Saturday, April 21, 2012

Webseries


Oh, for fuck's sake!

Why do I bother with soul-searching and contemplating the relative practicality of my different desires? I'm 41 years old and I basically am who I am, so I'll be putting my time and energy into making an independent serial, probably in the form of a web series.

I could give the reasons why it's a good idea.

On the top of that list would be the fact that I've managed to stumble my life to where I'm marrying a born producer. Kimberly Rae is a great schmoozer and amazing planner and budgeter. Those aren't even close to being the most awesome things about her, but they're the important ones in this context.

Not to mention, I can tweet I am very curious. Any suggestions for web-series out there? Maybe action-adventure? and Seriously? No one has a solid web series suggestion? and get no response at all.

Look, I'm sure there's something to do with how many followers I have and who they are, when I posted and some stuff like that, but really... a healthy market would produce some response.

There is awesome stuff out there.

Angel of Death is a great bit of Ed Brubaker writing with Zoë Bell rockin' it!

There's Danger 5, which is awesome kinds of awesome!

There's Star Trek: Phase II, which is terrific, from what I've seen so far.

But as good as these things can be, they're all tied to other things.

Angel of Death is a movie told in serialized segments. Danger 5 is a parody. Star Trek: Phase II is fan fiction, of sorts... (admittedly, the involvement of the likes of D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold raise it above just fan fiction, but what it makes it, I'm not sure exactly...)

Those are kind of the basic building blocks that Internet moviemaking always works from, and what I'd like to move beyond.

Not to insult these achievements. In fact, I think that the makers of those have made such achievements in those styles, means its time to open up what we can and should do with web series.

I'd like to blow it wide open.

After the big boom in the early '90s when the likes El Mariachi, Clerks and, of course, Reservoir Dogs brought mainstream attention to independent moviemaking.

Unfortunately, at that time, instead of creating a new golden age of indie cinema, the market got congested with cheap shit imitations of Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino so they could make the leap to the Major Leagues of Hollywood moviemaking.

We're at kind of a crossroads here. I can stream Netflix on my Xbox and watch YouTube videos on my TiVo. The line between what is a "web series" and what is just a series will drop out.

In fact, the Arrested Development revival will be on Netflix. The lines are falling fast.

We're at the moment when we can make something new out of this opportunity.

The way these things tend, this will likely lead down the same kind of path as the independent revolution of the early '90s where the mainstream just absorbs the new. But it would be nice to, at the very least, introduce something into the mix before that happens.

I'm not convinced I have the talent to do that, but I have ideas.

Most of all, I'd like to take full advantage of the serial format. Too often even TV misses this possibility. For the most part, every episode of every series feels about the same thematically and stylistically. In fact, on mainstream TV they pay big bucks to get certain directors to shoot pilots in order to set the style template for other directors to work within.

I'd like to change that up.

Am I the right guy? I'm not sure there.

I know comic book series have great potential for that kind of storytelling.

And, yet, while I love GrimJack and I love John Ostrander as a writer, but somehow the issues without Timothy Truman drawing just feel wrong to me.

But I suppose that's part of the challenge, and one I'll be working on as I go along. I suspect that with a limited budget, some flexibility will be essential, so making it a defining element makes practical sense, too.

I'm intimidated by the fact that I don't know how to make this work. I'd honestly have a somewhat better idea how to get started making an actual series for big studio on a big network with big money.

I think it'll be a process of making it up as I go along.

There's discussion of the process out there. I note Web Series Network has some discussion. I'm not sure if that's going to be the place for the basics out of which new things can be built or if it's a specific way of going about it.

To start with, I think I'm going to write/plan out a series of "pilot" vignettes rather than a more usual pilot... That's the current thought, at least.


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