CTT Special Series – Van Web Fest 2015 – Interview w/ Bernie Su


An Interview With Writer, Director, Producer & Interactive Storyteller: Bernie Su

CTT-Monster-Icon-INTERVIEWOur Guest:

Vancouver Web Fest 2015’s Keynote Speaker, Co-Creator & Executive Producer Of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Shares His Web Series Expertise & Insight W/ J-Dean & Bob

bernie-su-streamysVancouver International Web Festival:

The Guys & Bernie Cover A Lot Of Ground Beginning With:

  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
  • You Tubes Only Prime Time Emmy Award
  • Only Book based on a Web series based on a book
  • 60 million views & a slew of awards
  • A Highly touted adaptation of Jane Austin’s Book – Pride & Prejudice

Also talked about:

  • Partner Hank Green – Timeless story
  • Why they chose You tube – Most open, most innovative
  • Don’t just make a show – Make it A Franchise!

diary1Bernie suggests – Always ask yourself why you are making a Web Series? What’s the goal?

  • 1. You want to show that we are good at something: Writing, Acting, Directing – You want to use it as a portfolio piece.
  • 2. You want to create a following, build an audience & create a lot of views.
  • 3. You want to sell it! Syndicate it on other platforms or turn it into a TV show.
  • 4. You want to make money! Assuming You think you can make money making Web Series.

All of these reasons are not mutually exclusive – Actually they are probably mutually inclusive – & be sure NOT TO:

  • compare yourself based on things like views – there are all different kinds of content that get major views – scripted, reality documentary, commentary, Vlog, & review are all very different landscapes

Also Mentioned:

  • Deca
  • Kin Community a You Tube MCN
  • They liked the format / the idea of turning books into blogs
  • Which turned into Pemberly Digital
  • & a second series Emma Approved

Bernie Suggests:

  • Always pay what you can – make it scalable
  • Always borrow what you can – cameras, locations, etc
  • Be proactive to turn your art into your career

Also mentioned:

  • Partnering with The March Family Letters
  • A Little Women re-imagining
  • He met the creators at Toronto Web Series Festival
  • IPF – Canadian Production Fund

Next Bernie talk about:

  • Social Media is a good way to monitor & interact but too much tracking is not sustainable
  • Reward the community when they support you – share their fan sites & fan art
  • Make adjustments & tweaks if the audience reacts & responds but keep to the central narrative
  • Lessons learned & finding the pattern to develop strongly & quickly
  • Also talked about:
  • Frankenstein MD
  • PBS Digital
  • Get Systematic in a good way

Bernie’s Three Parts of A Good Team:

  • 1 Production Team – producing the shows, camera, schedules & shooting, hiring actors, etc
  • 2. Writing Team – “Writing is Our Backbone – We believe that writing is one of the most undervalued metrics in film making & in web video especially”
  • 3. Interactive Team – Social media, character social media, the blogs, photo sharing

promo 8Then Bernie Answers:

  • Do you still get a chance to be a Writer vs. being a Show runner / Executive Producer?
  • Do you think you could move into TV now that you have multiple proofs of concept shows & platforms?

He also shares:

  • The Only 2 reasons to go into TV & Film
  • And what Online has that Film & TV don’t!

Mentioned along the way:

  • Samsung integration with Emma Approved
  • The best quote on being a pioneer in a burgeoning industry: “The analogy I like to make is – I feel like the belle of the ball but nobody knows how to dance with me”

Then Bernie shares what he likes to consume:

  • Games: Clash of Clans
  • Reads non-fiction

TV Series:

  • Modern Family – iPhone Episode
  • Game of Thrones
  • 24
  • Hannibal
  • The Americans
  • Scandal


  • Documentaries
  • Dorm Life
  • The Vault

Also mentioned:

  • Vikings
  • Spartacus
  • Masters of Sex
  • Silence of The Lambs
  • Se7en
  • Black Mirror
  • Inside No Nine

Next they talk about:

  • Breaking the Web Series mold
  • Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  • Crackle

Then Bernie shares what he’s learned & how he gives back to the Web Series community

Here are Bernie’s Top 3 Desert Island Traditional & Trans media shows:


  • 24
  • Friends
  • Game of Thrones
  • CSI

Trans Media:

  • Dorm Life
  • Lonelygirl15
  • East Los High




& catch his Keynote Speech Saturday March 7th – 2:25PM – 3:25PM

RELATED HASHTAGS: #VWF2015 #WebSeries #Vancouver  #CTTS4 #CrazyTVTalk #BernieSu #TheLizzieBennetDiaries


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