If one person asks a question, it’s likely others may want to know the answer. Here are some questions I was asked recently about web series.
If I made a short, can I say it’s new media?
I’d say it largely depends on what it was shot on, how it was shot and what the story elements are. If yours is a 35mm short film with no special effects, no filtration, no mash-up of technology and no exporting out, then it is a 35mm short.
New media depends on what format you are shooting on and what platforms you are showing it on. Just because it’s going online and it’s in the new media space doesn’t mean it’s a new media project. It’s a little broad, but for each and every particular film or short, you have to weigh those different variables to get to that answer.
Can I break down my short into a web series?
I think right now, anything that you have can be anything — I really do. Today there are infinite possibilities with editing and story.
If your content warrants being edited, try taking your 30-minute short and cutting it into three 10-minute episodes or roughly thereabouts. Keep in mind, each episode has to be able to stand on its own (watchable and understood) yet fit well with the other episodes in a story arc (beginning, middle and end). If it is not engaging, does not leave you wanting more and is not understood on its own, then no, I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
If that’s the case, then what you’ve done is like cutting up a dress: You have a gown and you cut it up to the knees because you want a regular dress, but you keep going and you cut it to the thighs. Now what do you have? You’re stuck with a mini-dress. That’s what happens with content when it doesn’t stand on its own: It doesn’t work anymore.
If my web series is online, does that prevent me from being in film festivals?
Each festival is different. There are usually terms and conditions for each festival. You will want to read and review any policies before submitting so you are not disqualified. Keep in mind: even if you do remove it from the web, your series can still show up on the internet (e.g., someone shared it online, old social media posts, etc).
What should my target TRT of all episodes be?
Total running time (TRT) is the total length of your series, or of all episodes added together. For me, the web series will be the TRT it ends up being to tell/create the best series. But, I am seeing requests come in for feature space, which used to be one and a half hours. I am now seeing that to be 60 minutes, which I think is very doable for a web series.
Take a look at all your long-form content and see if you can create a series from it.