PRG: We won’t rehash the Streamys themselves since so much has been written about the event already. But I am interested in whether the pandemonium surrounding the show affected the shooting of Webventures. Did it cause you many problems at the time and how did you feel about it afterwards?
WC: To be honest, and I’ve discussed this at length with the Tubefilter guys, who are all close friends so I’m not sucker punching anyone by saying this, at the time it was pretty devastating all around. At that point nobody knew just how closely aligned the series was with the awards. I’d brought in Trident as a sponsor just so we could make a show about two guys road-tripping to the Streamys to make it authentic and secondarily, hopefully bring more advertiser awareness to the space. There was no way we could change the basic storyline at that point, especially since we had just wrapped the whole thing about 2 hours before. In the end, I give Trident so much credit and respect for moving forward with Webventures and refusing to judge the entire web video community based on what they saw that night. I also give the Streamys producers a lot of credit for immediately taking responsibility with Trident that night and executing on a plan to ensure the brand reaped some value from their sponsorship investment. Not a lot of people know that. As far as the series goes, everything worked out in the end.
PRG: How did you get into the webseries world?
WC: I created a web series called The Temp Life, which I also appear on, back in 2006 for a temp staffing company called Spherion. They were looking to raise their profile among younger, in-demand, web-savvy jobseekers who may not have the best perception about temping. Well, no journalist is going to write a glowing Spherion story about how awesome it is to be a temp (not that anyone would buy it if they did), so the strategy became “let’s make an online sitcom that rips on temp agencies that’s sponsored by an actual temp agency” and make Spherion cool for having a sense of humor about itself. We just wrapped season 4 which makes The Temp Life not only one the first branded web series but also the longest-running. Since creating Temp Life, I’ve worked on about 20 other web shows.
PRG: What would your advice be to aspiring webseries creators – what should they be doing to get their webseries noticed?
WC: I could go on forever with this question but here are my top 4 pieces of advice:
- Make the show you want to make because there’s an audience for everything.
- Know the audience you’re making your series for, find out where they hang out online: what blogs they read, what blogs they write, what videos they watch, who they follow on Twitter, what they Like on Facebook, etc. Then start talking to them about your show.
- syndicate your show to every video site that makes sense to your audience. Not sure what those are? Use sites like Compete and Quantcast to get the demographics but if nothing else, YouTube and Blip are musts.
Email a link to your show to Tubefilter and NewTeeVee. A write-up on one or both let’s your fellow creators know you’ve arrived and once you’re on the community’s radar, you’ll find we’re a very supportive bunch.
PRG: On the Indie Intertube podcast on BlogTalk Radio today they were discussing how much they enjoyed Webventures and Destini named it as her pick for this week.
WC: I know! I was listening! That was very cool of her and that endorsement means a lot. Coincidentally, during that same podcast they had also talked about Web Series: The Web Series, which I’d found out THAT day from my best friend Shannon that she was the one who created that show. Good times.
PRG: Talk also turned to how LA-centric webseries appear to be since most webseries seem to come out of LA. Do you think that is inevitable and will it continue in the future?
WC: I live in New York, home of My Damn Channel and NextNewNetworks, among others so I’m not totally sold on the idea that most web series come out of L.A; which is not to say I believe web series ONLY come out of those two cities. Web series come from anywhere and everywhere, which is what makes the medium so exciting and interesting. Anyone But Me, Auto-Tune The News, Wainy Days, The Hayley Project, The Temp Life, The ‘Burg, Key of Awesome, Rocketboom, Vendr.TV are all New York-based web series, so we can still represent!