Over the years, the internet has led to an explosion of new storytelling approaches. As more channels continue to open and cater to shorter, simpler video productions, it seems it was inevitable that a new type of series would take shape. What has emerged, though, could be a game changer; the web series’ time has come.Now, to be fair, social media sites like Twitter didn’t pioneer rapid storytelling, or flash fiction as some call it. Hemingway allegedly once made a bet that he could craft a story in just six words. He wrote: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn,” on a piece of paper and handed it over before supposedly collecting his winnings. The short form style, though, has a greater value than ever before in today’s day and age.
In a world where entire generations are finding a way to effectively, sometimes even poetically communicate in 140 characters or less, the web series presents the ultimate form of instantaneous storytelling. What started as a sporadic novelty has evolved into a breeding ground for clever content and a vessel for fresh voices to be heard. However, like any new frontier, there are some rules and rituals to abide by to avoid your video production ending up stranded in the desert, thirsting for views.
First off, you can’t please everyone, so it’s important to know the target audience and tailor content accordingly. The internet’s personal nature demands more concern for attention spans. The first 15 seconds must do enough to grab ahold of the viewer and not let go. Then, like any story, it needs a beginning, middle, and end. Short doesn’t equal incoherent. You still need a comprehensive narrative. Write what you know is another old storytelling rule that still applies.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is a new language. Don’t squeeze a concept better fit for television into the confines of a web series. Low budgets can lead to resourceful creativity; embrace that! If people think they can find a better, more expensive yet conceptually similar, show on television, they will.
In fact, the opposite thinking will serve you better. Internet viewers are looking for the type of content that they know would never air on TV. They’re craving originality. A good tip is to think immediate and intimate for a web series video production, rather than the sit back and watch method of most TV shows. Find and present characters that haven’t been seen or explore worlds that haven’t been experienced, or from entirely new angles. Non-traditional methods like non-linear plots or interactive elements are the name of the game in web series development.
The overall production quality doesn’t need to resemble a Cecil B. DeMille epic, but it should still demonstrate some time and effort. Also, be mindful of fan reviews and engage, whenever possible, in the conversation about your web series. This is where this new format separates from TV and film. It offers new levels of intimacy with the viewer.
Believe it or not, the web series has something fundamentally in common with the early days of radio. Both are, by nature, more inviting to amateurs and innovation. To seasoned professionals, the web series offers more creative control in video production. Whether an amateur or professional, the one thing everyone can agree on is that the web series is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of internet entertainment programs.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.