This week on #WebSeriesWednesday I watched the apocalyptic survival series ‘After The Beast.’ The show brought to mind just how many different skills go into making a film, and how tough it can be to find someone good for everything you need.

For starters, After the Beast looks great. This is a credit to having a lot of well thought out, planned shots and for shooting on location in front of some beautiful Utah vistas. One of the best things a web series can do is plan out the ways in which every scene can be beautiful, or visually engaging.

There are many great shots in the show that the story could have lived without, but which add to the overall quality of the production. I’m thinking of some super long shots of the main character walking through some beautiful nature settings, or the shot in the rain. There was no real need to go through the hassle of creating realistic rain, but they did anyway and it added to the show. This is why great directors are uncompromising.

At the same time the show was brought down in some other areas. I thought the first time actor who plays the lead really struggled early on. His character, and the nature of the role itself, are rather silent – but the handful of lines he has in the early episodes, and one opening monologue in particular, are quite rough. As is common with a lot of the series I watch the actors get a lot better as time goes on.

Despite my issues with his dialogue, he does bring a presence to the screen which fits well into what is a very physical role. There is a lot of running, fighting, climbing, and shooting, and ultimately little talking.  It can’t be easy for productions – especially ones based outside of large filmmaking hubs – to find actors who can be so well rounded. It just goes to show how important it is to really work actors and prep them before filming, just like you do with your shot list.

There are some other smaller issues with the writing. At some points it flows like a movie, despite knowing that there were week-long gaps between episodes, some of which were just 3 minutes long, and others over fifteen minutes. I’m not sure how well it would go over with fans watching week to week. We also don’t really get to know the bad guy, which makes it a little less satisfying when our hero takes him down near the end.

At the same time the story is told really well visually. The first 9 minutes are without dialogue and it is fantastic. A lot of that has to do with what I would describe as some of the very best editing I’ve seen in a web series.

One of the main tips I would give to filmmakers making their first web series is to have more shots. So many series are stagnant visually, lingering on unimpressive shots for far longer than needed. Here with After the Beast, the shows’ creators were making an action piece, which requires faster editing for more energy – they have no choice but to keep cutting, getting more shots and creating more angles. Other series should take note, and come at their directing / editing from a more action oriented perspective.

All together ‘After the Beast’ is one of the best dramatic, action web series on the internet. The shot after the credits creeped me out, and left me wanting more.

You can check out After the Beast at their web site