» Posts Tagged ‘webseries’

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CreativeDistrict1Creative District launched earlier this year as Technicolor’s offering to the filmmaker social media space. With an emphasis on filmmaker to filmmaker connections, building collaborators online, and a simple and pleasing browsing experience, Creative Districts enthusiasm for connecting filmmakers doesn’t stop there. They offer $5,000 grants monthly to users of the website who are working on interesting projects, but until now that grant was not available to YouTubers and Vimeo Creators. Read on for the full details of the contest, the winners will be announced on September 2nd, 2014. More »

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Here at No Film School, we focus a whole lot on the process of making feature films. However, long-form storytelling like television narratives and web series are entering a golden age in which in-depth character development is key and content and structure can be as creative as ever. For independent and low-budget filmmakers looking to take advantage of the creative freedoms of long-form storytelling, while simultaneously working on honing their craft, web series are definitely a great way to go (just ask our fearless leader, Ryan Koo, whose series The West Side won critical acclaim). But how does one go about getting started with creating a dramatic web series? It’s certainly not easy, but today’s interviewee, Terrell Lamont, has some answers. More »

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lynchcartoonDavid Lynch, despite the reputation he earned with films like Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, lush tone poems of the unconscious, and of course, Eraserhead, a sui generis piece of work that is, more than anything he has ever done, unlike anything else ever made by anyone, a direct line to the unconscious, has always stayed true to his vision. Then he’ll go make The Straight Story, a completely (ahem) straightforward tale, directed with the skill of a consummate Hollywood pro, not a self-conscious filmmaker unable to leave his comfort zone. And he has always dabbled in graphics, with short films, comic strips, and his 2002 web series, the short-lived Dumbland, which, if you continue on, you can check it out, along with some of the Eagle Scout’s other graphic work. More »

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sundance_IFP_web_seriesWhile over the years some great storytelling has emerged from the internet in the form of serialized content (just ask our man Koo and The West Side) the web series hasn’t always gotten its due. This may be partly because the arena is full of less-than-outstanding content  (it is the internet after all), but also because nobody tended to take them seriously. And by “nobody” I just mean no established independent film institutes and supporters. Now that Sundance is offering an inaugural Episodic Story Lab and IFP has included Web Series into their Emerging Visions component of Independent Film Week, that could be changing. Find out what each institute has to say about their new programs, and why 2014 could start a golden age for episodic content.  More »

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ifp independent filmweekA documentary rough cut, a narrative in pre-production, or a finished screenplay — whatever you’ve got up your sleeve, IFP is here to help you get your work made and seen during their annual Independent Film Week! And for 2014, IFP is throwing a Web Series component into the ring — music to the ears of the internet innovators out there. Below, hear IFP’s Dan Schoenbrun breakdown this new category just for No Film School readers, and find out the details on applying for all of the categories before the deadline. More »

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While the phenomenon of title evaporation is nothing new to Netflix, one of the service’s most significant catalog losses will come with the expiration of licensing agreements with Warner Bros., Universal, and MGM. Starting today and continuing over the course of May, InstantWatcher tracks 1,794 previously available films that will no longer be streamed on Netflix. This news piggy-backs that of Warner Archive Instant, an offering that — very literal title notwithstanding — should be quite familiar to Netflix viewers. Click below for details on what perennial picks will be removed from the Netflix catalog, some additional info on Warner’s Archive Instant, plus what Netflix itself has to say about all this as well. More »

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Freddie Wong, the namesake of his FreddieW YouTube channel and co-founder of Rocket Jump Studios, directs or collaborates on some of the coolest original content on YouTube. The FreddieW team also contributes to YT’s Node channel, featuring work from their brethren-in-arms Corridor Digital, who also produce a volume of great original stuff on the ‘Tube. Rocket Jump’s cumulatively feature-length web series Video Game High School was a substantial undertaking, the first for FreddieW and co at such a scale, and produced for over $600,000 (just the first season) — subsequently, Freddie and Rocket Jump have done something virtually unheard of by posting a full budgetary breakdown. More »

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As some of you may know — and as others may be glad to hear — we are redesigning this site from the ground up. Some of you may also know about a recently-launched, already-popular tech site by the name of The Verge. As we set out to redesign our own web experience, The Verge has similarly been expanding with a sister site about video games, Polygon — which just launched today — and they decided to document the process thoroughly with a web series. That series, entitled Press Reset, is reminiscent in tone of the great Indie Game: The Movie, and I recommend it if you’re interested in what goes into designing and launching a web site. I’ve embedded several episodes after the jump, and I’ll do my best to relate them to filmmaking as well as our own little fledgling web redesign. We also talk to Senior Producer Stephen Greenwood about the production of the show. More »

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If you’ve been wanting make your own web series, you no doubt have been wondering about production logistics, storytelling, and crowdfunding, among other things. Luckily, Seattle-based filmmakers Tyler Hill and Brendan Davis have just been through this process in completing the first season of their web series Glitch. I sat down with them to discuss what roles they took on during production of the series, how they ran their Kickstarter campaign, various aspects of storytelling, and more (Full Disclosure: I’m friends with writer/producer Brendan Davis). More »

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Shane Hurlbut used a helmet cam extensively in his new film Act of Valor, but the advantage of being a Hollywood Director of Photography is that other people can build these sorts of gadgets for you. In the independent world, we’ve got to work a little harder, and a little cheaper, so thankfully we’ve got the people at DakaKin to give us a tutorial on making your very own helmet cam that will work with any DSLR-sized camera or smaller. More »

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So you’re planning a web series.  Do you know what demographics you’re going for?  Have you figured out the perfect episode length that will keep viewers coming back for more?  What about sponsors, how are you going to pitch the concept to them?  In a rousing interview with Film Courage , filmmaker and Vampire Mob web series creator Joe Wilson explains why none of this matters and why you  need to focus on the passion: More »

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Much is being made of The Confession, an original web series starring Kiefer Sutherland that just concluded on Hulu after premiering in March. The hype isn’t limited to the show itself, instead centering on reports that it has already turned a profit through Hulu’s free ad-driven model. There are plenty of additional revenue streams available for the show, and so the question on everyone’s mind is: does this mean original web series are a viable business model now? Because back when Zack Lieberman and I won the Webby for The West Side, that was not the case. Every studio we met with felt that the online revenue streams were not mature enough to support a decently-budgeted web series, with or without recognizable stars. Is The Confession a “watershed moment?” More »

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There’s a growing number of video producers that enjoy creative and financial freedoms today whose job description didn’t exist a few years ago. I’m talking about YouTube channel producers, who employ a skill set that is often very different from what they teach in film schools. We’ve covered some audience-building tactics in the past, but here’s some advice on building a successful YouTube channel directly from YouTube exec Bing Chen, via Daisy Whitney’s interview on New Media Minute: More »

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This is not a sponsored post! These are amazing! What are amazing? Glad you asked! Webishades are amazing new technological glasses that allow you to watch web series in 4K resolution in glorious 2D (note how there is only the red color of red/blue 3D glasses). I don’t need to sell these things when they sell themselves: More »

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If the web series is the DIY version of a TV show, then it follows that we should expect DIY versions of all different genres of TV programming. Missing Reel is essentially a web version of At the Movies focused exclusively on grindhouse films from the ’70s. Hosts David Walker and Kurt Loyd do a great job of profiling gems that might otherwise fall by the wayside, reviewing films like Ms. 45 with unapologetic quotes like “Ms. 45 takes the rape-revenge genre in an all-new direction.” As you’d expect from the grindhouse genre, some of the web series is NSFW, but with the impending release of Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, Loyd and Walker seem to have picked a good time to premiere their show. Which grindhouse film do they call “an exploitation film to end all exploitation films?” Watch the series premiere to find out: More »

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If short films should be replaced by web series as the indie filmmaker’s go-to calling card, what replaces a film festival’s aggregated audience for promoting said calling card? Tubefilter, one of the top web sites focused entirely on web series, recently posted an articled titled How to Build Buzz For a Web Series. I could probably write a much longer post on the same topic, simply by pointing out all of the things we didn’t do on The West Side (such as making videos embeddable and posting them to sites like Vimeo, YouTube, and blip.tv). But for now, here are some tips from Tubefilter for building an online audience, including this passage on hitting the message boards: More »

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This is a guest post by Mike Jones, Lecturer in Screen Studies at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

Filmmaking is full of traditions. These traditions are the “way things are done,” they are what is “expected,” they are “industry standard,” they are “default” and “accepted.” This is all fine and dandy until we recognise the innate implication of such Traditions is to imply Right and Wrong – that there is a correct way to do things and deviations are “incorrect,” not “acceptable” or, worse still, not “professional.”

These traditions manifest themselves in all manner of guises – creative, technical, business, logistic. I have written previously about how the tools of filmmaking (particularly software) possess internal philosophies that enforce traditions – traditions which may or may not be a good fit for your own creative processes. In a similar light, there occurs to me to be another long-standing and entrenched tradition (one that may not be serving emerging and indie filmmakers as it should) that needs to be questioned. That is the significance of the Short Film. More »

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One of the things I was most proud of when it came to my web series The West Side was, quite frankly, that it should’ve sucked a lot more than it did. If you took the challenging concept and combined that with our utter lack of resources, it really should’ve been a laughable home movie. The fact that we were even able to suspend disbelief at all was a minor miracle. I had a similar “it should suck more than it does” feeling while watching the latest Machinima.com web series to premiere, Dragon Age. This is a credit to the directing and editing, because if you think Hollywood’s video game adaptations are bad, imagine trying to make a movie using the video game engine itself. Not easy, and the unitentionally risible moments are surprisingly few in Dragon Age: More »

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The 2nd Annual Streamy Awards took place last week, and while I was already familiar with many of the award-winners, some I’d never heard of. Every year when new-media awards like the Streamys or the Webbys are announced, I watch the nominees and winners in hopes that I’ll discover something that truly embodies the creative freedoms offered by the web, something unique and unlike anything in Hollywood. But every year I’m disappointed. This year’s Best Drama winner, The Bannen Way, won specifically because it was the best of the bunch at emulating Hollywood. And while I feel there are a lot of brilliant comedies on the web — You Suck at Photoshop, Wainy Days, The Onion News Network — it’s much harder to find compelling drama.

The most interesting drama series I saw via the Streamys was Compulsions (Streamy winner for Best Writing for a Drama Web Series): More »

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UK-based author Russell Evans has a book on web filmmaking coming out in April of next year from Focal Press. I answered via email as best I could his questions about The West Side, and while doing so realized this neglected blog is long overdue for some updates. Why not kill two birds with one keyboard? These excerpts will have to suffice until I step away from the screenplay I’m toiling on (priorities, priorities) to write a proper, hopefully meaningful, update. More »