I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan. After recently getting the DVD of DR. HORRIBLE’S SING ALONG BLOG, I finally discovered the web series THE GUTHE GUILD written and starring Felicia Day. 

For their first “season” (albeit 10 3-5 minute long webisodes) they primarily existed on PayPal donations… which I thought was illegal, but I’ll have to look into their exceptions and how they did it. Now SPRINT advertises for 6 seconds at the head of each video and they are making decent money on the DVD sales and other advertising.

Everyone wants to try to turn the microcinema, camcorder shooting into some kind of profitability. THE GUILD has succeeded in that regard, but it isn’t just a fluke. Some forethought and marketing went into their success.

Now the two most significant things in their business model to me was the niche marketing of gamers, formerly D&D geeks/current World of Warcraft and Everquest fantasy online role players who have an unhealthy addiction to their gaming to escape reality. A specific marketing target with crossover appeal made a perfect genre that was otherwise not being addressed. How many TV shows focus on that group and mocks them with a tender and loving touch?

Far more importantly, the writing is stellar. Absolutely witty and sharp, Felicia Day’s talent as a writer and the importance of good writing in the end result of a “good” product cannot be understated. She followed the indie film commandments of writing for what she has access to for free, a restaurant, some apartments, a house, etc.; nothing too extravagant. In the current season 2 episodes, there are dolly shots and some obviously higher production values, but still looks almost the same. Filmmakers overlook that “normies” aka normal people don’t really give a shiite about the slightly off lighting or framing in the earlier episodes of THE GUILD because they cared about the characters and situation.

I like THE GUILD series a lot. It was no accident, nor was it the luck of the draw that got this web series to be fiscally viable and very popular. The combination of niche marketing and sincerity in writing that made this a success on many levels.


Categories: articles

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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