A couple of days ago, I got an email from a friend. He is involved with a web series in development and included a link to a Kickstarter campaign. (Kickstarter is one of those crowdfunding sites where you get family and friends and hopefully rich strangers to contribute money to finance your projects.)
I clicked on the link and was surprised to see that Paul Chato of The Frantics was in charge of the campaign. It’s for a series that Paul has created called GUNI.
GUNI is about a man who loses his job and, after a year of blowing through his savings and wallowing in self-pity, decides to start his own business. He joins a ragtag group of small business owners who meet every week and recite 15 second pitches about their work and give each other referrals.
Why has Paul Chato created a show about my life?
Really, that ’s my life…
Seriously though, I was struck that someone who is in the business and has contacts with networks and various production companies would want to go to Kickstarter to get funds. My first thought was that if he has trouble getting funding, I am in big trouble!
Paul is hoping to raise $50,000 to produce the web series. Although that might seem like a lot, it’s really very little to produce 9 episodes of a show. Producing it for the web would definitely reduce his production requirements.
When I last checked, though, only a little more than $13,000 was pledged and there are only 10 days left in the campaign. Kickstarter is one of those sites that if you don’t raise the amount you are hoping for, you don’t get any of the funds. So, Paul has to get people to donate/contribute at least $50,000 or else he doesn’t get anything.
But maybe the more important question is: Why a web series?
Paul mentions that it gives him more creative control – which is an added bonus to the low cost requirements of it.
There are a few people in class that are developing web series. Some people don’t even have cable anymore – all the content they watch is from the internet. Certainly a lot of experts feel that the internet is where television is moving. Look at how much Netflix has expanded!
I’ve been developing my project with an eye towards broadcasters like CBC and CTV, but maybe I should be rethinking it as a web series… The opportunity to develop my project without interference “recommendations” from network executives is alluring. And a web series isn’t restricted by a broadcaster’s schedule or time slots.
Maybe the real lesson from the Paul’s campaign is that I should be looking to the web as the destination for my own series and going to Kickstarter myself to get my project funded! So, while I’m getting my campaign ready, why don’t you check out Paul’s campaign and donate if you can.