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Pretty's back in the Blog (news)...

Creator Steve Silverman is interviewed on all things PRETTY:

My Daughter Can Beat Up Your Daughter

I had a chance to discuss the brilliant series Pretty with Steve Silverman a while back - who is not only the writer/director but has a great track record in
playwriting as well as those fun on-air promos that people like.

Steve has a great take on the pageant scene out in the fun fun world of satire.

When developing the series what were some of the biggest issues you faced?

I honestly can't think of any major issues we faced in developing our series PRETTY. We really lucked out in that. We pulled together an incredible production team. There were two minor issues: One of our actors' schedules wasn't working with our shoot schedule. This actor offered to step out of the process, suggested we recast - I refused. I wanted this actor for the part, so we moved our production schedule back a full month to accomadate there's. It's a decision none of us regret, we got our actor and we got an extra couple of weeks to ready ourselves. The other minor issue that presented itself was when our pageant location wasn't open for a full day of shooting on a weekend - which was when we planned to do all our shooting. We opted to move that location's shoot back one day, to Friday, which worked out for about 75% of our production crew.

What was the process like?

First and foremost, the script is your bible. It's gotta be there on the page, cuz when it is, it's a blueprint that's simple to follow. Our process was exceptionally smooth and I believe that was because we pre-produced the heck out of PRETTY. The four of us, John Carrozza, Doug Prinzivalli, Thordis Howard, and myself, as Executive Producers, along with Jim Cannella as Producer, held multiple pre-production meetings. We outlined all our needs, created a calendar, kept in communication via email with updates. We started our shoot ready to go. The four shoot days went so smoothly because of how well the group readied the production. In fact, on our second day, which had 50 some scenes to shoot, we not only shot them all, we were able to shoot another 3 and get ourselves AHEAD - unheard of. Post-production was amazing, mainly because we had one of the best editors on the planet working on PRETTY, Mr. Rich Mikan. We couldn't have done this project without his incredible eye and skills.

How much in advance to shooting was everything written?

Our script was written about two months before shooting began.

Was the season arc-ed out before hand, or was it an episode-to-episode basis?

The full script was written with a season arc: Events build, episode by episode. You can watch any one episode and it will hold up on it's own, but if you follow it from the beginning, you experience the 'build.'

What were some of the things you’ve learned since the pilot episode?

Write a kick-ass script, make sure it's all there on the page first and foremost, surround yourself with the talented people to bring it to life, and know when and how to get out of the way to let that group do the best they can do. And most importantly, make sure there's snacks. Everyone likes snacks.

What was the production schedule like? What were some of the snags that were found?

We filmed 5 episodes in 4 days. Our schedule was hectic, but manageable. Things went fairly snag-free. Minor snag we hit: The pageant in the script takes place over 2 days, which we shot all in 1 day. We realized at one point one of our actors was in their second day outfit when they needed to be in their first day outfit -costing us about 10 minutes of filming - whoops! I caught it, that actor dashed out and changed, dashed back in and we picked up where we left off.

How long are your shooting days?

Our shooting days went between 5 to 8 hours.

What kind of crew did you need to make a webisode?

The same kind you need for a television series - only they gotta be willing to work for a lot less - haha. Everyone says "We had the best crew on our project" - add me to the list of everyone. Our crew are all professionals, most of whom donated their time to PRETTY.

What’s the best way to kick start a webseries into the vast, vast space of the interwebs?

First off, be unique. If I see one more "Sex In The City" or "Friends" type
web series about 20-something trying to make their way in the dating world, I will rip the last two hairs out of my head. Second, whether it's in your script or how you promote yourself, identify and target a specific audience. "Everyone" is not your audience. PRETTY went for the "We Love Mockumentaries" audience - the folks who love "The Office" and anything by Christopher Guest. Third, use community-based outlets that are already in play - see Facebook, Myspace and Twitter as examples. They're promotional dreams - who better to help you spread the word than your own friends?

To get a sponsor or not to get a sponsor?

If you can GET a sponsor - by all means, GET a sponsor. Without a celebrity or known personality, it can be difficult. PRETTY's first season was 80% 'sponsored' by Producer Jim Cannella and myself. Our second season, which we're gearing up for, we have more than 50% funding from OUR FANS, who have been donating the funds needed for us to go back into production.

Some series are used as a “backdoor pilot” – what’s your feeling on webseries as TV-lite?

I told the PRETTY cast from the very beginning, "Let's focus on making the best webseries we can. Anything MORE that comes from it, great. But let's focus on this here webseries." The truth is, you never know WHO is watching you online. Which doesn't mean we're not out there pitching PRETTY as a television series, of course we are. All that said, I don't see webseries as TV-lite, I see it as the next step in the evolution of entertainment.


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