They say “There’s no rest for the wicked”, and I think it’s true because it’s a hectic week up here in Vancouver.
Not only am I doing last minute development work on a show of mine being pitched at RealScreen West this week PLUS doing some last minute consulting on promo material for people taking shows to the Banff Television Festival next week, I’m ALSO in the final throes of pre-production on the next set of webisodes I start shooting next Monday.
Webisodes are, of course, a great way to promote a show, but almost more importantly than that, preparing to shoot them is a great way to force you to truly understand what your show is about.
If you think about it, you cannot shoot a webisode for your show if you don’t know how it starts, how it ends, and what stories happen in the middle.
Oh sure, you can go ahead and film without figuring it out, but once you’re editing it together you’re going to find out that the time and money you just spent filming was wasted because you don’t have those all-important stories needed to make the webisode compelling.
When shooting a Pilot or a webisode if you don’t have story, at best you have a Sizzle Reel. And that’s not necessarily bad, but even with a great Sizzle Reel, if you don’t have the steak to back up the sizzle you’ve got nothin’.
Remember, once you’ve got the Exec’s attention they’re always going to ask the same question. “So what happens in each episode?”
The nice thing about technology is it has made shooting and editing so much less expensive. In fact, I like to shoot a test webisode before I head out to shoot the actual webisodes to ensure there are no glaring gaps in what I need to tell the stories.
If you have a video camera (even your phone will work) you can film segments similar to what you see your show being and edit them together at home on your editing program to see if you are missing any pieces that help the story move along cohesively.
So before you pitch a show, try filming a short webisode to see if it works. It’ll most likely raise some great questions that are better answered before you’re sitting across from an Exec.
Have you created any webisodes and would like to share the URL? If so, leave a comment or shoot us a message via the contact page.