Travis_Spaced! The Web Series Treatment


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First draft of treatment I wrote for a web series I am currently in the process of trying to produce.

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Travis_Spaced! The Web Series Treatment

  1. 1. The  New  Project  by   Zach  Travis     Based  on  Characters  by   Robert  “Scoots”  Fry      
  2. 2. Travis   SPACED!       2   ABOUT  THE  SERIES       Tag  Line:  Graduated  but  still  not  going  anywhere.     Log  Line:  Three  recent  graduates  have  found  themselves  living  together  one  of  them  has   found  a  “real”  job  while  the  other  two  still  goof  around  all  day.     Format:  15  minutes  shot  digitally  on  Canon  EO2  7D  HDSLR  cameras.     Series   Synopsis:  Spaced  is  comedic  web  series  consisting  of  fifteen  to  twenty  minute   episodes  loosely  based  on  characters  created  by  Robert  “Scoots”  Fry  for  his  comic  strip   of   the   same   title.   The   comic   strip   follows   two   nerdy   roommates,   Isaac   and   Gordon,   attending   college   at   an   outrageously   priced   liberal   arts   school.   However   they   never   seem  to  spend  much  time  in  class  and  more  time  watching  TV,  playing  video  games,   complaining  about  work,  and  yes  even  attempting  to  chase  tail.       Now,  in  the  web  series,  Isaac  and  Gordon  have  now  graduated  from  college  now  living   in  a  small  dingy  apartment  in  the  suburbs  of  New  York  City.  To  help  cover  their  cost  of   living  they  have  moved  in  with  a  third  roommate  Alex.  Unfortunately,  even  though  all   three  of  them  have  degrees  from  a  prestigious  college,  Alex  is  the  only  one  with  a  “real”   job  working  as  an  assistant  in  a  large  real  estate  firm.  The  other  two,  aspiring  graphic   novelists,  are  stuck  working  their  same  menial  jobs  before  college.  Isaac  works  as  a  clerk   in  a  GameStop  type  store  while  Gordon  works  as  a  counter  boy  at  the  deli  next  door.   The  show,  much  like  the  comic  strip,  follows  their  antics  and  pointless  arguments,  as   they  try  to  stay  afloat  with  out  having  to  give  up  on  their  dream.              
  3. 3. Travis   SPACED!       3   Meet  the  Characters     Isaac  “Scoots”  Marshall   Isaac   is   a   fairly   eccentric   22-­‐year-­‐old   computer   science  major  who  would  rather  than  spend  his  day   playing   FIFA   than   actually   venturing   outside.   Though  he  is  of  average  height,  during  high  school   he  was  often  made  fun  of  his  other  characteristics:   pale,  scrawny,  glasses,  and  red  hair.  In  other  words,   he  is  the  definition  of  a  ginger.         He  grew  up  in  a  hard  working,  upper-­‐middle-­‐class,   suburban   family   with   a   younger   sister.   However,   his  parents’  hard  work  ethic  did  not  seem  to  rub  off   on   him   seeing   as   he   refuses   to   fall   back   on   his   degree   and   get   a   job   working   in   the   technology   field.   Instead,   he   has   decided   he   wants   to   create   graphic   novels   with   his   best   friend   Gordon.   His   main  influences  are  Japanese  Manga,  Allan  Moore,   Daniel   Clowes,   and   Frank   Miller.   His   proudest   achievement   is   reaching   the   Pac-­‐Man   kill   Screen…twice.         Gordon  Hulley   Gordon   is   a   23-­‐year-­‐old   who   after   playing   varsity   football   and   baseball   through   high   school   gave   them   up   for   more   free   time   in   college.   For   this   reason  he  quickly  gained  the  freshman  15,  shortly   followed   by   the   sophomore   30   and   junior   22.   Fortunately  he  got  his  act  together  his  senior  year   and   began   working   out   again   bringing   his   weight   back  to  something  his  5’8”  frame  could  handle.       Growing   up   as   an   only   child   in   middle   class   suburbia,  he  spent  most  of  his  free  time  out  side  of   sports  drawing  and  playing  outdoors.  After  meeting   Isaac  in  college  he  began  to  game  and  read  graphic   novels.  And  now  that  they  two  live  together  after   graduation   he   finds   himself   still   behind   the   deli-­‐ counter  he  worked  in  order  to  support  himself  in   college.  Fortunately  he  plans  to  use  his  art  degree   to  help  with  their  graphic  novel.  
  4. 4. Travis   SPACED!       4   Recurring  Characters     Alex  (22)  is  a  friend  and  roommate  of  Gordon  and  Isaac  made  in  college,  however  the   trio  did  not  start  hanging  out  until  after  they  all  graduated.  Alex  comes  from  a  family   closer  to  the  one  percent  then  the  other  two  and  used  his  family  connections  to  find  a   job  right  after  college  with  a  large  real  estate  company.  Unfortunately,  he  has  never   been   happy   with   this   decision   and   would   rather   be   living   the   life   of   a   ski-­‐bum.   This   causes  him  to  usually  be  in  a  less-­‐than-­‐pleasant  mood  that  occasionally  causes  tension   within  the  trio.       Sarah  (24)  is  the  older  girl  from  high  school  that  all  the  girls  wanted  to  be  and  all  the   boys  wanted  to  take  behind  the  bleachers;  Isaac  was  no  different  and  still  has  a  crush  on   her  today.  After  high  school,  she  moved  to  LA  in  order  hopes  to  start  an  acting  career.   However,  just  as  her  career  was  about  to  take  off  her  father  was  diagnosed  with  cancer.   Opting  to  put  her  career  on  hold  she  moved  back  to  help  out  with  her  family.  Today,   despite  her  father’s  full  recovery,  she  has  yet  to  pick  up  where  she  left  off,  afraid  she   has  already  missed  her  shot.          
  5. 5. Travis   SPACED!       5   The  Pilot     “Graduates!”     The  pilot  episode  of  Spaced!,  titled  Graduates,  opens  with  Isaac  “Scoots”  Marshall  and   Gordon   Hulley   going   head-­‐to-­‐head   in   an   epic   Halo   battle.   Their   apartment   is   a   dingy   place  filled  with  miss-­‐matched  furniture  and  various  flags/tapestries  for  curtains.  After   the  pair  loses  the  match  in  its  final  moments  they  realize  they  are  late  for  work  and  rush   to  get  into  their  ridiculous  uniforms  and  out  the  door.  The  opening  credits  roll  during   this  montage.     The  episode  picks  back  up  with  the  two  hanging  out  at  the  GameStop  during  Gordon’s   break  from  the  deli.  The  two  are  arguing  about  what  sequel  of  Assassin's  Creed  was   better  while  playing  a  demo  game  of  FIFA.  A  young  customer  approaches  them  wanting   to  buy  a  violent  game  but  is  clearly  too  young.  The  two  give  him  a  hard  time  and  the   three  getting  into  a  humorous  argument  until  the  child  leaves  only  to  return  with  his   older  sister,  Sarah.  Scoot  has  always  had  a  huge  crush  on  Sarah  and  fumbles  over  his   apology  to  her  younger  brother.  Ultimately  he  agrees  to  sell  the  game  to  the  minor.  The   two  get  to  talking  and  she  turns  out  to  have  been  a  closet  nerd  since  high  school.  (She   will  appear  again  later  in  the  series  as  a  potential  love  interest.)     After  Sarah  leaves,  the  two  get  on  the  conversation  of  Vampires  and  how  Buffy  should   be  considered  the  only  true  vampire  show.  However,  Gordon  claims  that  True  Blood  is   pretty  amazing  and  should  be  considered.  The  pair  gets  into  a  heated  argument  that   lasts  until  they  arrive  home.  Once  home  they  agree  the  only  way  they  can  solve  their   dispute  is  through  a  NERF  gun  battle.  The  episode  ends  with  them  gearing  up  for  war  as   the  third  roommate  Alex  walks  in  the  doors.          
  6. 6. Travis   SPACED!       6   Similar  Shows  on  Television     Arrested  Development   Arrested   Development   was   a   comedic   sitcom   created   by   Mitchell   Hurwitz.   The   show   starred   many   big   named   actors   including   Portia   de   Rossi,   Michael   Cera,   Jason   Bateman,   and   Jessica   Walter.   Originally   the   show   aired   of   Fox  for  three  seasons  from  2003-­‐2006   and  followed  the  fictitious,  dysfunctional   Bluth   family.   Shot   as   a   fake   documentary,   the   show   is   known   for   it’s   smart   dry   humor.   Despite   receiving   numerous   accolades   and   awards,   Fox   ultimately   cancelled   the   show.   However   in   2013   a   fourth   season   was   ordered  by  the  online  platform  Netflix.     It’s  Always  Sunny  in  Philadelphia   It’s  Always  Sunny  in  Philadelphia  is  a   comedic  sitcom  created  and  starred   by   Rob   McElhenney,   Glenn   Howerton,   and   Charlie   Day.   The   show   first   aired   on   FX   in   2004   and   continues   today   with   re-­‐runs   appearing   on   Comedy   Central.   The   show  follows  its  stars  antics  as  they   attempt  to  run  their  Irish  Bar  in  the   heart   of   Philadelphia.   The   characters’  personalities  often  make   this  a  hard  task  resulting  in  frequent   challenges   and   competitions   between   themselves   and   their   rivals.   The   show   is   full   of   dry,   sometimes   even   unbearably   awkward   humor   that   leaves   the   audience   squirming.   However   despite   all   this   it   has   become   a   cult   classic   comparable   to   the   long   run   show   Seinfeld.   Life  on  a  Stick   Life   on   a   Stick   was   a   short-­‐lived   television   sitcom   created  by  Victor  Fresco.  The  show  was  picked  up  by   Fox  in  2005  however  only  five  of  the  thirteen  ordered   episodes   were   ever   aired.   The   show   follows   two   slackers   living   at   home   and   working   in   the   hot   dog   stand   of   the   local   mall   food   court.   The   show   starred   Zachary  Knighton  and  Rachelle  Lefevre  and  known  for   it’s  slacker/stoner  humor.  
  7. 7. Travis   SPACED!       7   History  of  the  Web  Series     Believe  it  or  not  web  series  date  back  to  the  mid  1990s  when  Scott  Zakarin  developed  a   web  soap  opera  called  The  Spot.  The  show  was  very  similar  to  Melrose  Place  and  quickly   gained  wide  popularity  and  his  website,  at  it’s  peak,  received  over  100,000  hits  a  day.   Unfortunately,   he   underestimated   how   much   it   was   going   to   cost   to   keep   up   the   website  as  well  as  production  and  despite  have  a  few  corporate  sponsors  the  website   ultimately  failed.  However  it  opened  the  door  for  web  series,  as  we  know  them  today.     Around   the   same   time   in   1995   a   company   called   Bullseye   Art   also   came   of   the   woodwork   and   it’s   viral   videos   slowly   gained   popularity   on   the   web.   Some   of   their   shows   even   became   so   popular   they   were   picked   up   by   MTV   and   Atom   Films   (now   owned  by  Comedy  Central).  Along  with  Atom  Films,  a  company  called  iFilm  emerged.   Both  these  companies  managed  to  find  backers  with  extreme  amounts  of  money  and   were  able  to  start  developing  their  own  video  content  for  the  web.     As   DSL   and   Broadband   Internet   became   more   and   more   readily   available,   and   computers  became  more  powerful,  people  realized  as  long  as  they  had  a  camera  they   could  make  their  own  videos  and  put  them  online  too.  Out  of  this  phenomenon  came   websites  such  as  YouTube  where  people  could  post  numerous  videos  online  and  some   even   began   creating   serials.   Today,   there   are   numerous   video-­‐hosting   sites   where   professional  and  non-­‐professionals  alike  are  posting  online  television  shows  and  gaining   wide  popularity.      
  8. 8. Travis   SPACED!       8   Down  To  Business     People  Involved   Zach   Travis   (Producer/Director)   is   a   graduate   of   Gettysburg   College   in   Pennsylvania   with   a   Bachelor   of   Sciences   in   Chemistry   and   Film   Studies   and   the   creator   of   Travis   Entertainment.  From  a  young  age  Zach  knew  he  wanted  to  work  in  the  entertainment   industry  which  provoked  him  to  move  to  New  York  City  and  pursue  a  Masters  in  Media   Studies   at   The   New   School.   In   obtaining   his   undergraduate   degree   he   made   a   personalized   documentary   titled   Chemistry   Majors:   Why   Do   You   Do   it?   in   hopes   to   figuring  out  as  to  why  so  many  students  pursue  difficult  majors.  He  has  also  worked  on   many  short  projects  with  his  colleagues  including  one  that  received  recognition  from  Jon   Stewart  called  Gettysburg  Students  Respond  to  Jon  Stewart.  Spaced!  is  Zach’s  first  web   series.       Overview  of  the  Budget     Since  Spaced!  is  a  web  series  Travis  Entertainment  is  currently  pitching  for  funding  in   order   to   develop   the   pilot   episode.   Ideally,   in   order   to   keep   costs   low,   the   company   plans  to  work  primarily  with  non-­‐professional  actors  and  non-­‐unionized  employees  in   order  to  keep  cost  low.  Also  since  it  is  trying  to  self-­‐produce  the  pilot  episode  it  is  also   hoping  to  keep  writing,  producing,  and  post-­‐production  costs  to  a  minimum.  The  current   estimated   cost   to   produce   the   pilot   episode   “Graduates”   is     $17000     ($15,000   Production  +  $2,000Marketing).  An  outline  of  the  budget  can  be  found  in  the  Appendix.   Furthermore  this  is  the  ideal  cost  of  each  subsequent  episode.     Schedule   The  $15,000  budget  has  been  calculated  based  on  a  well  thought  out  shooting  schedule.   Upon   completion   of   the   script   the   schedule   will   call   for   a   One-­‐Week   pre-­‐production   period.  During  this  time  locations  will  be  scouted  and  if  permits  are  required  they  will  be   worked  out.  On  top  of  this,  this  pre-­‐production  period  will  be  used  to  carefully  plan  out   the  shooting  schedule  based  on  the  predicted  weather  and       Since,   the   pilot   episode   is   only   15   minutes   long   with   very   few   locations,   Travis   Entertainment,   is   planning   on   a   3-­‐Day   shooting   schedule.   The   two   main   actors   are   required  to  be  on  set  all  three  days  while  the  recurring  cast  only  have  to  be  available  the   second  day  and  third  day  of  shooting.  Travis  Entertainment  plans  to  shoot  primarily  on   the  first  two  days  and  any  immediate  re-­‐shoots  will  be  completed  on  the  third  day  of   shooting.   The   company   has   also   made   their   budget   planning   for   a   One-­‐Week   post-­‐ production  period.  Ideally  every  subsequent  episode  will  be  shot  on  the  same  schedule.     Funding   In  order  to  fund  the  pilot  episode  of  Spaced!  Travis  Entertainment  plans  to  utilize  the   crowdsourcing   platforms   of   Kickstarter   and   Indiegogo.   Crowdsourcing   has   become   a  
  9. 9. Travis   SPACED!       9   widely  popular  method  of  raising  funds.  Furthermore  each  of  the  companies  only  takes   a  small  proportion  of  the  money  raised.  On  top  of  crowd  sourcing,  Travis  Entertainment   plans  to  approach  potential  distributors  early  in  hopes  to  be  picked  up  for  distribution   before  completion  of  the  pilot  episode.     Outlets  for  Distribution   College   Humor   was   founded   in   New   York   City  in  1999  and  over  the  years  has  grown   to   become   a   full   media   company   with   many  other  websites  under  its  control.   Today,   college   humor   is   targeted   at   18-­‐49   year   olds   and   delivers   daily   updates   of   pictures,   articles,   and   original   videos   for   many   of   it’s   numerous   web   series.   With   15   million  unique  users  generating  over  100  million  monthly  video  views  it  has  become  on   of  the  fastest  growing  and  popular  websites  on  the  Internet.     Comedy  Central  CC:Studios   For  the  longest  time,  Comedy  Central  has   been   the   premiere   television   network   for   comedy.   After   their   absorption   of   Atom   Fims  (  in  2012,  Comedy  Central   opened   CC:   Studios   as   a   place   to   host   digital   and   original   content   on   the   web.   Since  it’s  launch  in  early  2013  it  has  rapidly   grown  in  popularity  as  a  place  for  up  and   coming  digital  artists  to  post  their  content.     Blip.TV     Blip.TV  is  a  popular  online  web  series  hosting   site  founded  in  2005  by  Mike  Hudack  in  New   York   City.   Though   off   to   a   slow   start   they   have   now   become   a   website   that   caters   to   professionals   and   up   and   comers.   The   regularly   receive   30   million   viewers   each   month  mostly  between  the  ages  of  18-­‐39.  In   recent   months   Blip.TV   has   also   become   available   on   numerous   other   platforms   including   iPhone,   Android,   iPad   and   Xbox   360.        
  10. 10. Travis   SPACED!       10   Other  Online  Options   In  conjunction  with  the  previously  listed  distribution  websites  Travis  Entertainment  also   plans  to  approach  KoldKast.TV   and  iThantic.TV.  These  two  distribution  sites  however   are  a  lot  more  excusive.  Furthermore  they  are  known  for  hosting  more  than  just  comedy   and  if  selected  Spaced!  may  end  up  lost  in  their  extensive  libraries.     Self-­‐Distribution   In  the  worst  case  scenario,  Travis  Entertainment,  has  also  developed  a  self-­‐distribution   method  in  case  Spaced!  is  not  picked  up  by  a  larger  distribution  company.  In  the  past   few  months  the  popular  video  hosting  website  Vimeo  has  released  a  new  feature  called   Vimeo   On-­‐Demand.   This   wonderful   new   feature   allows   for   Vimeo   Pro   members   to   charge   other   users   a   set   amount   to   watch   their   video.   On   top   of   that   Travis   Entertainment  would  be  able  to  keep  90%  of  its  profits.     If  Travis  Entertainment  opts  to  follow  this  distribution  plan,  the  company  will  utilize  the   numerous  social  media  websites  in  order  to  market  the  series.  Not  only  will  it  utilize   Facebook   but   the   company   will   also   set   up   a   blog   for   the   individual   characters.   Furthermore,   Travis   Entertainment   will   create   twitter   accounts   for   the   individual   characters  as  well.  Ideally  this  process  will  create  enough  buzz  for  the  web  series  that  it   will  be  able  to  launch  more  crowdsourcing  campaigns  to  fund  the  subsequent  episodes.             Future  Episodes     Episode  2:  The  NERF  Battle-­‐  The  exciting  conclusion  to  the  pilot  episode  where  the  boys   turn  their  whole  apartment  into  a  War  Zone.     Episode  3:  Scoots’  Adventures  in  Time  and  Space-­‐  After  dreaming  he  has  become  the   next  Doctor  on  the  popular  BBC  series,  Scoots  takes  on  the  role  in  his  every  day  life.     Episode  4:  The  Date-­‐  After  Sarah  agrees  to  become  Scoots’  companion  as  the  Doctor  he   works  up  the  courage  to  finally  ask  her  out  on  a  date.  Gordon  becomes  annoyed  with   Scoots’  antics.     Episode  5:  The  Fallout-­‐  A  little  annoyed  with  the  lack  of  progress  on  their  Graphic  Novel   Gordon  forces  Scoots  to  become  serious,  threatening  their  friendship.     Episode   6:   Season   Finale-­‐   In   order   to   save   their   friendship   the   boys   decide   the   best   solution   is   a   night   of   drunken   debauchery.   Ultimately   they   come   up   with   what   they   believe  to  be  the  most  epic  idea  for  a  graphic  novel  ever.  
  11. 11. Travis   SPACED!       11   Works  Cited     "About  Blip."  Blip.TV.  Blip,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.  <>.   "About  CollegeHumor."  CollegeHumor.  CollegeHumor  Media,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   "Arrested  Development."  IMDb.,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   Chaplin,  Bob.  "The  History  of  the  Webseries  -­‐  Lessons  of  the  Past."  Web  Series  Today.   N.p.,  9  Sept.  2011.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <­‐of-­‐webisode-­‐lessons-­‐of-­‐ past.html>.   "It's  Always  Sunny  in  Philadelphia."  IMDb.,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   Lehman,  Daniel.  "Comedy  Central  Launches  CC  Studios  for  Digital   Content."  N.p.,  31  Jan.  2013.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <­‐central-­‐launches-­‐cc-­‐studios-­‐digital-­‐ content/>.   "Life  on  a  Stick."  IMDb.,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   Permit  Fees.  Made  in  NY  -­‐  Mayor's  Office  of  Film,  Theatre  &  Broadcasting  -­‐  About,  n.d.   Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   Rental  Equipment.  AbelCine,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <­‐Equipment/>.   Wages.  Motion  Picture  Editors  Guild,  n.d.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.  
  12. 12. Travis   SPACED!       12   "Web  Series."  Wikipedia.  Wikimedia  Foundation,  05  June  2013.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   "Web  Television."  Wikipedia.  Wikimedia  Foundation,  13  May  2013.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <>.   Writers  Guild  of  America.  Schedule  of  Minimums.  New  York:  Writers  Guild  of  America,   2013.  WGAEast.  Writers  Guild  of  America,  May  2013.  Web.  15  May  2013.   <­‐sked-­‐ minimums.pdf>.