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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If schadenfreude came dressed in a yellow mini-dress and heralded from Kansas it would be Amy Kersten at the season three premiere of her digital-series, Hot Mess. Hot Mess is scripted non-fiction, the real stories of real NYC women keep together one post-it note at a time. This post Sex in the City, pre-Lena Dunham series was first hatched in 2007, and it’s come a long way baby.
NYC 2007 – Amy and I were roommates: two straight girls, two gay boys and two cats in a one-bedroom railroad apartment in a 4th floor walk-up in Brooklyn. We kept our sanity and the bed bugs at bay by playing “Enya cover band” with wooden spoons and pots in our kitchen. We laughed, because here’s the thing that can’t be conveyed in an HBO show. NYC is so inconvenient, physically uncomfortable, hot, sticky, and deeply human – that the only way to keep it together is to embrace the ridiculous. Community is forged in “Fire”, literally – I did a turn in an episode of that same name when our oven exploded.
Now ingrained in Hot Mess lore is the story of the seed money that birthed season one, compensation after a giant television fell on Amy’s head on Halloween while working at NYC’s poshest health club. The universe seemed to be whispering (loud enough to shake televisions from the sky) real life is funny. Soon Amy hooked up with co-conspirator Cheri Paige Fogleman and the series took off.