Steph’s LA Weekly Pick of the Week: Ask A Slave

Azie Mira Dungey at Mount Vernon - photo by Johnny Shryock

Azie Mira Dungey at Mount Vernon – photo by Johnny Shryock

As the disclaimer to my LA Weekly Article this week states, I’ve known Azie Mira Dungey for a while. We studied acting at NYU together and reconnected when my fiance was living in DC a year or so ago. That’s when Azie told us about the museum theater work she’d been doing for the last few years at the Smithsonian, in addition to performing in the DC theater scene, and her most recent gig portraying Caroline Branham, George Washington’s housemaid, at Mount Vernon. Azie was full of stories about the unbelievable questions visiting tourists asked her, ranging from ignorant to blatantly racist. She had us doubled over in laughter with her recitations but also cringing and often horrified. We actually visited her at Mount Vernon and sat in on a Q&A.

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Friends in Therapy – Bare-Bones Online Comedy at Its Best – Full Interview

Joe Towne & Daryl Johnson

Joe Towne & Daryl Johnson

This week in my column for the LA Weekly, I featured the indie web series, Friends In Therapy, which I discovered at the Hollyweb Fest. When I first saw the series, I thought the acting, writing and comedic timing was just brilliant. When I learned the show was completely improvised, I was even more impressed. All eight episodes are under two minutes each so you can watch the whole first season in about fifteen minutes, and I highly recommend it. As you probably guessed, it’s about two friends… in therapy. You can check out my LA Weekly feature on why I like the show so much HERE or in the paper today. In addition, below is my full interview with creator/stars Daryl Johnson and Joe Towne. Enjoy!

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To Season Two, or Not To Season Two? That was the Question for Shilpi Roy and Hipsterhood. Read Why (& How) She Went For It

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What made you personally want to do a season 2?

I will be totally honest. After season 1 I was totally burned out. If I never heard the word hipster again, it would be too soon. All I wanted to do was move onto my next project, which I envisioned would be – an artsy, dramatic feature film that would only be appreciated by art lovers; the opposite of Hipsterhood. But then all these little twitter and youtube comments kept popping up for me, and it was Hipsterhood fans who really wanted to know what happens to Cereal Guy and Faux Fur Girl. Like, they REALLY wanted to know, and they were upset the story was over. It wasn’t an overwhelming amount of comments, but I started to feel a responsiblity to my fans.

And so, I got over myself, and I wrote season 2. Believe me when I say season 2 is not about money, or fame, or even career-building. Season 2 is happening because the fans made me realize that the story of Hipsterhood is not over.

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UK Web Series Corner: Interview with Chloe Seddon and Phillip Whiteman, Writers of the Brilliant UK Web Series: The Vessel

thevessel2British web series The Vessel, captures the hilarity, awkwardness, confusion and joy of what happens when you ask your best friend to be your surrogate.

Rory and Mike are a gay couple ready to have a family, and they ask their best friend Kim to help them out. This may sound like a familiar TV show set up (I’m happy to say – go 2012), but with the expertly dry British wit of the show, the fact that all the characters speak directly to the camera, (Kim, the surrogate is the camera), and the choice to move through all nine months in ten short episodes, The Vessel tackles this modern fairy tale in a very different way than The New Normal, and perhaps one you’ll prefer

I spoke with producer/writer Chloe Seddon and producer/writer/co-star Phillip Whiteman about writing and producing the show as well as what the web series world is like across the pond.

Canada Has a FUND for Web Series!?! Canadian TV/Web Writer Barbara Haynes interviews Mark DeAngelis, Co-Creator of Bill & Sons Towing, One of the Select Series to Get Funding from Canada’s IPF

L to R: Tony Lombardo, Jon Smith, Dave Brennan and Eric Toth

When you call a tow truck, things are usually at a low point. If we’re going full
cliche, it’s usually pouring rain, your heel just broke and you’re crazy-late for an
important meeting. But Bill & Sons Towing is a call you’ll happily make. In fact, you’ll stay on the line for the full 10 episodes of this hilarious – and sometimes surprisingly poignant – web series about a floundering tow truck company run by four bickering brothers. I interviewed co-creator Mark DeAngelis about the project, and here’s what he had to say…

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Matt Enlow Talks Structure, Prodution and Promotion for his Hit Web Series Squaresville, just Nominated for 6 IAWTV Awards

Squaresville chronicles the misadventures of two awkward, inquisitive teen girls Ether and Zelda, growing up in suburbia.  The creator/writer/director Matt Enlow, a USC grad, already has several web series under his belt including Mountain Men and Engaged.  Matt, who also works for Strike TV and Comedy Central is a master of the minisode.  In addition to the more traditional (as traditional as something on the web can be) 3-6 minute episodes of his shows, he also makes minisodes to capitalize on the click-happy landscape of the web.  These help build the world of his show with additional scripted content, offer interviews with actors and behind the scenes footage and generally get viewers involved in ways that could only happen on the web. I highly recommend minisodes as an addition to any series and Matt sets a great example of how to do it.  Matt blogs about web media at Enjoy our chat!

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My Gimpy Life – An Episodic Tight Beat Show- What Works/What Doesn’t

My Gimpy Life – What Works/What Doesn’t

My Gimpy Life is an episodic comedy series created by and starring Teal Sherer, loosely based on her real life awkward adventures as a disabled actress in Hollywood. Sherer is best known for playing Venom on Felicia Day’s web series The Guild. The show is written by Gabe Uhr.

What Works:

I’ve never seen a show with this concept. I’ve never heard these stories.  And I want to. That’s a great place to start.  Sherer identified that she had a unique perspective and found a way to share her stories through a comedic lens.  All that’s awesome, as is the production value. Thanks to her friends in the web world and strong concept she was able to get funding up front to make it look great.  That being said, only two of the five episodes from season one work from a story format standpoint and that’s too bad since this show has so much going for it.

Here’s one that works. See below for why.

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Game Shop premieres today!

Really excited about IGN START’s new web series comedy Game Shop. The show is produced by Principato Young Entertainment and written writers-room style by head writer Andrew Secunda (Conan O’Brien) and the stars Brea Grant (Dexter, Heroes), Colton Dunn (Parks and Recreation, The League), Barak Hardley (Greek), and Jordan Morris (Fuel TV). At the Digital Hollywood conference last week, I heard some wise words spoke by  Morris regarding web series, that they should “have the pace of a comedy sketch and the beats of a television show,” and it looks like Game Shop promises to be just that. Check back tomorrow when I post my interview with Corey Moss, Game Shop producer and VP of Digital Content at Principato Young.

Tai Fauci & Patrick Breen – Whole Day Down, an Episodic Web Series About a Doomed Art Gallery

I talk with co-creators Tai Fauci and Patrick Breen about the making of their hilarious and absurd dark comedy web series Whole Day Down. Each episode focuses on a different doomed artistic endeavor by two out of work actors who open an avant garde art gallery.  Check out our conversation HERE.


Aim High – The WB and Facebook’s first Interactive Web Series and Why No One’s Watching

I talk to some of the creators and cast of the WB and Facebook’s first interactive series Aim High.  The series follows Nick Green (Jackson Rathbone, Twilight), a high school CIA operative. It’s produced by the WB, stars a teen hearthrob, is exec produced by McG ( Supernatural, Nikita, Chuck), and allows you to incorporate your own photos and info from Facebook into the series. In web series dollars they have a budget of like a gazillion, so why had none of the high schoolers I interviewed at Fairfax High heard of it?  Find out HERE.