What's your opinion on technical quality for a web series?

(Andrew Bearden) #1

Hey, guys! So my web series, “BIZARRE,” was recently posted on the site. My team and I have finished producing the first 5 episodes and are nearly done with the 6th. Feedback has been positive and we’re happy with the outcome.

But what I wanted to ask you all today is your opinion on technical quality of a web series. I feel my team and I have a very firm grasp on the story we’re telling and have been successful in moving that story along. Something we are a bit lacking in though is the technical aspect of the show. we have a decent camera as well as editing software but the show still has a less than professional quality to it.

So my question is how important do you feel technical quality should be for a web series if the story and character elements are all clearly demonstrated? Obviously the series shouldn’t look like it was shot on a toaster, but if it’s anything less than premium professional quality do you think it will take away from the show?

I have posted the page to my web series below and I would appreciate if you checked it out to just see where we are technically.

Thank you so much!


(Bri Castellini) #2

Hi Andrew! I suspect we’ll have a lot of opinions on this topic (tagging @hermdelica @kmd @movieguyjon @Peppered @danielmhart @cagesafe @EricaHargreave @Anthony_Ferraro @alwaysafilmgeek @jonathankyall @JonSosis @Mark_Mainolfi @JeromeKeith76 to get us started)

In my mind, I don’t think there’s necesarilly a concrete threshold you have to reach in order for your web series to be worthy of release- it’s very subjective. We actually talk about this in the first episode of the new Stareable podcast (with guest @berniesu!) where Bernie thinks that your first web series should be designed to prove whatever it is you want to highlight- in this case, it’s your storytelling and writing.

I think that if it’s good, it’s good. There are a lot of variables that go into if something’s good, and production quality is merely one of many.

(Herman Wang) #3

Web series viewers are fairly forgiving of technical things. For the most part I think they understand that the work’s largely being done on low budgets compared to TV. If you don’t have an expensive camera, that’s okay.

That being said, there are things you can and should put some effort into, because the audience will be less forgiving in these areas.

If it doesn’t look and sound “right”, you’ll tend to lose the audience right off the bat.

(Mark Mainolfi) #4

I’m both a writer and an audio technician, so naturally these two parts of my brain are clashing over this topic. In the end though, I’m a practical thinker and I think production quality is incredibly important. In an over-saturated media market like the one we’re in, if your production quality is low, then your story will be skipped over. Professional artists need more than crayola crayons, and chefs need more than tv dinner ingredients. If your production quality is lacking, then you’re doing a disservice to your story (as in, no one will stick around to see it). That said, Stareable’s forums have a whole bunch of articles about getting production quality out of a low budget or little experience, so don’t feel discouraged!

(Emma Drewry) #5

I think the technical requirements of a web series vary a bit based on your goal. I find the only technical element that will really frustrate people is audio quality, but your show from what I saw had decent audio. If you’re aiming to get an audience, the story itself (given good audio) should be your primary focus. If you want to do the festival circuit/market yourself to execs or distributers, you’ll need a good tripod and fewer hand-held movements, because your footage is a bit shaky and that takes away from the quality. Adding some simple lighting might also help out production quality-- it’s currently pretty dependent on sets as it seem.

I think one thing that really stuck out to me in terms of quality was the 180º rule-- or specifically, that it definitely wasn’t followed. I’d recommend sticking to that to up quality, even if you’re not going for super high production value.

(Jonathan Hardesty) #6

I think the answer to your question is all about the expectation for your webseries. What’s the end goal for your show? If it’s to get serious attention, then you’ll probably want your technical game to be on point. Having a strong technical game will also help you get noticed, especially since the market is flooded with content and it’s hard to keep track of all the shows on all the different platforms.

Personally, I’d suggest you strive to remove as many obstacles to watching your content as possible.

(Amanda Taylor) #7

I come from the land of Literary Inspired Webseries (our first show, The Cate Morland Chronicles, was one in the MOST traditional sense). Much of it is vlog-style storytelling based on classics, and much of it is frankly awful. We made a huge effort to keep things SIMPLE so we could have the cleanest possible audio and crispest possible picture while also telling a great, emotional story. When starting out I think it’s good to place limits on yourself so your first show can still be watchable and not distract from the script and acting! Then, from the ‘first pancake,’ showing vast improvements will keep your audiences happy.