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Friday, June 7, 2013

Interview With Streamy Award Winner Mark Gantt

Awhile back I had the opportunity to interview Mark Gantt who is the executive producer and lead actor of the web series "The Bannen Way". The Bannen Way killed it at the Streamy Awards and went on to win four awards, and has attracted over 14 million views. Mark is now passing down his knowledge of the web series business as a teacher through his workshop, so if you're looking to learn from one of the best in the web series space be sure to check that out.

Enough of kissing Mark's butt, below is our interview.

1. Did you create your web series workshop to pass on the information and knowledge you gained from creating and producing "The Bannen Way" to other aspiring video creators and filmmakers?
Yes. I have met over thirty people for coffee to discuss my experience with The Bannen Way and have done over twenty panels in the last five months and realized that with the limited time available, there was little 'nuts and bolts' being talked about. One attendee of the NATPE panel I was doing called "Anatomy of a Hit Web Series" was very frustrated afterwards and I overheard her saying, "I still don't know how to make a $#&@ web series!" I heard that, I heard that from several people. In the workshops, or on a panel, or at coffee, I explain that creating a web series isn't brain surgery but it feels like that if you don't have all the tools. You don't need to be able to do everything, you just need to be able to work very hard, research like crazy, and build a team to help you with your vision.

2. Do you expect any of your students to go out and create a hit web series like you did?
Absolutely. I want them to create something that will empower them as artists, and give them a little extra leg up in the industry. It's really about giving people a jumping off point. Enough information to get in trouble as I always say.

3. What's the best book you're read, or video you've watched that inspired you to create entertainment at a high level?
LOL. uh... I'm not really a book guy, everything is from experience. I have just worked on a lot of sets, so if people were doing a project I was there listening and learning... for free.

4. What do you think of web series creators and producers turning to crowdsourcing platforms like KickStarter and IndieGoGo to raise funds for their production projects?
I think it's a HUGE resource. It's an interesting model for a couple reasons. I think it allows the investors (ie: mom, dad, uncles, dentists, viewers, etc.) to feel that their money is actually going into a production, and helps force the filmmaker to FIGURE OUT how they are going to make it. It's a great pressure on you to get things made.

5. What advantages do web series creators have over TV producers?
There are about 30 people that have to approve of you doing a TV series, not including agents, managers, and lawyers. To create and distribute a web series... you can be the boss. We worked with Sony (on The Bannen Way) so it wasn't just us, but it was a lot easier than working with a studio AND a Network.

6. How is collaboration benefiting the new media production landscape?
Filmmaking by definition is a collaborative art. I love that you get a chance to work with a group of people with different talents to complete a common goal. People want to create. A director of photography wants to shoot, actors want to act and with technology improving, you can now actually shoot for very cheap. So instead of talented people without the money to shoot on film, they can now shoot on the Cannon 7D or rent the RED camera and end up with a great looking project in the end.

The explosive trailer for Mark's hit web series, The Bannen Way.


Free Scriptbook for Orange Juice in Bishop's Garden Season 1!

For the next five days, until Wednesday, June 12th, you can download a free copy of the Season 1 script book for Orange Juice in Bishop's Garden :)

Otessa Ghadar started the show when web series were still a weird thing to do. The show has been around for already 6 seasons, with one more on the way! It's now one of the oldest and longest running teen web series out there. Read the script book and gain another perspective on what went into it's making. And if you like what you read, or want to share your thoughts, we'd love to see them in an Amazon review :) Every comment helps!

You can get your free copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Juice-Bishops-Garden-ebook/dp/B005JFMX5G/ref=la_B00A4ED2DE_1_1_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1370620838&sr=1-1

And you can read more of Otessa's books here: www.orangejuiceinbishopsgarden.com/books

Thanks and Happy reading!

<3 the OJBG team

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What is not Space-Time Experiment?

At location scouting

Not a film contest.
Not a tourist trip to Vulcan or Dagobah.
Not a film competition that requires your money for subscription.
Not a romulan elite.

Space-Time Experiment is

Free Culture.
Audiovisual Collaboration.
Science Fiction, Horror, Comedy, Romance, etc, etc...
Another way of cinema.
It's a Web Movie.

Space-Time Experiment in Facebook

A Little Further Behind The Curtain

I love having this platform to share insights from the Zombie Socks cast crew and other fans. I have a great team and a very supportive family. Today I have a few words about this journey including thoughts from
a zombie & my mom. 
Elizabeth Stacy
Creator, Co-Writer, Producer, Director
I never in my life thought I would be creating a web series. Until I began watching “The Guild” I didn’t know what that was. I certainly never thought about distribution platforms, union affiliations, festivals, or screenings. Since this is all new, exciting and overwhelming, I do not know what to expect at all! I know what I run into and have to deal with so please bear with me. I have ZERO clue as to what I’m doing. All I do know is I’m Doing It! I am taking a dream I had and making it a reality. I want to learn as much as I possibly can, and one day I hope I can pass along decent advice of my own. I live in a state of awe and wonder how the heck did I do all I have in less than a years time. With every new challenge I try my best to face it head on, though it does honestly take a lot out of me. I want so much to get it all right, but I don’t even know what right is, so in some cases I live out in left field. I just realize that at some point it will all be worth the effort. I have lots of people to keep happy and even more to keep engaged. I have more content to produce and I need an assistant or ten. LOL (pictured with Ryan Singer at The Organic Comedy Tour after shooting Disgusting Careers) 

Tracy Toliver
Zombie in Episode 4
Piranha Bowl
When Elizabeth approached me about being in Zombie Socks episode 4, Piranha Bowl, she asked if I wanted to be a “party person” or a “zombie?” I said ZOMBIE without hesitation! I mean who wouldn’t want to be a birthday party, kid-eating zombie? My make-up artist Stephanie Kelly was amazing who would have thought that someone that beautiful could create something so ugly?
If you needed to look half-eaten, she had the skills. She even added drops to my eyes, so not only did I look “dead” I saw “dead!”  And I can’t forget my one-on-one zombie training with Amanda Cape from “The Walking Dead.” (She has the coolest “zombie walk” I have ever seen).  All-in-all I had a Ball! If you need me to die for you again Elizabeth just hit me up on SPEED DIAL!! (pictured with Matt Ediger & Blair Toombs during the birthday party scene)
 Fran Pitts
my mom, craft services &
location provider
I have to admit, I'm not of the zombie generation.  When Elizabeth told me she was doing a series called "Zombie Socks"  I just rolled my eyes and said "ok".  However, after meeting the "zombies" and their "handlers", I must admit they are very sociable and quite pleasant.  When I actually watched a shoot and saw the amount of work that went into making the series I was very impressed with how much fun they have.  I think there is a lot of competition to be one of the zombies. The series made me "giggle", which for me is a very big positive. (pictured with "Dead John" in the Chop Shop from Episode 3 Disgusting Careers)

Help Grow The Web Series Today Community

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We need your help to build up the Web Series Today Community. We want this community to be a place for not just Web series creators, like many of you, but also for the many more people who enjoy what you create. Chances are that if they enjoy one "indie production" they may want to watch others. More importantly everyone in the space needs a voice and everyone needs to participate, be they actors, cast, crew, fans, commenters etc.

To that end we need your help. Simply share this post with one or more of your circles along with a nice note asking them to join. It is that simple, but in doing so you can help take this Community to the next level and that will benefit us all.

Remember, a community is only as strong as its members. We want this to be a community where EVERYONE who participates in Web series has a role. This includes, anywhere from the creation process to the enjoyment/engagement process. That can only happen if you participate.

There is zero point in creators simply posting their content on every possible site and never taking the time to truly engage and have fun. That simply is not working anywhere and it will not work here. So lets turn this World on its head and start by having a conversation about what will work. But to begin that process we need to first bring the entire community in here and extend our reach to everyone interested in Web series.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dungeon Bastard - DM Advice

Adventure Coach Bill Cavalier turns the table this week and answers Dungeon Masters' questions.  Beware!

Episode Giveaway! Free Download for OJBG's Epic Lesbian Scene

Get a free download of Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden Episode 2.06 “Yes or No” for the epic Sarah and Gwen scene. Just like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and share this photo with a shout out of your OJBG love! We'll send you a code to download the episode for free :)

Bloomers, Their Hit Sophmore Season ....

There are so many webseries out there, how do you know which ones are good and worthy of your valuable time?  I can’t answer that question definitively but I can point you in the direction of a fun one.  Bloomers is a Friends-like series about seven 20 and 30-somethings muddling through living in Los Angeles, each with different backgrounds and lovable quirks.   Created by star Matt Palazzolo, this dramedy about everyday life in LA is refreshing in that team doesn't take themselves too seriously.  While there are moments of clarity for each character, and all try to find the meaning of their lives, the friends are ultimately there for each other through the ups and downs.- love, boyfriends, unplanned pregnancies, divorce.  I love how they interact and there is a reality to the show.  I mean how many of us have questioned who we are, why we're here, what the hell are we doing?  The audience can definitely relate, which is another reason I find the show so endearing.

Fernanda Espindola plays an underwear designer, Francesa who has to grapple with the question ‘who is the daddy’ when she ends up pregnant.  Could it be rebound guy and friend in the tight knit group, dashing Vaughan (Jay Ali) or is it her former beau Ryan?  What happens when she learns who it is?  How will her life change?  Her 'gay husband' and best friend Brooke (Matt Palazzolo), initially a blogger for Francesa’s company, is not having much luck in the love department either.  Will he ever find Mr. Right?  Luckily his career seems to be going better, now working as a writer for Wild America Magazine.  Unfortunately his boss prefers Brooke keeps his sexual preference to himself.  Can he keep up that charade and is he willing to stifle who he is for the sake of the company?  It all remains to be seen.  Meanwhile, our hot bartender Vaughn is having an identity crises and pretty much beds whom he wants, though at one point he tried to have a relationship with Karen (Holly Holstein) who abruptly cut things off.  Will she finally tell him she wants him back?  Underwear model Karen’s revolving love life looks grand next to sister’s Clarissa (Kristin Barker), who ends up moving to LA after a separation from her husband that turns into a divorce.  As a result, has she given up on men and joined the other team?  Looks like she’s willing to find out!  Then there’s the cute couple of the group, Ross (Nathan Prizzell) and Joanna (Swati Kapila).  Due to her religious beliefs, Joanna won’t have sex before marriage but that hasn’t stopped Ross from falling for her!  The two work together at the design firm and it’s been fun to watch that relationship blossom.  Will Joanna give in to her primal urges and denounce her chastity vow? Can they make it or will his diabolical, wicked witch of the west ex Lila (Calico Cooper) interfere and ruin Ross’s chances at love forever?  Every time I see her I cue the Eagles, ‘Witchy Woman’!

Already in its’ sophomore season, the shows' popularity has been rising, now No. 6 on We Love Soaps.  Don't miss today's new episode, that pays homage to ‘Law and Order’.  What happens when you wake up in the alley, underwear at your ankles, with throw up in your purse and don’t remember a thing from the night before?  Conduct an investigation of course!  Follow Karen and Joanna on their quest to find the truth!  How did she break her thumb?  Did she tell Vaughn how she feels?  

Be sure to tune in to RHeart Radio, the Fan's Voice tonight at 10pm (ET) when I have the pleasure of chatting with creator and star Matt Palazzolo, Executive Producer and star Fernanda Espindola and Producer Wiley Oscar!  RHeart Radio

Don't miss their #BloomersLive Google chat immediately following RHeart's interview at 11:00pm (ET)!   Watch Bloomers 

Bloomers Website
Follow on Twitter: @Bloomers_Series
Like Us on Facebook

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pacific Rim Project!: Shameless Fox

Link's Shadow (The Legend of Zelda)

Orange Juice in Bishop's Garden: Retro Tuesdays - Cora Boyd

Remember way back in season 2, the gang's friend Carly? They went to her birthday, and she was at the rave Kris, Slake and Colin went to? Well, why don't you get to know the actress who played her, Cora Boyd.
Telly, LA Web Festival, and Webby honoree award winning teen web series following the lives of 18 kids as they grow up and get down in grunge-era Washington DC.
"The bad things we do. The things we get caught for--and how they are never the same.

Meet the Mayfarers: Ep. 2.13 - "The Cowboy Chronicles, Part 1"

The family is to be reviewed by a new Therapist - so Phil concocts a new plan to keep the family together.
“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.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Looking Back and Laughing

A few months ago, I posted about the longest shooting day we had on the show.  We had unlimited access to a great location....an abandoned hospital and its grounds...for one day.  We were planning to utilized the grounds for a couple of scenes, and the interior as well.  The weather had been beautiful all week, but as luck would have it, on the day of the shoot, the temperature plummeted into the low 20's with gusting winds.  The cast could not be outside for more than a few minutes at a time, and the day seemed to last forever.  But they did brave the adverse weather conditions, got the outside shots done, and then moved inside for the interior scenes.  It seems like ages ago that we were there, and at the time I knew we would look back on that day and laugh. That day has arrived!  The final scene we shot that day aired this week!!  And the longest day was well worth it!  How often do you get to see a gunfight in a hospital?  Definitely something that is generally frowned upon!  So we consider ourselves very fortunate to have had the opportunity! 

Group: Ep. 1.1 - "I am a Source of Healing"

Today, our group meets for the very first time.
“Group” is a web series about a bunch of New Yorkers who land themselves in group therapy. They get there because of some horrible habit, some fatal flaw, some twist of fate. Now, they have to deal with themselves, and each other.

Teens React to After Ever After

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