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kaylee

How long should my episodic youtube series be?

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aaaaanyway ive decided to make 9 (+/-) 5 min episodes, so the whole thing is (+/-) 45 min, like an hour long tv show minus commercials

thinking of it as basically an episode of the xfiles divided into pieces makes sense to me

 

if anyone has [additional] feedback on that point, PLEASE speak now or forever hold your peace lol

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12 minutes ago, kaylee said:

aaaaanyway ive decided to make 9 (+/-) 5 min episodes, so the whole thing is (+/-) 45 min, like an hour long tv show minus commercials

thinking of it as basically an episode of the xfiles divided into pieces makes sense to me

 

if anyone has [additional] feedback on that point, PLEASE speak now or forever hold your peace lol

In order to plan the bacon-wrapped-shrimp party when's it gonna be done?

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2 minutes ago, kaylee said:

😂😂😂  haaaaa!

im just getting started in final draft, lets not count our shrimp before theyre wrapped~! 😉

You may find that when you set deadlines, things get finished, and when you don't... ;) 

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3 hours ago, kaylee said:

aaaaanyway ive decided to make 9 (+/-) 5 min episodes, so the whole thing is (+/-) 45 min, like an hour long tv show minus commercials

thinking of it as basically an episode of the xfiles divided into pieces makes sense to me

 

if anyone has [additional] feedback on that point, PLEASE speak now or forever hold your peace lol

 

I'd see how many more iterations you can have of the script, going over the script to tighten it down, if you can make it be say 5x 4 minute episodes instead for instance. 

Not only will that make it easier to produce, but I believe a faster snappier web series will be more appealing to the audience than a slack drawn out one is (not at all saying yours is.... never seen your script! But just making a general point here).

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On 9/27/2017 at 5:51 PM, kaylee said:

aaaaanyway ive decided to make 9 (+/-) 5 min episodes, so the whole thing is (+/-) 45 min, like an hour long tv show minus commercials

thinking of it as basically an episode of the xfiles divided into pieces makes sense to me

 

if anyone has [additional] feedback on that point, PLEASE speak now or forever hold your peace lol

If you want to be successful on YouTube you need to have a regular, unbroken, never-ending schedule of content that retains viewers more than other videos in the genre. That's all the algorithm cares about (currently). If you want to just post for fun, that's fine. But don't expect to make a dime or get more than 1000 views unless you tailor your content to the needs of the algorithm. (I've been a YouTube partner since 2006) If you post a single series and that's it, it will just sit there and be buried by the algorithm. Nobody but your friends and parents will ever see it.

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10 hours ago, rdouthit said:

If you want to be successful on YouTube you need to have a regular, unbroken, never-ending schedule of content that retains viewers more than other videos in the genre. That's all the algorithm cares about (currently). If you want to just post for fun, that's fine. But don't expect to make a dime or get more than 1000 views unless you tailor your content to the needs of the algorithm. (I've been a YouTube partner since 2006) If you post a single series and that's it, it will just sit there and be buried by the algorithm. Nobody but your friends and parents will ever see it.

So, if somebody, in this case @kaylee, wanted to get some exposure from a web series, then posting an episode a month would not put her episodes at the top of any searches?

So, if she started posting a bunch of teasers promoting the web series, then how many and how often should she start posting them to get the most viewership for the actual web series?

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3 hours ago, kaylee said:

wait, what does the algorithm care about?

Frequency and viewer retention.

4 minutes ago, mercer said:

So, if somebody, in this case @kaylee, wanted to get some exposure from a web series, then posting an episode a month would not put her episodes at the top of any searches?

So, if she started posting a bunch of teasers promoting the web series, then how many and how often should she start posting them to get the most viewership for the actual web series?

Correct. To really "work" YouTube she should plan to do regular VLOG, BTS or some other relevant, regularly-scheduled uploads to the channel. Over time it will "raise all ships" in her channel. I gave the same advice to a producer a couple years ago. He stuck to it and now has more than a million subscribers on YouTube and a full time staff. I don't do this myself even though I have a channel, since I make the bulk of my money producing for other channels.

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55 minutes ago, rdouthit said:

Frequency and viewer retention.

Correct. To really "work" YouTube she should plan to do regular VLOG, BTS or some other relevant, regularly-scheduled uploads to the channel. Over time it will "raise all ships" in her channel. I gave the same advice to a producer a couple years ago. He stuck to it and now has more than a million subscribers on YouTube and a full time staff. I don't do this myself even though I have a channel, since I make the bulk of my money producing for other channels.

“So... it’s a numbers game?” Extra points for anyone who can guess what movie that line is from. 

Anyway, thanks for the reply, great information.

@kaylee after further thought, I really think that maybe you should write this out as a feature or motw. If you have 90 pages of material structured with “commercial” breaks, every 5 minutes, in mind you can get more episodes out of the story if it starts picking up steam.

After an initial run of teasers, promos, BTS footage, banner ads at horror sites, etc... release an episode a week. I would probably have 3-5 episodes ready to release by the time you run the first episode. And then as the first few episodes run, continue to film and edit, while releasing a new episode every week.

So, with that in mind, perhaps also have a logical conclusion to the story after 7-10 episodes, just in case you only have a few views... then why bother continuing to film it.

If it does pick up viewership, then continue to pump them out. If it doesn’t, you will have a solid short web series and then a feature script you can try and sell or shoot yourself.

Also remember you have a built in audience in other filmmakers. So plan on marketing the web series on sites like this with BTS videos you can post across the web. I would think a lot of your initial views could be from other filmmakers interested in how you made the web series and how it looks.

Take a look at David Sandburg’s Vimeo page. If you don’t know, he is the filmmaker behind the viral short Light’s Out, the subsequent Hollywood feature of the same name, and the sequel/prequel to Annabelle. He is really good at creating content for other filmmakers...

https://vimeo.com/ponysmasher

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10 hours ago, rdouthit said:

Frequency and viewer retention.

Correct. To really "work" YouTube she should plan to do regular VLOG, BTS or some other relevant, regularly-scheduled uploads to the channel. Over time it will "raise all ships" in her channel. I gave the same advice to a producer a couple years ago. He stuck to it and now has more than a million subscribers on YouTube and a full time staff. I don't do this myself even though I have a channel, since I make the bulk of my money producing for other channels.

great advice, and tbh i think i get all that but im not rlly planning on doing a vlog/bts stuff bc.... i like watching all that but its not for me. as much as i know it could be interesting to indie filmmakers, it exposes that i dont know wtf im doing lol. AND, more importantly, im really all for suspension of disbelief, and against doing anything that doesnt support that goal

nevertheless, i couldnt agree more that @rdouthit is right on the ball. but bear in mind that all i want out of this project is: (1) enough views to not be embarrassed, and (2) to get my foot in the door at a talent agency to illustrate my 'big vision' 

the entire concept of webisodes (god i hate that word) in my mind is simply that getting ppl to click on a video thats 4:56 long is WAYYY different than a clip that says 44:23, u kno? and if ppl like one and wanna see the next then :boom: playlist there it is

10 hours ago, mercer said:

Take a look at David Sandburg’s Vimeo page. If you don’t know, he is the filmmaker behind the viral short Light’s Out, the subsequent Hollywood feature of the same name, and the sequel/prequel to Annabelle. He is really good at creating content for other filmmakers...

thanks for reminding me about lights out, i saw that when it came out but watching it again was inspiring. im gonna check out more of those horror shorts!!

10 hours ago, mercer said:

after further thought, I really think that maybe you should write this out as a feature or motw

i knooo i was thinking about that?? im not sure anymore ughhhhh 😢

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39 minutes ago, kaylee said:

great advice, and tbh i think i get all that but im not rlly planning on doing a vlog/bts stuff bc.... i like watching all that but its not for me. as much as i know it could be interesting to indie filmmakers, it exposes that i dont know wtf im doing lol. AND, more importantly, im really all for suspension of disbelief, and against doing anything that doesnt support that goal

nevertheless, i couldnt agree more that @rdouthit is right on the ball. but bear in mind that all i want out of this project is: (1) enough views to not be embarrassed, and (2) to get my foot in the door at a talent agency to illustrate my 'big vision' 

the entire concept of webisodes (god i hate that word) in my mind is simply that getting ppl to click on a video thats 4:56 long is WAYYY different than a clip that says 44:23, u kno? and if ppl like one and wanna see the next then :boom: playlist there it is

thanks for reminding me about lights out, i saw that when it came out but watching it again was inspiring. im gonna check out more of those horror shorts!!

i knooo i was thinking about that?? im not sure anymore ughhhhh 😢

Well if you’re just looking at making something to showcase your work, to help sell a bigger project, then why bother doing a web series? Just make a short film?

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40 minutes ago, mercer said:

Well if you’re just looking at making something to showcase your work, to help sell a bigger project, then why bother doing a web series? Just make a short film?

thats a good question

again, i think its bc young ppl like short videos on youtube, and itll get waaay more views and attention that way... am i wrong? i mean im not trying to go to festivals to promote this project, im trying to get attention on youtube to lead to my NEXT projects, getting my foot in the door at agencies so i can explain abt my art practice and all the great ideas i have for making them lots of money. i mean ill totally look into all the short horror things out there, like all the awards lights out won lol, but whats really great is that davids gone on to bigger and better things

in essence i think that

• web series of short vids is hip and kewl with the kids (actual 13-yr olds)

• and its also hip and kewl with producers and agencies who are aware of the massive amount of long form episodic content being produced rn

• and all that works together. netflix is a huge part of it, all the vod services, smartphones, etc. its whats hot rn

aaaannnd maybe a less valid reason, is that i like breaks as a storytelling device. gives me something to write around, a little structure

this discussion is good for my brain, gets it moving lol. im going to mull all this over while doing laundry this evening 🤔

1 hour ago, mercer said:

Just make a short film?

 whoops~! 😂 @mercer i somehow misread this as implying a much longer short film than you might mean – are you thinking something shorter? like how long? 

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2 hours ago, kaylee said:

the entire concept of webisodes (god i hate that word) in my mind is simply that getting ppl to click on a video thats 4:56 long is WAYYY different than a clip that says 44:23, u kno? and if ppl like one and wanna see the next then :boom: playlist there it is


Yup, agreed. And if a person is going to make a 44:23 long short film, then they'd better just go the whole hog and make a feature film!!

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2 hours ago, kaylee said:

thats a good question

again, i think its bc young ppl like short videos on youtube, and itll get waaay more views and attention that way... am i wrong? i mean im not trying to go to festivals to promote this project, im trying to get attention on youtube to lead to my NEXT projects, getting my foot in the door at agencies so i can explain abt my art practice and all the great ideas i have for making them lots of money. i mean ill totally look into all the short horror things out there, like all the awards lights out won lol, but whats really great is that davids gone on to bigger and better things

in essence i think that

• web series of short vids is hip and kewl with the kids (actual 13-yr olds)

• and its also hip and kewl with producers and agencies who are aware of the massive amount of long form episodic content being produced rn

• and all that works together. netflix is a huge part of it, all the vod services, smartphones, etc. its whats hot rn

aaaannnd maybe a less valid reason, is that i like breaks as a storytelling device. gives me something to write around, a little structure

this discussion is good for my brain, gets it moving lol. im going to mull all this over while doing laundry this evening 🤔

 whoops~! 😂 @mercer i somehow misread this as implying a much longer short film than you might mean – are you thinking something shorter? like how long? 

I get that, but are web series that popular anymore? I don’t really know. I remember them being popular 2-3 years ago but I haven’t heard much about them lately.

When I said short film, I meant a 3-5 minute short. I am in the same place as you. I don’t really have the answers, otherwise I’d have an agent and a deal, but I have done a little research and created some theories. In the end, you really just need to do what feels right to you. But I love this discussion.  It’s probably the best thread in months. 

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Be careful if this is tooooo "to get your name out there" and not at all because you think it'll be good. I've heard working on something you don't love isn't just draining, but rarely goes well. Sorry if I'm misreading this, but if you have something you're more passionate about, that you can still do with your resources, do that. If you're good, the thing that's most "you" will be more marketable than the thing you do to fit in. People actually do want something unique. And even then.. keep doing more and more before you should expect to be noticed, really. 

A webseries would get more of an audience than a short film I think, and not just because they're short episodes. People keep seeing the new episodes pop up and finally decide to stop ignoring it. 

Why don't you want to do festivals? Youtube is a tough business

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11 hours ago, kaylee said:

the entire concept of webisodes (god i hate that word)

2

haha! yeah. i'd say you can drop the "web". the internet as a platform for content is so ubiquitous now that it doesn't need its own category. if it were me, i'd get in the mindset of referring to it as "an original series" or something like that. 

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 2:47 PM, IronFilm said:

You've got to be joking

No.

On ‎9‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 8:58 PM, rdouthit said:

If you want to be successful on YouTube you need to have a regular, unbroken, never-ending schedule of content that retains viewers more than other videos in the genre. That's all the algorithm cares about (currently). If you want to just post for fun, that's fine. But don't expect to make a dime or get more than 1000 views unless you tailor your content to the needs of the algorithm. (I've been a YouTube partner since 2006) If you post a single series and that's it, it will just sit there and be buried by the algorithm. Nobody but your friends and parents will ever see it.

Correct. Unless you have very frequent updates you will never get enough volume to generate enough adds to make sufficient income to make it worthwhile.

Either very frequent updates, or very long ones (since those generate multiple adds). The long ones are ideal because presumably your audience is watching and consequently can't avoid the adds. You do need to be entertaining enough to make that happen though, just adding length for the sake of length won't work.

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