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Friday, January 25, 2013

#OpLastResort RIP Aaron Swartz (November 8, 1986 -- January 11, 2013)

Anonymous Threatens Massive WikiLeaks-Style Exposure, Announced On Hacked Gov Site

Read the full post:

A.N.C - Anonymous News Episode 1

Fighting the Fickle

We have had some interesting conversations about the world of Web Series this week, and one thing that comes up in most of our conversations is why we are doing things the way that we are.  Writing a 39 Webisode season and releasing it weekly is an ambitious undertaking. Planning on doing it for several years is nothing short of insane!  

Here, my co-creator of Shotgun Mythos and the all around wizard behind the curtain of the show, Clint Gaige explains the logic of our plan of action, and why consistency is important. 

I talk with a lot of filmmakers and artists and the conversation usually goes something like this.

THEM: I'm thinking of doing a web series or something like that. I hear there is good money in it.

Usually, this is where I fall down on the floor laughing uncontrollably. After a few minutes I regain my composure and get up off the ground wiping tears from my eyes.

ME: Okay, how are you structuring your series and what is your plan for year round content?

THEM: Well, its really a short film or movie that we're going to release in 5 minute pieces.

ME: That's not a Web series, that's a movie that requires your audience to wait for weeks to watch. You're asking your audience to watch 7 days worth of commercials between every segment.  And, what comes next?

THEM: I might write a sequel.

ME: Good luck.

Okay, if this is you, let me explain why this is a mistake. Your audience is barraged with quality content on 200 television stations, YouTube, Xbox, PS3, Movie releases. They don't have time to find you instantly. It takes months to build an audience on word of mouth. By the time your film is over, you will have just started to hit your stride and the content is done. How do you build an audience if there is nothing new to show them? How do you keep their interest if you take a year long hiatus to work on your sequel?

The web audience is fickle. The internet has so much content available ranging from cute kittens to full on productions from Brian Singer. If you want to be successful, you have to be consistent and you have to treat your audience with respect. Because while they are a fickle audience, and will find a new favorite on a dime, they are also the most loyal viewers in the world, if you treat them well. There is still an underground vibe attached to the web series. The audience appreciates finding a nugget of gold. They want to be the first one to say to their friends, "Have you seen such and such?"

  So, how do you become that nugget of gold? Well, it would be self serving if I were to say, we are that nugget. I believe we are producing a solid series that we are incredibly proud of. But, we give our audience as much as is humanly possible. We write a daily blog allowing the viewers to peek under the hood. We produce a weekly podcast interviewing cast and crew. And, we release our episodes every week at the same time every week. Our plan includes 39 episodes with 52 weeks of content, making sure that our audience will not have to remember us and find us again come Season 2. In fact, we have outlined seven seasons. We are working with an artist to release a graphic novel and we are in talks with a gaming company to produce an old school paper and pencil RPG of our show.

So, when we are promoting our series we ask one simple question. If I was a viewer, would I appreciate this extra? Because the end goal is simple, viewers. Everything we do to promote our series is dedicated to keeping our fans engaged and rewarding them for watching and being a part of the series.

So, if you are making a Web series, find ways to keep your viewers engaged year round. And, if you are thinking of making a Web series, please do so, but do it right, your audience deserves your best.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Real Witch Exposed! | Bitchcraft Episode 1

Gemma returns to her real witch of a mother...

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When a young girl named Gemma Black (Jahannah James) returns to live at her family home after losing her boyfriend and job, she is horrified to discover that her mother (Fay Ripley) has become a practicing witch.

As Gemma struggles to get her life back on track in a neighbourhood infused with black magic, it isn't long before she realises that she may too possess the power to manipulate the dark forces for her own benefit. Will Gemma follow her mother and brother into the dark or will she decide to fight back and bring sanity back to her family and neighbourhood?

Starring Fay Ripley, Johannah James, Javone Prince, Max Wrottesley, Kick the PJ AKA PJ Liguori, Sam Swann, Noel Sullivan, Matt Gammie, Jamie Lennox, Darcy Thomas, Nick Dutton, Marc Small and many more.

Directed by Luke Hyams, Written by Isabella Hyams, Produced by Michelle Craig for Holster Studios

 us at... Facebook.com/bcraftofficial

A Fireside Hangout with Vice President Biden

GUIDES Episode Three: Cree Is Always The Bitch

Cree is the bitch once again, but finds a possible love interest on the campaign trail, Dray's assignment doesn't go as planned and MaKenna redeems herself.

Watch more episodes at GUIDES Web Series and follow us on Facebook.

Shotgun Mythos Episode 5

Time is flying by and I am looking forward to being back in the studio this weekend, if the snow doesn't mess with our plans!

In the meantime, here is episode 5.

PressHeartToContinue: GAMING NEWZ: Dead Plans Loom Over Atari

Mission Impossible- Lindsey Stirling and the Piano Guys

Teens React to PrankvsPrank

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Web Series Today Community: Get Involved!

Interested in Web series? Web shows? Web News? Community Videos? Transmedia? Alternate Reality Games? 

Join the Web Series Today Community and get involved:

http://plus.google.com/communities/110073950258800417692 <===== Join now!!!!!

Discuss the state of the industry. Talk about new shows. Find out how pay for your show. Who is making what? Discuss current events. Figure out what works and what does not. Participate. Interact. Engage. Comment. Share. Socialize. Have fun.

As a community we can all grow together.

The latest Dial-A-Ranger Episode

We're moving toward the season one finale for Dial-A-Ranger. The latest episode can be seen here....*drumroll*

The full season one playlist can be found here. We encourage folks to check out those eps, follow the story and throw us feedback too.

It started as just a way to have fun with something my friends and I really enjoy and something for us to work on while larger Web projects are in development. Besides how can you go wrong with spandex?

The season finale is Sunday and then we will go on a hiatus for a few months while we work on season two to bring more episodes, better episodes (everything for this was on the fly as you can get) and continuing the story of Stan and his journey toward being a hero. Seth Jones has been great in his role, regularly going up and beyond the call of duty for this project. Hopefully people have enjoyed him and stick with us for season two of this, and another web series of mine set to drop next month.

Check things out with Taurian Films.

Banished to Purgatory...or Scheduling

Anyone who has had to do schedules knows that they can be a bit of a challenge. This week I have taken that challenge to a whole new level. 

To fully appreciate the predicament, let me tell you just how insane we really are.  When we decided to do the show, we felt that consistency was key to building and maintaining an audience.  So as Season 1 was written, it was created as 13 full-length TV episodes.  That breaks down to 39 webisodes.  Given our launch date of December 27, we will be airing new content every week until mid September.  So we have a massive project on our hands, and an aggressive schedule to keep, given that we only film on weekends and just took a month off for the holidays.

Now factor into the equation that we have more than 40 speaking roles on the cast, and the fact that only a handful of them are local.  Most are driving anywhere from 2-5 hours to get to us.  So we try to consolidate their shooting days into as few weekends as possible, to minimize their travel. 

Here is a taste of how my day played out: 

9am:  Grab a cup of coffee.  Begin entering cast, scenes and availability into the computer.

11am:  Grab another cup of coffee.  Sigh heavily as I realize that there are 44 cast members and 138 scenes to be scheduled on this wave. Stare dejectedly at the computer and try to figure out where to start.

12pm:  Grab another cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate.  Sit back down at the computer and go from dejected staring to scowling.

12:15pm:  The chocolate starts to work and I realize that no amount of hostile glaring is going to make the schedule bow to my will, so I begin sorting and figuring out which characters can be finished in one weekend.

12:30pm:  I get annoyed with the computer and crack out my trusty calendar and begin scheduling directly on it.

2:30pm.  Another cup of coffee and more chocolate as I realize that I need a new calendar…and also that I might actually be making progress.

4:30pm:  Another cup of coffee. Tweaking and juggling has begun.  This character only has one scene left unscheduled, let’s see if we can squeeze it in here….and if I move these two scenes from Saturday to Sunday, these two actors only have to come up for one day, instead of the weekend.  Oh…wait….that one has a scheduling conflict that weekend.  Nuts.

6pm:  The final date has been put on the schedule and all scenes are accounted for.  I head nervously to Clint’s office and ask a question I should have asked in the first place… “How many scenes can you realistically shoot in a day?  Please say 8.”  To which Clint responds with a sigh and says “Depends on the scenes.  Dialog, reaction, establishing shots, yeah, probably.  But fight scenes take a lot longer, and you should probably leave a full weekend for the final fight.” Crap.  Ok, not done.  Back to juggling. 

8pm:  Moderately comfortable that the schedule is sorted and everything is ready to go.  Now I just need to transfer my notes to the computer for Clint so he can create the call sheets.

8:15pm:  Facebook lights up…a cast member who plays a critical role in several upcoming episodes needs to drop out for a family emergency.  Nuts, couldn’t I even have an hour of self satisfaction??

9:00pm:  Another cup of coffee.  This development as well as a couple of other unforeseen schedule changes throw the current schedule into chaos.  While Clint and Marcus scramble to fill the vacated role, I juggle again, bumping some scenes from the current schedule into the next one and messing with the schedule that I had spent all day working on. 

11pm:  The role has been recast, the schedule has been hammered out, and I sit down to finally relax.  Then the news comes on…this shooting weekend’s forecast?  Snow.  Seriously???   I need something stronger than coffee before I head back to the drawing board.

LoL!! Hilarious: Beauty and the Beast w/ @BreeOlson @KingBach http://youtu.be/wTqzQVM8viI

Lola's incredible rendition of #OnMyOwn from #LesMiserables for her "Shakes" cc: @LesMiserables #Mustwatch

Lola and Hookaps have started their own vlogs. For Lola, it's about her dreams and songs. For Hookaps, it's about the "how to's." But don't let their cheery countenance and YouTube personas fool you, it's in these vlogs that we'll get to know these two prison dancers well.

Lola loves singing cover songs. One of her all-time idols is the one and only Lea Salonga. After watching the new movie version of Les Miserables, being inspired by Lea and most of all Shakespeare (Lola's love team partner), she wanted to share this cover of On My Own with all of her fans.

******Please let us know what covers you'd like to hear COVERGIRL Lola sing!!!!!*******

To Punchy - Episode 4

To Punchy - Logo

The fourth and final saga for To Punchy is now available for your viewing pleasure!

In this episode the search for Punchy's murderer intensifies with Quiet and The Foreigner in hot pursuit. In the flash backs we find Suit and Billy the Kid start their journey towards getting Billy the Kid in the gang, and the Kingpin Rusty's intentions are unclear.

Please be sure to go on the website and lend us your thoughts. It has been a great pleasure bringing you To Punchy and we hope that you have enjoyed watching it!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Into the Real World

We were back in the studio this weekend for the first time since the holiday break.  This is also the first time we have been filming since the show has launched.  And after months of working in relative isolation, it was a little strange to realize we are actually in a fishbowl. 

This week not only found us filming in a new location, but it brought some new characters to set.  Deborah Rinn Critzer, who will be playing one of my favorite characters in the entire show, came in greeting everyone by their character’s name, commenting “it’s like I know everybody already.”  That was an odd realization at this stage in the game.  We have been telling our cast that a web series is a marathon, not a sprint; that it takes time to build an audience, and that we have a lot of time and effort ahead of us before we will see the payoff.  Deborah’s recognition of their individual work on the series was unexpected but pleasant taste of what we hope the future holds.

As we get lost in the world of creation…of writing, filming, editing, marketing, and all the rest, it is easy to forget that the show has breathed life, has taken its first tentative steps into the big world.  So thank you to the friends and the fans who have reached out to give us feedback on the show; to comment on the characters, or ask what is happening next.  

The newest episode of The Playhouse

Peggy has sunk even lower and taken Dick with her.
Mona knows Doris' secret and threatens to tell unless she gets control of the theater.
Rock is distraught when someone inadvertently tells him Doris' secret.
Quentin has had it with the women. How far will he go?
Reggie experiences a strange side effect to the bump on his head.

Meet the Mayfarers: Ep. 1.13 - "Mariachi Madness"

Barb attempts to get the money from Franklin. But there’s just one problem: Franklin has had a brilliant idea. No amount of flirting will get Barb out of this situation.

“Meet the Mayfarers” is a comedy about an estranged, dysfunctional family who is forced to live together for one year in order to get their grandfather’s massive inheritance.

Inside the Legend: Einstein

Rhonda's favorite guest of all time visits the set, Einstein! Charming, funny and Southern? Find out on this episode of Inside the Legend!

Meter Maids: Episodes 4-6

Meter Maids is a kinda-sorta NSFW show that follows a group of four traffic officers as they strive to make the streets of Los Angeles safe from parking offenders. The show skewers serious subjects like gun control, affirmative action, sexual harassment, girl-on-girl stuff, and Satanic human sacrifice of cute children. 

What’s unique about the show is that every episode features one or more guest stars who have an online fan base. The guest stars for the three episodes below included:

Mika Tan (Adult Film Star)

Laurel Vail (Leading Ladies)

Christine Barger (Ventriloquist)

MC Meals On Wheels (Quadriplegic Rapper)

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