Hey All! So right now I'm in the process of working on two web series, prepping them for shooting in a couple of weeks, and I've got to wondering if perhaps web series are better, or can be better than TV series.
Now when I say better I am not strictly speaking content wise. There are and have been some absolutely stellar TV shows, and there have been a few really amazing web series. There however, have also been a lot of terrible TV shows and a lot of horrible web series. When I say better I'm thinking in terms of production, and how you can get the content out to the people that want to watch it.
It seems to be a growing trend that more and more web series are entering the public consciousness, and as such, there are some that are getting budgets as large as any TV show. Just this past weekend I did some rigging on a show called Hemlock Grove, currently being shot in Toronto by Eli Roth, but it's a Netflix show, meaning there's no backing studio or broadcaster at all. And this is a full union show with everything you would expect from a full union show. There have been a few others shot here that are equally as large, but are 10-20 minute episodes.
So looking at the merits of both, my thinking is thus: Web series will ultimately trump TV series as the line between TV and web becomes increasingly blurred. It it impossible to pitch to a network these days unless you have a web component to your show. And a lot of shows seem to be having short webisodes to go along with the main series. What this means is that anyone can create a web series, with just as much exposure, if not more, than a TV series, on any budget, and without going through a pitch process. The two web series I am currently working on, we're planning on shooting them guerrilla style, even though both could easily be done as a much larger production, and with a little luck, subsequent seasons will be. The greatest aspect of working on these is that, at the end of the day, there's no network to report back to and to please. Our ratings are going to be the view counts on youtube. Our money for future seasons will be from Google Adsense and from sponsors and merch sales. And while TV has a similar kind of deal with advertising and licensing, it seems limited by the fact that getting a network TV series off the ground is a hellish process.
With a TV series, you are limited by available timeslots and competing shows. With a web series, if I wanted to upload my episodes every Monday at 9, then I will upload them every Monday at 9. And once they're up, they're up for people to watch whenever they want.
What I'm writing this for is to hear people's thought on which one is going to "win" in the long run, and why people think that one is better than the other.