At the beginning of the new year, major video platforms handed over their self-made mini-series answers

  Short drama, is the era of "intensive cultivation" coming?

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  Watching an episode of a mini-series, it only takes time to order a takeaway or take a few subway stops.

This form is very in line with the characteristics of "fragmented" communication, and can quickly occupy the life gaps of many young people.

On the other hand, due to its low cost, fast return, and low difficulty in operation, micro-sketches have increasingly become a new track that the industry is competing to occupy.

  The life of a middle-aged aunt can't help but feel meaningless at first, but when you follow aunt Wang Yutian and Yang Defu into the short drama "Auntie's World", in the 20 episodes with a total duration of less than 100 minutes, you will find that aunt also They can be lively and interesting, and their lives are more colorful.

  "Auntie's World" isn't the only short-series that has recently been launched by long-form video platforms.

"Don't mess with the pigeons", "The Grocery Store that Sells Spells", etc., all let people see that micro-shorts are slowly parting ways with short videos, and more professional teams end up with the method of shooting traditional film and television dramas.

The era of extensive production of short dramas is coming to an end, and the era of "intensive cultivation" has begun to take shape.

  Mini-dramas are on fire?

  In the face of "Aunt's World", Lin Lei, who is only in her 20s, "can't stop".

At first, she thought that watching the subway at work was "not wasting time, and it's fun", but she couldn't help herself after watching the first episode. Because of her small size, she used the gap between work to catch up in a day.

  By describing the rich and colorful life of two retired aunts in a certain community, the play shows the story of the new and elderly groups actively integrating into the ever-changing digital age.

Each episode combines the pain points of young people in today's society: star chasing, blind box, live broadcast, overtime, involution... The story of showing young people's life through the perspective of middle-aged people makes Lin Lei feel novel.

  The show has been broadcast since December 30, 2021. In less than a month, the number of related readings on Weibo has reached 330 million, and the number of Douyin plays has exceeded 170 million. Many netizens have expressed their expectation for the second season.

  This is not the first time Lin Lei has come into contact with micro-short dramas. In 2019, she accidentally swiped "Robot Girlfriend Heart" on a short video platform. Each episode is 1 minute long and the plot of Gao Tian's reversal immediately attracted Lin Lei's attention. Notice that your fingers start to swipe down involuntarily.

  In 2020, the information filing system for key online film and television dramas will add a new item of "mini-series", which is defined as "an online drama with a single episode of no more than 10 minutes."

  Paying attention to the potential of micro-short dramas, major video platforms have made arrangements one after another.

In 2020, Kuaishou and Douyin will launch the micro-short series incentive plan, and many short video bloggers have invested in the production of micro-short series.

At the end of 2021, long video platforms such as Youku and Tencent have also launched their own mini-series.

"Big Mom's World" is one of them.

  Short video or film and television drama?

  Is the micro-short series closer to "short videos", or does it emphasize the concept of "drama"?

If placed in the past, the micro-shorts played by short video platforms are undoubtedly more representative, but with the addition of long video platforms in recent years, the answer to the question has changed.

  Li Qun, who is engaged in the entertainment industry on the long video platform, told reporters that in terms of form, the domestic comedies such as "The Diaosi Man", "The Best Lady" and "Unexpectedly" have already shown the style of micro-short dramas ten years ago: There is no character introduction and no background foreshadowing. In 5 minutes, the story goes straight to the theme, the laughter is dense and not obtrusive, and it quickly attracts the audience.

  Lin Lei was watching the short drama "Dream!"

During the 3-minute episode, she laughed out loud 6 times.

"Tears burst out."

  In the past two years, she has followed the fantasy "Liu Longting Biography", the urban romance "The Confessions of a Wicked Girl", and the terrifying and suspenseful "Don't Think Different: A Dictionary". These short dramas have had over 100 million views on platforms.

  Li Yue, who works for a short video company, said: "The micro-short drama makes the audience feel a strong sense of substitution through the clever plot in a very short period of time, leaving suspense and reversal at the end of each episode, and gradually the audience will become Addictive, I hope 'short' can become 'long'. And the mini-series has low cost, quick return, low difficulty in operation, and more genres can be created."

  In Li Qun's view, a variety of genres can stimulate vitality and create better works.

But on the other hand, shoddy, low-quality works can also flourish.

"No matter whether it is defined as a short video or a film and television drama, a micro-short drama is just a form, which contains the components of the market, and the core is the content. Only the content that inspires the soul and resonates with it can last for a long time."

  Where is the future?

  "The rise of mini-series is essentially catering to current user habits." Li Yue told reporters.

Because the daily work pressure is too high, everyone does not have time to watch long dramas, so short dramas came into being.

But it is a question worth thinking about whether the short drama can carry the same social value as the long drama.

  "The current mini-dramas are more of a manifestation of fast food culture. Most of them rely on novelty, funny and sweet pet types to attract attention, and they will be forgotten after watching it. Even though the market for mini-dramas is very hot these days, it still leaves a lot of impression on people. The deeply impressive 'breaking the circle' work has not appeared." Shooting a short drama "out of the circle" is also the direction that Li Yue has been working hard for.

  The high-quality and trend-setting mini-series in the industry all show common characteristics: shorter time, denser laughs, strong plot reversal, and individual character settings.

  "Don't mess with the white dove", which is generally recognized by the industry, has made a big breakthrough in structure, lens expression, and theme connotation.

Wen Jing, a director who has experience in the United States, obviously has higher artistic pursuits.

This short drama produced by Mango TV has a coherent story, wonderful plot, and perfect reversal.

But the embarrassing thing is that the cumulative number of broadcasts on the platform at the end of the episode has just exceeded 50 million, which is incomparable with the micro-short series with a billion-level broadcast volume on the short video platform.

  It also means that the huge amount of money and expertise invested in the creative process is hard to get a commensurate return on.

  Lin Yue, a screenwriter in the industry, told reporters, "The size of a micro-minidrama determines its upper limit. Shortness is to make people stop thinking and seek quick satisfaction. No matter how clever the design is, there is no detailed background introduction, character design, and storytelling. It’s hard to run from succession to succession.” In his opinion, medium and long video is a better choice in the future.

  As an audience member, Lin Lei revealed that her expectation for the mini-series was only for entertainment in the fragmented time.

Of course, she hopes that there will be a short drama that can "break the circle" in the future.

"In this way, you can discuss the development of the plot with your friends and cause more resonance."

  In 2022, Kuaishou will launch a new mini-series "The Legend of Sword and Fairy: Swinging Sword and Asking Love", and the blogger of "The Confessions of a Wicked Girl", which has created 800 million views on Douyin, also launched a new drama "Night Shift Diary". ”, Tencent Video has launched a separate micro-short drama brand “Shifen Theater”, which includes the comedy “Ivory Mountain”, the national drama “Washer Trilogy”, and the suspense drama “The Game of Cards”…

  At an earlier Tencent Video micro-short drama conference, Li La, deputy general manager of the platform operation department, once said that the development of micro-short dramas has entered the stage of quality and will continue to be explored.