AMA with Bernie Su!


(Joseph Steven Heath) #13

Has there been any instances of the interactivity of your projects vastly changing the direction of the narrative? Or just affecting the story in ways you weren’t expecting?


(Chris Hadley) #14

And what tips do you have on writing for web series - both in character development, and for any show that has multiple storylines (say, a drama)?


(Anna Bateman) #15

Thanks!! So you think testings via email/digitally are better for web series than an in person screening? (mine upcoming is for a short film but I’m hoping to make a web series next!)


(sam lockie-waring) #16

hey man i remember seeing your first series ‘compulsions’ a while back. cool listening to you talk about it on the stareable podcast too, and i was curious how you went about actually getting eyes on it way back when. did you buy ad space anywhere? or send email queries to folks?


(Marc L) #17

Hello Bernie. I am a big fan of your work and as an actor I am curious if when casting for a vlogging web series you are looking for different things than in a traditionally filmed one?


(Bernie Su) #18

APP Partnership
I was approached by AVM / Moments earlier this year about the opportunity. I was connected by a mutual friend. They didn’t ask about Emma Approved, I just offered it to them because I thought it would be way cooler to extend that story into an interactive gamified format. Also a cool challenge.

CAST
Joanna, the Brents, and Dayeanne are all involved. They didn’t have to be, but I wanted them to be (obviously) and they wanted to be… so here we all are! With hopefully more to come!

More PD
Well we just spent a ton of resources building this experience, and I’d definitely qualify this as a Pemberley Digital Project, the same way I’d qualify Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet as it’s own projects, it’s not a video series perhaps… but it sure takes a ton of work.

Anyway, to the specifics of what I think you’re asking Blair, will there be a new VIDEO series anytime soon? - I would love there to be one. And we kinda have to see how the response is for this App experience. (Not fully dependent)… but we did literally do an Emma Sequel AND a Persusaion prequel in the same project… so obviously there are places to go and things for us to do.


(Meg Carroway) #19

Is there a kind of multi-platform or unusual storytelling that you haven’t done yet but really want to?


(Chris Hadley) #20

As a writer, what do you do when you’re having trouble coming up with ideas or even lines of dialogue?


(Rachel Bloom) #21

Was it difficult to schedule the Emma Approved actors again years later?


(Blair Hunter) #22

I haven’t downloaded the app yet but how are the cast involved? Is there voice acting? Or video cut scenes? Or just images? Now I’m extra excited!!!


(Hannah Bowe) #23

Lizzie Bennet Diaries started with just Lizzie’s channel and then grew to span across several different media platforms - Twitter, Lookbook, multiple YouTube channels. How much of that was planned in advance? Or did you and the team decide to add in more platforms based on the show’s impact and the community’s participation?


(Bri Castellini) #24

Do you think you’ll release a video series on a different video platform than YouTube, ever? Perhaps the new Instagram TV thing? What’re your thoughts on that, by the way?


(Sunny Larkson) #25

How was writing a story for an app different from a usual script? did you have a writer’s room? How did you organize it?


(Rodrigo Diaz Ricci) #26

Hello, Bernie!
I understand that the development of an app is quite expensive, depending of course on the degree of complexity. How have you faced the budget of your web series projects with the additional costs of developing the app? Or your team has people trained to develop one and lower costs?


(Bernie Su) #27

Hi @meena. First I want everyone to understand that these two goals are near completely opposite paths of where you take your webseries. Practically mutually exclusive. The outlier examples are basically lottery tickets.

Anyway,
TO TV! - Today TV execs are all looking for fresh voices, and new ideas. So you got to make something so fresh and unique that just the concept they can see as a TV show. Now you’re at the mercy of the network’s mandate AND everyone who works there’s individual taste, but that’s the best short answer I can give you. I mean Socio is the best personal example I can give you. - That concept is, biasedly, pretty buzzy. Now we did a pretty good job on our presentation materials, but we didn’t have to make the full series to sell to MTV.

Sustainable income/webseries
Ok this is the complete opposite of the above. To me this is about building a long runway of content for as cheap as possible to hopefully grow an audience or fanbase to sustain your series.
Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the best example I’ve done of this. When we launched that show, we had already committed our own financing for 24 episodes. At 2 episodes a week, that’s a 12 week runway to build an audience and to hit sustainability. Lucky for us, after like week 6 (approx) we saw the numbers and we saw that we had built enough of an audience to go right into week 13 -24. Now let’s be clear, LBD was quite the awesome anomaly. The idea of building enough audience WITHOUT taking a break, that’s crazy. I do not suggest anyone plan for that.

The more realistic version of this is, is after the 12 week run, or close to the end, you reassess and go “oh this is working” we’ve earned enough to make more OR, now we can crowdfund, OR now we can approach brands with our awesome audience OR some other way to raise money.


(Meg Carroway) #28

Obviously you had some help from Hank Green, but can you talk about how you went about doing that audience building? Specific tactics or strategies that worked best for you with the highest ROI that also didn’t make you lose your mind or sleep?


(Chris Hadley) #29

Though there are very few web sites that cover indie web series (and I write for one of them), are there any publications that creators should at least try to reach out to for coverage? Does it depend on the genre or target audience?


(Bernie Su) #30

Because it made the most sense fitting both stories. Where Emma is in her business AND where other couple is at the start of that story… it was a lot of synergy. -

I’m kinda knocking myself as to why I didn’t think of that connection sooner, but hey here we go! :grinning:


(Jules Pigott) #31

Have you watched any other literary web series? If so, what are some of your favorites?


(Bernie Su) #32

Hmm… Augmented Reality. (NOT VR, little interest in VR)