H+: The Digital Series, Warner Premiere Digital’s apocalyptic tale of computer implants in the human mind, is my recommendation this Thursday in the LA Weekly for the Best of the Web. You can read my article on the LA WEEKLY website HERE or check it out in the print edition in the FILM section.
The innovative storytelling of first-time creators John Cabrera and Cosimo De Tommaso as well as the insightful direction by Stewart Hendler on what a studio would call a shoe-string budget, was one of the main reasons I wanted to feature this piece. Cabrera and Tommaso created the world of the show back in 2006 and pursued it’s creation through years of setbacks. I think their story is inspirational for writers and exciting for those interested in creating new forms of storytelling specifically for the web. Here is my entire interview with Cosimo and John that I used as research for my LA Weekly piece.
Remember Big Country Blues, that award winning dramatic web series I said was really really worth your time back at Thanksgiving? Well at long last, here is my interview with up and coming writer/director Brian A. Ross. Brian has had a lot of success with the series and even has distribution lined up in FRANCE. But he made mistakes too, which he shares candidly here for you so you don’t have to do the same.
If you are at all interested in creating a dramatic web series, or if you just enjoy a good story and great film making, I can’t recommend enough taking the time to watch this five episode series about a Kentucky singer/songwriter who goes to Nashville to audition for in an exploitative country music Reality Show. Ross has crafted each character and scene so well that each moment within this very short narrative speaks volumes. Big Country Blues is an example of how storytelling for the web can actually make us better storytellers, because in this shortened genre, every moment is precious.
“Big Country Blues” Trailer from Brian A Ross on Vimeo.
British 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.
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…
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 www.mrmattenlow.com. Enjoy our chat!
Photo by: Michael Tringe
Streamy nominated writer/ director Scott Brown’s web series Blue Movies has gained over 6 million views on JTS.tv and Virgin Airlines. Scott directed the dramatic web series Asylum, which was acquired by BET digital for a 2nd season and was the director/editor of online content for the Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State . He is currently a producer/director on HULU’s Larry King Now and has a new web series Stockholm, a dark comedy about a kidnapped woman who discovers something unexpected in the dark basement of an insane, yet captivating serial killer.
What lead you to create your first web series, Blue Movies, a PG-13 show about the number two porn company fighting to be number one?
I started making sketches with friends and putting them on YouTube. A friend said, ‘Hey, I have a friend with a studio in the Valley. It has a ton of sets like a grocery store, a hospital, an old vaudeville set. ’ Turned out it was a porn studio. The owner had been buying up old Paramount sets to eventually shoot his own feature, but in the meantime he was filming porn. That inspired me to write Blue Movies, which we shot in that studio.
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.