2012 has been a real important year for the development of webseries in Italy. We witnessed the incredible success of “Freaks”, in 2011, and it has cleared the path for many projects and experiments, but, at now, we can say a good business model for webseries is yet to be found.
Revenues from youtube are not enough to cover a production of good quality and the channels produced by the platform itself are still at an embryonic stage and it is not well promoting niche markets like the italian one can be.
Meanwhile this system develops, and the entire video and tv contests by conseguence, to an ultimate model, how is it possible to make a good webseries with low budget?
1) Sponsorship or product placement. The reason is clear, product placement at now is a solid reality for every cultural products and is still growing. Whether p.p. is good or not for the products this is not the post where to discuss about it.
2) It’s not. Better to face the reality and raise the greatest amount of money possible and consider the webseries like a good investment for a future carrer in Hollywood.
Let’s discard these options and start with a comparison with low-budget filmaking and let’s use as example “The Blair Witch Project”. When it came out opinions were contrasting, much because of the non-conventional promotion, in my opinion this film is truly genial and not because of the story nor the commercial campaign.
In few words, and without the solemn language i already used for my thesis that was much involved into these features, let’s say the starting point for BWP was the consideration of the way of production, specifically the first digital cameras. The next step was to link this to a symbolic universe, amateur movies, then came the story.
Tools -> Symbolic Universe -> Story
when i say tools it’s not only about the technology involved in but all the features to be used because a very important (and understimated) aspect of making a product in the actual media ecosystem is to be regular with the exits and making deadlines to be respected in order to get the loyalty of the audience.
The italian “the pills” (here’s the youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/feed/UC7Izkb-KHIuGzFs_9S0UBWQ) is a good example of what i said. It’s clearly a product with no budget that starts from the idea of showing the strange life of roman flatmates. Most of the scenes are so recorded into their flat, lowering the costs and the time of producing an episode. With the succession of the episodes they evolved the basical structures but, even if deadlines were not respected they kept, and increased, the success of the webseries; this may sound like a contraddiction but i have to admit that the scripts of the episodes are really well made so i can say the product was not affected by this feature.
I am confident in this new product that will be launched the 15/01. Will new horyzons be displayed?