Sunday, May 22, 2011

Liquid Lunch: How I Made A Web Series



Here's the first post on how I made Liquid Lunch, my 6-part webcom. It's not a definitive guide on how to make a web series, more how I made a web series. Still, there should be some useful bits of info if you're considering making a web show, and the same basic principles apply if you're thinking of making a short film.

1. THE IDEA

So, like, dude, where did it all begin? Good question. As with a lot of my projects, it begins with a title. I've always liked the title Liquid Lunch. It's catchy and punchy. Yes, it's a commonly used phrase but I was surprised that no TV show or film or whatever had nabbed it to spin a story. At least, none that I had heard of.

After spending a squillion pounds making Origin, I was itchy to (a) direct again but (b) didn't want to burn as much money. And then, over a vodka or three at the London Screenwriters' Festival, Piers Beckley challenged EVERYONE* to make a short film with these simple rules: it must last between 3-5 minutes, not including credits; it must have no more than 5 actors in it (counted as anyone with a line, onscreen or off); deadline for completion is St. Patrick's Day (17th March 2011); you need to either write or direct the film, or both. It was October at this stage, so EVERYONE* (in their drunken euphoria) thought it was a cinch, and agreed to the challenge.

Liquid Lunch seemed like the ideal short film to me and yet, when I started writing it, I couldn't make the story work within a 5 minute duration. But the bet had spurred me on to actually commit something to paper about the idea, and the characters and theme that emerged really struck a chord with me ('don't just talk about what you're going to do, get out there and do it'). I didn't want to give up on it. In the end, I lost the bet because I didn't make the short within the agreed timeframe (kudos to Tim and Piers for that achievement). Instead, I set about developing Liquid Lunch into a comedy web series.

Next up: the writing and casting process.


* Me, Tim, Piers, Brendan and Andy, although I think Brendan and Andy might have been amused by our enthusiasm for the bet rather than agreeing to do it.

5 comments:

Phill Barron said...

Looking forward to this, Danny. If it's no good, I'm going to hurt you with my mind.

Danny Stack said...

Thanks, Phill! It's very stressciting, I can tell you! It feels weird writing, producing, directing, editing and now promoting it. You just want someone to wave a wand: 'there, it's out there, people love it'. Guess I'll find out on Friday!

Dax said...

I've been in a situation like this Danny as you know

lucy said...

Great series. Plans for any more? Have you heard of blip.tv for uploading web series?

Danny Stack said...

Thanks, Lucy! No plans for 2nd series but the show is on Blip.TV!