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The Internet has leveled the playing field where many can create, develop, produce and distribute their own web series independently. For creators, worldwide distribution means the Internet; And being able to tell their own stories means web series.
Below, share with WSN your story on making your web series, what led you to making it happen, and more!
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We are just getting started! It's not so much a web series per say.. however, The Broads belong on the web!
come inside and see our first video review!
It all began because... "For the love of Burgers"
We are currently seeking a film /media production company in Toronto,Canada to come aboard /develop/collaborate for potential financial possibilities..
make contact with Ms.D at firstname.lastname@example.org
What I'm looking for is stories, not promotions. Why did you create this project? What are some challenges and successes you've had along the way? Things like that.
thanks for the clarification Rich:)
I created this project because I love burgers! Along the way I have found that there are women out there who aren't afraid to eat a burger. I wanted to create a place for female burger lovers to connect and eat! This project started off very organically. I,myself, was introduced to a burger at a joint that I would never have gone into otherwise.. and then had a homemade 16oz burger that I couldn't eat the whole thing.. and then thought ...the world.. or at least Toronto to start ,should know about this place.!!. I researched this idea before going forth and found that there are only bloggers..people who write and take pictures of their burgers..I wanted to take this further by doing video reviews and of course add an element of entertainment.
The challenge thus far.. has been scheduling the talent and locations.. and then there is filming and editing.. especially with the filming and editing...The Burger Broads are brand new and experimenting with styles of filming and editing and open to more ideas...
This first video was shot by one person..edited by another. the turn around time was too slow..(2wks) so I figure It is best if I seek out a company who wants to get on board and make it their own..it's what they do! not something they do on the side as a hobby or part time.
This is all only a few months old and already some people who have been on board have gone on to other committments.it's not easy when there isn't any money up front and on the table... but it will come:)
It's all been fun, a learning curve..and exciting.. I'm obsessed.
Once again,thanks for asking:)
On the first of November 2010 around 9.30am about ten people were huddled in an alley way in Manchester. Most of them were about to give two weeks of their lives to us, two of them had moved in with the producers for the duration of the shooting, none of them were getting paid. They were there because three guys and a girl had convinced them (and each other come to think of it) that they could make a ten part web series with no money and in no time. They were waiting for action to be called on day one of Ramblers. At least a few of them were asking themselves the following question ‘what the fuck are we doing here?’
Hopefully now that question can be answered.
Making a sit-com based on the lives of the producers and our friends was an idea that had been bubbling away in our brains for years. Ever since the founding members of AMT were irritating teenage mallrats making a nuisance of themselves in Manchester town centre.
The original concept came from Tom Oldham and David Olsen and it is no coincidence that two of the main characters share their names. Our idea sprang from a problem, that nothing on TV, apart from the seminal Spaced, had ever spoken to us - we couldn’t see ourselves in any of the characters; even the ones that were meant to represent us. Everyone was that little bit too talented, too clever, too driven, too cool, too uncool, too lucky to be real. The world needed to be told the truth about geeks, it needed to be told about us. We aren't theoretical physicist, we are not geniuses, we don’t live in our parents basements or in houses full of obscure sci-fi memorabilia (although that would be awesome), we aren’t socially awkward and we have friends. What we are are people who will happily spend an evening discussing important issues like the economic and political environment of the Galactic Empire and the long term ramifications of the Rebel coup. With this in mind Tom and Dave went to work. Writing at each others houses after work until the small hours of the morning and scribbling snippets of dialogue on popcorn packets (which are still in the Ramblers ark) when they were meant to be cleaning out cinema screens.
It should be made clear that Ramblers was never meant to be made by us on a zero budget. It was meant to be handed over to a TV channel for them to give it the time and expertise it deserved. This would then lead Tom and Dave to fame, fortune and glory. That was the plan anyway. But I guess sometimes even the best plans don’t pan out. By the time they had gotten round to actually finishing the first drafts of the scripts many years had gone by. Dave, Tom and Paul had by then produced two short films under the name Ask Me Tomorrow Productions. This was June 2010 and Paul asked to see the Ramblers scripts.
It had already been made clear that if they were doing to continue producing films the next thing had to be something massive. We wanted to make something that we could look back on and be proud of. A few ideas had been thrown around (you might in a year or so be watching They Came From Uranus and SMUT - shooting on the rim) but none of them had the same resonance as Ramblers. We had a little experience no money and we all worked forty plus hour weeks. Surely making a web sit-com would be easy? At first there was some resistance but just like the characters in the show we had the ghost of just how long it had been since graduation hanging over us.
It soon became apparent that producing something of the length and scale of Ramblers was so far beyond anything that we had done before we needed to revolutionize how we did things. The decision was made early on that although we didn’t have the budget of a major motion picture we had to treat it as if Ramblers had the same stakes riding on it. This was not for play play it was for real real. To make sure we did it right we needed to strategise. We needed a battle plan. We needed to stop spending the first hour of every meeting talking about comics and Xbox Live victories. Enter Anna with her obsession with lists and deadlines and her tedious demanding that we actually know what we are doing and when we are meant to be doing it by. Bitch. Over a series of much more regimented meetings a plan was hatched and the shit started to get real. In Ramblers we trust.
With a plan in place preproduction started. The first step was to convert the original six half hour episodes into smaller ten minute ones that would be more appropriate for a web series. This also allowed us the opportunity to play around with the scripts in other ways and fix what once went wrong. A good example of this was that in the original scripts Ben was a man, a very big, hairy man. Oddly this didn’t require as much rewriting of the character as you would think. Changing a character into a girl was an idea that had been played around with for a while and the original character Ben was lacking something so it was a natural change that suddenly made everything Ben said that bit funnier.
Other changes were less painless but we got into a nice rhythm. David would send out a draft to Anna, she would make some notes and send it to Paul who would make huge sweeping changes, rewrite massive chunks of dialogue and send it to Tom who would then tone down the changes, put in his own take and send it back to David who would change it all back. Then the process would start again until we had something we were all happy with. The conclusion of this cycle had taken to us to the end of July and with all the scripts written we felt it was safe to send out a casting call. It was at this point the magnitude of what we would be asking people to do started to hit.
We had gotten people to work for free in the past but never on this scale. Filming Ramblers would be a significant investment for all involved. We would be asking people to take time out of their lives for this project. This is how we pitched it:
Tom, Dave, Dan and Ben are four twenty something geeks living in Manchester. Together, they exist in a world of comics, coffee, sci-fi and miniature golf. Realising the days between university and becoming a 'real person' are flying by, they ask themselves the question: "Did the Rebel Alliance send a medical frigate to the battle against the second Death Star as propaganda?”
No money. No responsibility. No problem
A zero budget web series to be filmed in Manchester. NO PAY.
Elegant no? We need not have worried, the response was so good that we had to hold auditions over two weekends instead of the one we had originally planed. Then an odd wave of paranoia gripped us and we became convinced that if we sent our scripts they would immediately be stolen. But we had a solution to foil their dastardly plans. When the series was first written, Dave and Tom also wrote six two minute episodes that were designed to go online. These were written as a type of prologue. Showing things that were mentioned in the series but never detailed. With how the format had changed, keeping these six webisodes seemed redundant as the whole series was now on the internet. So Tom and Paul broke the webisodes up and created two audition scripts. This gave the actors a taste of what the show was going to be like but without giving any of the actual content away. With this done we prepared to spend four days in a room meeting strangers. Some of which would control our destinies.
Amy Derber, Aiden Belizar, Daniel Winward and Peter George were selected to play the four main roles. With Danny Walker, Tara Farooq and Zara Denany playing our guest stars.
They now had six weeks and two read throughs to learn over two hundred pages of almost pure dialogue. Totally enough time. Unfortunately a week before filming was scheduled to start Aiden got a job at ITV (damn rat bastard) and couldn’t get the time off. So at the 11th hour the real David had to step in to play the character Tom this made merry hell with the shot logs.
Getting a cast was just one of many tasks that needed to be completed before shooting could start. They still had to upgrade the equipment, book locations, get a crew together, source costumes/props and feed everyone for the duration. After the first production meeting a preliminary budget for all this was produced that put the minimum cost at £10,000. By the time we had singed the cast up we had raised about £150. This meant we had to be a little creative in our approach.
The first thing we did was rethink the time we could take on it. The original plan was to film over four weeks we had thought that this was tight but doable. However, to take this long we would have to retain everybody for a month. With no money and most avenues of funding explored it was something that we didn’t think we could do. A month is a long time to work for free even if you are in love with a project. People have a powerful need to eat after all. So the shooting time was cut in half, we resolved to work every hour we could and to hate each other by the end of filming.
Then we looked at how else we could save money. A long list was made detailing every company and individual that we thought we could convince to help us out for free and our angle of attack for each one. Many, many hours were spend making our way down this list emailing, calling and where possible making personal visits. It was a pretty much thankless task as 70% of the people we spoke to said no out of hand. However, it turns out that there are a significant number of people on our wave length out in the world. These people not only said yes but seemed to be genuinely sold and inspired by the idea of the show.
After talking to pretty much every coffee shop and cafe in Manchester it was the lovely people at North Tea Power (our favorite Manchester indie coffee shop) who stepped up. We had been in NTP pretty much every day for the past four months planning Ramblers so they knew us pretty well but it was still one of the oddest moments in our lives when after months of searching Wayne and Jane gave us a set of keys and asked that we clean up after ourselves. The legendary Haroon of Traveling Man fame followed suite letting us come in before they opened and the guys at Fan Boy 3 even went so far as to open up specially for us to film. The lovely people at www.thinkgeek.com provided thirty t-shirts that every geek worth their salt would give at least a finger for. Last Exit also threw four wonderfully obscure tees at the project. We now had corporate sponsorship.
We had also managed to scrape together another £3,000 from family and friends. Most of this was used on our much needed equipment upgrade but it also meant that we could get the props and costume bits that hadn’t been donated (we could also feed our people).
This is about where we came in. By the first shooting day everything was ready (apart from a location that Paul eventually secured an hour before we were to shoot there). The shooting schedule was complete and signed off. The average filming day was twelve hours and there would be five overnight shoots. The locations were spread across all of greater Manchester and we only had most of them for very specific and short windows. We had a full crew (although it varied in number form 5 to 2 during the days) a full cast, who totally all knew their lines and weren't at all under rehashed. We had convinced a real proper grown ups that we knew what we were doing. People were trusting us with their livelihoods. We were about to attempt to film something longer than a lot of feature films, we had a fraction of the time necessary and none of the budget. Nobody dared say this out loud for fear of braking the spell that we had cast over everybody that we could do this. The day before we started shooting a filmmaker friend of ours made it clear that he thought what we were doing was impossible. Privately we agreed but we had gone too far to stop so we resolved that if we were going to go down we would go down in a blaze of glory. Powered by Ignorance became our new private motto.
Looking back on it now it is impossible to pick out many details of the shoot, we were moving to fast to really take in what was going on. No plan survives contact with the enemy and no shot list survives contact with zero budget film making. By the end of the second day the carefully prepared shot list in tatters, it became a nightly job for Paul to fill the rapidly diminishing time with the shots that we had not been able to get during the day. The days became longer and eventually they seemed meshed into one endless blur.
The first week was relatively ok, it was hard and the days were long but the mood was positive. Everybody had a smile on their face and we started to think we could actually do it. The second week however, came with overnight shoots - it became known as The Week of Pain. It became a slog and the walls of North Tea Power felt like they were closing in. It was at this point I think we felt proud of what we had built over the last few months. The cast and crews professionalism and passion was humbling. Any problems that arose were dealt with quickly and without fuss. Whenever someone started to flag or waver someone was there to help prop them up and get them focused again. Everyone did their part but two people deserve an honorable mention for going above and beyond. Lucy Set Mummy Barlow and Pete Man-Up George.
Even whilst we were filming not one of us really believed what we were doing or that we would actually get it done so when Tom called wrap on the last day we had to go back over the footage to convince ourselves that we had got everything.
It was odd saying goodbye to the cast. Over two weeks of filming we had become a weird sort of family and they would be missed. But with them gone the real work could begin.
Post production really consisted of Tom taking on the lions share of the work locked in an edit suite, only coming out when Anna had some audio work to do or Paul had to color correct.
It was produced through hard work and shear will. Bloody minded refusal to give up and the determination to attack every problem head on. It shouldn’t have been possible but we did it anyway. A testament to what can be accomplished when you have a team of exceptional people fully invested in a project.
So thats it - the story of Ramblers.
Wow. That was longer than I intended it to be...
I taught an after-school elementary-age video class, and its funding dried up in favor of new Astroturf at the high school. So the parents asked if I was doing any programs over the summer. And my actor friends asked me when my next project was going to happen. I also loved LOST. So I combined them all and came up with eScape.
It was supposed to be a one-off. A summer learning experience for the kids, and a hangout for the actors. But people really liked it, so we billed it as an "upcoming web series" even though in 2008 web series were still kind of fledgling (now I'm wishing we'd pounced earlier!)
The first season was done in 14 days, premiered at a sold-out show to a local theater venue in January and we went on to plan for the second and third seasons. The kids were the only crewmembers for every episode. They also provided a lot of input at the story level. We shot them during consecutive summers, and now we have 24 complete episodes and a trio of seasons with a complete story arc.
That's not to say we couldn't have more sometime, but for now our first eScape story is complete.
It was the first web series shot in my area, upstate NY, and just about everyone in the industry knows something about it around here. So that's a nice feeling. The kids have had multiple stories written about them, and it's brought a lot of good business my way. All in all it's been delightful, except for these final days snagged with AWOL VFX artists and uncooperative rendering hardware!
More about the creation and inspiration can be found at an interview I did for SciFinal: http://www.scifinal.com/escape-michael-feurstein/ and our show is at eScapetheseries.com.
We're on to a few other things now, but the itch to write more eScape for something in the future is ever present.
I used to hear some strange but true incidents that my friends used to narrate about their corporate lives. Sometimes I used to think, "hey, this is so bizarre that it sounds like a Dilbert cartoon!" After sometime, I thought that I will share some of these incidents as a youtube video. Since I knew many funny real life workplace situations, I then thought to make it as a web series.
I had a handycam, digicam, a laptop, and myself at my disposal. I then thought about a dimly lit office with losers working there on something they think is very important. I wrote the script, kept the camera on a chair, shot the episodes with me enacting all the roles, did the editing, added a music track, and then released it to http://blip.tv/surag, by the name, Bose is always right.
The first season of this Indian web series premiered on November 1, 2009. When I had some viewers and some encouraging and discouraging mails, I thought to continue the hobby. Though a web series from India, I had many US viewers and thought to cater to them as well by creating an alien. I made this guy as irritating as possible, but limited his role as a cameo, who influences the entire season. The first season ran for twenty episodes with season finale on March 8, 2010. Season Two premiered on November 1, 2010 . Here, a representative from the audience meets the characters of Bose is always right and gives them feedback about the show. This season ran for 12 episodes and ended on Jan 17, 2011.
I may develop something with a bigger cast and crew in the future. However, Bose is always right is an experience that made me realize the dream that, I could make something similar to cinema.
For us, the creation of our web series came out of frustration.
Alex and I met when we were both cast as leads in an independent film. Day after day, we were the only two who would show up to set prepared. Throughout the shoot, we would talk about how easy it would be to work on a project when everyone involved is professional and responsible. We would also share stories about all of the bad auditions we've been on over the years, and swap those horror stories.
After we wrapped on that film, Alex checked out a web series I did back in 2007. With my experience on that, he approached me about turning our acting struggles and stories into a show. With the story following (mostly) the two of us, we knew that we could be successful if we set up the series to rely solely on people we know we can count on... ourselves. The hardest part of producing a project can be managing everyone's schedules (especially when acting isn't anyone's full time priority), so by taking that out of the equation we could stay productive.
We live a hour away from each other so we'll pick one day per month, get together and talk about the day's gameplan over lunch, then shoot 4 or 5 episodes. All the rest is done via email, chat and tweets. This allows us to use our time together effectively, while freeing up the rest of our schedules for other projects and auditions.
We started out using Blip.TV due to its monetization opportunities, but quickly realized that the $3 we made in the first year wasn't worth making everyone watch a 30 second commercial first. We switched to YouTube when we decided that more potential viewers was more important than try to make a few bucks. We've even had some of our episodes featured in blogs and groups for Detroit actors, which is great since that's the audience we're really speaking to.
We are trying to do a documentary... or a Interview programme... or a fiction webserie... we really don't Know what are we doing! Instead we are happy! We are in a crowfunding plataform and people is helping to us with some money!!!
I worked with TV some times, but this new project is an Internet projects. It's talks about Internet!
I making it with my best friend Chi. Just we both! We know eachother since 10 years and we are worjing together!
Our serie is in spanish but we have a version with english subtitules.
Is really personal! We need to talk and we just take a camera :D We have done it cause we are horrible "talking" with words and cause we want to show people how is our world!
Sorry for my english... in Spain we just make siesta... no learnig english :D