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From this I learnt many things. Simple facts such as webisodes tend to be filmed and viewed in much smaller chunks. For example six episodes of a webisode may be as long as one episode on a television show.
The most popular webisodes are 99% of the time comedic. There are very few that are serious, this meant that should we plan to make one, it should be comedic to get the widest possible audience.
We originally started the project as an entire class working as a team. This didn’t go so well however and we weren’t working well like this. The class then split up into two groups which seemed to work better for everyone.
After this everyone had a lot more jobs to do. Where as before there were often times where some people had nothing to do.
The competition of the other group also gave us all a bit more of a push to do well, with a strive to be more successful than the other group. This made it more realistic and closer to real life show production.
Where as before there was a team for distribution/marketing and a team for content and production, when the groups split the teams were merged into one for each group.
Each group had to fill out request forms should thy ever need something from a teacher. This was done by the Production Manager.
Our show production was to be a small series of webisodes. My group decided early on to make them comedic, due to comedy being the most popular form of webisode and therefore, most likely to succeed.
The show was about a group of students in detention after school. Each week there would be the same group of people and one guest star.
I publicised it by making a Facebook group and getting everyone we (and they) knew to join. This resulted in us having a large fan-base waiting for the release of our product. We would update the Facebook page frequently, and used a method where every post was supposedly written by a character from the episodes.
Our videos were distributed entirely using Web 2.0.
The show was originally distributed using Vimeo. However, we realised that when people watched the video via the Facebook link (which is how most people viewed it) it didn’t show up in the overall view count. This wasn’t a problem with YouTube however, so we changed our method of distribution.
Our shows were written by our writing team which consisted of Me, Hayden Martin, James Walker and Matthew Hornby. We would sit down and bounce ideas off each other until we decided on a scene.
After this we needed to get a cast, we decided to have an (almost) entirely in-house cast. Meaning the cast were the members of our group. This enabled us to not have problems being able to get the cast together to film, however it did mean that the acting wasn’t as good as it could have been. We did however use Amy Watt and special guest actors to film, despite them not being in the production team.
After this we would request camera equipment and film. All of the episodes were filmed within the space of three hours. Finding an area to film was often difficult and was often badly organised.
After this the editing process began. This would often take quite a while, however we were always under pressure of time. When done we would upload the video to YouTube/Vimeo for a pre-determined time that the viewers on Facebook would have been informed of at an earlier time. Our group wasn’t always very effective at meeting these deadlines however.
To get audience response and feedback we were able to use the view count and comments section of Vimeo and YouTube to get results. We found that YouTube offered a lot more opportunities for views than Vimeo.
The feedback we got was often from comments on our YouTube video comments section, however we had a group view a screening of our episode and then conducted a video-interview of their response to the video and a series of related questions.
The statistics section of YouTube is also a good place to get information about our views such as this section in the image below:
The planning of the shows was a large process. We needed to do a lot of paper-work and otherwise before we were ready to actually distribute the videos and put on the show.
We started off by writing the script. After we had completed this task we added a storyboard and a shot list. We then had to present both to our teacher, who was essentially serving as our producer/CEO.
Once this was done, we had to plan all of the equipment we would need along with how long we will need it for.
Whilst were are doing all of this we have to keep updating the Facebook fan page to tell them information and our basic plans (such as the release date etc).
Then we have to scout a location and book it. This is quite an unreliable method and makes working to a deadline very difficult.
Once all of this is done the production manager fills out a form asking for what we need and how long we need it. We then take this to our producer and get it signed.
Throughout this project I have seen my directing/acting/editing skills improving greatly.
This project was fun because due to the small groups and having to do everything we all had chance to do a bit of everything.
I had to look closely at the conventions of normal shows, alongside shows on the internet. This brought to light things I hadn’t really noticed before such as differences in how they are filmed.
I had never before used a boom mic, yet it had been something I had always wanted to do. The microphone we used was one of those so using it was a new experience for me. It took a while to get the hang of it but I got it successfully enough.
However, the biggest learning curve was in relation to the process of making an effective online production, and all of the preparation and work that goes into it.