Creating a video series is a lot of fun, but also takes a lot of planning and hard work. If you’re interested in creating one here are a few key things to keep in mind.
I’ve created series for work as a journalist, I’ve taught college students how to create series and I’ve also created series for my own on my YouTube channel. Before reading this though, do keep in mind this is pitch advice based on my experience working with nonfiction content, primarily in news.
When you’re coming up with your idea, first figure out what it is a series for (a YouTube channel, a broadcast platform, a digital outlet). This will help you shape your pitch.
Next, write your idea in one sentence. Using this tactic can help you get to your point most effectively. Why? Because it’s succinct and people will listen to succinct. Also, if it’s well done they will understand your idea at its most fundamentally important point.
Then outline the who, what, when, where, why and how.
Who will be involved? Who is the series about? And who is hosting it or is a host needed?
What is the series? Take your one sentence description and expand on it.
When will you produce it and when do you want it to be finished and released?
Where will it take place? Where will it be shot?
Why would others watch this? What is the motivation behind it for your audience? This part should also help you define the audience. If you’re pitching to a specific outlet, you will need to research their audience in advance to make sure your pitch aligns.
Outline the visuals, the storyline and how many episodes you want to include. This last part doesn’t need a finite number if it’s going to be an ongoing series, but you should outline at least three episodes if you’re making a pitch.
You’ll need to make a pitch deck, presentation and/or storyboard. This will depend on who and what you’re pitching. Do some research to see what’s required when making the pitch. This will obviously be different if you’re outlining a pitch for yourself vs. a pitch for your boss vs. a pitch for Netflix.
Branding and title are things people often pitch early that could end up changing. So send some ideas, but don’t stay tied to anything. The branding is likely to change in production.