How to Create a Digital Series or Web Series on a Shoestring Budget

Tips From a Web Series Creator Who Has Spent Only $500 Per Episode!
Hosted by Keith Powell

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Keith Powell

Webinar hosted by: Keith Powell

Star of NBC's '30 Rock,' Actor, Director and Creator of the microbudget webseries 'Keith Broke His Leg'

Keith Powell was a series regular on NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom 30 Rock for seven seasons, where he received the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for Comedy Ensemble. He has had recurring roles on About A Boy and The Newsroom as well as appearances on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the ABC pilot Judy's Got A Gun, Reno 911!, and NCIS: Los Angeles. Feature films include The Way We Weren't, Syrup, and Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian as well as extensive work in the theater as both an actor and director. In addition, he is the writer/producer/director of the animated pilot Nate & Abe (starring Rachel Dratch, David Wain, Alyssa Milano, and Robert Ben Garant), writer/director/star of the short film People We Meet (co-starring Frederick Weller and Scott Adsit), and recently produced/co-wrote/starred in the feature film My Name Is David (co-starring Judy Reyes and Adepero Oduye). About Keith's Webseries Keith Broke His Leg: Keith Broke His Leg is a semi-autobiographical comedy about 30 Rock star Keith Powell's self discovery when he is suddenly stripped of his ability to be mobile. After an accident, Keith is forced to see the world in a new way when his wife, his friends, and especially his agent don’t make life easy for the incapacitated. What results is a series of visits with the floura and fauna of the the Hollywood comedy world, with most of the actors playing parodies of themselves. The show features Keith’s off-kilter brand of wit, coupled with some genuinely thoughtful moments. Contemplating race, sex, friendship, marriage, and stereotypes, Keith Broke His Leg is "Louie" with a Los Angeles sensibility; "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with humanity, and “Inside Amy Schumer” with a black dude. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Creating your web or digital series as a calling card for your talent or idea has become a hot way to break in. There’s no better way to showcase the viability of your vision than a successful series. Hits like High Maintenance on HBO to shows like Drunk History or Broad City on Comedy Central all got their starts as web series that caught the eye of network executives. In this era of DIY content creation, now is your time to shine by creating a web or digital series, which will also serve as valuable IP (intellectual property) for you and your brand as a creative.

With so many factors to consider to create a season for your web or digital series, where do you even begin? How do you not break the bank creating and filming it? And how do you assure your story is fine tuned to keep your budget down and make certain your scheduling, casting and locations make sense financially? You don’t have to overthink or overestimate the budget of your series. In fact, most webseries (and many successful ones the came before have proven this out) can be done for as little as $500 an episode. Yes, you heard that right, $500 per episode!

Keith Powell has taken everything he’s learned as an actor on high-budget episodic productions (such as 30 Rock and The Newsroom), modified it, and applied it to creating a successful micro-budget web series. And he did all this without breaking the bank and while keeping his sanity intact (well, kind of). And being the kind of guy he is, now Keith wants to share this knowledge with you. 

Keith will teach you the building blocks toward creating an artistically successful series without stretching your budget. You will walk away with all the tools necessary to help you during development, pre-production, production, post-production and even distribution. Most importantly, you will  learn how - even with the glut of web series available online and within the market - you can make a product that stands out above the noise (and there definitely is noise!)

Creating a web or digital series is something YOU can control and that can open doors to help launch your creative career. Keith will provide you with the tools to get started and establish the brand of your content and the brand of you! 

 

What You'll Learn

PRE-PRODUCTION:

  • Budgets
    • How much do you really need? / Staying realistic
  • Schedules
    • Calendars / Software / Juggling schedules / Script breakdown
  • Locations
    • Adapting / Permits
  • Casting
    • “To ask a friend, or to not ask a friend?”, that is the question.
  • Storyboarding
    • Plotting production / Shot list
  • Pre-meetings
    • Meeting with all department heads (Challenges, disagreements, artistic intent)

PRODUCTION:

  • Dealing with crew
    • Trust & Craft services
  • Process of shooting
    • Coverage / One Special Shot a Day / KEEP MOVING
  • Wearing Multiple Hats
    • How to juggle / When to choose your battles
  • Sound
    • Room tone / Get more than you need / Get it "clean"
  • Lighting for the shot
    • Be patient / Stay on schedule / Adjust if necessary
  • Making your day
    • Problem Solving / Don't obsess over takes / Keep moving / Rescheduling
  • Working with actors
    • Don't abuse their time / Giving them a take with freedom

POST PRODUCTION:

  • Editing
    • Building the story / Open to Changes / Talking the cuts through / Picture lock
  • Reshoots
  • Sound
    • Recording elements / Foley
  • Color Correction
    • Research / Inform the story / Colorist Relationship
  • Visual Effects
  • Test-audience
    • Showing to friends / Criticism
  • Marketing, web site, research pre-launch
    • Finding your audience / Website / Release Platforms / Schedule

Q&A WITH KEITH

About Your Instructor

Keith Powell was a series regular on NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom 30 Rock for seven seasons, where he received the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for Comedy Ensemble.

He has had recurring roles on About A Boy and The Newsroom as well as appearances on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the ABC pilot Judy's Got A Gun, Reno 911!, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Feature films include The Way We Weren't, Syrup, and Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian as well as extensive work in the theater as both an actor and director.

In addition, he is the writer/producer/director of the animated pilot Nate & Abe (starring Rachel Dratch, David Wain, Alyssa Milano, and Robert Ben Garant), writer/director/star of the short film People We Meet (co-starring Frederick Weller and Scott Adsit), and recently produced/co-wrote/starred in the feature film My Name Is David (co-starring Judy Reyes and Adepero Oduye).

About Keith's Webseries Keith Broke His Leg:

Keith Broke His Leg is a semi-autobiographical comedy about 30 Rock star Keith Powell's self discovery when he is suddenly stripped of his ability to be mobile.

After an accident, Keith is forced to see the world in a new way when his wife, his friends, and especially his agent don’t make life easy for the incapacitated. What results is a series of visits with the floura and fauna of the the Hollywood comedy world, with most of the actors playing parodies of themselves.

The show features Keith’s off-kilter brand of wit, coupled with some genuinely thoughtful moments. Contemplating race, sex, friendship, marriage, and stereotypes, Keith Broke His Leg is "Louie" with a Los Angeles sensibility; "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with humanity, and “Inside Amy Schumer” with a black dude.

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Keith's no-nonsense approach (i.e. to the point, quick and efficient) provides a great overview of not only the things to consider when putting together a web series but also ensures he covered a lot of ground. Thanks Keith! We're putting together a web series right now and some of your tips will save us ten-fold on the cost of this webinar!
  • It was concise, to the point and gives you confidence to move forward on your own project.
  • Good info... Entertaining.
  • Very informative and detailed!

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