Creating a Web SeriesWritten by Bianca
So in my last post, I mentioned that my friends and I are creating a web series and that we were going to film the “first few episodes”. Talk about ambitious! We were able to film the one episode and, wow, we learned a lot by doing this all on our own. I’ve read my fair share of blog posts and articles online about creating your own web series and when they tell you that there’s a lot of hustling and hard work involved, they weren’t kidding! I’m here to share our experience so far with our very first web series. If any of you have some insight/advice/feedback, don’t hesitate to comment – all is welcome and appreciated
Our web series is called How To Be A Friend and it’s sort of a mockumentary about a group of 4 friends who create their own web series of how-to advice on friendships. In each episode, the girls tackle on a different situation and give their advice on how a “good friend” would handle it. The only thing is, their viewpoint of what a “good friend” is might be slightly different from ours or mine.
- We wrote brief summaries for each of the 8 episodes we have lined up and we decided that we’d improvise each episode and follow the outline we wrote for each.
- Filming with a DSLR (Nikon D90) and recording the sound using an external audio recorder (Zoom H4n).
- Edit using Final Cut then upload to YouTube/Vimeo.
- Aim for 2-3 mins. per episode (max 4 mins.)
- Create a website for the series
- Use social media to promote it (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo)
We all arrived on set at Kelsey’s apartment and began planning our shots. We got a friend of ours from acting class (Andrew) to help us with the camera. Overall, filming was smooth. We didn’t really experience any problems with the camera and the mic (well, there was this one time where I pressed “playback” instead of “record” haha but that was quickly fixed). We mostly shot everything in one take, except for the last 2 very short scenes where we had to switch locations.
Notes after Day 1
Now that we all got the idea of how filming one episode for this web series would be, we decided to talk about what we’ve learned and what changes would we make for the future episodes. Here’s what we’ve learned:
- We need a script: Improvising the episode was fun, but we ended up adding more time than we originally planned. (We initially thought of improvising because we thought it would be a faster turnaround and that we’d be able to film more episodes in one day.)
- Character development: we’ve started off with great characters in this series, but we all felt that we can go even further for some of them.
- Plan out the shots: after uploading the video and audio files on my mac, I started to try and do some editing on Final Cut. Most of our takes were all in one shot and each shot was around 5mins. Wowza. For the next few episodes, I proposed to do a variety of shots (wide, close-up, etc.) to see if that would be easier to edit.
We had an amazing time on Thursday doing the DIY method for this web series and now we’re even more excited to go on and film the upcoming episodes. Hopefully, we’ll have something to upload (even if it’s a teaser) very soon. We want these episodes up as soon as we can, but we want them to be great, so we’re going to make sure we take our time on the edits before we launch it to the world wide web
I guess that’s all I have to write about for now. If any of you have suggestions, tips, or resources you’d like to offer, don’t forget to leave a comment! Or send me an email. Thanks again for reading this post. Now I’m off to go learn more about editing with Final Cut!