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Project Update PART 2

Since I was struggling to find a way to stray away from a linear narrative and to engage the audience, Randall suggested to present my final piece as a series of mini web-episodes (Thanks Randall!). The narratives would be put up once a day for a week, starting from April 8th and ending on April 15th (which is the last day of class for DA9005). This series would be put on Youtube and the episodes are aimed to be around 3 minutes each. It could also be presented on a blog or a webpage, but I personally think I would want it on Youtube. Because of the decision to divide it into web-episodes, I think it’s better to focus on only one plot event that would create tension to keep it simple and more coherent.  It might be a bit ambitious/definitely more work, but I want to try to film the first 2/3 episodes and then let the audience decide what happens next and go from there.

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Wongfu Productions is an American filmmaking group that gained popularity on Youtube for creating shorts. Among the comedy skits and the short film series they have created, there was this one called Away We Happened, which consists of 5 episodes that were produced once a week and asks the audience to decide what happens on the web series as it unfolds. I remember following this series as it was happening, and it made me more engaged in the videos since I was counting down the days until the next episode was released.

Here is episode one:

By not publishing the episodes all at once, it provokes conversations between the viewers who follow and are engaged in the series. It allows them to speak their opinions on what they want to see happen with the characters and gives them an active collaborative role in creating the piece. Also, I wanted to allow the audience to get involved in other ways by involving social media. Just like Wongfu Productions did, I want to promote the webseries by setting up a Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram account. Perhaps, even separate Twitter accounts for the two characters as a way of character development. I know that this would be a bit hard to all manage in a week, but it’s the idea that I want to explore if I had more time and I hope to at least try out one social media app for this project. It would be interesting/a good side project to see how effective social media is in terms of promoting/creating awareness.

For the action of the story, here is what I have so far (the further into the series, the more open to change it is). It’s between two people of different time zones, who are good friends first and realize that they may have feelings for each other when one of them has to go on exchange/go overseas for a semester. They try to decide on what they should do for the next months before she returns back home.
Episode 1 – Boy admits to girl that he has been thinking and he may have feelings for the girl, asks her out on a date for when she gets back, tells her that this obviously doesn’t change anything she wants to do on exchange and she says she needs time to think
Episode 2 – She tells him  that she realizes that she likes him back, he asks her when she’s back and they already plan out what they want to do
Episode 3 – A calm episode where they keep asking each other questions and are getting to know one another, this is the episode where the audience feels that they really are communicating and making it work (even if there are some awkward silences), one of them stays up to 3 am to talk to the other because of the time difference
Episode 4 – They can only talk for a few minutes, there is some connection error and she tries to go to different areas to get better connection, but ends up getting frustrated and saying that they’ll talk later
Episode 5 – One of them is doing homework/attending class while the other one is getting ready to go out partying on a Thursday night
Episode 6 –That night, they Skype again and the guy drunkenly tells the girl that he may have kissed another girl and she hangs up on him
Episode 7 – They Skype the next day and she asks him about the night, and he has no recollection of the night before, and they don’t bring it up and she says she has to go out with friends, he comments on how good she looks and for her to not dance with anyone else, she awkwardly smiles and leaves (don’t know if I want to keep it open ended….)

 

3 thoughts on “Project Update PART 2”

  1. Hey Ashley~ I was also thinking if you want to make a video entirely on a social media platform itself. I.E Filming how the story unfold on a skype video call entirely, or creating facebook accounts for your fictional characters where they interact with one another, revealing more details than the film itself.
    Just my thought tho! Will be looking forward to your web episodes soon xD

  2. I think having separate social media accounts for the two characters involved might be a great idea. While it is definitely hard to expect an immediate benefit from this, once the project is all done and all the material are up online, new viewers who chance upon the videos and the related social media accounts may start wondering if they are indeed real people. What might make this more effective, is if the fictitious accounts started talking to one another (i.e. posting and replying to each other on the Facebook wall, having an active social media life just like any regular average individual). Have you thought about maybe recruiting some of your friends to help manage these accounts so that you wouldn’t end up being the sole one to manage all of these? If you can pull that off, I suspect the archived chatlogs and comment streams will prove to be great extensions of the drama unfolding via the webisodes. Hmm, and what happens after the last episode gets published? Is there any way to get the viewers to still be engaged? (e.g. maybe asking viewers to leave their reactions as comments on the last episode?)

    Oh, you may want to make use of a website service like ifttt.com and connect it to your YouTube channel and the related social media channels. This service would allow your videos, once posted on YouTube for example, to be automatically cross-posted to any other social media platform you want to. You can also consider making use of another service like bufferapp.com which might come in handy.

  3. Just a thought on my head while reading your post. I was thinking you can make this web series interesting by having a few alternate endings where the audience will choose their best ending to them and having a link for them to continue the story with their desired narrative. You can create links for such “choices”. The choice can either lead to the end of the web series of another unexpected twist to the story with their decision.
    heres a link how to create links if you’re not sure.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdp5uN2uYBU

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