Slice of Life

Slice of Life  web series are short moments in the life of an interesting person or set of characters.  Each episode has a theme but rarely has dramatic beats or acts. These series have limited locations and seem to work best between 1 and 3 minutes.

In Slice of Life, character is everything. If the personalities and viewpoints of your characters are compelling and their situation offers a wealth of different themes, situations and questions, you will have people clicking from Episode One to Episode Twenty One in a sitting. That’s hyperbole. They’ll probably have to get up to feed the cat.

For character inspiration, look first to the people you know. Truth is stranger than fiction.  The books The Eight Characters of Comedy, and Creating Unforgettable Characters are two great resources for getting your creative juices flowing.

Examples

Most Slice of Life series are episodic, meaning you don’t have to watch them in order. You can watch these interesting characters have a conflict, discussion, discovery, achievement, etc.in any order.  If there’s an obvious arc to the characters’ slice of life moments, then it would be better to watch them in order and that makes it serialized.

Episodic Slice of Life

Couple Time is a good example.  Each episode is about a weird type of conversation and/or activity that couples do when no one else is around.  I’ve heard criticism of this show that it doesn’t have enough ‘action’ or ‘plot’ but it’s a show about moments with two very quirky characters, who creators and stars Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle understand very well. So well, in fact, that they wrote a pitch packet for a pilot based on them and sold it to FOX with Ellen DeGeneres producing.

couple time – bean bag from patrick carlyle on Vimeo.

Squaresville is about two best friends seeking adventure and self-discovery as they deal with the frustrations of being a high schooler in the suburbs. I feel the episodes could be a little shorter since this is Slice of Life, but the show seems to have a following of fans who relate and enjoy the girl’s repartee. The two main characters are good foils for each other and the two talented actresses are really what makes this show.


Serialized Slice of Life

Hipsterhood is a great Slice of Life show.  You really know the characters because they (and you) are in their heads the whole time. Almost all the dialog is thoughts done through Voice Over.  Each episode features a Hipster Life Moment such as a visit to the 99 Cent Store for something ironic, or a run through Silverlake wearing your thrift-store chic fuzzy ear muffs. In each episode, however, Hipster Guy and Hipster Girl run into each other again and their desire to talk to each other and their frustration and judgment of themselves grows.  Their journey of moments is best watched in order.

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