Web Series Advice

Got emailed a question recently and I thought I'd share my response:

My name is Adam Carey and I'm a graduating Senior at NYU.  My friend and creative partner Jo-Dean Seymour assisted Squeaky & Ashley on "Father's Day?," and because of her involvement there, we've been aware of Red Wall Productions and have become fans and followers of your show "Justice The Series" since November.

Jo-Dean and I have been working on a web series. We love "Justice" and we've created a comedic web series of our own called "Dorm Therapy." The show is all about college ResLife and what it's like to live with strangers. I was hoping that I could reach out to you and ask for a bit of advice: We're hitting a brick wall with the audience we're able to reach with the show. The first episode has over 2,000 views, but the next three have fewer and fewer.

I'm also curious to know if you have any tips for someone breaking into the industry of Film and TV? That's a broad one but I'd love to hear what you might have to share on the subject as we're both trying to start our careers!

Thank you so much! You can find the first episode of "Dorm Therapy here: http://youtu.be/7w6l7SQ0rzI  and you can check out the facebook page here: facebook.com/DormTherapy

I hope all is well and I would love to hear whatever you might have to say!

Thanks again,

Adam Carey
Show-Runner, "Dorm Therapy" Web Series
NYU Class of 2013

I responded:

Hey Adam
I just watched all 4 episodes and I'm a FAN. Really really funny, very sophisticated, I really like the characters. Everyone feels very distinct and specific.  The relationships feel authentic and they're really funny.  The big picture issue for me is I'm not getting a sense of goal or importance. You definitely have the "office" kind of feel, but if you remember the office, each episode there was some sort of goal, like today we're doing inventory or today we're going on a sales call. Something that pulled us through the episode.  I love the actress that plays Alice, funny, quirky pretty girl, very well played and drawn, burning her tongue on the cookies, freezing her underwear, very funny stuff. So if you assign her some tasks for future episodes, to get the gang together that would help with cohesiveness of the episodes. She did that a little with the milk and cookies and the dorm meeting,but I wasn't clear why she needed to do it. You have such great set ups with the girls who hate to leave their room and some of the others, I think you need to find a way to push the comedy even further, it all feels a little safe right now and some of it is very subtle. Which unfortunately will go over the heads of some people. But don't worry about that just keep working this voice, you'll find your audience. 

As for increasing your audience, you should juice up your youtube channel, there are "annotations" where you can insert buttons in your videos which lead people to the next episode and the previous one and to your facebook page and your twitter page, right now it's just a title card, you need to provide links so people can press them before you lose them. I had to search for the next episode and most people don't have the brains or patience to do that.
Also I see you have a good sized cast, EVERYONE of your actors should be tweeting and face booking friends family relatives, strangers. Everyone at NYU should be watching this series and they should be tweeting and sharing. But you have to bombard them which is really obnoxious, but so what.  Come up with contests or campaigns to increase viewership. You should be posting to "Collegehumor.com and funnyordie.com and mydamnchannel.com. You're gonna have to kick up the social media presence to get people watching and talking. People posted comments on your page and you didn't respond, you HAVE to respond, you have to engage.

As for tips on how to break in the industry, you're already in it. You're creating content. Creating content is the future. Not sure what your focus is (actor, director, producer, writer??) but any and all of those have to start creating content. You've already begun developing your voice and better to start now and take advantage of the resources that school affords you.   Keep writing, keep shooting and keep cranking out these episodes. I think you guys have a really great voice, don't be deterred by the low numbers, people will find you, but you gotta start helping them.

I hope that was helpful.

Craig