Friday, February 27, 2009

What Constitutes A Season

Since Webseries are still very much like the Wild West, they don't necessarily follow the same models that are displayed by television shows. This brings up a very interesting question: How do you differentiate between seasons?

For In the Can, the answer is simple. We write each season - with a finite number of episodes in blocks. Because of this, we know what we want to happen in any given Season: there is a very clear through line. Since we have the hopes that In the Can will have a life as a half hour show, we break each season down and call it an episode. This "episode" is then made up of parts. When those parts are strung together you have a season. For instance - Season 1 (Episode One) is made up of 7 episodes (or parts). Got it? Wow, it seems much more confusing now that I've written it.

Watch it at:

For The Sexually, we have a similar game plan. We know the outline of a season and then Jeff writes the episodes and we throw in a bunch of improved sketches. The sketches came out of need to create content while competing with busy schedules. Out of necessity, these created a great place for the boys to really stretch out their characters and provide us with a lot of backstory that we no longer need to jam into a three minute episode. Even though this was our master plan, our story lines have changed as the series has developed. We didn't conceive of the park episodes until we realized we needed a through line. Since we started filming the improved interviews, and the boys brought such intricicacies to their characters, Jeff needed to weave it all together. Thus the park scenes. So...breaking down the sexually so far has been a bit tougher. I look at Season 1 as the Lawyer office episodes and the Central Park episodes. Season 2 are the interviews. Moving forward we have a more clear cut idea of the next couple of seasons - Season 3 brings the boys to therapy. We will still feature both improv and scripted episodes, but they will have a central focus behind them.

Watch it at:

This brings us to The In-Betweens of Holly Malone. When we started Holly, we had a lot to learn. She was our flagship show, and we were still getting our feet wet on creating the language of a webseries. The first season of Holly - episodes 1 through 17 have a clear over arching story line. As we progressed, we realized that fast and funny was best and that our audience was willing to overlook certain expositional plot points in exchange for funny jokes. We also learned to keep the episodes current. Now we have jokes about the Oscars, politics and the economy. Right now we're still in Season 2 of Holly, but this season could go on indefinitely. Since we haven't delineated the idea of what marks a season in Holly, we're likely to just keep creating and not worrying about seasons.

Watch it here:

However, these theories could all go out the window as each series develops!

In other news, we've been tossing around ideas to combine all three series into an "On the Leesh Webseries Special." We don't have a plot line yet, but our idea is that all the characters would meet and interact. Imagine Holly up against Johnnie or Juice with Phillipa...

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Growing Pains: A Web Story

A few years ago we developed the website that you see when you visit We were still small at that point - smaller than we are now. We had just one web series under our belt, and only a few episodes at that. We had only completed five short films, and we hadn't begun to span into the realm of instructional videos at all. As we've grown and continued to develop our products, we have pushed our website to the brink.

We are redesigning! We have hired a wonderful programmer, Noah Diamond. He has started to reformat the website piece by piece. Our first goal has been to create a web page for each of our web series that reflects the tone and feel of that show. Noah started with The In-Betweens of Holly Malone, and has since taken on In the Can.

Our next hurdle is our third web series, The Sexually, and then we need to create a more in-depth page for clients to look at for information about our corporate/instructional video services.

After this work is completed, our goal is to reformat the whole website. It's going to be about a six month process. So please check back periodically for new updates.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Gotta See A Man About A Horse...

In the Can Productions- Season 2, Episode 3 "I gotta see a man about a horse"

Borg relives that time he met in the infamous Mr. A...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Things I've Learned About Producing for the Web

When we first started producing The In-Betweens of Holly Malone, in 2005, web-series were such uncharted territory, they didn't even have a real name yet. We were calling them nano-series. There were a few serial based programs on the web, but mostly the web was a place where you'd look for one-off entertainment involving people falling down, exploding mentos or the like. We've learned a lot of things over the past few years, and I wanted to share some information for those who are interested in starting their own series.

1. Get in and get out.
When watching programs on the web, people have a very short attention span. Think music video. People will generally give you about 3 minutes of their time before they click off. Now what's strange is people are more willing to watch four three minute episodes than one twelve minute video. I can't tell you why this happens, as I am not a scientist, but this is what we've learned time and again. Three minutes is a magic number.

2. Comedy plays better than drama.
To this day, I've only seen a couple of dramatic web-series. Typically, people seek out comedic content on the internet. Perhaps it's not such a leap from looking up a funny video on youtube, to watching a serialized story. This may change over the next few years, but for now, aim for comedy.

3. People are willing to forgive more on the internet.
Production value is a key factor that you should always have in mind. If something sounds like it's down a very hollow tunnel, or it's not in focus, people won't be interested. However, the type of camera that you use is not as important. People are used to watching videos posted by flip cameras on blogs, so you don't need the highest state of the art HD camera that George Lucas will be using to film his next Star Wars saga. Use what you can get your hands on, and make sure it's produced well. Story tends to outweigh production design.

4. Consistency is important.
For anything to gain a following, you need to maintain a consistent posting schedule. We try to post every other week, but if you are able to post weekly, that's ideal. Just don't post weekly for four weeks and then have nothing for three weeks and start posting again. It is better to post every other week and not have a lag in between. Also, plan on having at least three months of content - though six is ideal. You need time to build a following. You don't want to start to get interest and then have nothing left to post.

This means that when working on web content, you are likely to be working on it for a long time. Which brings me to my last point.

5. Make sure you have fun
Since this content is something you're likely to live with for at least 3 months, but closer to 6, make sure you pick material that you like to work on. Work with people who you have a good time with, and keep a clear perspective on the whole process. As it stands right now, you're not likely to make a lot of money working on a web-series. There are definite benefits, but getting labelled the next Bill Gates isn't one of them.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Watch Episode 2, Part 2

Episode 2, Part 2: The Art of Good Phone Sex

Office Manager Bernice schools Sally on the art of great phone sex.

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