A Web Series for Those of Us Who Work at Home

HOME/OFFICE trailer from Good Worker on Vimeo.

Technology has made it possible for over a million people to become independent workers in the last year alone. Many of you web series creators may be among them! We know you’ve got that entrepreneurial spirit. But too much freedom can sometimes bring it’s own ups and downs. In between bouts of productivity, independent workers and filmmakers James Darling and Josh Shayne decided to make a web series about it: HOME/OFFICE. The first season of the series explores common challenges such as winning a client, avoiding distraction, trying to stay in-shape, dating online, and meeting intense deadlines.

As web series creators, we’re always interested when an indie series finds funding before it launches. Isn’t that the dream? HOME/OFFICE was able to do so, partnering with very specific brands DreamHost and Backblaze. Here’s creator James Darling explaining the smart way they went about funding the series:

“We self-financed these initial 8 episodes and shot them over 7 straight days at Josh’s apartment in Brooklyn. Once the episodes were finished, we reached out to brands that shared our audience–freelancers, designers, and entrepreneurs–and offered them ad spots after each episode and promotion on the show’s website.

Basically we’ve managed to put the show “in the black” before airing a single episode — which, as you know, is quite unusual for an independent web series.  We’re hoping to replicate and expand upon this model with our 2nd season and future shows–ideally lining up the budget with brand partners/sponsors BEFORE production.”

Good Worker co-founders Darling and Shayne are both graduates from NYU’s acclaimed Tisch School of the Arts film program. They are already accomplished filmmakers and screenwriters in the traditional sense: Darling’s screenplay In Motion won an Alfred P. Sloan Prize in 2005 and his feature film project The Pilot was awarded the Richard Vague Production Grant from the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television in 2015. Shayne’s 2013 screenplay You’re the Ones was a semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting and his short film Le Voyeur aired on IFC in 2007. In 2009, they were hired by Stetson Hats to travel cross-country and film their quest to deliver an inaugural hat to the President.

Learn more about Good Worker and watch the full series Home/Office at Home/Office.tv

Award Winning Web Series Creator Found the Brooklyn Web Fest

BK Web Fest Hero
Kit Williamson, writer, director and star of the award winning web series Eastsiders, distributed by LogoTV has always been an advocate of collaboration and championing fellow artists’ work. After recently becoming bicoastal, he decided it was time to found a web series festival in Brooklyn that is both a showcase for exciting new digital series and a networking opportunity for filmmakers to exchange ideas.
“I think what sets us apart is that we are approaching the web fest concept from a content creators perspective,” Williamson explained in an interview. “I want to provide the kind of experience that I would hope to receive, and to get industry eyes on their work.”
Kit Williamson

Kit Williamson

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A Web Series Experiment! Your Click = Cash Money!

Last year, I shot a pilot episode and trailer for a quirky little travel web series with my fellow comedian and adventurer, Robert Boesel: #LAblocks. We wanted to explore LA like no one else had — BLOCK BY BLOCK.  We wanted to pinpoint the most interesting INTERSECTIONS of Los Angeles, in order to help visitors and locals alike get the most bang for their buck and SATISFACTION for their STEP.

How awesome would it be to know EXACTLY where to go to spend a whole afternoon or day in one awesome neighborhood of LA, no driving around necessary? But as LA enthusiasts, even WE were shocked at the incredible amount of art, architecture, events, history, people, stores and stories we discovered at each block.

We shot a trailer and a pilot episode and did our best to find a brand to sponsor our incredibly well shot, reasonably priced show. And… no takers. We tried for almost a year! But we LOVE this show and we care about it SO MUCH that we weren’t gonna see it die.

We decided to RELEASE the Trailer yesterday and ask friends and fans to SPREAD THE WORD and help us build our subscriber base to show the world — and brands with the same adventurous, travel/culture conscious spirit as we have — that the world wants this show!

When we get to 1,000 subscribers, we’ll release our FIRST EPISODE: 5th & Spring. Hopefully, at 1,000 subscribers, brands will already start to take notice. If we can sign on a backer for our first episode, we will! Otherwise, we’ll release it and keep building our audience and investing our OWN money — if this is the show you want to see!  Help us with this experiment! Let’s see how many subscribers and views it takes for a like-minded brand to help us make this show a reality.

We’re in a world where the AUDIENCE gets to dictate to the ADVERTISERS what they want. If homegrown, exceptionally executed, funny, truthful, educational, fast and short travel info is what you want, let us know with your click! And help us spread the word.


Steph & the LAblocks team.

#LAblocks, a new kind of travel show, exploring LA block by block!

#LAblocks, a new kind of travel show, exploring LA block by block!

Check out our website too! This is the level of awesome you can expect from us with everything: www.LAblocks.com 

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.


Win $5000 For Your Web Series

creative district
So many actors and writers in LA tell me they have a great idea for a web series, but no practical knowledge or equipment to shoot it.   Other than wringing our hands at the sky and wishing we’d gone to film school instead of that stupid degree in “Communications” or “Acting” — what other options are out there??
#1) Take classes, buy/rent equipment and be generally rich.
#2) Make friends with skilled film makers, editors, willing crew members by:  Hanging out with creative people at the improv schools/performance spaces (UCB, IO, Second City, Groundlings),  Working for free as an actor or PA or whatever gets you on set and make friends with people who have skills and equipment.
#3) Maybe sign up with Creative District. They are an online professional network backed by Technicolor for filmmakers and other creative professionals and they also offer up to $5000 every month through their grant program for projects.
This might take some cash if you ultimately need to hire someone… but you might find collaborators who like your idea so much  they’ll jump on for free and the potential of future profit.
LinkedIn, but tailored to creatives.” is what Indiewire called them. Filmmakers and other creative professionals can display portfolios of work there. So you can go there to find a job or to find a collaborator. They have over 12,000 creatives collaborating on thousands of projects.
This month Melissa Hunter from Adult Wednesday Addams won the $5000 to make a second season of her show. But they give away $$ every month so next time… just saying, could be you. CLICK HERE to learn more about it. 

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Should YouTube be more like Traditional TV?


Companies like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have changed how we watch television. We want to watch what we want whenever we want it and we care much less whether its on a big screen TV or on our phones. We will binge watch an entire season in 2 days or wait months for a new three minute video.

Web innovator Carey Martell wants his online TV platform, Martell TV, to make it easier to find a stream of content you will enjoy on the Internet. He claims his platform will synthesize the best things about cable TV and the best things about Youtube as well as revive local television and allow creators like you to “become your own media tycoon. Build your own version of ABC, HBO or MTV from YouTube videos.” Check out his indiegogo campaign video below. Where do you think media consumption is headed?

5 Minute Episode – Behind the Scenes at the LA WEB FEST

Are you considering attending the LA WEB FEST? Watch my 5 minute behind the scenes episode of Hollyweb – the French series on digital hollywood that I host – and get a taste of what it’s like. It’s HUGE and there are lost of interesting panels and speakers as well as creators from around the WORLD.

BUT – as the creator of the series says himself, it’s like the “Public School” of web series. Almost everyone gets in and there is a HUGE range of quality. The screening rooms are not the nicest and you get a feeling its more quantity over quality.

That being said, it’s a great way to get the word out about your series, garner awards and meet other creators and even festival runners from around the world.

I hope this short vid helps you make the decision that’s right for your series.