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Web Series World Cup: interview to the founder Joël Bassaget

Versione italiana
Wednesday, 02 December 2015

On November, 24th, ended the first edition of the Web Series World Cup (WSWC), an online event - created by Joël Bassaget - that collect seven of the main international web fests (Sicily, Berlin, Bilbao, Dublin, Marseille, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro). Here an interview to the founder, by World Wide Webeserie.

The Web Series World Cup is an online event created by Joël Bassaget, the fouder also of the french magazine Web Serés MagThe purpose of the WSWC is not to become a “FIFA” for web series, but it’s to promote web series and their creators, helping also the web fests that join the Cup, leaving them always free and indipendent.
This first edition saw 100 web series competing for becoming the World Champion Web Series and, amazingly, ended with two winners: High Road (New Zealand) and Gabriel (French).
In order to find out much more about this interesting event, we decided to interview the founder, Joël Bassaget, who explained us every aspect of the WSWC, defining it “fun, easy and universal”.

How was born the idea for the WSWC?
My Blog/Network, Web Séries Mag, is a Media Partner of several webfests around the world. Webfests are very efficient events to promote web series, but 'till now they were not really connected. So, my first idea was to create a competition that would serve as a link between the webfests all over the year. Then, I realized that this “World cup” would also be a very good way to notify the audience about “what’s happening” and “what to watch”. A unique reference that you can easily access at all time, showing you what are the 100 best new web shows available.

Which kind of feedback did you receive during the event in these first stages? And how did you communicate/publicize the event?
Again, everything went really faster and bigger than I planed. The word spread everywhere and we received a lot of feedback and got some press. As a matter of fact, this is also a cool thing about the WSWC.; any contestant can use it for communicate and brag about, freely use the logo or refer to the table.

Which were the early steps of this project? How is currently handled this first edition?
An other idea was to use social medias. And, right now, the Web series World Cup is “Facebook  based”. All the shows and all the creators have Facebook pages and Facebook account, so it appeared to be the easiest way to spread the information, as this social network is very big everywhere in the world. And it worked! With only 450* suscribers so far, each new ranking published reaches tens of thousands of Facebook users. This is very good as it benefits to all the web series in the ranking.

The competition works in this way: 3 points are assigned for each nomination obtained and 8 points for each award won. Right? Which standards have been taken into account to assign the scores to the attendee web series?
As I am attending and following almost all webfests, I can see that some web series receive a lot of recognition in different categories, but never get an award and on the contrary, some web series are always nominated in the same and only category, and win it. So, I calculated this point system on this principle: 3 nominations beat one award.

The winner - or rather the winners, having had a tie - of the WSWC will be decided according to a ranking, based on nomination and won prizes. In your opinion, is this enough to guarantee a meritocratic assignment of the Best Web Series reward?
You have to ask this to the webfests organizers! The WSWC does not decide anything and all the webfest are fully independent. They select, they nominate and they award. The WSWC is only counting the points. As a matter of fact, I was also wondering about that, but look at the table right now, there are no web series that does not deserve to be in the Top50. I am really very proud of this ranking and I guarantee that anyone would pick a show from this list would have a great time. This competition is also far more fair than other types like “vote for your favorite”. Anyway, I will always be very strict and, if I ever suspect any partner webfest to promote a show for the bad reason, I will be excluded from the next editions. So far, I only met people fully dedicated to promote the best.

Describe us the WSWC with three adjectives.
Fun ('cause all competitions are fun)
Easy (one click and you watch the world!)
Universal (everybody can read a table)

The WSWC counts, at the moment, seven international web series festivals; were these festival actively involved in the project (for example, did they notify you the web series?) ? Or did they merely join the project?
It started as an idea, an experiment. And now it’s real. All webfests were really into it. It was the perfect and easiest way for them to instantly reach a large community of web creators.

Can the WSWC be considered like a unifying event of the international network of web series festivals?
The WSWC is first intended to serve the web series and their creators. This is them and their work that the WSWC promotes. The WSWC is also all about recognizing the fantastic work of the teams who organize these great and indispensable webfests. But it is not a “political” organization and WILL NEVER become a “FIFA”. We want to work with the webfests, help them in any way, but we want to let them free and independent to do what they want how they want. We are not the ones to tell people what to do, we are the ones who show to the world what they should watch.

What do you think about this first edition? Did it satisfied your expectations?
The WSWC did the trick! A lot of people talkes about it and the final results were shared to 45000 people. And now we’re already preparing the 2016 circuit.

What do you think about the amazing tie in the first position between High Road and Gabriel? 
It’s quite fun! They both have 6 festivals selection, 20 nominations and 5 awards. It’s really and definetely fair, in the end, that they can both have the trophy this year. I’m very happy.

Which are the future projects for the WSWC?
A lot! We want it bigger and would love to cover the entire year, from February to December, with at least a dozen of webfests involved around the world. We are actually contacting sponsors and partners to make it grow. We would love to have a dedicated website connected to the social networks, produce video contents to promote events and contestants, create prizes for the Top 10 and maybe – why not? – create a special ceremony at the end of the year. But there is something very important: this competition will stay totally free for the creators and all the funds that we will gather will be used to promote the Top 100 web series all over the year.

*Update: 480 (Dec. 2nd, 2015)

Chiara Bressa,
World Wide Webserie / About Me
@Chiara Bressa

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