This #WebSeriesWednesday I watched the spooky – dare I say festive, British comedy ‘The Bloody Mary Show.’ It’s the perfect show for Halloween! I also discuss some of those horrific mistakes The Bloody Mary Show manages to avoid, but which your show might not survive!
I always love it when I watch a series and find nice camera work, quality acting, well composed shots, and no discernible sound issues. That might sound like a negative way to start this article but it’s true. It is super easy to go into a production just slightly unprepared and end up making those little mistakes.
They may seem small, and they may pop up only every once and awhile, but every time they do it detracts from the audiences perception of your production. It may be just that last 5% of work to do, but for your audience it is far more.
The Bloody Mary Show feels like it is in the hands of a deliberate, and skilled group of talented individuals. The writing is witty and the actors breathe life into it. Either that or I was just completely caught up in those British accents and that dialogue that makes zero sense to me half the time.
Despite its polished feel the production of The Bloody Mary Show was not without complications. Two weeks before production the original director dropped out leaving producers with a tight window for recruiting and prep-ing a replacement. All told the show still appears thoughtfully composed and is a pleasure to look at.
A lot of credit goes to the two DOP’s who worked on the project. One for the scenes with our other-worldly heroes and another for the earthy, regular world. The move gives the two places a distinctly different look, which is nice to see. Using two DP’s may sound like a luxury for most web creators but it is a good example of some creative, outside the box thinking that others could consider in the future to deal with availability issues or other low budget constraints in a way that adds to your production.
Another thing that goes a long way, but which many series lack, are costumes and well thought out production design. I loved ‘Octopus Chin’ [aka the wraith] in episode 6 – how often do you see someone with goggles for eyes and tentacles for a chin, and in a web series no less?! Production design is important even in productions set in the real world, and it is easy to tell when you put off doing it.
The Bloody Mary Show does a lot of things right, and it was not just because they were able to throw a lot of money at problems. The show clearly picked its battles and cut costs in places that were possible – such as by limiting the number of locations they filmed in. That is an important distinction to make. Web series are not about breaking the bank verses working with a literal zero budget.
The Bloody Mary show was a fun watch, and a good example of the level of production I believe web productions should be shooting for. Their season finale should be appearing on their youtube channel in just a handful of hours – and if you just stumbled upon this article I am sure it is already up! Check it out at http://bloodymaryshow.com