Producing : Web-series / Quibi-type content / under 20 min episodes by Jay Han-San

Jay Han-San

Web-series / Quibi-type content / under 20 min episodes

Does anyone know if the 10 min Web/Quibi-format action-packed miniseries look appealing to viewers and/or production companies?

Richard "RB" Botto

Tripper Clancy, who has sold 3 shows to QUIBI, taught a very comprehensive Stage 32 webinar on the subject here:

The Quibi Revolution - How to Write, Pitch and Sell a Project to a Short Form Streaming Platform

https://www.stage32.com/webinars/How-to-Write-and-Storytell-for-Short-St...

John Ellis

Damian Lloyd is right: short films don't make money. They can be useful to showcase talent, but that's about it.

In April, Techcrunch said this: "Quibi manages to miss every trend and tactic that could help make its app popular." As of May 11, it had dropped to 125th in iPhone apps and was still falling.

And the blame game was starting. Katzenberg has stated, "I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus..."

Short form isn't viable. Don't waste time and money trying to monetize it.

Dan MaxXx

get some Quibi money. They've been on a spending frenzy. Just look at their roster of Talent in front and behind camera. They got Steven Spielberg doing shorts

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18660125/steven-spielberg-quibi-horro...

Richard "RB" Botto

Should your first goal with short form content be to break the bank? Of course not. But if you don't think the demand for short form content is on the rise, you're not paying attention. Read the trades, stay informed, make your connections.

And Quibi may be underperforming, but they're still spending like crazy. Also not the only game in town. Again, stay informed.

John Ellis

Hey, Richard "RB" Botto, I know Quibi is spending, but their entry has as many gatekeepers and is as restrictive as anywhere else in the industry.

For actually making filmmakers money on their shorts and putting aside YouTube (which has its own inherent problems), who are these other games in town?

Erick Freitas

Quibi hasn't preformed great, but there's the greatest short film streaming network ever called Instagram. Make 2 minute short films, and let it go against the real-world market...

Richard "RB" Botto

Amazon for one, John. And there are many others. You're also confusing short films with webseries, mini TV series, short form (mini) docs, etc.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

The demand for short content may or may not actually be on the rise, but the money isn't there in the long term. It's not a new market, so there is no reason to jump on board until you see independent filmmakers walking away with profits. That Steven Spielberg might be involved should tell you something about the business mindset of the organizers (which has never been hidden). It's not something that will benefit independents. In my opinion Quibi fills a void that doesn't exist in the first place, and as I said before, the design makes assumptions about attention span which are not born out by experience (or science). Nor, I will say, is anyone eager to watch a show while waiting in line at the checkout stand.

Richard "RB" Botto

Quibi isn't something that would be in my wheel house nor is it something that I would think fills a void. Also certainly not the only game. And hell, it may be dust in the wind in a few years. But tell the 7 people in this community (none of them named Spielberg) who have sold a total of 10 shows to the platform that it doesn't benefit the independents. If you don't think short form has a place, you're certainly talking to different execs than my team and I are speaking with every day including the agents who are signing people off of Tik Tok and developing/selling shows to various short form platforms. IF you have an interest in short form narrative/true story/serial content - and again, I'm not talking short films - dive in. To wait would be to be behind the curve and ultimately chasing as so many did when they thought the TV gold rush wasn't real or sustainable. If you're not interested in short form, stay in your chosen lane and keep winning every day.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Good points, but the real question is, what have the 10 shows netted those people? I am sure people get signed off TikTok... but frankly the reasons for that are not necessarily related to what real people are buying.

Jay Han-San

My short research on how the audience accepts Quibi/8-10 min episodes in a Web-series format (such as "Most Dangerous Game" or "Survive"). There are two main similarities in responses and reviews/comments etc - social media body language: 1) Episodes are short - people mostly think that slicing a feature movie into 10 chunks is annoying (but they still come back for the next episode). 2) They like the format of only 8-10 mins commitment to watch (pretty much why 20min sitcoms became popular in the programming/scheduling disaster times back in 2000s, 20 min sitcom/6-8 scenes, 6x20-30sec ad spots - perfect for TV monetization model). The problem with Quibi or any web content is that you either push neverending content and boost subscription (it's all SVOD/PPV they didn't invent it, not even Netflix invented that, we did - the telcos, we did exactly what we wanted to secure the steady average /minimum cheque - subscription, bundles, private plants etc long before tv got the momentum.) recruitment figures up - a very dangerous strategy - cause you need to be on top of the game most of the time and you need a solid base for organic subscribers intake. The second strategy that they still can't nail (including Netflix, Hulu, HBO max, Iflix, Quibi/whatever) - the share of movie-time is shrinking and there is a very narrow gap between 2 hr movie/theater and a 10 min fast-bite content - the reality of the modern world is that the 24 hour-cycle is pretty crowded - that's why you order take out, you do drive-through McDonalds - they need to focus on the geography - the problem with the internet is that there is so much data nobody's actually using - you know exactly how much time people spend on youtube or Instagram scrolling on the subway ride. That's the gold - dive into big data and dig your subscribers - the medium has changed - one chapter of a book is now a single episode on Quibi - 8-10 min. If they won't follow the basic rules of psychology and consumer behavioral analysis - the youtube will - they've got the user data and the patterns we follow. Have a good one, everyone!

Richard "RB" Botto

Shadow, for Tripper who taught the webinar and others I've referenced they have stated it's more money - and with less hassle - than at any other point in their careers. And many of them, including Tripper, have had long and successful ones prior to the Quibi sales. Quite a few just got Season 2 money as well. But again, this is just Quibi. Many, many more inroads and new ones being paved by the day. As for what "real people" are buying, I just don't get that comment. What the hell is a "real person"? Money is money, consumption is consumption. Clearly you're not the audience. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that people aren't getting paid. There's an old school mentality and a new school reality.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Richard, that they get paid is good to hear because for professional content producers that's the ONLY thing that counts. But I differ: the question isn't consumption, it's compensation; how much are they being paid? Because literal pennies per stream is more than most platforms will pay, including the big ones, but that's not necessarily sustainable; nor is it equitable unless we know the income taken by Quibi on those particular streams. It's the most important question. When (allegedly) Steven Spielberg is involved, we should all know he isn't doing anything on spec, or for pennies. As of today, there are producer call-outs for Quibi, on shows apparently connected with NBC-Uni and with Netflix. Neither of those players are doing anything without good compensation already guaranteed or handed over. And neither is known to share much when they don't have to. So I really would like to know more information about how it is working out so far. As for "real people" I did choose my words poorly. I am referring to different audience psychographics, and the ephemeral audience is not an easy one to target, if it can actually be considered a definable audience at all. Given the stated business model of Quibi, that's the area they are seeking. Which to my mind is a quaintly behind the times idea, but that's another topic. Shorts never went away because PERHAPS there was always an audience that would watch them but more importantly because they are doable for film makers. My (qualified) skepticism about Quibi is that it is so easy to get these two facts mixed up and think that because there is lots of short content and it's easy to producer, lots of people must want to see it. When in fact there is lots of short content because it's easy to make and maybe those who really want to see it are not that many. Also, by definition any audience invests less commitment into a short product, and the shorter the smaller the investment. So what is the long term viability of a business model that tries to capitalize on that?

Richard "RB" Botto

"Shadow, for Tripper who taught the webinar and others I've referenced they have stated it's more money - and with less hassle - than at any other point in their careers." Can't say much more than that. And again, I'm not talking about just Quibi and I'm certainly not talking about pennies per click online platforms or platforms that "distribute" short films - I think I've made that clear as well. You're talking about something I'm not. I spent an hour and a half this morning on a Zoom with one of the former heads of Warner Brother's Digital (also heavily invested in short form and gearing up for more) now at Netflix and had this discussion with him. He laughed and said (and I quote just in case the quote marks don't bring it home), "Ignore the trends and the headlines at your own peril."

My goal is to provide the most current information to the community based on all the calls/meetings we have with the execs and pros we work with and my own in the moment experiences writing and producing. It's not to convince anyone to change their path, beliefs, or predisposition to cynicism.

Many more mountains to climb, so I'll leave this one to you. Hope you and everyone here have a fantastic week.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Richard, thank you. I don't have a predisposition to cynicism; my questions are admittedly pointed, but they are aimed at getting at truth, not at denying the truth of what is said. I do hope you like to stimulate thought as well as make statements. I think it's obvious that's what you have done here. So... you know... perhaps consider expanding the discussion instead of assuming an attack. There are at least two levels to the industry. Majors - Warners, NBCUni, et al, and independents. Having played both levels, and preferring the indie level for personal reasons, I can tell you the game is very different for these levels and it's a serious economic and professional mistake to forget which level one is in. What is good and sustainable for majors, is not necessarily good and sustainable for independents and by and large the majors like it that way. That's why we should all examine the moves of the major studios carefully. Back to Quibi - so far as "ignoring the trends" - true enough, if they are in fact trends. But shorts and ephemerals are not trends; they are what YouTube made its billions on over the last 15 or so years, and still does. So in my opinion, Quibi is doing something old hat, regardless of how it characterizes itself. Though by partnering with major players such as Netflix and NBCUni, they seem to be trying to change that game. Where will that lead is another question this discussion brings up. Because that is, in fact something different, and it does imply potential future moves.

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