If we want the world to take note of our film industry, web series could prove to be a great calling card.
(c) Issa Rae's
In the ever expanding online space, it might be worth our while as filmmakers to start taking advantage and getting our content out there on the interwebs.
Here are 6 reasons why I think we should start making more web series in Africa:
2. It’s easy to make
Well maybe ‘easy’ is not the correct word. Filming is never easy. But go with me for a second: It’s short form content meaning each episode is around 10 minutes long;
it allows filmmakers to make simple stories which require minimum equipment meaning smaller budgets and finally, it’s easier to simply upload web content online than trying to secure a deal with big studio TV stations. Which brings me to the next point:
3. It’s easier to start a Youtube channel
Easier than getting a TV station to fund your series pilot, anyway. Here’s a step-by-step guide how to start a YouTube channel that you can load your content on free of charge. Of course there are other ways of getting your web content out there. Like creating a website where you upload your series exclusively. But that might prove to be a little more expensive. And if you prefer, you can use Vimeo instead of YouTube.
4. You might just get noticed
Success story time: Issa Rae, an American filmmaker, started uploading episodes of a web series she created with a bunch of her friends called The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl onto YouTube back in 2011. After harnessing a strong following, and managing to get funds from a kickstarter campaign, she was able to churn out 2 seasons to loyal fans. It earned numerous awards including a Shorty Award for Best Web Show. In 2013, Rae got a call from none other than, super mega network, HBO who asked if she has any other cool series ideas. They approved her pilot script for a show called ‘Insecure’ in 2014. Watch the first episode of her web series that made it all happen, and see how simple this all could be.
5. The constraints force you to be creative
I always feel like we are our most creative when being constrained. With lots of money, and freedom and choice, creativity might be easier to achieve. But with a few hurdles and glitches we are forced to think of ways to get around things, which to me might help you become a better artist. Web series has a particular stickiness to it. It's simple stories that have a very sticky premise. So maybe you can’t do your epic shootout scenes, or big explosions but what might you come up with when forced to think inside the confines of simple stories?
6. We can force the world to take note of us
Okay, again perhaps not the best choice of words. But as African storytellers, we have a lot to say. And we should take advantage of all the mediums at our disposal to get our voices heard. The World Wide Web has made it possible for us to connect with people across the globe within mere seconds. If we want the world to take note of our film industry, web series could prove to be a great calling card.