The December Web Series IRL was a great way to finish 2016 with three very diverse series and creative processes. The evening featured Suspect Moustache created by Fabian Lapham, Henry Haus created by Jacqueline Whiting and James Walker, and the MWF Spotlight Series Shakespeare Republic created by Sally McLane.

“Shakespeare Republic was an idea that was had about 15 years ago, long before there were web series, the idea was there but no platform so I just shelved it,” said Sally.

Shakespeare Republic takes iconic Shakespeare monologues and interjects them into a modern setting.

Season one of Shakespeare Republic was self-funded while season two was crowd funded.

“For us it was important that season two take a step up on production value. So we could have the same DOP and crew for every shoot,” Sally said.

“There are so many crowd funding campaigns now it is such a saturated market that people are blacking it out. What helped us was we made phone calls and had meetings. It was all done person to person. People give to people they don’t give to projects,” she said.

Sally used an Indigogo campaign and received matched funding through the Australian Cultural Fund. “The ACF were great and I would definitely use them again,” she said.

Suspect Moustache was largely funded by Screen Australia, as well as Film Victoria and the SBS.

“The first step to getting our series noticed by these funding bodies was the pilot we made for SBS online, my pitch for Suspect Moustache was chosen for comedy runway. It was embedded in their website, got a lot of hits and that got the ball rolling. I recommend keeping an eye out for any and all initiatives like that,” said Fabian.

Suspect Moustache is cartoon sketch comedy series which Fabian describes as “whimsical as f**k, but not for everyone.”

“The worst thing about government funding is the commenters saying you are wasting government money,” he laughed.

Alternatively, Henry Haus was completely self-funded. “This was our first project apart from some shorts films and we had always heard not to over invest on your first project because you are going to stuff it up.

So, we called in a lot of favours on this. We created this lovely feel around it and had so much fun with the cast because they were all there because they loved and wanted to do it,” said Jaqueline.

Jaqueline and James haven’t decided whether they will be doing a second season yet but if they do, they will be changing the format, moving away from a narrative based sitcom to stand alone episodes.

“We want to do more stand alone sketch moments with the characters, moving to shorter stuff because looking at the analytics people are dropping off and people are time poor,” said James.

The shorter sketch series concept has been successful for Suspect Moustache.

“I designed it as tight 5 minute segments that could be screened back to back as a commercial half hour. In the lead up to the release we dropped a few sketches on Facebook and really found our audience. Facebook has become the home of the series,” said Fabian.

Similarly, Henry Haus had success on Facebook. “We made clips with the meme captions which did quite well. They hardest thing was getting people to move from Facebook to YouTube which is where we released our series,” said Jaquelin.


The next Web Series IRL will be Thursday 19 January at Loop Project Space and Bar we hope to see you there in 2017.