How Not To Make A Webseries – Anne Flournoy

the louise log

In the latest installment of Anne Flournoy’s The Louise Log, Louise takes up the art of webseries production. I found it so amusing that Anne created a character in her webseries who is now making a webseries…I just had to ask her about it…

The concept of your alter ego character Louise starting a web series is written into your web series—-  How did you come up with this?

It was set up in Season 1 that, before becoming a mother, Louise had been a sculptor, a creative person, and that she is longing to get back to work after being (happily but stuck) at home raising kids.  But the idea of her getting back to sculpture was problematic for our low-budget production.  Sculpture can be dirty and cumbersome.  We’d have to actually make the sculptures or (more likely) borrow them but then somehow manage to show them in the process of being made.  Also, there was the fact of my ignorance.  I’m not as immersed in the art world as I once was, in fact I hardly know what’s going on.  

 Meanwhile, in making the first seventeen episodes of this series, there have been some horrible and hilarious missteps: for example, when I first decided to make some ‘short videos for the internet’, I did try to tape myself talking to the camera.  It was an unqualified disaster.  And then, not being naturally tech-y and coming from film where you generally work with a camera operator/lighting DP, a sound mixer and all their assistants, you can get pretty far having very little technical knowledge.  The crew takes care of the details.  Not so with video. 

Are Louise’s motivations for creating a web series the same as your own? Does she need a short film series, or want one? What about you?

Louise’s motivations for making a web series are that she is a mother of two, lives in an apartment and needs an art form that’s clean, non-toxic and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  I don’t think she’s given much thought to a web series vs. sculpture.  The Shrink suggests it, it sounds like it might be easier and cheaper than sculpture and the freshness of it appeals to her.  It’s nice for her that, unlike sculpture, a web series has no associations with her former life, married to the first Phineas.  

My motivation for making a web series was desperation.  I had been struggling to get back to work as a filmmaker for so long that even I’d begun to doubt it would ever happen.  All I wanted to do was to make something, anything.  I’d never held a video camera except at a piano recital or a birthday party– but I’d loved Charlie Bit My Finger and thought, hey, I’d know that if I saw it.  I later realized (when my family enlightened me) that trying to be in the right place at the right time at every minute of every day– WITH CAMERA charged up and in hand– can turn even the sunniest of people into what my mother would have called ‘a very unpleasant person’.    

 So I’ve established my ‘need’.  But it gets worse.  After almost four years of making these episodes, it’s become a sort of addiction and a form of therapy all in one.  I’m naturally a terrible procrastinator and having a deadline is about the only thing that clears the deck and gets me to take action.  And then there’s the part about dealing with my own Inner Voice which is fun and sometimes even educational.  Fun side note, I didn’t even know the extent of my own ‘inner voice’ until recently starting near-death-experience yoga at the suggestion of our gaffer.  I’d thought a whispered voice-over was a little-used convention borrowed from Jean-Luc Godard’s Two Or Three Things I Know About Her. But lo and behold, after my first Bikram yoga class, the quiet in my head was unsettling.  In a good way.  

The fact is that making these episodes is so much fun that even though I know I should be promoting them, I’d always rather be working on the next one.  The desire to pay the cast and crew is finally prompting me to find the necessary self-discipline to focus on getting the word out more effectively.  A friend helped me write our first press release and is giving The Louise Log some great exposure on their home page.  Any help viewers want to give us in posting a link on their facebook account would be greatly appreciated.  (Let me know and you’ll get rewarded…) Large numbers of viewers = solvency for a webseries.   

I guess you cannot give any big spoilers, but it would be hilarious if Louise, who is a complete novice, gains a ton more exposure to her web series than you have for yours. Since you have crafted yours so carefully and have previously won film accolades….

Ha ha.  (Thanks for the kind words.)  Great idea!  Without giving too much away, I’ll say that IF that happened, it would have to be in Season 3 which will be shot this winter or even next spring.

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