Kai Soremekun: How to Create Effective Web Series

It's always nice to meet and talk to a woman with the passion. This is how you come up with a truly great product. You figure out your story and tie it to your business.

Kai Soremekun, Helen Nesterenko

I got a chance to talk to Kai Soremekun, filmmaker, actress and the creator of "CHICK: Within Me Lives a Superhero". This is the award winning web series that inspires women believe in themselves and find their own way in life.

We've had a great conversation on how to create an effective web series and I am sharing it with you now.

So, yes – meet Kai Soremekun!

Helen: I am joined today by Kai Soremekun, an award-winning film-maker, actress, entrepreneur and the creator of "CHICK". Kai, how are you doing today?

Kai: It's going great!

Helen: Glad to hear that. Kai, you are the creator of "CHICK", award-winning web series. How did you come up with the idea for that? Can you share your story with us?

Kai: Wow, that’s a long story. So let’s see if I can tell a short version of that story. Basically, I was in a very unhealthy relationship for three years, and when I got out of the relationship, I realized that besides him being not really great person, I had some work to do on myself. This really committed to working on myself and figuring out what was going on with me that would allow me to stay in such an unhealthy relationship for so long. And in that process I just really started to discover a lot about how we function as human beings and realize that we have so much power and potential as human beings, and it really got me excited about where we could go and what we could do.

A lot of the things that I did – worked on for myself to make myself a better person and more confident person – I just wanted to start sharing with others. So I started creating a site (it was first another site). I basically just put a bunch of different exercises that I did to improve myself in hopes that someone might find it and get some value out of it too. And then I was dealing with a ridiculous amount of anger around my relationship and my ex-boyfriend.

I’m a big believer in intuition. So my intuition basically told me to pack up myself and my dog, go to New York, hang out with my brother for a couple of months, and write a screenplay. So I did that, even though I thought it was crazy. I wrote the screenplay called “Fantastica”. No, it was called “Guerilla Girls”, and it was about a bunch of girls that went around beating up asshole guys. And it was my therapy to work out all the anger I had. It was a horrific script. It will never see the light of day, but out of that script I pulled out one of the characters, and that character got developed into a feature film called “Fantastica.”

It was about the girl who wanted to be a superhero, and it was her way to trying to think better about herself. I still had plans to do that feature film but I wanted to do something smaller at first, so I created this web-series called “CHICK” which follows her journey to the point where she eventually becomes a superhero, and her journey to get away from a bad relationship, and really honor herself and her own dreams, and see where those take her. So, that’s how it happened!

Helen: Can an effectively done web series help to market a service or a product?

Kai: You know, I’m a huge believer in this because the first web series I actually ever created was for a book. It was a novel called “The Timer Game”, and the author of the book wanted to do something unique to market her novel when it was coming out. So we did a lot of brainstorming, and we came up with the idea to create this web series. There were 19 episodes, and they were two minutes each. It was a prequel to the novel. In the web series you basically got to meet the main characters of the novel and learn about their journey and their life up to the beginning of where the book starts. The last episode of the web series ended with a cliffhanger, and in order to find out what happened, you had to read the book.

So that was the very first time that I used web content to market a product. And I’m also going to do it with my own web series because I’m really passionate about human potential. I want to use the entertainment that will drop people in and give them enjoyment in the web series, and tie them into products or services that they can maybe use in their real life to really tap into their real potentials as human beings.

The overall fame to the project is to realize your full potential and your purpose for being here. I’m a huge believer, and I think the more you can do in an entertaining way, the more you draw people in, you gain their trust in you, get them really interested in what you’re doing, how you can help them, and how they can improve their life.

Helen: How do you come up with a story for a web series?

Kai: You know I shared mine, which is really personal. I’m a huge believer in coming up with things that are in some way deeply connected to you because I think it helps you to carry through moments when things aren’t so easy and they’re tough. If you’re really passionate about something, and you really care about it, and you believe in it, I think, using those as the base or the seeds for whatever type of web show you might create is hugely important. So if you are in love with cooking, I would do a web series on cooking because that’s something you care about and it feeds your soul. I would say that’s the first place to start to look for when you’re trying to develop some sort of show.

Helen: What is the best way to create an effective web series? Can you outline the steps?

Kai: Steps to create an effective web series, oh my God…Well, I actually said this on my panel too. When you start shooting, it’s the most expensive time. So as much as you can do before you start shooting, the better off you’ll be. I always tell people, “Prepare as much as you can”. Prep is so valuable. Explore every angle of what your show is about in that stage, so that when the unexpected comes out (which it will) when you’re shooting, you’ll more than likely have a much better ability to come up with a great solution or great answer to the challenge that you face.

A great story, or a great outline, or a great idea is the first step, I would say. And getting that down on paper and really being tough on yourself at that stage, getting a lot of feedback from people that you respect and you think their opinion has value.

I am a big fan of visually pleasing video, even if you’re doing a talk show or something. With the technology we have today, it’s so easy to make things enticing and fun for people to look at. So spend some time on that and then make sure you develop and get a really strong crew – even if it’s a small crew – surrounding you. People that are better than you are always the ideal, so they can raise your game and help challenge you to be the best you can be. But having a bit of a support around you is hugely important.

I’ve done things all by myself. You can also do it but it’s hard, and you end up at the end of the day being exhausted.  So the more you can find people to support you, even when it’s a few people, that’s always great. And then just shoot it, you know. Get out there and shoot your stuff, even if it’s your first time. Maybe it’s not going to be the greatest but there’s a learning curve, and there’s a process to developing yourself as a film-maker in terms of what you do. The only way you’re really going to improve on that is to shoot stuff. And then tell everybody and their mother, keep sharing it and believing in it, and put it out into the world.

Helen: Thank you for the interview. It was great to have you today, Kai. And good luck with your creation.

Kai: Thank you!

What do you think about creating a web series? Does it all start from your personal story? What is the best way to create and market it?