Felicia Day Talks Gaming and Long-Form Content on ‘Ear Biscuits’

/ Jun 20, 2014

felicia day ear biscuits

Felicia Day brought two major things to YouTube before the masses caught on. She told Rhett & Link about focusing on gaming and long-form series on this week’s “Ear Biscuits.”

Now, we know that YouTube serves as a largely popular hub for gamers. Consider Felix Kjellberg (better known as PewDiePie), the YouTube gamer who boasts more subscribers than any other independent creator on the video platform. However, back when Day brought her show, “The Guild,” to YouTube in 2007, gaming had yet to cement its presence.

Since gaming remained out of the limelight at this time, Day hoped her new show would “represent.” She explained, “At the core of it, I wanted to show that gamers were not just overweight dudes in their moms’ basements being assholes.” Thus, “The Guild,” her long-form show featuring a group of gamers who play together as a World of Warcraft guild, includes an older man in an office environment, a mom, and a “hostile college girl,” plus Day herself, who plays…pretty much the woman she was at the time before she got to writing the script — a relatively young, female World of Warcraft addict.

The show’s long-form nature is due to Day’s original hope that it would air in a 30-minute slot on TV. Living in Hollywood and having experienced the acting circuit via commercials and a role on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” automatically geared her towards television, but talking to a YouTubing friend, Kim Evey, convinced her that “The Guild” would be great on the web. With Evie’s help, they ended up shooting the first three episodes (which all came from Day’s 30-minute “pilot”) in a basement, having “no ulterior motive other than enthusiasm,” according to Day.

Though long-form remains a rarity on YouTube, Day has continued in that vein with the sitcom-length “Spooked,” her latest show that’s part of the platform’s funded channel initiative and on Hulu. “I make what I love, and I love long-form narrative,” she said, however adding, “I think people underestimate how hard it is to make long-form narrative and how much time you have to spend drafting it.”

This may account for the dearth of it on YouTube, where many of its creators vlog or create “one-off” videos. Meanwhile, Day started off as if “competing with TV,” which, in her words, “requires a lot of different expertise” and a higher budget. She noted how people used to show up on the set of “The Guild” surprised at how many people were there. Just because a show features on YouTube, doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of work that went into it. Day believes it’s important for people working on shows for the platform to specialize to certain extent (like people who create TV content), in order to make videos that are great.

“I think in the next five years, a lot of people will see the web as a place to create art and not just disposable content,” Day predicted. She shared more gems on her creation method and gaming on the latest “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link.”

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