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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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: Millennial Parents

Every parental generation deals with its own challenges. Last century’s debate over how many hours a child should work has become today’s agonizing about how many hours of screen time is appropriate. Appropriately, this generation now has a web series to capture the era’s most pressing parental issues, or at least make us laugh about them.

Millennial Parents, from filmmakers Jake Greene and Natalie Irby, follows young parents Annie (Laura Eichhorn) and Kurt (Lea Coco) as they struggle with such deep questions as: “Is Outkast’s ‘So Fresh, So Clean’ an appropriate lullaby if sung out of nostalgia?”

Check out the rest of my article for the L.A. Weekly on Millennial Parents HERE and continue reading below for my interview with Jake Greene and Natalie Irby about making the show!

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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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Steph’s LAWeekly Web Series Pick of the Week: Igor’s Anti-Vlog Vlog

When it comes to video sketch teams, smart, funny L.A. based The Kids Table isn’t doing too shabby with over 778,000 views and 11,100 YouTube subscribers. But compared to vloggers, who regularly get 2 million views for just showing off their shopping haul, TKT is merely a blip on the ad revenue radar.

And that pisses them off. After witnessing the cult of celebrity around vloggers at VidCon, TKT members Igor Hiller and Marvin Lemus decided to try a new sketch series: Igor’s Anti-Vlog Vlog.

Check out the rest of Steph’s review of the vlog for the LAWeekly HERE and continue reading for Steph’s full interview with Igor about creating the show.

What was the last straw? (that made you want to make an anti-vlog)

Kids Table Writer/Director Marvin Lemus and I had just returned from Vidcon, where for the first time we saw the way vloggers were treated in person. They were mobbed. Idolized. Teenagers waited eight hours just to get a photo or a signature. Vloggers had become celebrities. Then, as we were still processing the realization, we stumbled across a YouTube channel of some guy who recorded himself on ChatRoulette talking to people who half the time couldn’t even hear him. He was just saying random nonsense, and the guy had hundreds of thousands of subscribers. We thought, this is ridiculous: We’re comedians – surely we could do better.

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