13 July 2011

"Check out my web series!" is the new "Read my screenplay!"

If you have a killer screenplay, you better be brilliant in the first page or two. One of the screenwriting books I read a while back said that you have to nail it in the first 10 pages or just go home. I think the latest edition of that book today might say it's down to the first 1-2 pages. Nobody has time for anything or anybody. I wouldn't be shocked if casting directors suddenly went back to black and white headshots because it takes too long to process all that color information.

This blog will soon take on a new focus as I have blown all my savings on production equipment with the intention of creating nothing less than the greatest web series ever produced. There are a handful of tactics that will get you some attention in this crazy town. But it's really very simple: kick ass. Be excellent. Whatever it is you do, just do it well and the glory follows. That's the plan.

For the past few months, my roommate and I have hosted a handful of actor friends every Sunday for on-camera workshops. All you need is a decent video camera and tripod, and a decent TV on which to watch your work. We've all benefited from the practice, and in a few cases, gone farther on specific auditions because of the benefits of self-evaluation. Now, we're moving into a phase of putting the rest of the pieces together: the writing, the performance, and the editing.

This weekend, despite one cast member having another shoot the same day, we were able to finish off about 95% of a 7-page web series pilot. It was a bit more than I expected to be able to accomplish, and that has me excited about the future episodes. I recently re-watched Bowfinger and we took many notes about production techniques on a low budget.

So, for those of you who happened upon this page because you're searching for info on producing webisodes, I really hope it will become a well of knowledge for you, because knowing is half the battle.

I had hoped to be operational a little earlier in the year, but tweaking the script and waiting on technology brought us to July, when Apple released the abomination known as Final Cut Pro X. Now, I have not actually used FCPX, but I have read enough reviews and complaints about what it does not include that I am looking elsewhere for editing help. Final Cut Express is useless with modern HD video files, and I'm using a camera that saves .mxf clips of each shot. Which I LOVE.

I've tried my hand at web page design going back to the days when I actually had to type out html code for everything. (Remember tripod.com?) I even remember trying to upload video files before YouTube existed. To me, it was finally a step up from local cable access! Today, I'm looking at mypod.com which will give your domain the look, feel, and revenue of a channel.

Well, I ain't shooting Wayne's World any more. Blue-collar web series seem to be all the rage these days, but I think we shall overcome that. And after shooting the first episode, I'm psyched. I'm even more optimistic than I was when the vision was only in my head. Everyone...was excellent. Now, to the editing booth. And...whatever software awaits.

28 April 2011

Online Poker with Obama & Donald Trump

Little-known fact that yesterday's birth certificate announcement was spurred by Obama & Trump playing online poker. Transcript from yesterday's table games:

WatchTheApprentice2012 sits at the table.

WatchTheApprentice2012 purchases 10,000 chips.

POTUS44: Hello!

WatchTheApprentice2012: Eat my hairspray, you Kenyan socialist. I'm gonna rape you.

Dealer: Please refrain from offensive language.

WatchTheApprentice2012 warned.

Dealer: Place your bets, everyone.

Mittens checks.

Huckabuck checks.

POTUS44 raises.

WatchTheApprentice2012 bets ALL-IN 10,000 chips.

POTUS44: srsly?

LouSarah folds.

TeabagMeinMN6 folds.

Mittens folds.

Huckabuck folds.

WatchTheApprentice2012: What's the mattah, potus?

WatchTheApprentice2012: u nevr show. Let's see what ur holdin

WatchTheApprentice2012: does my chip stack intimidate you?

WatchTheApprentice2012: any day now, if you think you got the goods

POTUS44 calls.

[FLOP: A, K, J]

POTUS44 wins 20,000 with Full House, Aces over Jacks.

WatchTheApprentice2012: some1 check to see if that ace is a forgery

WatchTheApprentice2012: thot u had a K, would be just like ur majesty

WatchTheApprentice2012 purchases 10,000 chips.

WatchTheApprentice2012: I'm so proud to have done that

WatchTheApprentice2012: i did what no 1 else could do, hahaha

Dealer: Place your bets, everyone.

WatchTheApprentice2012: i read that you were a cruddy student in college.

WatchTheApprentice2012 bets ALL-IN 10,000 chips.

WatchTheApprentice2012: srsly, how does a guy like you get to the hi-roller table anyway?

POTUS44 calls.

Mittens folds.

Huckabuck folds.

LouSarah folds.

TeabagMeinMN6 folds.

WatchTheApprentice2012: haha...right into my trap

WatchTheApprentice2012: i bet u got 2-9 unsuited

LouSarah: geez, ya know, some of us would like 2 play 2

WatchTheApprentice2012: cry me a river, snow crab. ur hiding plenty of chips in your wahoo cause u kno u cant handle the Don

POTUS44 wins 20,000 with Straight, 10 high.

WatchTheApprentice2012: this is why I am the master. You shoulda stayed on the basketball court.

POTUS44: So can we get back to a real game here?

Huckabuck: the socialist is right

WatchTheApprentice2012: Go back 2 ur double-wide, hillbilly. I’m not done sucking the air from you plebes

WatchTheApprentice2012: i have done something really really important here, and i am so proud

WatchTheApprentice2012 purchases 10,000 chips.

15 January 2011

How to Make Your Own Luck

In light of the Mercurial Ted Williams story, Ken Levine has an excellent example of an "overnight sensation" which was really more of
the story of the schmoe who worked his ass off and made it because of his passion and sacrifice.