Web Series. They’re a fun little corner of the entertainment industry — the corner that’s often referred to as the Wild West.
It’s an apt description because the rules are still being sorted out and there’s a lot of freedom online to stake a claim to your own patch of Hollywood.
But should you?
I say YES! A resounding, emphatic, yes!
Sure, it’s a hard life building a show from scratch, but you can strike gold. Here’s a round up of a few reasons why you should join us out here on the digital prairie:
- Live and Die by Your Own Six-Shooter.
When you make a web series, the glory — and the pain — are all yours. It’s a thrilling test of your skills, and your ability to find and keep an audience. But don’t be discouraged if you build it and they don’t come. It’s hard out there for an indie series. Besides, if you create great content that you’re proud of, you will at least have created a worthy calling card.
- Inexpensive(ish) Film School.
While film schools are great, they’re also a luxury. You can pay anywhere from $5K for a Junior College film program up to $250K for a high-end university film school. Or, you can make a web series for less than the low-end of that and learn as you go. The opportunity is always there for anyone with gumption to study up and make a show for far less than tuition. If it’s a well-executed show (totally possible if you pay attention to all the details – *cough* – good sound!), you’ll launch your career. If it’s not well-executed, well, you’ll at least learn from your mistakes and can make another, better show the next time.
- You’ve Got Stories.
If you’re someone who has stories to tell, you also have a choice of mediums for how to tell them. You can write them as novels, or plays, write them for a big screen or small. Thing is, if your stories are visual, you want to see them! If you don’t yet have access to the Hollywood studio system, you can still tell an exciting, visual story for the web. Do your research and see what’s out there before galloping forward. There are plenty of web series where budgets are low, but excitement and thrills are high. Emulate them. Join the ranks of the digital pioneers.
- Short Form is Its Own Art Form.
Just because many people think of web series as a stepping-stone for other, “better” forms of filmmaking doesn’t mean that’s necessarily true. What I personally love about short form is that there are stories that are well suited to being told in tiny bits. If you’ve got a big bits story, write a feature script. But if you’ve got a story that breaks down well into tiny bits, then make a web series and don’t look back. Just as there are a lot of failed films that come from successful sketches (usually because the stories are too thin to sustain a full-length feature), there is no reason to overthink things when you have the short form art form ready and willing to corral your story. If your story is best told as a web series, you’re living in a golden age, because web series are a thing. They’re here to stay. And they’re a legitimate art form that you can be proud to create.
- To Make a Ton of Money
Ok so I lied about that one. So, one more time, why make a web series? Because they’re a creative joy to make. Granted, they won’t, as yet, make you rich, but that day is coming… Stay tuned! And stay creative. Now git along, little dogies.
**Submission Window Extended for the IAWTV Awards through 8/31**: