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!

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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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Steph’s L.A. Weekly Web Series Pick of the Week: Oh, You Pretty Things

Young aspiring artists and the growing pains of youth are hardly fresh territory for filmmakers. But Oh, You Pretty Things, the first dramatic scripted series from multi-channel YouTube network Maker Studios, in partnership with fashion/lifestyle brand Nylon, is worth a binge-watch marathon.

Director Rico Martinez’s voyeuristic cinematography beautifully captures the L.A. indie art and music scene through the lives of lifestyle blogger Olivia Jones (Francesca Eastwood) and a group of 20-something creatives stumbling their way to success via downtown loft parties, practice sessions and the Echo.

Read my full review of Oh, You Pretty Things for the L.A. Weekly HERE, or keep reading for my interview with Sarah Malkin, Vice President and General Manager, Life + Style for Maker Studios and OYPT Executive Producer Jessica Gelt about creating the show.

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Steph’s LA Weekly Web Series Pick of the Week: Bad Timing – Full Interview with Andy Goldgenberg

You’re the nebbishy, bumbling IT guy. She’s the hottest girl in the office, maybe the planet. Under no circumstances is she ever going to have a candlelit romantic dinner with you. OK, maybe one circumstance: You both survive the Zombocalypse.

Check out Steph’s full review of Andy Goldenberg’s refreshingly blood-soaked take on the “odd couple on an island” web series in her LA Weekly column HERE. And continue reading below for her full interview with Goldenberg about making the show.

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Howie Kremer (Community, Trophy Wife) Throws Down Mad Knowledge about Making His Latest Hilarious Web Series: Uh, Hey Dude

After working in the writers rooms of shows like Community, Hello Ladies, and now Trophy Wife, comedy writer Howie Kremer now has his own series – on the Internet: Uh, Hey Dude. Betsy Sodaro (Animal Practice), Joe Wengert (Playing House) and Tracy Meyer (Hello Ladies) in this slice-of-life, female-centric comedy about three hilarious friends and a whole lot of relatable ‘nothing’. Ala Seinfeld, Uh, Hey Dude explores the small awkward moments that affect us all — like universal experience running into a mutual acquaintance with your friends, and NO ONE being able to remember their F*%#* name. And then they invite you to their birthday party.

Check out Kremer’s hilarious, insightful answers below as to how he created and executed the show and all the steps in between. You can watch more at www.Uhheydude.com

You’ve worked a lot in the TV world. What did you learn from the writers’ room or on set that you carried over into creating your own web series?

EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING!

Being in a writers’ room has helped my writing tremendously. Not only have I been lucky enough to be in writers’ rooms, I’ve been in the funniest, weirdest, craziest, smartest, and most lovely writers rooms ever. Each experience has helped me unlock something that has led me to be able to make UHD.

Doing my episode of TROPHY WIFE also helped SO MUCH for UHD. Being onset as a writer, and working with KEN MARINO who directed my episode, was such an incredible learning experience. It helped me with so many things: writing ON THE FLY — when a scene wasn’t working and me and Sarah Haskins had to rewrite a speech for Malin, or when a joke could be beat and you had a few minutes before it shot to write an ALT to camera set ups, lighting, sound, editing and more.

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AMERICAN KOKO – Web Series Spotlight by TW Guest Writer: Lorelei Ignas

Ever wonder what would happen if Spike Lee and Christopher Guest had a brainchild who wrote a character-driven procedural web series?  Meet Diarra Kilpatrick, creator, writer and star of American Koko, a web series that follows Akosua Miller (Kilpatrick) and her fellow gumshoe “Race Detectives” at the E.A.R. (Everyone’s a Little Racist) agency.

On the surface a procedural about sleuthing out racism and racial ignorance in everyday political incorrectness, American Koko uses its equal-opportunity offensive sense of humor to highlight the many ways in which racism is pre-programmed into today’s American society — an objective that’s flipped delightfully on its head when Main Character Akosua falls for (gasp) a white guy.  Using the microcosm of an 8th grade musical to earnestly yet satirically ask “what’s the appropriate level of blackness?” — and then actually waiting for an answer — is no easy feat.  But, as Diarra so succinctly says, “you can talk about anything if it’s clever and it’s funny, and if you approach it with some irreverence.”

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Diarra and director Miles Orion Feld (both repped by CAA) to drink iced tea, discuss TV, race, making a web series, and the inspirations behind this exciting new serialized-procedural web series, whose humor manages to somehow be both irreverent, indeed — but also equal-opportunity offensive.

How would you define your use of the term “post-racial America” for dumb white folks?

D: When Obama was elected people were trying to peddle this idea that there was no race issue anymore, this was a cornerstone of how far we’d come.  a) we haven’t’ gone that far, we still have a long way to go b) I’m not actually interested in a “post-racial America.”… people’s culture and ethnicity is exciting information about who they are… it’s all a way in which we celebrate life.  Everyone’s culture shapes how they specifically celebrate life… I’m interested in how people do that in their own particular way.  I don’t want to live in a world that’s just beige.

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