Ross Brown’s book Create Your Own TV Series For the Internet (2nd edition) opened my eyes to one of the almost hidden possibilities that exists for us creative people. Making a television series or web series for the Internet. I love making films, but I never really contemplated making a TV series. I admit that I don’t watch much television, so I never really thought about creating television. Television shows are so different from a movie. Shows, as you know, are run in a series with the same characters each week or day. They are formated and often times the story continues from episode to episode. We get to know the characters and they sort of become our friends.
What if you have an idea for a TV show? How do you start creating it? With no connections in Hollywood you are pretty much out of luck, but fear not. Ross Brown teaches you how to go about making your show for the Internet in his book Create Your Own TV Series For the Internet. He covers every step from show concept to distributing it on Youtube and other places on the net. Think of Ross Brown as your Hollywood Insider who wants to help you be successful.
The book walks you through all the necessary steps. You’ll brainstorm your show idea, think about the look of the show, create the world your characters live in and of course create the characters. Brown helps you outline the script and get it ready to shoot. I appreciate how he covers the equipment needed to make a great TV show. Many people have great ideas but skip on good production value. He emphasizes the importance of production value and ways to get decent equipment and locations on the cheap or free. Brown also touches on all the phases of producing the show from pre to post production.
As a bonus there are half a dozen interviews with producers who have very successful web series. Some are regular folks who took the initiative to create their own vision and put it on the web while others worked in Hollywood but decided to make their own shows as the opportunities in the TV world began to disappear. Insightful reading on what it takes to pull it off. It is interesting to read about people creating TV shows for the web from different angles.
Also worth noting is a chapter dedicated to teaching you proper formating of a script. This is important because if you are not using a program such as Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter that automatically formats the script, you will need to know how to do it yourself. Also at the end of each chapter there is a “For Teachers” section, as the book is also designed to be used to teach classes on making a TV series for the Internet.
Overall, it’s an informative and eye opening book that covers all stages of producing a web series or television series for the web. Well written and laid out so that anyone who does not have a clue about making a show can walk away and have a powerful start to creating their vision. Worth mentioning is that business owners can benefit from this book because creating webisodes is a great way to promote a business. This is the second edition and has several new chapters and updated information from the first edition.
- More Screenwriting Product Reviews by Forris Day Jr.
- Spit Takes: Quick Look at Writing & Selling a TV Pilot
- Behind the Lines with DR: Creating a TV Show While Managing Actors’ Egos, Part 1
- Story Structure: Linking Your Series Dilemma to Your Pilot Dilemma
Tools to Help:
- Books and Classes by Jen Grisanti at The Writers Store
- Writing the Pilot
- Industry Insider Television Writing Contest
- Successful Television Writing