The IndieNet and Beyond: Advice From Felicia Day

Hello online world! It’s time for another edutainment installment of “The IndieNet and Beyond.” I had something different planned for today, but ScifiPulse had an opportunity during a conference...

Hello online world! It’s time for another edutainment installment of “The IndieNet and Beyond.”

I had something different planned for today, but ScifiPulse had an opportunity during a conference call to ask Felicia Day, creator of The Guild, a question about web series so the topic took a slight turn.

Now if you somehow don’t know who Felicia Day is, then here is a quick primer. The actress is best known on TV by scifi fans as Vi on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her guest appearances on Dollhouse. She starred in Joss Whedon’s uber-successful Internet musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and, of course, created/wrote/starred in the highly successful web series The Guild. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Web Television, so she knows a thing or two about web series.

There are probably a few of you reading this right now that are thinking about creating a web series of your own. So we asked Felicia what advice would she give to people out there that are planning to do their own web series.

“I would just say that, shooting it, it’s like every film, really shooting it and getting it made is only like 20% of the work. The work with the web series is being smart about how you find your audience, about how you interact with your audience, and how you retain your audience.”

She emphasized that you can find an audience for anything on the Internet, so if you make sure your story truly speaks to that segment, then you’ll find fans. As an example she pointed to The Guild‘s very loyal fan base that carries the show on with no real advertising.

“Microsoft puts us on their portals but we don’t have billboards, we don’t have ads, we don’t have anything really to publicize this and yet we still have millions and millions of views, we sell a DVD in stores…so it’s completely word of mouth.”

Felicia made a point to say how important that script truly is.

“…[M]ake sure that you take time with the script,” she explained. “I know a lot of people who have written a first draft of a script and they think that’s writing, but really I discovered that the first draft is merely a road map and you have to really, really work so hard in order to make the script go. Because if you have a great script it doesn’t matter how much you pay your actors or how nice a camera you have or if you have money to do special effects. Like if you have a good story it will definitely shine through and the problem is that some people are a little hasty and think that just having a script equals let’s just go shoot it.”

Some solid advice from a web series pro.

A Few More Things

Some other things I wanted to mention, I was contacted by a number of web series creators who wanted to set up reviews and interviews. So expect some fun interviews and reviews in the near future.

I wanted to mention again one web series I’m looking forward to: Asylum. I was very excited after watching the trailer and can’t wait to see the series when it premieres. The medical procedural, with elements of sci-fi and mystery is directed by Scott Brown, creator and director of the web comedy Blue Movies. The web series is shot with the high quality digital RED Camera and production took place at professional sound stages as well as a real hospital location. The creator/writer of the series is Dan Williams. This will be his first web series project.

Here is a video to help me… I mean you… during the wait. Part 1 of a 3-part series of videos of a “unfinished documentary” filmed at St. Dympna Hospital for the Criminally Insane. I love these type of extras.

Speaking of director Scott Brown, have you seen his other upcoming web series project? The Apocalypse Wow trailer was another trailer that truly impressed me. It has a very different tone from Asylum, but looks hilarious.

Other Stuff I’m Watching

The reborn Canadian steampunk web series Riese: Kingdom Falling is airing new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday on SyFy’s website. Here are episodes two and three.

Now It’s Your Turn

Got a web series, web comic, web… whatever, then I want to know about it. Contact me at:

Well that’s it for now my virtual friends. Until next time…

Marx is the author of the non-fiction book Television on the Wild Wild Web, co-host of the podcast GenreTainment, co-host of DC Action Hour on YouTube, and creator of web series/films. He has been a panelist at various conventions, including San Diego Comic-Con, Boston Comic Con, Gen Con, and Dragon Con. As a professor, he teaches script analysis & film production. Click over to to learn more about him.
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