There is a hearty debate amongst film, television, online platforms/content providers and web series creators themselves going on right now. Is web series an art form that will be mainstreamed and monetized? Will that kill the creativity when sponsors, execs and ads get involved? Some dismiss the genre entirely. Are they missing the best content out there? Might we see the same trend happen as when cable started delivering the drama and character development that the film industry wasn’t providing? Here’s some evidence that 2015 will be the year of web series.
1. Technology is providing creators with professional tools – and not just phone cameras. Celtx used to be a free screenwriting tool. Now you can storyboard shots, breakdown scenes, create your shot lists, organize your shooting days, and look at call sheets on your smartphone. https://www.celtx.com/index.html.
2. Are Web Series just something to watch while waiting for another show to return? The headline of the below article suggests so. But on closer examination, the article points out something else. “Transparent helped elevate Amazon.com’s original programming from an Internet footnote to Golden Globe Award-winner for best TV series – and its portrait of a parent (Jeffrey Tambor) who transitions brought conversations about transgender lives into mainstream media.” There was doubt or at least uncertainty in the beginning that online providers could produce great content. Hello, House of Cards.
A final consideration:
3. Will High Maintenance be the breakthrough for legitimizing Web Series? High Maintenance was first picked up by Vimeo. Then not shortly thereafter, it was acquired by HBO. Everything about this show is great, the writing, acting and casting. This acquistion is important because other web series making news were in comedy and going to Comedy Central. Now web series has succeeded in another genre. It will certainly given pause to some naysayers who shun web series. http://www.vogue.com/13255907/high-maintenance-hbo/
This will definitely be a hot topic of conversation at this year’s DC Web Fest on Saturday, May 2. You can still get tickets at www.dcwebfest.co/explore. And if this whole web series thing has got your creative juices flowing and you want to learn more about it, we are offering this cool Web Series Start-Up Kit. You’re automatically entered to win with your ticket purchase. Winners will be announced at the festival.
The Web Series Start-Up Kit includes:
-Hat and T-shirt from our sponsor the DC Film Office
-1 hour consult with Otessa Ghadar
-Textbook on creating a web series, The Wild West of Film
- Promo code for Skillshare class on how to make a web series
Curious to know your thoughts as well.