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May 08 2011

How Do You Define Web Series Success? Good article talking about independent web successes which went on to conquer in other media. Felicia Day tweeted about this.

I'm a little disappointed that the Emmy winning 'Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog' wasn't mentioned, but still... it DID win an Emmy! LOL

Speaking of Dr. Horrible, I just bought the recent book. Some great photos (including a certain Whedonesque local disguised as Horrible,) and little titbits in it. Kind of wished the roundtable had of been a little longer, but it is a very nice coffee table book, which would also look good on any kind of table you happen to have.

I've also recently decided to learn to the play the keyboard. The sheet music gives me a nice little goal to aim for.
I sort of basically dislike this article and others like it that have been cropping up, because there's one notion of success it seems to ignore completely: simple creative success of the web series as they are. More and more these articles seem to think that "success" only means "getting noticed by some larger power that be".

Riese, for example, is a certain success if you mean it got noticed by a network/studio and so the creators moved "up" in the world. Creatively, it's mostly a mess, in both incarnations. (The creator was on a Comic-Con panel last year, bout how to use web series to get noticed by Hollywood. I don't consider that "web series success"; I consider that cynical use of a form to get a different job.)

There are many web series out there that, while I'm sure their creators would love to, you know, actually make a living at what they are doing, are outright creative successes and loved unreasonably by whatever audiences happen to discover them regardless of whether or not someone with reach latches onto them.

For me, web series like After Judgment and Oh, Inverted World -- neither picked up for some major distribution deal or turned into something else or adapted into another medium -- are unadulterated creative successes and the people that love them do, in fact, sort of love them unreasonably (sort of like fans of Joss love his work).

To far too many articles like this, that isn't necessarily success, and it drives me batty.
embers, I thought the article was great and thank you for posting it.

b!X, in fair play, none of those examples really played into the mix, now did they?
B!X: I am definitely sympathetic to (and partially in agreement with) your POV. The freedom for creative people to make what they want on their own terms is a success in and of itself, and should be recognized as such. But I can't see that reaching a wider audience, and gaining some monetary remuneration, is a bad thing... not if they are still making their vision in their own way.

Certainly Felicia Day's 'The Guild' is still her vision, but now she is actually able to pay her crew and doesn't have to address and mail all the DVDs on her own.
in fair play, none of those examples really played into the mix, now did they?

None of what examples?
Wait, none of equal zero means zero. Which means the outcome of zero means....Dang, I hate math!
I wasn't told there would be math.
Eck! This should be a lesson in how everything can go very wrong even with the best intent.

embers, there's no math, just me dancing.
In fairness the article does say web series success can be hard to define, if they'd just added a single sentence saying e.g. "So for this article we chose to define it as..." i'd have no real issue with it but I agree with B!x in that the way they just plough into it as if their three arbitrary criteria (in which creative achievement doesn't even feature) are the be-all end-all irks very slightly.

Ultimately (and somewhat facilely), i'd say success is mainly achieving whatever the creators set out to achieve. That might be a springboard into the mainstream (using a web-series as a sort of CV/spec project/demo reel/proof of work experience, a lot like student films are often used, even though a lot of student films aren't necessarily all that good) or it might be just to learn how to create something/gain experience or purely for the sake of creating something or as a relatively cheap way to experiment with different forms or to make a living at it or as something to do with your friends or even just for attention and so on. It's a long, varied list in other words (though i'd imagine it being good/enjoyed would presumably be on most people's lists - who, if asked, is gonna say "I'd consider this a success if it was quite shit and no-one liked it" ? ;).

ETF a wordo.

[ edited by Saje on 2011-05-09 11:03 ]

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