Web series aren't really popular in the UK, or at least not yet. Across the pond on the other hand, their following is much stronger and it is not surprising that most of them are produced there.
This year's Raindance Film Festival however gave the creators a great opportunity to showcase their work to a UK audience and hopefully convince us to turn on our computers, tablets and phones and start watching.
Unlike most TV series, where you're having to commit anywhere between 30mins to an hour of your free time to see one installment, web series episodes last around 10mins. This is an ideal length for the online generation, people who are very likely to watch whilst on the move. If your attention span is as short as mine, then you'll appreciate the fast paced action, snappy dialogues and the lack of pointlessly drawn out scenes and plot points.
One of the major scoops for the first Raindance webfest was the opportunity to host a world premiere of Producing Juliet. This is a brand new web series, written, directed and co-produced by the award winning Tina Cesa Ward.
Boasting a very strong cast, including Alisha Spielmann, Rachael Hip-Flores and Jenny Grace, it has a story which guarantees to keep us coming back for more. Rebecca (Spielmann) meets Juliet (Hip-Flores), a struggling playwright. This chance encounter makes her realise that the open relationship with a popular actress is probably not what she wants from life, while Juliet gets a chance to look at her life from a new perspective.
The first episode sets up a promising story, with questions asked not only about Rebecca's private life, but Juliet's too. The characters are complex but easy to relate to. After all, which one of us hasn't at some point been in a dead end relationship, where everyone else but you could see that it was a waste of time.
It is this simple and yet very real nature of storytelling which I found so appealing. I prefer to see drama play out on screen than in my personal life and this series looks to be a good source of that.
As the founder of the festival, Elliott Grove, stressed in his recent blog on this website, the Internet gives up and coming filmmakers an amazing opportunity to showcase their work to all of us, without the geographical or network boundaries. Most of them operate on very small budgets and deserve a huge credit for the quality which they manage to produce with such limited resources. I got to see episodes from seven different series and each of them was really impressive.
Producing Juliet launches on 9th October, but if you want to get started with a web series right now then I recommend B.J. Fletcher Private Eye - a hilariously funny tale of a private investigator, Fletcher and her assistant, Georgia (George).