Web Series Wednesday: A Series of 15 Seconds

/ Jan 14, 2015


Yep, they’re here… Series comprised of 15-second episodes have grown from a possibility to a reality thanks to Instagram. Though you may think such series wouldn’t have a lot of hope at achieving much other than a cheap laugh here and there and some over-eager cuts, the following series manage to display artistry and talent…in a variety of different ways.

If you know of any other web series that challenge our preconceived notions of, well, series, send them to us at [email protected].

Artistically Challenged

“Artistically Challenged,” which we actually saw a while back at a VideoInk screening, is so smart because, well, what better way to tell a story about a struggling artist than in a series of 15-second videos? The creators nailed their comedic timing and gave “montage” a whole new meaning in the episode that shows the main character getting fired from job after menial job. The visuals and subject matter are just plain cool. You can watch the series here.

Senior Lovin’

The deserving winner of JuntoBox Films’ InstaFilm competition, “Senior Lovin’” has the feel of “Cocoon” and/or an old-fashioned porno with senior citizens. Episodes have expertly placed cuts to carry the story forward in just 15 seconds, and they always begin and end at just the right place. The camera work is truly good, especially in the first episode where it pans down and in to capture the title, “Senior Lovin’,” on one of the main character’s boxers. Here’s a YouTube video that puts the episodes together:

Steady and Shakes

You can tell from the “pilot episode” alone that this Instagram series is going to be funny. It does what any actually good Instagram series does, which is strategically pack a lot of information into a super short video—and episode one does just that by using a trailer-esque format to showcase who each character is individually (Steady vs. Shakes) and as a clearly comical team. The amazing thing is that whoever filmed the show managed to get in some scenery shots in addition to the action in many episodes. Prioritizing what was important for viewers to see made this stupidly decent show work, along with the fact that it stars famous comedians, David Koechner and Harland Williams. Here’s the whole “InstaMovie,” series, whatever:

Bird to the Future

Maybe I just have a soft spot for this because I love “Back to the Future” and anything that spoofs it (yeah, that’s a lot of things), but this InstaSeries is also unique because it takes the form of a mockumentary (and Christopher Lloyd is actually in it). The super short videos end up creating more of that overblown suspense feel documentaries about something “sinister” love to foster, because you have to keep clicking on a new video to get to the, for lack of a better work, wacky (cringe) climax. To date, this is the best excuse any MLB team has ever come up with for losing the World Series that “they should have won.” Start with the first episode (starring Lloyd) here.

Monster Eviction

In addition to starring the cutest kid on the planet, this series is creative, unexpected, and builds up to a punch line that can be appreciated by all (in other words, it’s “family-friendly”). The costumes (well, one in particular) are pretty awesome, too, which is something you usually can’t say about an Instagram series. “Monster Eviction” came in third in JuntoBox Films’ InstaFilm competition, apparently getting its inspiration from Eminem and Rhianna’s song “Monsters Under My Bed.” Here’s the first episode (which is just the credits, so keep watching).

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