Welcome back to the SideShow Playbook, aspiring Producers! In our previous installment, we shared with you the five fundamental types of content for a successful SideShow, but there’s still lots to cover. In today’s edition of the Playbook, the topic is
Do’s and Don’ts: Tips to delight and mistakes to avoid!
Don’t hold back – Share insider information!
The most resoundingly praised SideShows are full of production info, background context, and behind-the-scenes knowledge. When fans watch an episode of one of their favorite television series, they have an insatiable thirst for details surrounding their show. As such, we can’t emphasize this enough: these “directors’ cut” SideShows can be as rewarding as DVD bonus features, so don’t skimp on all the nitty gritty!
Don’t be shy - Leave some personality on the page!
Whether you’re making a SideShow consisting entirely of facts or entirely of snark, there’s no substitute for charisma. It’s far more fun to talk about TV like you’re in the same living room as your viewers, than as an encyclopedia entry. And if your fellow fans feel similarly about the characters and their actions, you have a chance to match their complex emotions with your card with personality – a very rewarding experience!
Don’t settle - Take the time to find the right moment.
SideShows are designed to be synced with the show, so make sure content appears when it should! The window for card relevance is within five seconds – any later and you’ve missed the beat!
Don’t botch the quote – make sure to get it right!
Using a quote card to capture your favorite moments is a great idea – it’s a fun and easy way for viewers to broadcast their love for the show. But imagine seeing a quote card that jumbles the sharp line you just heard on your TV – it totally defeats the purpose! It’s a more common mistake than you would think, so be sure to get the quote correct!
Don’t stray too far with your links - keep it relevant!
SideShows are great for sharing relevant information and links, but don’t go overboard! Remember that your audience is watching a show, so don’t forget to ask yourself “would I click this link?” before you include it.
Don’t repeat images - keep your SideShow fresh with a good variety!
It’s often difficult to find the perfect image for your SideShow card, because you have to match the show’s precise tone in an image. Sometimes it seems appropriate to skip the search and use the same image twice – but what are the odds that it is the perfect image for two moments? There are times when it works, but as a general rule, repeat images feel lazy and are a negative experience for the viewer.
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