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kaylee

How long should my episodic youtube series be?

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

Careful not to overwork your actors. :( 

lol true, i was actually exaggerating quite a bit with that figure.

in my eyes thats part of the beauty of a suuuper simple set thats free – even if we have 9 hours of stuff to do we can do it over 2 or 3 days... all good – theres no elaborate lighting, costuming or makeup. and thatd be better for the actors of course. but just saying im not trying to create a situation where i do a literal 9 hours of ~anything~

lol no way

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Yup, shorter hours means fresh actors. Just do fewer takes.  Take your time on the cinematography for shots that matter but also gauge the mood of the cast/crew.  If you have moved quickly and have bought some time, set up that cool shot...if not, don't waste your time. The only person that benefits from that cool shot is you.  I have learned all of this stuff the hard way, lol. Perfectionism can come in Editing.  If you spend too much time on the perfect shot you will come away with 10 seconds of usable footage from a 4 hour day.  Just not worth it over the long haul.  Accumulate footage for editing...that's all production is.

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Some thoughts about feature lengths in general. As I see it, the 2-hour, 3-5 act drama of classic cinema is dead (perhaps some day someone will successfully resurrect it). 

Short films and ultra short films have proven to be more inventive in ways how to tell stories, influenced of course by all the information and emotion that needs to be packed into a short TV ad. See this as an example. You need longer to describe that in words than the clip runs. And words are thin.

Then, there are the epic series. Inspired by classic TV mini series. These need to be long. The suspense is driven by character development and the promise that there will be interesting conflicts between the characters. There almost can't be too many storylines. The usual plotpoint receipts (of the kind that Syd Field once "found") don't apply. As an example, watch Gofather I-III all in one evening. You will notice, that the whole section where Corleone visits Sicily, falls in love asf. actually leads to nowhere, if you isolate the part of he trilogy. But without it, the whole tragedy would have had much less impact. Let your characters be strong and interesting, and make the audience care for their fate.

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3 hours ago, Axel said:

As an example, watch Gofather I-III all in one evening. You will notice, that the whole section where Corleone visits Sicily, falls in love asf. actually leads to nowhere, if you isolate the part of he trilogy.

With all due respect, that sequence is one of the most important story beats in the entire trilogy.

Michael never wanted to be part of “the family business.” He was supposed to be the chosen one that legitimized the family name. He was to be a lawyer, a senator and maybe even one day President. There is an anti-parallel with the Kennedy family inside the first installment. But obviously fate, family had a different path for Michael. 

In the third installment, Pacino even had a line of dialogue that verbalizes the entire story/theme of the trilogy. It is often mocked for the delivery... “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

The climax of the Sicilian sequence was another beat that pulled Michael toward his destiny as the reluctant anti-hero.

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I'd suggest around 3 minutes (no more than double that! MAX), and around three to six episodes. 

If you were to stretch my suggestion to the max, but still stay within my limits, that is 6x 6 minute episodes. 

That is THIRTY SIX MINUTES of content created. 

That takes an awful lot of time/money to do, for what purpose? Have a web series you created credited to your name, is a worthwhile trophy to have. But does the effort match the rewards? And what if you make an hour's worth of content?

Seriously, by that point in time you are much better off to have put your efforts/goodwill/monies into making a feature film instead! Which gets greater recognition, and has more commercial potential. 

Here is a web series I did sound for, that just got uploaded a few days ago:

 

 

 

 

 

Each episode is only around 4 minutes long, and there are only three episodes in total. 

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But to add, and more to the point, the 3 act structure is not dead. It is inherent in all storytelling. You cannot tell a story without a beginning, middle and end. They don’t have to be in that order, but it is a fabric of any well written story. It lives in every movie, it lives in every act, in every sequence and every scene. A writer can choose to use one act, two acts, three, five, ten, 20 acts, to structure(verb) their story, but in the end it will always be a three act structure(noun).

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22 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

I'd suggest around 3 minutes (no more than double that! MAX), and around three to six episodes. 

If you were to stretch my suggestion to the max, but still stay within my limits, that is 6x 6 minute episodes. 

That is THIRTY SIX MINUTES of content created. 

That takes an awful lot of time/money to do, for what purpose? Have a web series you created credited to your name, is a worthwhile trophy to have. But does the effort match the rewards? And what if you make an hour's worth of content?

Seriously, by that point in time you are much better off to have put your efforts/goodwill/monies into making a feature film instead! Which gets greater recognition, and has more commercial potential. 

Here is a web series I did sound for, that just got uploaded a few days ago:

 

 

 

 

 

Each episode is only around 4 minutes long, and there are only three episodes in total. 

It is my understanding that there is little money to be made from zero budget features. It may lead to a bigger budget for subsequent films but often the creator is forced to self-distribute their first film. 

We already know that production companies are always looking for material and talent. They even comb YouTube, Vimeo, maybe even the Shooting section of this site. Writers and stories are discovered on Creepy Pasta as Kaylee mentioned earlier. I may have not written, “Creepy Pasta BS” but I guess that’s debatable.

The point is that many people will argue that a web series could be way more beneficial to get your name out there than a feature would.

And I don’t think Kaylee is planning on having any budget, so cost is probably not really a concern. A bigger concern/question is... how do you get the project seen? How do you publicize it so you’re not just uploading it to YouTube and hoping for the best? This is where money should be spent with banner ads and paid reviews at micro budget film sites.

But I do agree shorter is better... my gut tells me 10-13 episodes at around 3-5 minutes a piece and the timing of release is probably critical as well.

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12 hours ago, mercer said:

It is my understanding that there is little money to be made from zero budget features. It may lead to a bigger budget for subsequent films but often the creator is forced to self-distribute their first film. 

Absolutely true, but I'd still argue there is greater potential to an upside from a feature film than a web series. Even though both could be potential a similar amount of work. 

12 hours ago, mercer said:

And I don’t think Kaylee is planning on having any budget, so cost is probably not really a concern.

Time and opportunity cost is still real factors to consider. 

And even a "no budget" production can run up into the thousands once you consider food / gas money etc

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31 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

btw, any one want to take a guess as to what camera that web series was shot with that I did sound for? ;-) 

The phrasing of that post is definitely several notches better than my typical gooder grammar skillz.

That said, those videos were hilarious. My 12 year old daughter loves to cook and she is going to love watching those. 

I can never guess the camera right. My first guess was going to be F3 just because I think you have one. But then I remembered you were doing sound. Then I thought maybe GH5, but only because that's a hot topic. Or C200. Or 70mil film. Meh. iPhone 8?

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guys i rlly appreciate all the feedback. im gonna consolidate my notes and do some writing and see how much material it feels like i have so far... still thinking this over

but i have to figure it out before i start typing in final draft: how many episodes and how long are they for a first 'season'/arc/whatever

15 hours ago, mercer said:

I may have not written, “Creepy Pasta BS” but I guess that’s debatable

i didnt mean to sound too pejorative about creepypasta, i meant 'bs' in the sense that the *black eyed kids* are bs lol. theyre not real... that i know of 👀

id much rather do something contemporary like that or slenderman or whatever cuz its new, and the kids like it thats how i even kno about this stuff lol

15 hours ago, mercer said:

A bigger concern/question is... how do you get the project seen? How do you publicize it so you’re not just uploading it to YouTube and hoping for the best? This is where money should be spent with banner ads and paid reviews at micro budget film sites.

yeah thats a great question. oh... viral! mercer its gonna go viral lmao ill just hold my breath until that happens

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22 hours ago, mercer said:

With all due respect, that sequence is one of the most important story beats in the entire trilogy.

Michael never wanted to be part of “the family business.” He was supposed to be the chosen one that legitimized the family name. He was to be a lawyer, a senator and maybe even one day President. There is an anti-parallel with the Kennedy family inside the first installment. But obviously fate, family had a different path for Michael. 

In the third installment, Pacino even had a line of dialogue that verbalizes the entire story/theme of the trilogy. It is often mocked for the delivery... “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

The climax of the Sicilian sequence was another beat that pulled Michael toward his destiny as the reluctant anti-hero.

Yes, I see that exactly that way. I don't say it's bad storytelling or awkward or pointless, on the contrary. But if you try and count the minutes (or screenplay pages) this "film in film" takes and make it fit to any of the narrational structures that modern script gurus teach ...

There is a similar, er, secondary storyline in the third season of Six Feet Under. I thought by myself, when will this bullshit stop? When is this going to make sense again? And only later, much later, did I realize, wow, this is what's happening to everybody all the time! Is it because you lose track, become a stranger to yourself? Or has there never been a track, a goal, a personal destiny in the first place? One of both answers is wrong, a lie, sometimes a life-long lie. And both questions are equally disturbing. 

On the three act dogma: apparently, a story doesn't need an end. Happily ever after seems to be a formal way to end a story, but isn't it really anything else but who cares

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On Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 3:47 PM, Jonesy Jones said:

The phrasing of that post is definitely several notches better than my typical gooder grammar skillz.

That said, those videos were hilarious. My 12 year old daughter loves to cook and she is going to love watching those. 

I can never guess the camera right. My first guess was going to be F3 just because I think you have one. But then I remembered you were doing sound. Then I thought maybe GH5, but only because that's a hot topic. Or C200. Or 70mil film. Meh. iPhone 8?

 

Ha! Those guesses are all over the place.

But you are right that it wasn't shot on an F3, or any other camera I own. As I had zero influence over camera choice.

Well, as people talk so much about the inherent color science of one brand or another, I'll give a hint by narrowing it down to just a few brands it might be and see what people might rule out:

RED

Sony

Canon

Panasonic

The camera was from one of those four.

 

Random observation:

We shot this over one single day. You can very obviously see how the ratio of internal to external light changed over the day by observing the kitchen window on the left.

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

 

Ha! Those guesses are all over the place.

But you are right that it wasn't shot on an F3, or any other camera I own. As I had zero influence over camera choice.

Well, as people talk so much about the inherent color science of one brand or another, I'll give a hint by narrowing it down to just a few brands it might be and see what people might rule out:

RED

Sony

Canon

Panasonic

The camera was from one of those four.

 

Random observation:

We shot this over one single day. You can very obviously see how the ratio of internal to external light changed over the day by observing the kitchen window on the left.

Doesn't look like Canon or Red. Low saturation hides skintones a bit, so perhaps Sony FS5 or similar (stopped down- not shallow DOF). I can get nice skintones and decent DR from the A7S II using Slog2 + SGamut3.cine (A7R II might be even better re: color). Haven't used or studied GH5 much, though handheld shots seemed a bit shakier than the new GH5 should produce? Skin highlights clipped kinda hard, so appears like Panasonic or non-Slog2 Sony gamma. Given the video-y look, magenta bias WB with sometimes green skin (color is kinda all over the place), and sometimes decent DR, final guess is Sony with a 'clippy' gamma.

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23 minutes ago, jcs said:

Doesn't look like Canon or Red.

Why not RED? Or Canon.

 

23 minutes ago, jcs said:

I can get nice skintones and decent DR from the A7S II using Slog2 + SGamut3.cine (A7R II might be even better re: color). 

Because the skintones & DR are not good?

 

23 minutes ago, jcs said:

Haven't used or studied GH5 much, though handheld shots seemed a bit shakier than the new GH5 should produce?

So is a smaller camera without IBIS?

 

23 minutes ago, jcs said:

Skin highlights clipped kinda hard, so appears like Panasonic or non-Slog2 Sony gamma. Given the video-y look, magenta bias WB with sometimes green skin (color is kinda all over the place), and sometimes decent DR, final guess is Sony with a 'clippy' gamma.

Thus in conclusion: a Sony (but not in s-log), or maybe a Panasonic?

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18 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Why not RED? Or Canon.

 

Because the skintones & DR are not good?

 

Yeah, they seem to be having trouble getting whites white and skintones looking natural at the same time. The green/magenta knife-edge challenge (requires effectively different WB for different exposure levels in the frame; a lot more work in post). That's what challenged me with the FS700. I didn't pixel peep, but I think one reason Red can appear filmic is inherent noise; this footage appeared perhaps too clean. Latest Red color science can produce skin tones I think are pretty good. Didn't really look like Canon: skintones and again perhaps too clean, and Canon lenses typically don't look like that. While I've used higher end lenses on Red (friend's gear), I only use Canon on Canon cameras, mostly Sony on Sony (to get some form of AF), and only Panasonic on Panasonic (sold the Voigtlander 25mm F.95, which is pretty awesome (don't use the GH4 much anymore)). Lens(es) used in your example didn't look like Canon or Cooke etc (more like Sony or Panasonic). I've gotten 'thin skintones' out of the GH4 with lower-quality lights, however the footage seemed too clean for GH4, and more Sony-like.

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

So is a smaller camera without IBIS?

 

Thus in conclusion: a Sony (but not in s-log), or maybe a Panasonic?

Can't really estimate camera size as one could mount a small camera on a heavier rig. Thought the GH5 had decent IBIS, however I suppose with a long lens could start to look shakier.

Guess is Sony, though I've seen Panasonic look like that too, especially with challenging light sources (thin skintones).

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