Regular readers may recall in October last year I interviewed Bananamana Films founders Jason Chan & Christian Lee about How to Make An Award-Winning Web Series. Well, now I can update that headline to How To Make & Sell An Award-Winning Web Series as they have announced their first acquisition deal with Viki.com.
Viki is a global TV site with TV shows, movies and other premium content translated into more than 200 languages by a community of avid fans who, from Valentine’s Day 2015, can get fanatical about romantic drama Perfect Girl.
Perfect Girl was initially created as a 10-part series on a micro-budget but also runs as a short feature. Produced entirely in Singapore, Perfect Girl defied all odds when it went on to sweep 16 nominations worldwide and win 7 international awards including Best International Series at the Atlanta Webfest in 2014 and Outstanding Drama Series at both the Toronto and LA webfests in 2015.
Here in Singapore we’re constantly being told that local content doesn’t travel but I think Perfect Girl proved that it CAN
Jason Chan, Bananamana Films
The Bananamana boys have long maintained that English-language Asian dramas have international appeal and this acquisition is proof says Jason: “Getting our show in front of millions worldwide and having it cross language barriers is incredibly exciting. Here in Singapore we’re constantly being told that local content doesn’t travel but I think Perfect Girl proved that it CAN travel and make a mark not only on the festival circuit but on a global network too. We hope this will help pave the way for other locally made dramas to reach international audiences.”
Not only is this a huge win for Bananamana and English-language Asian dramas but also independent and web productions proving that YouTube ads are not the only revenue option, particularly when it comes to high-end episodic series. And Bananamana are not the only ones blazing a trail for original drama on the web. Last week US comic Louis CK launched his new drama series, Horace & Pete, via his own website charging for episodes that currently range from 51 to 77 minutes long.
Find out more about Bananamana Films at http://bananamanafilms.com.