Hello, Stareable fans & followers! I was ecstatic when Bri asked me to write a column. I thought, “I must know what I’m doing!” If making a web series is a video game, I’d say I’m playing at medium difficulty. No longer a novice. I got here by making a lot of mistakes, which is okay. This is the mantra to help you write your web series and continue achieving all of your goals.
“It’s ok to make mistakes.”
I came from humble beginnings but I knew pretty early I wanted to be a filmmaker. Every scriptwriting course will ask, “What is the conflict?” or “What are the obstacles?” My early life consisted of a lot of that and many of those challenges were not the same as my peers. They were mostly income related and it was pretty embarrassing at the time so I kept it to myself. Those ‘secrets’ were in my back pocket for when I was ready to tell that story, which consists of the core of who I am today.
Later on, I miraculously went to college and studied Radio/TV/Film. I cut this down to 4 years of having access to filming equipment and editing software while making the best memories. Afterwards I moved to NY and applied for as many jobs related to Film/TV production I could find. The handful I did get became the foundation of my knowledge of the industry. I quickly learned that it was going to be an uphill battle to have my voice heard and abilities recognized. There are people in the industry who have worked 20+ years to become a director or have a notable position. I wasn’t trying to wait that long so I dived into the unknown territory of web series.
Before making Ghetto Nerd Girl I wrote, produced, directed, and edited 4 short films: Lifeless, Cat Connection, ¡Que Loca! & Patty the Pink Puff. I consider these ‘learning on the job’ projects. I chose the web series medium because viewers would be more likely to watch from home. I love every idea I wrote, but there was no commonality between them to help solidify my voice or brand. Choosing a web series medium means you can have a collection of work by the end of the first season that will showcase your talent. I like to call Ghetto Nerd Girl my signature work because it is what I am all about. My plan is to become more exclusive with my work once I have a bigger following. Right now I am no one notable so the goal is to get there with web series.
You might be staring at a blank page and want to start writing a web series. Rule #1 Get out of your own head. Don’t think, just write. I know it’s easier said than done. I know many web series writers out there (myself included) who ask themselves the following before they start writing, “What will be the next big hit?” or “What is a great idea that no one has thought of yet?” STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. Those thoughts are getting in the way of writing great content. It’s time to put the pen to paper and stop listening to the doubtful voices in your head saying your ideas are not good.
As filmmakers, we have a unique opportunity of not only letting our voices be heard but also showing our audiences how we feel and what we care about. Let’s change those questions to, “What do you care about?” and “What do you have to say?” This will improve the quality of your script. By putting your views first you will have a better writing experience.
Most of my writing process was learned at Ela Thier’s Screenwriting Intensive Workshop in NYC. It helped me find my voice I didn’t know I was looking for. There are so many writing tools she teaches in 2 days that you’ll use for a lifetime. Her workshop is so good I actually took it twice for each season. Although her workshop is tailored for feature-length scripts many of the concepts apply to web series. I’m very thankful to Ela and all of her workshops because without them I wouldn’t have the audacity to keep going. It’s important to remember that we do not get to the next level without some help along the way. So don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be too busy to offer.
Ghetto Nerd Girl Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GhettoNerdGirl
Ghetto Nerd Girl Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GhettoNerdGirl/
Ghetto Nerd Girl Twitter: @ghettonerdgirl
Ghetto Nerd Girl Tumblr: http://ghettonerdgirl.tumblr.com
The Independent Film School NYC: http://www.theindependentfilmschool.com