Typing Faster

January 25, 2011

Web Series Week: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Web

Filed under: Web Series — petertypingfaster @ 9:41 am

I’m the first to admit that it took me a while to warm up to web series. Like everything else on the internet, there’s so much crap out there that the signal to noise ratio is terrible. Sometimes it’s hard to see the point. Why would I want to watch a web series when there’s much better television to watch? Why would I want to create / write a web series when there’s so little chance of my creation actually being noticed in this sea of suckitude?

I’m still not sold on the first half, I barely have enough time to watch television so I don’t particularly feel like watching a bunch of web series. But I’m definitely starting to come around on the second.

A few things happened to bring me around. First off, a few projects really opened my eyes to just how good web series can be. Shows like The Guild and Dr Horrible were amazing, but I don’t think that they’re really accurate depictions of what an independent web series can realistically do. Not many of us are walking around with a sponsorship from Microsoft, nor do we happen to be Joss Whedon. But series like Ruby Skye, P.I., on the other hand, really showed what was possible for us to accomplish here in Canada.

The other big factor was I actually got involved with a couple of web series. 2010 was the year a good friend of mine really started to gain traction with Pretty in Geek, a web series concept of hers. She landed an EP, wrote the first season (eight, five minute long episodes) and, soon enough, was racing into pre-production. I wound up helping out with punch up and story editing of the first eight scripts.

From there I’ve gotten involved with a couple of other projects. One is another straight up web series that I’m in the process of helping to write. The other project I got involved with is Tights and Fights, but with a large transmedia component. I’m part of the transmedia story team (guess my title is technically Transmedia Story Director / Writer). We do weekly live twitter episodes, multiple weekly low intensity stories that play out through scheduled tweets, blog posts and facebook status updates. The amount of work is huge, but we’ve got a great team to help spread the load.

I’ve learned a lot from getting involved with these projects. Writing for the web is, in a lot of ways, identical to writing for television. The difference lies in the flexibility. Writing for the web doesn’t hem you in as much. It’s not television, and you shouldn’t approach a web project as such. Part of it is a matter of scale, part of it is a matter of audience.

I’ve learned a lot from my web series work. Its forced me to write faster than I ever have before (try writing multiple characters during a live, improvised twitter performance…makes you think on your feet). Its given me the opportunity to write for characters and genres that I wasn’t familiar with, and wouldn’t have had the chance to write for if not for the web. Writing for the web has also allowed me to get to know a lot of really great people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to know otherwise.

This week I’m really excited to feature the creative team of the upcoming web series Pretty in Geek. It was the project that marked my first steps into the wonderful world of web series, and I’m really excited to see it when it premieres.

Come back tomorrow for an interview with Elize Morgan, the writer / creator of Pretty in Geek.

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