Short Sighted: Are short form ‘Webisodes’ the new TV Pilot ?

Web Series have been causing waves online for some time. The web format allows for more flexibility and relies on a good understanding of short form story telling.

With shows like Drunk History and Broad City making the leap from Youtube to our TV screens. Broad City began as a web series, following the lives of two women living in New York, in 2009 and escalated into a critically acclaimed comedy TV Show.

To make the jump from internet to TV, it seems a web series needs two main factors: a pretty die-hard audience and the support from a celebrity. In the case of Broad City Amy Poehler came on board as an exec. producer.

Australian web series ‘Starting From…Now?’ (SFN)  has been picked up as a TV show and starts airing in March.  The series was seen by over 20 million people and has had 4 online seasons since it began in 2014. When it started it had low production values but a focus on story and the relationships between its central cast. The Show’s producer and star, Rosie Lourde, said that web series are important because “Lots of actors are unemployed and figuring out how to make their own content so platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are an easy way of honing skills and everyone gets a boost,” One of the wonderful things about the web is that producers aren’t geographically limited when it comes to finding audiences and SFN is a great example of this with loyal followers from the US, UK, France and Germany, as well as Australia itself.

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