Dear fellow actors,
Those of you who are, have been or will write some of their own stuff, especially webisodes, would you please share your resource for where did you learn on techniques, standards, etc of writing a screenplay? I'm especially interested in a good forum where it's easy to get advice for a newbie.
I'm thinking of writing my own web series while I'm still here in UK, and maybe try to produce it when in LA. Never written anything before, though have an idea that I have been processing in my head for some time now.
Also, any advice? How much did it cost YOU to produce your own series (or anything else for that matter)? Please share any detail!
First of all don't shoot yourself in the foot and think that a web series is different than any other series you see on TV. You are already thinking sub standard production values when you classify it that way. You want to produce a tv series that is shown on the web, just a medium of distribution. You learn techniques, standards, etc of writing a screenplay like anyone that goes to school to learn communications specializing in broadcast tv.
You may start out using student crews, but the techniques are the same as any other network or independent production. And don't let anyone else tell you differently. Just because your budget is nill, doesn't mean it has to look that way. Hook up with student filmmakers and shoot a series to start.
Webseries are completely different than TV. Watch the most popular web series and you find a few common elements. A Google search of web series techniques will return a wealth of information from content developers.
1. Keep them short 3-6 minutes and adjust to content. If you only have 30 seconds of entertaining stuff then make it 30 seconds long. People leave fast and never come back if you bore them.
2. They have to be funny starting at the very top. Nobody will hang around if the joke takes too long to set up.
3. Characters have to be obvious. The audience will not stick around for you to "develop" your characters.
Write, shoot, edit, post, measure, and then write some more. The beauty of web series is you can get immediate feedback before you spend a bunch of time and money on production. Learn how to use web tools to measure your audience including how far people watched before they clicked away. You will quickly see what is working and what is not. Incorporate what you measure into your writing and push forward.
Jay Ferguson Interview
I'm also interested in finding screenwriting forums, groups, articles and workshops that are worth checking out. Have considered trying UCLA extension as well. Any tips appreciated.
Also would highly recommend ucb sketch program for anything remotely involving comedy writing... in fact if you're in LA/NY and starting out it would be foolish not to make use of this resource.
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