In each chapter of this series you will find a “check-list” for every step of a web series production. This is absolutely not an ultimate guide; this is merely a collection of advices, views and opinions. So: you’re welcome!
Chapter 2 : So you have an idea for a web series?
Let’s say that now you are really sure you want to make a web series and that you have an idea (you lucky bastard!)…
- – Any idea can be the best or the worst. There’s no such thing as a “magic idea” and you will know that you had a “million dollar idea” when you’ll have the money in the bank. An idea is everything and nothing. It’s everything you need to start and it’s nothing until you have actually made it exist as a web series. Yet, your idea – that will soon become your pitch – is an important feature of your project. Simply because you are going to tell it again and again and again to convince, seduce, motivate, communicate. And still, it’s nothing as what is important is what you will do with it.
- – Your idea is the first brick of your web series. Now, at every step of the creative process you will add other bricks to it until you build the cathedral the audience is waiting for. Start working on it now! Start writing down all your intentions, start working on the pitch, collect visuals, pics, videos and any document that can illustrate your concept or help you present it. Do not wait. An idea in your head is an idea on someone else desk. Oh, and Again: be creative!
- – Every fiction belongs to a genre and sometimes to a sub-genre. Genre is a very important aspect of your idea and you need to work on it. A lot. The genre is the land where you are going to build your cathedral (yes, now it has to be a cathedral!) and like an architect, you need to know it, respect it and use it to its fullest. Don’t build your castle in the sand, don’t go into a genre you do not master. Genre will give you codes to catch your audience, rules to follow and bypass or rewrite, art direction options, references… You can even (carefully) mix different genres. Think about it and do it now. In which genre and sub-genre is your story taking place? You will have to assume the answer to this question on every detail of your production.
- Comedy is often chosen by eager creators as “the easy genre”, the one they think they can master with a camera, a sofa two friends and a dozen of jokes. If your idea is anything like that, then let me call you an idiot (and future big looser). Comedy is the hardest genre! It’s sophisticated, complex, fragile. As a matter of fact, the biggest amount of failed poor web series is found in the comedy genre. However, if you do it right (there’s no other way anyway) it is the genre that will give you the warmest response from the audience. Treat it with respect!
- – There’s one essential skill that you need to learn or improve as soon as possible: pitching. Whatever will be your strategy, you will have to pitch your concept probably dozens of times. Pitching is a very tough exercise and surely everybody hates it. But it is essential that you master the (martial) art of pitching as it will be your ability to pitch that will often decide the future of your project or the course of events. Also: don’t worry, everybody is terrible at pitching the first time.
Now, if you still think you have a good idea in the right genre for it, you may find other useful (or not) thoughts in the next