And for @TheAshleyClem… what did you learn while making SONA that you didn’t know before? This was your first time as creator, right? What was that like??
oooo what was the gear??
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Hey Ashley and Brendan! Have either of you kept up with any literary-inspired web series goings on since your own ended ended? It’s like half of all web series at this point! Thoughts on that genre and its staying power in the digital community?
So…the first step is perspective. Getting something for “free” is impossible. Getting something “in exchange” for something other than money, now that’s a conversation. With the tourism board, I created a pitch deck and sizzle reel with the resources I had and then COLD CALLED dozens of tourism boards all over the world “to finish the movie highlighting their country.” Most did not respond, many told me to go fish, but five were interested in more. As we went back and forth and evaluated each country’s expectations and resources, Turkey emerged as the obvious choice. Read Anita Elberse’s book BLOCKBUSTER for a mind blowing exploration of how many multi-million dollar corporations use parterships instead of purchases to maximize value.
The success of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which really surprised us all, dramatically changed my life and of course my view of web series. Almost everything and everyone in my life now can be traced in some way back to the fact that LBD took off and grew this huge fan base. It introduced me, directly and indirectly with many people I continue to collaborate with today, and has created so many opportunities for me in the web world. I am well aware (and incredibly grateful) that the SONA kickstarter campaign was so successful because of a group of people who were introduced to me through LBD.
What’s incredible about the digital community to me is a culture of abundance. There is room for EVERYBODY and depending on what corner of the internet there is, you can find your community. The literary trend is huge, but so are many other trends and communities. I think they all have staying power so long as passionate new voices are given the opportunity to play in the sandbox.
What kinds of things do you include in a pitch deck? Does it change if it’s a feature or a short or a web series?
When did you get the idea for SONA? And why did you guys decide to only do a crowdfunding campaign when it was done?
Ah yes I basically had the same question! So im curious about the answer
Hi guys!! I’m a screenwriter, socially awkward, and not in LA… do you have any hustle tips so I’m always working towards a better career?
signal boost! I think this got buried in the fervor of all the other questions
SONA is my first time as a creator, yes. I was lucky to have an experienced collaborator in Brendan, but quickly one of the most important things I learned is that I had to have a clear vision about everything I wanted. It was all coming out of my head - so learning to identify it and communicate it was a real process for me. You can’t ask other people to create things without very clear instructions.
Why take a risk on anything? Honestly, producing Sona was equally as hard as producing Non-Transferable, Squatters, etc. My final projects NEVER look “as good” or “as bad” as I think they’re going to be, so I can’t let that stop my creativity. No matter what the story, you have to find or create every location, prop, costume, etc. Ashely wanted to explore a more dramatic and dark universe and that excited me as a filmmaker - I had no clue whether or not we could pull it off and that made it all the more interesting and fun! So far, I think SONA looks great. We know it’s not Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy - we absolutely own our budgetary limitations - but we made something incredible out of nothing and that’s pretty cool!
Brendan, do you have any advice for new directors who aren’t as confident with the technical stuff (angles, transitions, 180 rules)? How do you think about a new project in terms of that kinda stuff?
Ashley, how was being both the star AND creator of your new show different from before? How did you balance the two things?
I sound “old” but sites like LinkedIn can actually be very handy for reaching out to people in a professional capacity. Just always be honest and look for ways you can bring value to someone else’s project. As a writer, SO SO SO many people are looking for scripts to showcase their own talents (acting, producing, directing, cinematography, composing, etc). By offering to give their dreams a “voice” on the page, you can make a lot of connections from the comfort of your pajamas
When you’re thinking of high production quality/low budget balancing, what are your priorities? And what do you cut first when prioritizing?
And to piggyback on this, how do you contact producers to even pitch to them? Is it okay to cold email them?
Excellent that’s a great answer. Thanks again for taking your time to answer some questions on the forum. I won’t clog up any more of this thread since I can tell its quite popular.
Clog away, Kallum! We’ve got over half an hour left