As I've mentioned before, I've been writing a web series. The goal was to complete twelve 5 minute episodes, and due to a fantasy episode I hope we'll be able to do, but probably won't (ep 4.5) last night, I finally finished my lucky episode 13. And right now, it's perfect.
This web series is my baby right now, and she is absolutely adorable. She's a giggling, smiling baby. But as soon as I show other people my baby, they're going to point out a few things, like, uh oh, she's a little jaundiced, and perhaps a wee bit colicky, and they'll ask me if I counted the toes, and that's when I'll find out my baby doesn't even have feet. Whoops! I DIDN'T EVEN CHECK FOR FEET!
But right now, she's swaddled. And we're both content and happy.
Here's what I know right now about the next few steps:
1) I have to read the thing as a whole and edit. I need to make sure the jokes I thought were funny a month ago are still funny, and that the characters remain consistent throughout (especially since I wrote the episodes out of order; 1-6, 10-13, 7-9) but this is actually one of my favorite things to do. I light a frosting scented candle, I sit up on my bed, pencil in hand, and mark away. I love, love, love editing. I'm a much better editor than a writer. I also have to put in the Spanish and Italian translations I got from my guy's sister, include links to the bits of songs I included, find the guitar tabs for my fantasy episode, and put everything together. Your interest is so piqued right now, yeah?
2) This brings me to the writing. I really hope there's a plot in there. This is kind of a big thing to have missing. I don't want to say that it's missing completely, but a main throughline doesn't really show itself until the last five episodes. Now, I WANT to say that that's okay, as the first episodes are all about getting to know the characters and their peccadilloes and subplots. And although 9 is funny in the beginning, it's a sweet setup to 10-13, and that sweetness to me almost makes it feel like it's missing something, even though the episode is, plotwise, everything it needs to be. And I did have someone read the first 5 episodes, who called it, "The Office meets Scrubs," but I'm going to throw in, "And had a threesome with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." A show, which, if you haven't seen, is just amazing. And my webseries could be rated R...there are some definite off color and provocative things in there. It's pretty offensive. But it has to be in order to get viewers to link it to their friends. Southpark is a good example of what we need to be. But of course, the creators who write it are amazing. Also, there's more than just one writer. This thing so far, has been all me. I'm triumphant and terrified at the same time. I have a comedian friend who had offered to help me punch up a few of the episodes. To help clean up a joke here, or to trim something down there so the joke is funnier. I'm hoping that he'll think most of it is really great and will want to read the whole thing.
3) We're shooting the first episode as our "sizzle reel." That's a filmed piece of content that helps sell it. Like a movie trailer sells you on wanting to spend money to see the movie. We need to cast it and will be having auditions Jan 5th. 2 of the roles are cast. (I'm one of them:) And I wrote another role with someone specific in mind.
So we only have four roles available. So if you're an out 40s male, or can play one, or a late 30s-40s black woman, or a 30s-40s white woman, or a lithe, tall 20s-30s woman, hit me up. Or just keep an eye out on the ole Actors Access for my name as casting director, as I'll be using that to find actors.
4) Hopefully by the time we shoot the sizzle reel, we'll have my partner's friend fulfill her promise to help us write a pilot script that we can use with the sizzle reel to pitch to people. Now, I have no contacts in the industry world, so hopefully my partner does, and I'd love to be in the room getting to watch the process. This is where we try to sell it and have people say, "It's brilliant! We love it! And we'll cast all unknowns to keep our budget down!" And I would get co-creator credit, have the series go on for 9 years and in syndication, and then I'd be able to blog from my dressing room, and have to change the title from the Struggling Actress to the Stinking Rich Actress. Cause, hey, if you're going to fantasize about something, make it big, right?
That's what she said.
5) If we don't sell it, then we go to different product companies and see if they'll sponsor or advertise on our show. We hopefully get a few of them, get enough of a decent sized budget to rent equipment and pay a few people and shoot the series itself. And some of the jokes are so fast and quick enough, that we could easily take a few clips and post them on facebook, on youtube and let the thing go viral, hopefully getting enough people interested in the clips to go to the webseries' link and watch the entire season. and tell their friends. Which will then get the attention of some bigwig somewhere who will then negotiate a deal with us, bring it to one of the networks, where it goes on for 9 years and gets syndication....
Of course, this is me dreaming that my child is going to win the gold medal in the 100 meter dash when my baby might not even have any feet.
But this is how we struggling actresses survive. On dreams that our life is going to get better from something we've created. Wish me luck guys.