LA Weekly Pick of the Week: Eat Our Feelings – Creator Interview

Ever feel like you should teach yourself how to cook an adult person meal but you’d rather just chill out and watch comedy YouTube videos? Now you can do both!

In their hybrid sitcom/cooking show Eat Our Feelings, Brooklyn based writer/actor/server Sasha Winters and writer/vegan-chef Emma Jane Gonzalez serve up sassy, gourmet how-to cooking vids sandwiched between comedic scripted situations that lead the girls to whip up the dish in question. Check out my full LA Weekly review of Eat Our Feelings HERE. Continue reading below for Steph’s interview with creators Winters and Gonzalez below.

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How to build a MASSIVE audience before your show even premieres!

Some of you may remember when I featured Cristobal Ross and Nicolas Balbontin’s hilarious bilingual web series Gringolandia in the LA Weekly last year. They were very savvy about the way they promoted and funded season one. They released a TEASER VIDEO about what Americans think of Chile that went VIRAL with their intended audience for the series and got them 20k subscribers and backing by a brand before they even premiered the series! Since they just released SEASON 2 (see vid above) I figured I’d share the show again and my interview with Ross about his process so that new readers could enjoy and learn too.  You can watch Gringolandia and Subscribe HERE! Here’s my LA WEEKLY article about the show as well.  Happy Tuesday!

1) Tell me more about your production company http://www.contento.tv?

We started the company with my business partner and editor of the series, Nicolas Balbontin (business management degree and film at Hunter College) that had been working in NY for the advertising business for the past 4 years. A very talented, creative and smart guy. Contento means happy in spanish, and thats our company´s main goal.

With contento.tv we strive to produce video content for a digital audience, adapting the storytelling to fit an environment where the consumer´s habits have changed and technologies evolve at a fast pace.
We are a one stop shop for brands who want to connect with their consumers in an attractive, organic and efficient way.
2) What inspired you to create the series? Why this premise and why a web series?

I did this instead of going to film school. I realized shortfilms wherent the best format to start for me, since they dont have much possibilities to get funded. Webseries sounded perfect, since I could have the chance to learn filmmaking but also having the potential to recover the costs and eventually make a living out of this. Its a flexible format, relatively new, is constantly evolving, brands are producing original content and it has the potential to make several seasons to capitalize the content for a longer period of time. Too many good things not to go for it.

The premise was a mixture between what my main strength was at the moment (living in NY), I could write about something that I know (I´m also an immigrant ) and it also deals with universal subjects like adaptation, self identity and the voyage. 
3) I LOVE the cast. How did you go about finding each of your actors? Did you know any beforehand?

I love them too!! For the Northamerican actors we did a casting call and actually met them for the first time on set, when we shot the promotional viral teasers. Before that was just Skype. Their reel was enough to tell they were great actors. They were amazing, I can thank them enough for putting all that energy into it and that finally reflects on the screen.

As for Koke, the lead, he is a sort of YouTube star in Chile and this is the first time he plays a character in fiction for internet. I contacted him through a friend and brought him over for 2 weeks to shoot. He fit the character perfectly and got along great with the rest of the cast. His english was surprisingly rich and allowed him to make comedy with it, which is hard to do in a different language. 
4) How did you go about promoting the series? Are web series ‘a thing’ in Chile/South America yet? You’ve got a huge amount of views — do you think your audience is mostly Spanish or English speakers?

The first promotional stage aimed at Chile, where the show had most possibilities to succeed at first. As a result, 95% of our audience is Chilean and the rest are probably Chileans living abroad. The campaign started with a viral video that reached 50k views on the first week, allowing us to build a big fan base before premiering.

There are around 10 webseries in Chile so the audience was sort of familiarized with the term. Its growing fast, with around 7 more webseries for 2014. 
8) Could you lay out some tips on how to get a company to back a web series, like you did for Season One of Gringolandia? 
- Investigate the company before approaching to them. Understand who they are, what their values are, where do they spend their online advertising,what have they done in the past, etc. Also, who´s their creative/advertising agency. They probably work with one and it could be a good idea to try to sell the show through them.
- Who´s your audience? Age, nationality, sex, income? You should have an answer for that, even if its a guess. It HAS to match their customers profile.
- Each company is different, so each meeting, powerpoint, mail, pitch,etc must be tailored to the company´s needs.
- Find out who is the decision maker and try to find out as much as you can about him. Facebook, linkedin, etc. Also, try to guess how much budget is he capable of spending without asking his boss and how is he measured to get his annual bonu$ ( financial goals? subjective? performance?). This will tell you his incentives and constraints.
- Prepare to answer questions like views forecast, media partners, social networks efforts,etc.
- About the price, try to find out how much a regular company pays for each online “contact” or impression. That info should be available to the public and can go between 1 and 50 dollars per 1k views, depending on the content, campaign, etc.
- Once you are prepared for the meeting: call them or visit them. I´d never gotten a meeting just from an email.
- For a marketing executive a 5 minute pilot may be to long to watch at the meeting.  I´d put together a 1 minute trailer with extra info about the show (plot, # episodes, views projections, media partners,etc).
-Lastly, I´d say this is one of the most difficult stages of the project, so don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t work right away. There’s a learning curve, so make sure you do get some lessons from each meeting. Identify where your strengths are and improve your pitch from there.

Some Cool Special Guests at the Vancouver Web Fest

Hey guys, the Vancouver Web Fest sent me this press release that I thought was worth sharing with you. Keep in mind, this is THEIR press release, so their tooting their own horn, but it seems pretty cool! And definitely worth submitting your series to, if you’re doing the rounds.

xo Steph

October 22, 2014 (Vancouver, BC) – VANCOUVER WEB FEST (VWF) is excited to announce new special guests for the 2015 festival. CTV Extend, CollegeHumor, GFZ Studios and the Independent Production Fund (IPF) are joining an impressive team of partners and sponsors at the coming festival, to be held March 6 to 8, 2015, at Performance Works on Vancouver’s Granville Island. The new guests will join returning partner Frostbite Pictures to host pitching sessions, join panels and more. Further details will be released closer to the date.

Vancouver Web Fest proved to be one of the top international web festivals in their inaugural year. VWF2015 will explore the fascinating future of new and existing web series, apps, games and commercials by facilitating networking opportunities between the content creators, production companies, distributors and buyers of online productions from around the world.

“I have heard wonderful things about the success of the inaugural Vancouver Web Fest in 2014, so I am really looking forward to participating in the 2015 version which already looks very exciting.” said Andra Sheffer, Executive Director of Independent Production Fund. “Web series are booming in Canada and the Vancouver Web Fest plays an important role in encouraging, developing and training the outstanding talents that we have in this new business.”

“We’re very pleased to have such reputable and innovative organizations join the festival. VWF is all about the creators and we know that connecting them with organizations such as these will help them gain the knowledge they need to succeed,” said VWF’s Executive Director Suzette Laqua.

Earlier this month, VWF also announced the addition of a new award category: Best Special Effects. The award for Best Special Effects will join Best Cinematography, Best Director and Best Original Score as new awards at the 2nd annual festival.

VWF is currently accepting submissions from around the world. The deadline for regular entry is October 31, 2014. Late entries will be accepted until November 30, 2014. More details can be found at www.vancouverwebfest.com.

 

Web Series PR Guru Brian Rodda Discusses Promoting Your Web Series and Pitching Your Idea as Branded Entertainment

Tangled Web:

Back in January 2013, Tangled Web spoke to Digital Strategist Brian Rodda about his experience in Web Series PR and Branded Entertainment. This week Brian was interviewed by Emmy.com and had some awesome new insights into this ever changing field. Check out his recent interview HERE for some great tips!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3130334/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

And check out our interview with Brian from last year below. :-)

Originally posted on The Tangled Web We Watch:

Brian Rodda

Brian Rodda

Brian Rodda has worked with some of the most prominent web series out there, including Jane Espenson & Brad “Cheeks” Bell’s Husbands, Matt Enlow’s Squaresville, and Tai Fauci’s Whole Day Down.  In addition to running Brian Rodda Consulting, Brian teaches the course “How To Get Your First 10,000 Views” at web series school CreatorUp!

So what does a Web Series PR man actually do?

I specialize my services for every client. For some, I just do straight PR and social media posts. I send out press releases, get people talking about them on the right blogs, tweet and post for them.  For others, I am also the actual online voice of their web series. I am the one who engages and follows up with their audience. That takes the most hours and is the most expensive service.

I also offer advice on web site…

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LA Weekly Web Series Pick of the Week: Backseat Bitches

Plenty of shows explore the drama going down at Hollywood’s hottest parties. But what about the drama going down in the backseats of Uber cars on the way to those Hollywood parties, between passengers who have no hope of getting in?

Backseat Bitches is the latest web series from Above Average, the digital arm of Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels’ production company, Broadway Video. It follows two hashtagging, instagramming, flask-sipping, leopard-clad BFFs, Jinny and Mimi, as they zip around L.A. to Macaulay Culkin’s birthday party and other events to which they are not invited.

To read the rest of Steph’s LA Weekly review of Backseat Bitches click HERE. To read Steph’s full interview with Jessica and Melissa, continue reading below.

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Making Depression Funny – Interview with Matt Warren and David Zarif of MY DAMN CHANNEL’S Matt and Dave are So Depressed

It’s a comedy about depression. A not so easy sell, but a paradox the world is more willingly aware of, particularly in the wake of Robin Williams’ recent passing. Embracing the adage that comedy is just tragedy with good timing, MY DAMN CHANNEL’S Matt and Dave are So Depressed is an episodic series detailing the lives of two roommates, Matt (Nick Burr) and Dave (Brandon Bales), who compete to see who is quintessentially more depressed. I had the chance to catch up with the series creators, and in some ways their own muses, Matt Warren (director) and Dave Zarif (writer). - TW Team Writer Erin Stegeman. 

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Making your FIRST web series? Read this interview with Courtney Rackley, creator of Web Series FIRSTS

Your first ANYTHING can be daunting, and making your first web series is no exception. More daunting than your first STD? You decide.

Web series FIRSTS, created by Courtney Rackley (In Gayle We Trust) follows the relationship of Chuck and Sally as they go through their “FIRSTS” of everything. First Date, First Kiss, First Sick Day, First Meet the Parents… Over 200 people worked on firsts!  Each episode had a new writer, director and crew! So it was a first for them too.

Here’s my interview with Courtney about making the show. You can check out FIRSTS at www.FirstsTheSeries.com.

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