William H. Johnson

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page


In The Dark Province on November 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

I’ve given it more than serious thought. I’ve written seven webisodic scripts each 8 pages or less. I have bounced them off of critique partners. I’ve picked up the phone and reconnected with my director of photography from a film I made on 35mm twelve years ago…and I’ve scheduled a actor’s table reading of the 7-webisode first season for this Sunday at a studio in Los Angeles.

Yes, I’ve given this at least some “serious thought.”

In this age of new media and the ability for artists to bridge the gaps between themselves and readers/viewers, I truly believe the landscape if changing. I have said before that I believe e-book is the new paperback. In the same way I am starting to believe that the web is the new “small screen”.

The web allows viewers three key conveniences:

1)   Whether it’s Netflix or Hulu or some other web-based viewing channel, the viewer can watch a show they like at a time of their choosing. As a dad, director, author, coach, I just don’t care enough about any show to watch or even DVR at a designated time of the week. That doesn’t mean I won’t love it. I watched the re-imagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA on Netflix and think it’s possibly one of the top 5 shows of any kind television has ever produced.

2)   If you come into the middle of a show, all the previous episodes are there waiting for you so that you can easily catch up. And not just one at a time, you can watch two or three episodes on that day you have time and then a couple more three days later when you have time again. This is true of short form web series as well. I jumped into THE GUILD during season 3 and went back and quickly caught up.

3)   Short form web series gives you the intimacy of something different, something niche that can build its way to a larger audience. THE GUILD is a comedy about online gamers. ANYONE BUT ME is a show about a teenage lesbian couple and the challenges of being who they are to the world and to each other. Both shows may have been met with skepticism by mainstream TV but were just what the doctor ordered for their adoring audience on the web.

The face of web series is also changing. The top shows online don’t appear like the budget-less pioneers of a second ago.  No show encapsulates that for me than Electronic Arts’ new DRAGON AGE: REDEMPTION. This is a fantasy action adventure series in short form starring (and written by) new media entertainment empress Felicia Day. Sure it’s no AVATAR but there nothing budget-less about this exciting new venture.

I can’t help but be encouraged by this new inspiration. It feels…right…fun…refreshing. THE DARK PROVINCE is a fantasy adventure that I feel can translate well to this format. It’s dark, introspective qualities would thrive there, and scores of people who might not otherwise get to experience the story might get to visit this world and these characters that I’m so passionate about.

First things first, the script. Actor’s reading on Sunday. I’ll post and let you know how that goes.