Marty Shea - Co-creator of CollabFeature's new global web series "A Billion to One"

(Jaime Lancaster) #41

Even on no-budget stuff? I dunno if I could find a free assistant haha. What do you mean by “start marketing from the very beginning”? What does that mean in practical terms? What do you consider “marketing”?

(Ollie R) #42

Have you ever had to ask a collaborator to reshoot their scene? What is that process like, like quality-control-wise?

(Collab Feature) #43

Yes, each new filmmaker on a team gets a vote on bringing in the next filmmakers.

The application process is pretty simple. Anyone can apply online at and submit some previous work and give some basic info, confirm you’re on board with our collaborative process and then that application goes live for the filmmakers to vote on. If someone doesn’t make the cut for one project, they can still be reviewed for later projects. We eventually want to have projects that are devoted to students and beginning filmmakers.

(Collab Feature) #44

Yes documentary is very high on our list. We started with feature films mainly because that’s where most of my experience lies. But I love docs, and many of the collaborators do too. There are many topics that could include a global perspective.

(Meg Carroway) #45

That’s really interesting! Do you have blanket requirements for consideration, like video quality or whatever? And do you get control over casting or is that solely up to the people in that production area?

(Collab Feature) #46

Even outside of CollabFeature, I do a lot of jobs where the producer is in LA and I’m prepping in Detroit. So much is done online now. Obviously the director, cast and crew have to be in the same place, but even post can be done completley online now.

(Hailey Harper) #47

How did you start working with HBO? Any advice to people who want to break into the industry for writing, specifically?

(Amen J.) #48

What’s the funding model and/or how do you and other filmmakers generate revenue from this platform?

(Bri Castellini) #49

Any tips on managing that? Best practices for long distance producers and their teams?

(Collab Feature) #50

This is a part time project for everyone, but we started working on it two years ago. We now have enough completed scenes for about 12 or more episodes and are still filmming more scenes.

We do agree on the outline but its always a little bit in flex. New storylines come in, while others might change or evolve.

(Jane) #51

Since you haven’t finished filming yet- what happens if you run out of episodes before it’s all done?

(Ken Weissman) #52

Thanks for being here, Marty!

One clear benefit that a web series enjoys over traditional cable and TV networks is the lower barrier to entry, world-wide reach, and the wide choice of distribution sites.

Is there an easy way to consolidate the viewership metrics when a series is hosted concurrently on multiple web platforms?

Which metrics to you use for determining the success of a web series?

(Collab Feature) #53

Again, Marketing is NOT my strength, we’re currently learning everything we can about it. One expert told me that you need to figure out where your audience lives online. For example, a friend of mine made a lesbian musical romantic comedy about politics that has a happy ending. He figured out through crowdfunding that people likely to watch his film like a certain combination of pages on facebok (certain LGBT films + Hamilton + Rachel Maddow, I think that was the formula) and by targeting them he found his audience.

(Collab Feature) #54

Oh, and I agree… on no budget stuff, you end up having to do a lot more of the boring stuff unfortunately. But if you can find someone who wants more experience in the production office, put them to work!

(Jaime Lancaster) #55

Gotcha- thanks! Any tips for stretching a no budget budget while still maintaining a high production quality? Or ways to get “impressive looking” things for free/cheap that up the quality as well?

(Collab Feature) #56

Rarely but it has happened. And it’s based on a consensus among the filmmakers.

Rough cuts often don’t work (in collaborative filmmaking and in ALL filmmaking) so you have to work on them, editing, music, color, ADR, shooting an insert, etc.

(Collab Feature) #57

Everything is collaboratively decided, though each director takes the lead on their segment or storyline. It’s important that we respect each collaborator’s artistic vision. I feel my job is more often to keep an eye on the big picture and make suggestions.

(Meg Carroway) #58

This might be a weirdly specific question, but what are your contracts like? Do you (and the company CollabFeature) ultimately own the project, is there a revenue-sharing model, is everyone an equal owner of the material, or what? Sorry if that’s too inside-Baseball!

(Collab Feature) #59

First time I worked for HBO, an HBO move was filmed in Detroit and hired local crew. I got hired by a coordinator I’d worked for before. I don’t know much about writing for studios or getting an agent. I know it can be frustrating to try to get a creative job with a big studio, and that’s one of the reasons we started collaborating and uniting talented people who don’t have that access.

(Collab Feature) #60

The first two projects had no outside funding. We all pooled our resources and all filmmakers get profit share.

The series has had some micro-funding and we hope to get more if the series does well!