Good People in Love is the latest web series, written, directed and produced by Tina Cesa Ward, winner of the Writers Guild of America’s first writing award for new media. Good People in Love is set on the eve of the Marriage Equality Act’s passing in New York. The series, which premiered on 15th November, is a drama that examines the weight of marriage and love from two points of view.
The series brings together a small group of family and friends who gather for a dinner party. But the dinner which was organized to celebrate an engagement Max and Carolyn, an interracial couple, turns into a night of manipulation and arguing. To complicate the situation we get to know that Carolyn and her lesbian sister Beth promised each other they wouldn’t get married until Beth is legally allowed to marry too.
You can watch (or I should say: You should watch) the first three episodes at Blip.tv, while the fourth and fifth episode will be available in December.
Web series have huge potential from creative and also from promotional point of view. I haven’t really written a lot about product placement in web series, but Good People in Love is a good opportunity to get an insight in promotion business on a web series.
Kristin R. Thomas of MountainGirl Productions, who was product placement coordinator for the series, explained exclusively to Brands & Films that she was responsible for handling product placement for props, set dressing and the delicious food for the dinner scenes. Kristin was working with Tina Cesa Ward on her other web series that is in the work called ‘Guards of Dagmar’ when Tina came up to her: “She approached me about ‘Good People in Love’ and I just had to work on it to tell this amazing story.”
Kristin, could you explain to the readers what props or brands did you have to provide and how long did the process take?
“I had to provide brands that can donate their product such as set dressing and props needed for the series. It took me up to 2 months to secure the right brands to be presented throughout the series. I wanted companies that support the LGBT community and believe the storyline. It’s very important to me to have companies that support you and the story you are trying to tell.”
Which brands and products did you bring to the production?
“I provided all the brands represented in the series which are located in the end credits. Such brands are Abiouness Wine Company, Emperor’s Brand Vodka, the Miao Yun Kuang paintings on the wall, the dishware was provided by Fishs Eddy, the plants located outside in Episode One was provided by Urban Garden City in NYC and the fantastic food was provided by Jessica Young.”
Was that paid product placement?
“No paid placement for this series but I believe it’s important for a new series because it helps establish a long-term paid placement for future episodes.”
How difficult is the production of web series? Is financing a big issue? Is it possible to make web series without sponsors or product placement?
“Production is not more or less difficult than a film production because it all depends on your team, time schedule and your budget. I do find financing a web series more difficult…because companies are slowly starting to understand the web series world. At first they are nervous because it’s not a platform they are use too but once they see more HIGH QUALITY filmmaking in web series the market will change dramatically.”
What is your opinion on the future of web series?
“I think if we commit to only making high quality and entertaining the web series world will be the most popular platform for companies for product placement. We need more filmmakers like Tina Cesa Ward and Crystal Chappell who open the doors for web series and continue to bring in new fans to the market. Tina Cesa Ward brings film production quality to the web series market and I must say that is incredibly important in the long-run for the future of web series.”
Web series are indeed very interesting and I agree with Kristin that they might be extremely popular with product placement oriented companies. However, there are good and not-so-good examples and I’ll soon present one from the latter category.
I would also strongly suggest you watch Good People in Love and read Kristin Thomas’ first interview on Brands & Films. To get an insight into production of web series in Slovenia check an interview with writer, director and producer Luka Marčetič. You can find more photos from Good People in Love at Brands & Films Facebook page or Google+ page (thanks to Tina Cesa Ward who provided the photos).
Kristin R. Thomas is a producer for independent films and a specialist for product placement from Charlotte, North Carolina (USA). In 2010 she founded MountainGirl Productions, a production company that specializes in product placement for film, TV, Broadway play, web series, concerts and VIP events.
You can follow Kristen on Twitter.