gmail.com said...

Hi, was wondering if you'd like to exchange links with me?
If yes, please leave your blog url as a comment at:
http://bigmoneylist.blogspot.com/
I'll link to you first, then when you have time link back k?
Thanks, Michael
BTW--I'm michaelwong38 on digg. If ever you want something dugg, just send me a shout anytime.