This is a weekly column behind the scenes of Alex LeMay’s latest project, DARK JOEY. DARK JOEY is a collaboration between LeMay and writer Jim Uhls, who wrote the major motion picture, FIGHT CLUB, as well as his writing partner Ric Krause. Follow along here: #Film-School:lemay-makes-a-series
As we move towards the selling process of the Jim Uhls project, I’m starting to make the rounds to my buying network. Yesterday I met with a series buyer in Culver City. He sells short-form series (10 episodes x 10 minutes) to distributors and streaming services worldwide. Don’t forget you have more options than just US/Hollywood based distribs. English speaking content is very desirable in Western Europe and parts of Asia.
I digress. I asked him who was buying web series or short-form content right now and his answer was gold to a guy like me. He mentioned three in particular that I want to share with you guys. It seems like, finally, our day has come. I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be a web series producer as more and more outlets for our content begin to come online. We’re just at the beginning of a buying spree that won’t end for some time. So here they are:
Blackpills- This is a new mobile content producer who releases a new series every week. They’re based in Europe, but launched in the US market first. It’s a subscription model so I imagine the upside for us filmmakers is that we get a percentage each time our content is watched. The great thing is, is that yes, they have a series by David Fincher, but there are also some shorts on there that are produced by unknown digital filmmakers so keep an eye on this one. (download app)
Netflix - Now I know you’ll all say “no s&%t, Alex, of course Netflix.” However, here’s the rub. They weren’t in the market for very much short-form. My buyer friend told me that they’re about to go on a buying frenzy so again, another very hungry platform that is looking for great content.
Apple iTunes - Apple is just starting to launch their first pieces of original content and like Netflix and Blackpills, they are soon going to be on the hunt for short-form, mobile content and apparently, if the content is right, they pay pretty well.
These platforms are hunting for content that people can digest quickly on their way to work or while they’re waiting in the dentist’s office… and they need a TON of it. So I think we’ll be seeing that these platforms are buying a lot of series that don’t necessarily have big-name attachments but that are well produced.
As we move forward in this brave new distribution world, I think we series producers are going to get our day in the sun. Keep making what you make and look forward to keeping the conversation going!