Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How an Online-Only TV Series Stays Successful

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the roll-enough-dies dept.

Television 163

ChronoDragon writes "The Wall Street Journal points out that it is possible to make a successful web series without the backing of a studio. With the release of a music video, Do you Wanna Date My Avatar, and the start of Season of 3, the web series The Guild is ready for even more success. The Guild, created by Felicia Day (Doctor Horrible), is a low-budget comedy series about a group of MMORPG gamers and their interactions both online and off. While there are a lot of references that will be instantly recognized by gamers, the show is still very accessible to non-gamers."

cancel ×

163 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

You mean... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29222031)

You mean that its easy to stay successful when you make your media convenient to your users? Perhaps the RIAA/MPAA can learn something from this....

Re:You mean... (1)

sorak (246725) | about 5 years ago | (#29223047)

And don't forget low-budget!

Re:You mean... (4, Funny)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 5 years ago | (#29223545)

NO! These users seeing this show for free are STEALING!!! It's all STOLEN! They didn't pay for it, SO IT'S ALL STOLEN!!

Re:You mean... (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | about 5 years ago | (#29224469)

It sort of depends on what you define as successful. These people involved in the show certainly aren't making a ton of money. I see where your going but I don't think this show is the right example.

Owwwww! (0, Flamebait)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 5 years ago | (#29222051)

Dammit, the PAIN! My eyes! I watched "Do you Want to Date my Avatar?" !

Re:Owwwww! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222361)

it really makes me depressed when I see how popular that video is

Re:Owwwww! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222441)

"I hereby sentence you to a term of no less than 6 years and not exceeding 12 years" bellowed the Judge at my court case. You could tell in the sterness of his voice and his general demeanor that he took delight in sending scum like me up the river. A fucking DUI that ended up killing some black kid in Detroit was all it took to sealed my fate for the next decade. I had thoughts of appeal but I figured it wouldn't be worth the little savings I had left and my sentence would probably stand. To this day I still believe had the kid been white, my life would have been much easier, inside and outside of prison.

Now, don't believe what you see on Televison about prison, it is a far worse place than any 32" screen could every conjure up. Imagine watching an MSNBC special on jail or an episode of OZ and take that experience and double it. That's about the wretched hell I have come to know for the past 3 1/2 years. Sometimes I don't know who is worse and my already fazed and battered mind, the prison guards or the inmates. It really takes a certain type of psychopath to want to work around this place, 8 hours a day or longer and that's exactly the type of labor pool this place picks from.

I can't say my first week was the worst week of my life, but I can certainly say it was the scariest, most horrifying change change in lifestyle I can remember. The dynamic between my old life as a software developer with a modest 1 bedroom downtime, to sharing a tiny cell with a sexual deviant is enough to make anyone go insane. But anyway let me talk about my first day of 12 long years here.

As I was escorted on to the prison bound bus with the day's newly convicted felons, it was already starting. I was chained next to this black man named Napps. I am sure this wasn't his real name but you can't tell these days with the way these people are named. Now Napps was a pretty built man, and I could tell by the excess amount of tattos and his attitude, that this wasn't the first time he was getting bussed off to a stint in the State Penetentary. Napps upon being forced to sit next to me had given me a look that you would imagine a wolf would give towards their defenseless prey. That was what I officially was now, defensless prey for Napps and God knows who else now. Napps, with a smug and deviously look in his eye asked me "What's a white boy like yourself doing going to the shit?". "Pardon?", I said uneasily almost choking on my words. "This white boy dinks we at da country club.", he said to the rest of the bus, while the bus started roaring in laughter. Now all eyes and ears on the bus were tuned in to me. "I says, wat a tender cracka like you doing here wit the rest of us?", he said in a more pointed fashion. "I'm here...for drunk driving. I killed someone in Brightmore", I shamefully admitted. "So you the motherfucka who killed dat black kid!", now furious with me. The rest of the bus, still focused on me began roaring again loudly as if my crime is more terrible than raping and killing a white woman in the suburbs (I eventually find this out later on). "You lucky da guards are here bitch, you hear me? When we get down to the shit, your ass belongs to the blacks, you got it cracker?". My heart jumped, not even in prison yet, and I am already targeted for what I am sure is to be a stabbing. Shit.

The bus finally turned into the outer gate, which seemed to stretch on for ever, Napps was still from time to time threatening me. I didn't think I would even make it into prison alive. "So you kill one of ours, huh?", he uttered with extreme hatred. "Well, I took one of yours too bitch ass. 4 of my boys went to your white part of town and and took a bitch. We ran a train on dat fo 8 hours, den we pours acid on that cunt", he must have enjoyed the thought as he laughed sadisticly while telling me his crime. As we got manhandled off of the bus one by one, Napps turned around and said "watch yo ass, lit'ry!", before being forced face first by the guard.

By now I was too much in shock from being scared to even be scared. I went through the motions of "processing" before I was escorted to my cell. The bunk was already occupied with an inmate, reading some sort of hip-hop magazine. I was pushed into my cell, and my new roommate eyed me and said "So you the nigga killer?". "It's gonna be you and me tonight", he threatened as I already had my fill of being threatened by prison niggers. It was already about 8:30 and since our bus got delayed coming in, and I knew that in a half an hour it was going to be 'me and him'.

"Lights out! Lights fucking out!" Yelled from the distance as the boom of the dimming lights started my first night. "You and me time, cracker" the hulking voice from the top of the bunk whispered. He came down from his bunk getting about 6 inches away from me and must have been 6 foot five. I started panicking, believing he had a shank or was going to choke me to death but it was too dark to tell. He moved his hands down around his crotch and made several 'manuveurs'. Before I knew it, still being dark, he had his cock out in front of me, which must have been at least 8 inches but probably 10 if I could see. "Yo want to ack like a bitch, you gonna suck like one too". His giant hands pushed me into my knees while he began putting his already erect cock up towards my face. By now his throbbing cock was hitting me on the side of my ear as he kept commanding me to open my mouth. "Put this shit down yo throat bitch", he commanded again while I still resisted. "Boy, I will cut yo throat if I gots to say it another time", he responded to my reluctance.

I finally gave in, thinking that this was probably still better than death. I opened my mouth and began feeding his nigger cock into my mouth. This was not enough for him and he grabbed my hair while he forced the rest of what was probably 5 inches more down my throat. I almost gagged but maintained composure, while he started skull fucking me more and more. I figured this would soon be over and I would be able to go cry myself to sleep very soon. He then pulled out and I thought the worst was over. "Bitches need a good fuck now too", he said while he threw me in my bunk and made me get on my hands and knees. He forced my pants down and kept me in place even while I tried my best to squirm out of there and go...nowhere. His cock still hard and wet with my mouth, he pushed his cock into my virgin asshole. I swear, between his cock size and my clenching reaction, this was the most painful experience I have can remember. The car accident that brought me here didn't even hurt half as bad. He kept going at it while he pulled my hair and pinned me down with his giant body. I tried to scream for help but nothing would even coming out. The only sounds now coming out of my cell was the cyclic screeching of springs and the "Hmm! Hmm! Hmm!" of my new found rapist. When it was finally over, he had deposited a gigantic load of semen on my ass, and with his cock still in my ass whispered in my ear "Wait till the rest of the niggers break you in tomorrow". He kissed me on the cheek and left my limp body in my own bed as he climbed back up to his bunk.

3 spinchter surgeries and an HIV positive diagnosis later, I am 3 year into my prison sentence, and worth about a pack of Pall Malls. I constantly think of killing myself but I know I don't have the guts to do so. Napps, Tbone, and Shades are back and I have little time now before I get traded on the nigger exchange. I thought I would share my experiences on Slashdot and let people know how prison reall
asfd
sf
dfasd

Re:Owwwww! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223091)

I'd missed the story trolls.

Eek. (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29222053)

World of Warcraft: Destroying relationships with girls since... well, the day it came out.

-- No. I mean this. I've got about six female friends that either bought it as a anniversary or birthday present, or their boyfriend bought it... and the relationship has always ended within eight months after that fateful purchase. My last friend got so fed up that she took the laptop (with the CD still in it) and smashed it in the driveway, drove over it a few times, then hit it with a hammer. Then she called all her friends and went to have ice cream. That game is pure evil -- it makes boys think dating a high level elf huntress is better than having a real girlfriend.

Legions of geeks coming to the defense of the game in 5...4...

Re:Eek. (4, Interesting)

bwindle2 (519558) | about 5 years ago | (#29222131)

My wife and I have both played since before the first expansion pack came out, and we're still happily married (and have two kids). All things in moderation (we limit ourselves to 4 WoW nights a week)

Re:Eek. (4, Funny)

Kokuyo (549451) | about 5 years ago | (#29222507)

Undeniably a very daunting limit. How do you even survive?

Re:Eek. (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29222763)

All things in moderation (we limit ourselves to 4 WoW nights a week)

FWIW... I'm not sure that fits the definition of in moderation.

I mean, sure, some people watch TV seven nights a week, and compared to that, 4 nights only is limited... but for me, as a married guy with a kid, a hobby done in moderation means once a week, tops.

YMMV, of course -- I have no idea what your life is like, etc. But for me, just the thought of spending more than one night a week playing games makes my skin crawl with the thought of all the chores that wouldn't be getting done.

Re:Eek. (5, Insightful)

brucifer (12972) | about 5 years ago | (#29223533)

I'm just curious about what people are supposed to be doing at night after the kids are all in bed. Well, activities that don't involve making more kids aside.

Why is there this sense that we have to be busy doing things all the time? My parents used to watch TV at night, I prefer to play video games to unwind. I think it provides more mental stimulation than popping open a beer and sitting on the couch.

Re:Eek. (2, Funny)

startled (144833) | about 5 years ago | (#29225547)

Why is there this sense that we have to be busy doing things all the time?

Please remain in your location. A squad will be sent over shortly, and you will be "optimized".

Re:Eek. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 5 years ago | (#29225405)

You have kids.. aren't they supposed to be doing the chores?

(...and what chores? Doing laundry? at least the separation/folding of washed/dried clothes can be done while watching TV.)

Re:Eek. (1)

daveywest (937112) | about 5 years ago | (#29222983)

Brings new meaning to "the night isn't over yet baby."

Re:Eek. (4, Funny)

myawn (562028) | about 5 years ago | (#29223657)

All things in moderation

Especially moderation.

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223703)

Thats moderation? Dam I knew I was doing something wrong when I decided to spend time with my child and turn off the computer. How about less than 10hrs a week on ANYtHING computer releated. Saying you use it in "moderation" is like saying MJ and Coke aren't drugs.

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29224631)

killyourself

Re:Eek. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#29224737)

MJ's dead, friend. And I'd rather Coke than Red Bull.

Re:Eek. (3, Insightful)

brainboyz (114458) | about 5 years ago | (#29222143)

Dating a high level elven huntress is fine, as long as she belongs to your RL girlfriend. WoW is also great as long as you can limit your usage so your RL girlfriend and job get more usage than WoW.

Re:Eek. (2, Insightful)

SupremoMan (912191) | about 5 years ago | (#29222271)

Hardly accurate for all relationships. I played with my girlfriend for quite a while, and I must say nothing made her more attractive to me than her dancing as her troll priest avatar.

Here is an idea for your friends, why don't they try to take interest in what their guys enjoy? Then instead of bitching and moaning that their boyfriends don't spend enough time with them, they will want to find ways not to spend so much time together.

Re:Eek. (2, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#29223287)

nothing made her more attractive to me than her dancing as her troll priest avatar.

... and this is why geeks have the female stigma that we do. You're saying that *nothing* makes your girlfriend more attractive than when she logs in to a video game and presses a key. I mean, you've seen the girl naked before, right? But you would prefer watching a character dance onscreen than actually interacting with your girlfriend's physical body?

To each his own I guess..

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223459)

I'll bite. One's a mental connection, a communication, sometimes a "come hither". Another is, well, nothing new. And the former does not preclude the latter, y'know? It's a different kind of flirting.

Re:Eek. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#29224055)

Yeah, I know, but "nothing more attractive"? Really?

Re:Eek. (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 5 years ago | (#29224723)

Yeah, I know, but "nothing more attractive"? Really?

Maybe he's into blue skin and underbites...?

Re:Eek. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#29224807)

I guess.. I mean, it's no alien sideboob, but I guess if that's your thing.

Re:Eek. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223523)

But you would prefer watching a character dance onscreen than actually interacting with your girlfriend's physical body?

If I had to sit through hours upon hours of shallow, meaningless conversation and gossip delivered in an artificially girly porn-star voice devoid of all personality* and then have to be teased for a week before I finally get to dip my wick into a bimbo who obviously never learned how to fuck in high school, then yeah, I'd much rather interact with a jumble of polygons I can shut off every now and then. But that's coming from somebody who actually gets pussy without having to pander to it. Your mileage may vary, mister friendzone!

*in other words, 99% of women in my age group...

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223899)

Choose NOW!

Opera, "chic-Flick" or WOW....

I like the "naked" part as much as the rest. I got the name of energizer bunny from my last girlfriend cuase I wanted to keep going adn going.. but that aside Find someone you can releate to and enjoy lots of things with. NOT just bedroom danceing. Base any relationship on pure hormones and its over before it starts, even if it is hot and really good. :P

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29224427)

Maybe she dances like the avatar in real life.

Re:Eek. (4, Funny)

Night Goat (18437) | about 5 years ago | (#29225203)

But you would prefer watching a character dance onscreen than actually interacting with your girlfriend's physical body?

You haven't seen his girlfriend.

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223879)

I must say nothing made her more attractive to me than her dancing as her troll priest avatar

Holy crap you have GOT to be kidding me. Seriously?
Is she that dull in real life or are you??

How about 10 samples of better answers:
"Nothing made her more attractive to me than...

Wholesome style:
1 - watching her sleeping peacefully in bed next to me
2 - when I saw her in in her beautiful wedding dress
3 - when she held my newborn son in her hands

Party style:
4 - when she let me do a tequila body shot out of her belly button
5 - when she brought me a beer from the fridge on Superbowl Sunday
6 - going skinny dipping with her in the middle of the night

Dirty ones:
7 - watching her masturbate in the shower
8 - when she swallowed

Geek one:
9 - when she dressed up in the princess Leia slave girl outfit
10 - watching her install Ubuntu... naked!

Re:Eek. (2, Funny)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 5 years ago | (#29224777)

10 - watching her install Ubuntu... naked!

(Peels lacquer layer off disk.) Okay, Ubuntu's naked, where do I get the girl?

Re:Eek. (2, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | about 5 years ago | (#29222281)

This is the exact reason I avoid MMO's like the plague. I know what would happen to me, because it's happened before with IRC. At least then I was 17 and had nothing to lose.

Re:Eek. (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 5 years ago | (#29222377)

My toons are all celibate. Since my beloved IRL doesn't play, I don't even allow myself the fantasy of another SO relationship. Problem solved.

Flirting is flirting, even on line. There's a real live person behind the character. Don't do it.

Re:Eek. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 5 years ago | (#29222715)

Never having played Second Life (I'm still working on getting a first life!), I'm not quite clear on how any virtual avatar could be non-celibate... computer bits are computer bits, naughty bits are naughty bits, and the two cannot coexist in the same space.

Re:Eek. (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 5 years ago | (#29223155)

My toons are all celibate. Since my beloved IRL doesn't play, I don't even allow myself the fantasy of another SO relationship. Problem solved.

Flirting is flirting, even on line. There's a real live person behind the character. Don't do it.

Common sense on Slashdot? Inconceivable! =p

My wife and I play Guild Wars together and have the same understanding. If she's not on, I'm not flirting with any females. If she is, she's the only female I am flirting with.

Re:Eek. (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 years ago | (#29223661)

So she's got you by the virtual balls as well?

Re:Eek. (1)

Draek (916851) | about 5 years ago | (#29225223)

My toons are all celibate. Since my beloved IRL doesn't play, I don't even allow myself the fantasy of another SO relationship. Problem solved.

I solved the problem differently: I just ship [tvtropes.org] my characters amongst themselves, that way its no more "cheating" than masturbation is.

Re:Eek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222459)

1. That biatch should have her legs broken for breaking another person's property.
2. Maybe if that biatch would stop eating ice cream, read a book, lose some weight, get some brains (impossible for females, it's genetics), then she and her boyfriend would have something to talk about and he would consider being with her as interesting as playing Wow.

p.s. I don't play WoW myself.

Who is Pure Evil?!? (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 5 years ago | (#29222659)

My last friend got so fed up that she took the laptop (with the CD still in it) and smashed it in the driveway, drove over it a few times, then hit it with a hammer. Then she called all her friends and went to have ice cream. That game is pure evil...
The game itself is neutral. Playing the game isn't evil, just a waste of time. However, willful and wanton destruction of other people's properly certainly could be considered pure evil! (Wouldn't just hiding the CD be sufficient?) Elf Huntresses don't get pregnant, don't sleep with your best friend, don't throw out your porn or videogame collections, don't embarrass you in public, don't run up you credit cards, and don't smash up your car... how is that not better than a real girlfriend? (Sure, the Elfess doesn't put out, but then my wife, having just had an operation, isn't putting out right now either!)(Actually, my real life girl friends have never slept with my best friend. They have, however, gotten pissed off, run off and married strangers they had only known a few weeks. All the other complaints are real and have actually happened to me.)

Re:Who is Pure Evil?!? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 years ago | (#29223677)

Story is bullshit.
You don't use a disc to play WoW.

Install (download or disc, either way) and play.
No need for any disc in the drive.

She's female. So it is OK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29224805)

Only men can commit acts of violence and domestic abuse.
She is female and therefore, by definition, a victim not a perpetrator of violence.

Really, you didn't learn this in school, or at least college?
Well, I am sure a judge will be more than happy to teach you it someday.

Re:Eek. (0, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#29222661)

Oh, man, you're brave. If there wasn't a -1 limit you'd probably be modded about -100 now.

I'd have modded you +1, funny. I did know guys several years ago who wound up divorced because of their Quake addictions.

I'll probably be modded down too, but it doesn't matter, my karma is excellent. [slashdot.org] I can afford a few downmods.

Re:Eek. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#29223407)

I mod you -1 stupid for referring to girlintraining as "man".

Re:Eek. (2, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | about 5 years ago | (#29222909)

World of Warcraft: Destroying relationships with girls since... well, the day it came out.

-- No. I mean this. I've got about six female friends that either bought it as a anniversary or birthday present, or their boyfriend bought it... and the relationship has always ended within eight months after that fateful purchase.

I'd be sold, except for the fact that your math doesn't work. I have six female friends that either bought [insert product here] as an anniversary or birthday present and they all broke up with their boy/girl friends within 8 months! That's almost certainly true for anyone who has at least 8 female friends.

WoW is a time sink, as are all MMOs. If you introduce a time sink into a relationship without an understanding around what you both want out of it, there's going to be trouble. The same is true for any hobby that requires a great deal of time. I've seen hunting and model rocketry have similar influences.

My last friend got so fed up that she took the laptop (with the CD still in it) and smashed it in the driveway, drove over it a few times, then hit it with a hammer.

Your friend is unstable. She needs help. Really.

Then she called all her friends and went to have ice cream. That game is pure evil -- it makes boys think dating a high level elf huntress is better than having a real girlfriend.

Jerks. Level isn't everything, you know!

Legions of geeks coming to the defense of the game in 5...4...

3/10 for the troll. 1/10 for the logic.

Re:Eek. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#29223353)

it makes boys think dating a high level elf huntress is better than having a real girlfriend.

I hate to be the one to point it out, but if someone thinks that way, it's not the game's fault. They were already like that before they got the game, your friends just either weren't able to pick up on it, or thought they could "fix" the guy.

Re:Eek. (4, Funny)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 5 years ago | (#29223573)

My real life girlfriend is a high level elf huntress you insensitive clod!

Re:Eek. (1)

zhilla2 (1586095) | about 5 years ago | (#29225355)

disclaimer: i am not a gamer.
i personally know about 5 people that lost their girlfriend/boyfriend for being too hooked up to wow, and ~3 for fps games.
since you cant (yet) make real babies inside a game, darwin wins!

Simple answer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | about 5 years ago | (#29222087)

They weren't terribly profitable until they shacked up with microsoft and got distributed via the live. They sold some t-shirts and the like, but didn't really hit it big until they stopped 'self publishing' (i.e. uploading to youtube) and got a distributor (microsoft live).

Oh, and wall street journal articles and front-page slashdots don't hurt either.

Tiny budgets help a lot (3, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | about 5 years ago | (#29222229)

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy The Guild, and am quite impressed how good the show is with what they have to work with, but if all TV had to be made with the tiny budgets they work with (each episode is like 10 minutes long, very limited sets, etc), you wouldn't get shows like Star Trek, Babylon 5, Firefly, or Battlestar Galactica, to name but a few.

I for one, am happy that at least *some* bigger budget shows are made (yes, yes, not all big-budget shows are any good - some are just big money holes), but I'd like to see a successful larger-budget online show, to pave the way for a gradual move to more television being online.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29222487)

but I'd like to see a successful larger-budget online show, to pave the way for a gradual move to more television being online.

The main problem is control. With a small-budget show, you have a group of friends who generally agree on most things. With a larger budget you have more roles, more people, with more people becomes more disagreement. With TV you have the network more or less as a moderator, approve the content and distribute it. But with online its different, -anyone- can host it and its usually distributed over many channels, so do you put the content up for free on YouTube? Do you have ads on it? Do you have another site with it on there? Do you sell it? Do you sell it over a channel with DRM? What about iTunes, what if you want different pricing? Etc. This can lead to disagreements and eventually fragmentation.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29222673)

", you wouldn't get shows like Star Trek, "
haha. star trek had almost no budget. In fact one episode had a props budget of less then a dollar.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (4, Informative)

PylonHead (61401) | about 5 years ago | (#29224129)

According to this site:

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/TOS_Season_1 [memory-alpha.org]

Production for the initial season of Star Trek cost almost US$200,000 per episode.

That would be the equivalent of $1,322,201 per episode in today's dollars.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 5 years ago | (#29225035)

haha. star trek had almost no budget. In fact one episode had a props budget of less then a dollar.

[citation needed]. "My big brother told me" is not a credible source.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29225461)

Never trust big brothers. Mine used to tell me that the Enterprise could land on a planet. To do so, it flipped over on its back; internally, all of the rooms rotated to maintain a proper vertical orientation. I don't know who was dumber, him for believing that or me for believing him. Fortunately, one of us got smarter.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (4, Informative)

bertoelcon (1557907) | about 5 years ago | (#29223017)

As am american I think Dr. Who props were inventive as hell and the show is awesome, and I thought it had like 0 funding too.

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 years ago | (#29224319)

That's called "the exception that proves the rule".

Re:Tiny budgets help a lot (1)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#29224799)

Blake's 7?

The ship was a cardboard cut out for frack's sake.

Re:Simple answer (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29222389)

Didn't say they were profitable, just successful and it all depends on how you define successful. It this case I would say that developing a fan base counts although money never hurt anyone. Given that the WSJ article just came out and this is the first time I've seen anything about it on /. you can hardly say they have anything to do with its successs MS Live isn't the only vehicle for distribution, the episodes are available on MSN. It was only for the first episode of Season 3 that it premiered on Xbox Live first (MSN is next week).

Re:Simple answer (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | about 5 years ago | (#29222629)

Yeah, though the reason I didn't equate success [wikipedia.org] with profitability was because while different people want different things out of life, very very few creators of online web-shows don't have some sort of future monitization hopes (getting hired by another media outlet or show, or having their show picked up, or getting paid to do the show). The creators obviously enjoy doing it and they'd much rather be able to stop working at their day jobs and just create full time. In order to do that, it takes profitability. I think that 'success' might be 2+ million views on youtube per episode, but Success is getting paid to do what you love (create these shows).

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222643)

you can hardly say they have anything to do with its successs MS Live isn't the only vehicle for distribution, the episodes are available on MSN. It was only for the first episode of Season 3 that it premiered on Xbox Live first (MSN is next week).

Uhhhh, you do realize what the MS in MS Live and MSN both stand for, right?

Re:Simple answer (2, Funny)

Kamokazi (1080091) | about 5 years ago | (#29222857)

Yeah I got a kick out of how Tink's iMac turned into a plain old LCD with a Vista sticker slapped on it in Season 2...it made me chuckle.

And seriously MS, those LCDs are dull....why not get a nice shiny Samsung or something if you're trying to flash that Vista orb?

Felicia Day in Blizzcon feed (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | about 5 years ago | (#29222123)

If you have access to the Blizzcon feed via DirectTV or the internet, there is an extensive interview with Felicia Day and accompanying video regarding the background, making, and future of the Guild.

It's around 5:45 PM in the Saturday feed. It's in a filler time that many people who bought the package might not have watched.

Alas for the majority of us, she talks about how so much of the needed resources are loaned to her from friends and other kind people who want her to succeed. While that's all well and good, that can't be counted on as a viable business model. (Almost any business can be profitable if it can acquire most or all of its resources for free and convert them into a product to sell.)

Re:Felicia Day in Blizzcon feed (0)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#29223195)

I would guess that the equation of coming up with a business model is somewhat complicated. How big is the audience? Is your content paid from subscriptions or from advertisers? If subscription, how expensive is the subscription? If ad-supported, who's advertising with you and how much are they willing to pay? How big is your budget for filming?

I would bet that there are a few different business models in there that would work. In this case, I've never heard of "The Guild" before and suspect that their audience can't be all that huge. It sounds like the budget is small, but there are no suscriptions. It looks like there are some banner ads, but not interspersed throughout the show like Hulu. Still, they're getting by, and good for them.

None of this really gives you a good indicator whether web-only shows could have viable business models. The question is, what would happen if the last season of Lost went Hulu-only? Could they make enough from ad revenue there to pay the production costs? What if they went with something like iTunes season-pass? Of course, if it's on TV people are likely to watch it there, and then online viewing will be smaller.

And then of course there's the problem of the distribution channels not being mature. How many people still don't have a good Internet connection? How many people want to watch TV on their big screen TV but don't have set-top boxes?

If you think about it, distributing your show over the Internet should eventually be a no-brainer. If everyone has fast enough Internet, then the show's producers will get to scrap all the overhead of the networks and cable operators and maybe even the studios, and go direct to consumer. Maybe in return they have to deal with someone like Apple or Hulu for distribution, who can then insert commercials or charge subscription fees, replicating the same business models as traditional distribution but with lower overhead.

Re:Felicia Day in Blizzcon feed (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29223829)

They don't use subscriptions. It was initially self-funded and they eventually added a "donate" button to the site. They started the second season using the same model but soon made a deal for funding and distribution with Sprint and MS. They are supplementing their revenue with DVD sales (and now sales of the music video via iTunes and the mp3 through amazon. But you are right, you could never use the same business model to produce a show like Lost and be profitable. It really all depends on how the show is written and what sets you need. When you center your show around your characters and not fancy special effects, sets, and big name guest stars, it can make a big difference in your costs.

Re:Felicia Day in Blizzcon feed (5, Funny)

Iwanowitch (993961) | about 5 years ago | (#29223415)

And let us not forget this lovely bit [youtube.com] from the interview.

Cue "this is why we don't have women around" debate in 3.. 2.. 1...

Re:Felicia Day in Blizzcon feed (2, Funny)

Maria D (264552) | about 5 years ago | (#29223831)

How can people call something that works "not viable"? What is wrong with getting support from people who like you and your work, directly? As you said in your last sentence, it would work for almost ANY endeavor.

answer: it doesn't. (1, Informative)

martas (1439879) | about 5 years ago | (#29222175)

*opens -1:Flamebait umbrella*

Re:answer: it doesn't. (0, Troll)

Zocalo (252965) | about 5 years ago | (#29222387)

answer: it doesn't.

Ooh! It's that "Here's the answer, what's the question?" game!

I think the question was... "Does the carpet match the drapes? [www.noob.us] "

Re:answer: it doesn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29223089)

What is Jeopardy?

loaded with ad's cheap + sets + acting + MS lockin (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 5 years ago | (#29222245)

loaded with ad's cheap + sets + acting + MS lock in.

Re:loaded with ad's cheap + sets + acting + MS loc (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29222447)

Its only a MS locking if you look at MSN that way. They are making the episodes available there (and after the first episode of season 3, they will be available on MSN at the same time as they are put on Xbox Live.

Re:loaded with ad's cheap + sets + acting + MS loc (1)

Herms (577068) | about 5 years ago | (#29222493)

MS Lock in? What MS lock in? I've watched The Guild and never once did so through anything Microsoft.

They sell DVDs of seasons 1 and 2, and I assume will do so with 3 once it's done. And the eps are posted (officially) to youtube a while after they're released to Live.

Oh, and that song they did is on both Amazon MP3 and iTunes.

So while they do use Microsoft for some distribution, it's not locked in at all.

Re:loaded with ad's cheap + sets + acting + MS loc (1)

Locklin (1074657) | about 5 years ago | (#29222757)

Also on Miro:
https://www.miroguide.com/feeds/8889 [miroguide.com]

(looks like it's way behind though).

The Guild is for the easily amused (1)

BrowncoatJedi (1006665) | about 5 years ago | (#29222639)

Or WoW zombies. It really isn't any good.

Torrent? (0, Redundant)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 5 years ago | (#29222645)

Torrent?

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222765)

Torrent?

Pancakes?

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222929)

Torrent?

Pancakes?

Peaches?

Re:Torrent? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#29224841)

And Ice Cream!

By your powers combined, I'm... oh wait..

Re:Torrent? (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29223071)

You don't need a torrent, each episode is about 5 minutes long. You can catch all of season 1 at their youtube channel [youtube.com] and season 2 at their watchtheguild.com [watchtheguild.com] . You can also find the episodes at MSN but its a bit harder to find them in the right order.

Re:Torrent? (1)

citylivin (1250770) | about 5 years ago | (#29224385)

http://www.mininova.org/tor/2882031 [mininova.org]

The submitter says they are crap web quality though (ripped from website). Couldn't find a DVD rip, but I didnt look very hard.

Never heard of this show. Hopefully it will be along the lines of pure pwnage [purepwnage.com] , which incidentally has all their eps in decent quality up for free download (and has apparently been picked up by showcase ?!?).
Now thats a real success story!

"successful" is a relative term (5, Interesting)

dancemonkey (1329955) | about 5 years ago | (#29222679)

As another comment noted, they were not really that successful until actually receiving distribution. As a cast member in a web series (Break A Leg [breakaleg.tv] ) we have been struggling not to gain an audience, respect, or critical acclaim since we have all of that. We just need money. Even the brushes we've had with sponsorship and major network distribution tend to fall apart through no fault of our own. It's just the way the business works.

We poke fun at The Guild from time to time, but it's a great show. I don't think though that's it's really a model of how to "stay successful" as an online-only series. You can't replicate what they did or follow their path like a recipe.

It just doesn't seem possible to actually BE successful as a web-only series, if success is defined at all in terms of money, without real money backing you. We even had a marketing firm whoring us around for awhile, and while it led to a few sponsorship deals here and there it never really led to independence for anybody from their day-to-day careers. There's just no real monetizing of the online-only series going on unless you have a patron or distributor who's willing to take a loss on you in order to get some other intangibles out of it.

That said, Break A Leg has a major distribution deal in the works, but it only proves the point. We're never going to be "successful" sticking to the web. The internet was just a way to get our show out there, and the show initially was just a way to showcase our talents (as writers, actors, editors, sound designers, directors, cinematographers). We need someone to get us OUT of the internet in some form in order to really get us see and heard of on a scale massive enough for everyone to quit their jobs.

Oh well, that's just me ranting. I love internet episodics, I hope they never go away. I just also hope some way materializes for people to earn real money doing them without needing a Microsoft distro deal or a major network buy-out.

Re:"successful" is a relative term (1)

ondigo (1323273) | about 5 years ago | (#29223391)

I've thought all along that The Guild cast's main objective was to increase their visibility and get cast in more shows. I'm not in The Industry, but it does seem to me that visibility, buzz, and name recognition are immensely important intangibles to actors. If the Break A Leg folks were to get similar buzz that led to more gigs but the show itself folded, would you not still count it as a success?

Re:"successful" is a relative term (1)

dancemonkey (1329955) | about 5 years ago | (#29224285)

To a certain extent that has happened for us, though not to the degree it has for Felicia Day.

You're right, success can be defined many ways. For BaL's creator the show has done well for him, though still see above.

Exposure is always great, but the point of the article is valid. Web series aren't finding money, so I guess I agree!

Actors don't care about money though. If we did we'd be... well, not actors.

obligatory redhead quote (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29222817)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbFjePdOpK8

"Felicia Day from "THE GUILD" gets asked about her carpet @ Blizzcon 2009 (UNEDITED)!"

Please ignore, sorry (1)

e9th (652576) | about 5 years ago | (#29223843)

Sorry. Undoing an infelicitous earlier moderation.

Joss Whedon? (1)

Mybrid (410232) | about 5 years ago | (#29224195)

Anyone know if she and Joss retain any professional connection?

I guess I just kinda assumed that Joss was helping her out on this.

Re:Joss Whedon? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 5 years ago | (#29224321)

Anyone know if she and Joss retain any professional connection?

I guess I just kinda assumed that Joss was helping her out on this.

Question: Who directed Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?

Answer: Jed Whedon.

Question: What else did Jed Whedon work on?

Answer: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog with his brother Joss.

Question: How many times during Commentary: The Musical (on the Dr. Horrible DVD) does Felicia Day mention The Guild?

Answer: At least 3, but it's all part of one song on it.

Re:Joss Whedon? (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29224997)

Clearly they do. Joss' brother Jed directed the music video and co-wrote the song (he provided the music and Felicia did the lyrics). Felicia also stars in the unaired Dollhouse episode "Epitaph One". As for Joss helping her on this, I could be wrong but I don't believe so. I suspect his hands are full with Dollhouse.

Re:Joss Whedon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29225117)

Felicia was in that episode of Dollhouse that was only on the DVD.

Re:Joss Whedon? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 5 years ago | (#29225403)

I guess I just kinda assumed that Joss was helping her out on this.

Joss has noted The Guild as being an inspiration for doing Dr. Horrible. So there's some recognition there, but it certainly doesn't sound like there's any direct help. It seems more like The Guild was in production well before Joss was even aware of it.

I think it was during the Comicon panel on The Guild that Felicia explained the involvement of Jed, Joss' brother. It went something along the lines that they decided they needed some teaser to start up the new season and thought a music video would be fun. Felicia called Jed because of the great job he did with Dr. Horrible, not really expecting that he'd have time to work on it. To her surprise, not only did he say 'yes' but he almost immediately had an initial score hashed out based on her lyrics. As an aside, Joss' wife is one of the backup dancers in the video.

Huge built in audience (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 years ago | (#29224205)

Part of The Guilds success is no doubt due to their vast built in audience... A show for players of Puzzle Pirates or City of Heroes/Villains has much less of a potential audience. It also no doubt helps that those audiences are used to fan made material and have very low expectations as to writing, acting, and production values.
 
(As a side note: Has everyone forgotten RvB [wikipedia.org] already?)
 
I don't however agree with summaries conclusion that the video's are 'accessible to non gamers'. I'm a gamer (though mostly out on the fringe, UO, CoX, YPP!), and I found them somewhat hard to understand because the terminology used was so WoW centric.

Wow... this is terrible. (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | about 5 years ago | (#29224253)

I watched what I think was the first episode of season 2.

That was awful. Thankfully it was only 5 minutes.

I see why it's online and not on TV.

Re:Wow... this is terrible. (1)

PylonHead (61401) | about 5 years ago | (#29224509)

Did you start from the beginning of season 1? It's character driven. If you've followed it from the beginning it'll make a lot more sense.

I'm not saying it's great or anything, but it makes me smile.

Re:Wow... this is terrible. (1)

Aniyn (1268450) | about 5 years ago | (#29224621)

I've watched it since it started, and it's already jumped the shark. I couldn't even finish the last episode.

Re:Wow... this is terrible. (1)

ChronoDragon (1626281) | about 5 years ago | (#29224911)

Exactly. The start of season 2 is heavily based off of the the first season.

Re:Wow... this is terrible. (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | about 5 years ago | (#29225099)

No, I can see the characters and the stereotypes they're supposed to be. You've got the GM, the crazy chick, the uber asian gamer, the fat mom ignoring her kids and family... I get the characters. They're just bad, and badly acted. It looks like the series is for people who don't play MMOs so they can feel justified when they make fun of people who do play them.

There really isn't a whole lot to the series where I felt like I was missing something by not having seen season 1.

Production Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29224425)

unfortunately the production quality is extremely poor compared to studios. It really helps to have industry professionals on the crew. But that requires money... and unfortunately this type of media provides extremely limited budgets, particularly in the current economy.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>