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RogerNewcomb
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I'm an associate producer on THE BAY so I'm totally biased but I thought it was pretty good. There are a few points I will make that I think people touched on and hoping to get some feedback.

1) The sound. I sort of take partial responsibility for this one. My advice to the show was to set a premiere date and stick to it. They set Sept. 15 based on all the information they had at the time and thought that was safe. After that set a release schedule (once a week, every two weeks, three times a week, whatever) and stick to it. Several of these indie shows have hyped things up only to miss their deadlines and look really bad. That turns some viewers off. I feel strongly soap fans like habit and routine and want to know when to tune in. Some web series you never know when a new episode will happen, could be months. From my understanding the sound will greatly improve but the first episode was released per the timeline set. The show could have missed that deadline and perfected the sound. I believe eventually the first webisode will get re-edited and re-uploaded when there's time with better sound and, yes, Matt Ashford's name spelled right in the credits.

I'm curious from you guys, am I right about the consistency thing, and sticking to dates you set, especially with web shows? Are you much more likely to watch a web soap if it comes on every Monday at 7 versus having to keep track of when it will be on? Or if it's a show you like, you don't care about a certain timeslot and a random schedule is fine. You're willing to go the extra mile to find it. I'd love to validate my assumption. Also, would you have preferred THE BAY wait a week or two (not sure how long exactly but let's randomly guess a week or two) and perfected the sound and just announced on Sept. 15 there would be a delay. Or would you want it to just be released on the date they set with a few warts, but mostly top notch, especially the aesthetics. I thought the show looked BEAUTIFUL and was edited well. Everyone did a great job with that.

2) The theme song. Due to a death in my family I had to miss THE BAY screening so I watched on Wednesday the same as most every else. My very first impression after one listen was that it sounded like poor man's PASSIONS or maybe something VENICE would play (not that it's a bad thing just different tones on different shows). I didn't love it or think it fit the show that we billed as a being in the vein of DYNASTY. I don't think I have any influence in this area but gave my feedback. I do think it will grow on me in time if I listen several more times. I'm not sure if this was meant to be the permanent theme or not. If I was a fan, I would make that assumption. Apologies if anyone from the show reads this and feels I'm dissing the song. Not my intent at all. I just wasn't sure it matched the show as I envisioned. Maybe it will match the final product.

3) The length of the episodes. I think this is pretty standard for most web series (ANACOSTIA is a notable web soap exception and VENICE promised to be long this year). Each "Chapter" will be four webisodes. The Chapters are the 30 minute TV version. For the web they are divided up into these four smaller segments. Some video distributors don't allow shows over 10 minutes and that may be one reason why this "standard" has sort of developed for web series. I've recommended to the many indie soap producers who have talked to me to not divide up a bigger script like that or take an indie film and just break it down into 7 minute webisodes because it tends to not work. Each webisode really needs a beginning, middle and end within the confines of the overall story. And some type of cliffhanger to make people want to watch the next one. I think the way THE BAY is divided is pretty good, but when you see the end of the Chapters it will probably feel more like the ending of a primetime weekly soap or a Friday cliffhanger on daytime. Again, under 10 minute episode may just be the industry standard at this point or maybe it makes it easier to get the show edited together on a smaller budget. You can edit a webisode at a time and release it versus the Chapter. I think THE BAY did revisit this as they produced the first episodes to try to achieve that feel as much as possible within the confines of knowing they were also shooting a 30 minute TV show.

Knowing what's coming, I encourage everyone to at least watch a couple more episodes. I know you only get one chance to make a first impression, but maybe wait until the end of the first Chapter to decide. It's free! And sadly, after Friday, we'll have five hours less of a daytime soap to watch each week.

There are also a number of very interesting other indie soaps to check out this fall. I'm working on a indie soap fall preview guide right now. I think this new wave will draw more fans in to the genre on the web. Hope so at least as I have a few other shows of my own in the works.

I wrote a little bit more here http://www.welovesoaps.net/2010/09/some-objective-first-thoughts-on-bay.html

but figured I had gone on long enough here. :)
Edited by RogerNewcomb, Sep 16 2010, 07:53 AM.
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The Bay: September Discussion · Web Soaps Discussion