I know what you’re asking, what about television? Where do our favorite series fit into this equation? Film and television have two different business models aimed at separate demographics. Yet web series tying in with hit cable dramas, True Blood and Dexter, have been a hit with web surfing audiences.
Film is aimed at the twelve to twenty four demographic with the focus on computer animated films or fantasy based franchises, while television is a different matter. At this point, television is focused on adult cable dramas for the twenty five and over crowd. And the story designs are also different.
While a two hour film often focuses on the classical design of an active main character going on a journey. A more minimalist design of a television series involves an ensemble of characters living ordinary lives with extraordinary circumstances. Often with more character driven stories.
With a web series promoting a TV show, there are many directions to go in. True Blood webisodes plugging Season 3 gave us deeper glimpses into the lives of the show’s characters. While Dexter accomplished both this and advancing the show’s plot in a very interesting sort of way.
The web series Dexter: Early Cuts was shown in a comic book or graphic novel style with lead actor Michael C. Hall narrating the story. His ever creepy narration filled in the back story of Dexter’s character with the artwork moving forward the pursuit of his victims and their eventual murders.
An approach that was so effective, you did not even need much dialogue or movement in animation to make the presentation work. It is a method many film and television series can learn from and should aspire to. In regards to using web series as some kind of promotional tool online.
That being said, it is ironic that another hit cable drama has yet to embrace the web series, the retro 1960’s series known as Mad Men. There would be many ways to go with this, such as a peek inside the personal or professional lives of the characters. Or even better yet, a peek inside the life of Don Draper.
Such a task could further explore his troubled past as Dick Whitman and more on how he faked his death in Korea. Even show more of how he settled into his life as Don Draper with getting married, starting a family, and his climb to become one of the top advertising executives at Sterling Cooper.