In our previous blog, we discussed what kind of content you could create for your own channel. This time we’ll go through the basic principles of building a framework for your series that makes it work as a whole. So, let’s get down to it – how DO you create a workable structure for your series?
First, think about what you want to tell the viewers in your series. What do you want your series to offer to the viewers and why should they be willing to subscribe to it. The surrounding topic of the show could be, for example, travel or fitness, which are both popular topics. Your channel could also have other programs such as education and coaching or a podcast. When you know the general theme of your program, you get to the scripting phase.
Plan and script the show
Before you start filming an episode, create a frame or a script for your program which you are going to be implementing as you shoot the show. With the help of a script, you can have an easier-to-understand overall picture of your series, which is more pleasant both for you and for the viewers.
When you’re making a reality show or a video blog, the script doesn’t have to be written down word for word.
You can see an example of a series structure and the script in our next blog post.
Avoid acting when you’re doing a reality show, because viewers can sense when you’re not being your authentic self. Always explain to the camera what you’re doing and how you feel, because viewers can’t read your mind.
The purpose of the script is to make sure that you know what you are doing and what is the subject of the shoot. Without a working plan, the series will most likely become an intangible and scattered entity.
How to build an episode?
It is good to keep the length of each individual episode at around 8–15 minutes. Making an episode that is overly long can be tricky, because events have to be unfolding constantly in order to keep the viewer interested. If you have filmed a lot of material, you can of course divide the episode into two parts.
Always plan the episode in such a way that it clearly has at least three segments, a beginning, a middle point and an end. Do something attention-grabbing at the beginning of the episode so that the viewer becomes interested in watching the whole episode. For example, right from the first scene, you could be in a place where the viewers would not expect you to be or throw in a joke that arouses the viewers’ interest.
The middle stage is the core part of the episode and contains the main highlights of the episode. In the last section, you summarize the episode and give the viewers your closing words. We recommend making a teaser about the next episode at the end of the episode, where you promote the next episode and try to arouse the interest of the viewers once more.
Note that each of your episodes should have about 2-3 highlights. Make the highlights of the episode surprising and interesting for the viewers. Tell them something they haven’t heard before, or take them somewhere on the show that many of them haven’t been before.
Shoot an average of 4-5 scenes per episode. Scenes in different shooting locations make the content more enjoyable to watch than if the entire episode was filmed in the same location. Try to shoot as much footage as possible, because too much is always better than not enough. Unnecessary material can always be left on the cutting room floor.
One of the most popular ideas is a ‘My day’-series, where you describe the things you do in one day. During the episode, you bring the viewers into your life, as you shoot everything from your morning chores to your evening routines. Always remember to explain to the camera what you’re doing, especially if it’s something out of the ordinary.
Episodes form a season
The avarage season usually consists of 8–12 episodes. Each episode of the production season must be unique in content. During each episode, cover its own subject area to keep the viewer’s interest in your show. The theme for one episode of ‘My day’ can be, for example, relationship issues, and the theme of another episode, for example, fashion and beauty.
You should make the first episode an introduction episode where you introduce yourself. In this way, the viewers get to know you as a person, and you are able to set up the themes of the upcoming episodes well on the basis of your own personality. Try to arouse viewers’ interest in the first episode and give them reasons as to why they should follow you. We recommend that the first episode can be viewed free of charge.
Remember to promote the show on social media!
Share teasers of your show on your own social media channels. Your existing followers are the best target group for marketing. Videos are an effective way to arouse the interest of potential viewers, so sharing clips of 10-15 seconds on social media is a good way to get your followers interested in full episodes as well.
Here were the top tips to get you started. Feel free to try new ideas and make your series look your own!