I’m new to making web series and am curious as to how many episodes would be recommended for the initial season? Looking to be a more narrative series around the activities of an athlete and are hoping to gain some exposure for funding to continue the series. Any thoughts or suggestions?
The nice thing about web series is there’s no hard and fast rule, so make it as long as you think the story needs. We do 6 per season, but I’ve also seen 10 and 20
Gotcha. Ours will be a sort of reality, athlete’s narration of their journey type of show. How much time do you have or have seen between episodes?
However many you need to tell your story. I’ve seen web series with long and short episodes. Both seem to work depending on genre, type of story, etc.
Our episodes average around 5 minutes so a season is about a half hour to tell a season arc
I think between 6 and 10 episodes is a good amount for a first season. Generally you want to shoot a whole season at a time so you can take advantage of having the cast/crew/gear/locations all together at one time. I used to think releasing the whole season at once was the way to go, but now I’ve come around to Bri’s way of thinking - that releasing 1-2 eps at a time is better, cause you can build an audience over time.
The ultimate determination is your budget and the scope.
“The Feels” had the most eps per season I’ve seen - 30 episodes - but each episode was 3-7 minutes and usually featured one-to-two cast, were shot on 1 or 2 locations that the creators had free access to.
If you’re doing a vlog style (fixed camera, one take) then I think it’s traditional to have more episodes.
“The Spell Tutor” had fewer eps per season but Herman your eps were a little longer and you had a larger cast.
“Three Trembling Cities” had 10 eps but they varied from 7-12 minutes and tended to have 4-7 people in each ep, and the latter ones had two or more locations.
How much time are you seeing between the release of each episode if not releasing all at once Netflix style? Would you suggest if you’re a newbie to bring on a writer/producer?
batch release is honestly what i’d suggest. giving audiences huge amounts of time between episodes (i.e. 2+ weeks) is risky if you’re trying to get a full season seen, and keeping to a fast-paced schedule is really hard for small/indie productions, especially for first time producers. i had a twice a week schedule for my show, as a first time producer with a small team of full-time students, and getting everything edited in time was a constant source of stress. if you don’t batch release, and want to stick to a schedule, edit everything in advance. it’s doable to edit-as-you-go, but it’s not a stress you need.
also-- you definitely need a producer if you don’t want to produce. 80% of web series creation is producing, and if you don’t want to do it, you’ll either have to do it anyways and be miserable or you need to find someone to do it/help you with it.
I started out dropping the first 2 episodes @ the same time, (but I tech had a 15 min 1st episode & I realized it worked better as 2 episodes.) That being said I think it’s a fine line. If you drop a whole season and no one watches you can’t really promote upcoming episodes in a hope to keep and grow an audience. But I also realized that if there is too long a lag between episodes it is equally hard to maintain viewership. So ideally I would recommend you release 2 episodes to start but also make sure the 3rd episode wont be more than a month after. I cranked out the 1st season of my series “Jim Morrison Goes to Hell to Save the Soul of Rock N Roll” @ jimgohell.com, dropping one episode every 6 weeks, 6 episodes in total. I advertised on social media and the website that episodes would drop @ the same time, day of the week to keep a consistency for any possible fans. That being said the 2nd season has been slower moving with episodes coming out every 3-4 months. While I have a very small fan base it has become reliable enough that as long as I advertise updates on social media they do come back every time an episode drops.