If I could make a guess as to the best place to host a tweet-a-thon I would guess Twitter. Turns out, I might be wrong. At the start of episode 10, the finale of Generic Girl, Twitter stopped twitting, and started twatting. That said I watched the rest of the show ANYWAY!
I’m kind of at a loss for what to say about Generic Girl because it is just done so well. I have at best nits to pick, but I wont waste your time with those. The writing is witty, the characters are fun, the plot is charming, the acting is good and the production values are high.
This is an example of putting your best foot forward and showing the world what you are capable of as writers, directors and producers. The show is not designed to make a profit or pay the bills, it’s made out of a passion for comics and a desire to do a creative, fulfilling, non-commercial project and all of that comes across in the production.
This is not the easiest route for sure, you can’t just invite a couple friends over to your apartment and start rolling. It is not designed to prop up a youtube channel for the long haul either, because the turn around on a production of this quality is steep. It is also not the cheapest route as it requires some money -likely from your savings account – to get going and you have one chance to get everything right. The show is produced in a television like manor, using SAG actors and professional crew. It’s the real deal.
I’ve seen a lot of web series go this route, and sometimes it works sometimes it does not. The biggest cause for failure is that budgetary restraints limit the length of your show, cutting it down into what is essentially a drawn out short film.
Generic Girl dramatically avoids that pitfall and I think it is because the show is produced as efficiently as possible, following the motto “use the whole buffalo” during the production. The entire show is made in one location, over eight days. They reuse VFX shots over and over again but it is far more charming than distracting. Everything gets redressed – it’s all about elbow grease not about finding a bigger budget. They stretched it razor thin.
One thing you can’t see in the series is the social media outreach that the producers did. Co-creator Victor Solis reached out to me about the project a couple months back and after that I saw firsthand the power of social media marketing. He is amazing with the Twitters, let me tell you! Engaging people online is one of the most important things you creators can do to create an audience, and it is something that many shows lack. It’s important to keep in mind the fact that you have to find your audience before an audience can find you.
I feel like I learned a lot more from this production than I normally do, and that may have something to do with Victor’s penchant for instruction. He recently worked with web series school start up Creator Up! on an series of instructional videos geared towards web creators that want to learn from his production techniques.
As for the depth of the show I think the writing is of particular merit. The show is solid, funny throughout and it keeps coming right at you, often with tea bags, and smelly sacks! I had a chance to listen to Steven Wasserman talk about the process that went into writing the show. The group became a sort of writers room, passing jokes around.
“If the three of us laugh it made it into the script. It is easy to get a little neurotic about your writing, wondering if you can amuse anyone other than yourself, so it’s nice to have a couple of people to bounce ideas off of.”
Pretty sound advice. It’s important to get a sense of how others react to your material before it gets locked in.
All in all Generic Girl is fun, and no, that isn’t code for silly (which is apparently code for stupid). It has a sort of unique charm about it that I think fans of comics and cartoons will find undeniable. You can find all ten episodes up at their youtube channel – which also features interviews with web series creators!
Also – yes I wrote this entire article during the post-finale-release G+ Hangout. You guys are a great resource for production knowledge!