Bri Castellini Investigates the ‘Weird’ – @brisownworld

by Bri Castellini

Weird, yeah?

Sometimes I worry that the things I write/create and publicly promote are too weird. My short film Ace and Anxious (spoiler alert) ends with a visual gag implying a man has had sex with a playing card. My web series Sam and Pat features escalating and absurdist visual gags set against two characters being mean to each other and talking about therapists. My web series Brains is a narrative vlog from the perspective of a narcissistic sociopathic YouTuber trying to get a boyfriend post zombie apocalypse.

The worry about the weird comes not from a worry that the things I make aren’t good. I think they’re quite good- I’ve even got some awards to prove it!

The worry comes more from the fact that it’s very hard to succinctly explain these projects and their value to people more successful than me. “Oh, you make films too? What are they about?” “You better sit down for this.”

Other times, I am delighted by the weirdness, because it sets me apart and is true to my voice, which is also very weird. And honestly, every time I’ve tried to write something earnest and straightforward it’s sucked. Weird used to be an insult, but now it’s literally my brand.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Bri’s weird brand, it has come to our attention that her fine, weird web series Sam and Pat has started a crowdfunding campaign to finance its upcoming Season 2. As Bri put it:

Sam and Pat season 2 is coming! And to celebrate, we launched a Seed&Spark campaign! This way, you get to be involved early in helping us make a frank, funny, and f-very weird second season. Season 1 happened so quickly you didn’t get a chance to be part of the excitement, but not so this time!

Where do you go to participate? RIGHT HERE.

What will you see there? Something like this:

Why should you participate? Here are a few more words from Her Briness Herself:

I wrote Sam and Pat Are Depressed during one of the least creative years of my entire life, deep inside one of the most crushing depressive episodes I’ve ever experienced. Trump had just been elected, I’d lost my job at MTV, and I was burning through my savings account at an alarming rate.

Sam and Pat is a love letter to myself, and to my dear friend and muse Chris Cherry (“Pat”), to remind us that even during the darkest moments, we are not alone, and we are funny as hell. I have been truly and genuinely humbled by the response to season 1, and I cannot wait to share season 2 with you as well.

Any hand you can lend our strange little passion project is a hand we appreciate more than any other hand we’ve ever seen. We want to continue to talk frankly about mental illness, we want to continue to increase representation for the asexual community, and we want to continue to make you laugh.

This TVWriter™ minion is with Bri on this and hopes you will be too. After all, the more everyone gives, the less guilty I’ll feel about how little I can afford to ante up. And you don’t want yers truly to join the ranks of The Depressed, do you? Isn’t my inherent weirdness enough?


Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Liaison at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on her seriously cool blog.

HOW TO PITCH A TV SHOW TO NETFLIX & NETWORKS

Speaking of “the binge factory,” as we were just a couple of days ago, Script Reader Pro is one of the best script service sites around, and this is one of the best guides to successfully pitching your series that this TVWriter™ minion has ever seen. But I’ve already taken too much of your time so all I’ll add now is, “Dig in!”

Dammit, Munchman, how many times do we have to tell you to stop using this pic? It’s not this kind of pitching!

From Script Reader Pro

Learning how to pitch a TV show is just an important skill to learn as writing the script itself. If you’re hoping to break into the world of television as a writer, you can write the best pilot in history, but if you don’t know how to pitch it, it’s unlikely your show will get produced.

Apart from great writing, you need to be able to convince the financial gatekeepers (read: executives) at any cable, network or reality channel that your idea has the originality, longevity and “wow-factor” to turn it into a successful series. And to turn over a tidy profit.

To do so, you will need to learn how to pitch a TV show, but what does “pitch” mean exactly?

  • What kind of pitch should you put together in order to sell them on your big idea?
  • What should you include in such a document?
  • How should it be tailored to suit the particular entity you’re pitching to?

Below, we’ll aim to answer these queries by running through the means and methods behind pitching a variety of documents to a variety of TV formats and mediums.

In this post you will learn:

  • The #1 thing that makes a successful pitch to a TV show
  • How to create a pitch document
  • How to pitch a TV show to Netflix and other streaming and cable platforms
  • How to pitch a TV show to a network
  • How to pitch a reality TV show
  • Why writing credits are so important when pitching TV shows

We’ll also include a TV show pitch example in each section so you also get an idea of what you should be creating as part of the pitch process. So let’s dive on in…

How to pitch a TV show: the #1 thing you should have

Of course, just like with a feature screenplay, it all begins and ends with the concept.

A TV script lives and dies by its concept: the core idea behind the show that will make people want to watch the pilot and keep watching the series.

The cable and streaming world in particular have never been bolder creatively than they are today, so you must really put in the effort to make sure your show’s concept stands out from the pack….

Read it all at scriptreaderpro.com

Introducing Stareable’s new podcast: ‘Forget The Box!’

Exciting email from Stareable, the site this particular TVWriter™ minion considers the absolute last word about web series here on the, erm, web, about their new podcast. (And the first few episodes already are online.

Here’s the downlow:

In case you hadn’t heard, Stareable has a podcast now! Forget The Box, hosted by Stareable’s Community Director Bri Castellini (me!), aims to be the ultimate indie TV podcast, and…[y]ou can listen to all episodes in full here, with new ones going up every Tuesday!
We hope you enjoy the episode! And to sweeten the pot for you AND your communities, we’re doing a giveaway! Anyone who reviews the podcast on iTunes and sends a screenshot topodcast@stareable.com will be entered to win prizes such as a free ticket to Stareable Fest, a free Forget The Box teeshirt, or a $250 Amazon gift card!

See? Prizes. We toldja it was exciting. And the podcast seems pretty damn informative too.

Tell ’em TVWriter™ sentcha. (Yeah, they most likely won’t ask, but we like to be prepared for every contingency.

Keep the faith!

Kelly Jo Brick: 7 Tips to Stay Motivated When Writing Isn’t Your Day Job (Yet!)

TVWriter™ Contributing Editor Kelly Jo Brick is taking a break from our e-pages to write for FinalDraft.Com, but that doesn’t mean y’all have to miss her because linking, you know? So here’s the latest from our favorite award winning screenwriter, documentarian, blogger:

by Kelly Jo Brick

It’s your dream to be on the writing staff of a television show or to sell your feature film script. Until that happens, you’re working a day job, grabbing spare moments to write. So, how do you stay motivated until your breakthrough?

Set attainable goals

 One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a simple goal in front of you that you’re trying to reach.

This could be creating an application for a contest or fellowship. Use that entrance deadline as a ticking clock to keep you moving on your script. As you set goals, challenge yourself. Instead of thinking, “I’m going to work on this new project,” break down the steps by creating a timeline for it, starting with how long you want to spend on your outline.

It’s surprising how having a goal in front of you makes it easier to keep on task. When you hit a goal, reward yourself; take time to enjoy your accomplishment — however big or small — then get back to work on reaching the next one.

Join a writers’ group

 Being part of a writers’ group is a great way for creatives to support each other and stay motivated. Whether you’re in Los Angeles or a small town in Wisconsin, there are people with a love for writing around you. If you can team up with other screenwriters, great. If not, your screenwriting can still benefit from input from playwrights, poets and novelists. Regular meetings will push your productivity; you’ll need to present new material each time, and feedback from fellow writers can spark new energy in a project that you might be feeling stuck on.

Get an accountability partner

 Writing can be lonely and keeping ourselves on task can become difficult. Social media, household chores or chatting with people at the local coffee shop can all be distractions from working on your script with your butt in the chair. This is where an accountability partner can help.

An accountability partner is someone with whom you check in regularly, usually with a phone call to touch base on what you’re working on and what you want to accomplish….

Read it all at finaldraft.com

How Tarantino Writes A Scene

Not because you asked for it, but because if you’d known this was online you already would have watched it…and watched…and watched….

Brought to us all by The Closer Look