And, no, we aren’t prostrating ourselves before the techies who’ve raised housing prices (and restaurant prices etc. etc. etc.) into the stratosphere.
Instead, we’re saluting Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture and its latest exhibit, the Marvel Universe of Super Heroes. In other words, as this article puts it:
Drool over Marvel Comics’ rarest original art, costumes at new museum exhibit
by Sam Machkovech
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands to every movie theater in the world, the MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture (formerly Experience Music Project) swoops in this week with an exhibit that reminds fans where the heck these costumed heroes came from: the comics pages.
Marvel Universe of Super Heroes, a massive, two-story exhibit, began its world-premiere run in Seattle on Saturday with a mix of incredible historical context and Marvel’s strange, narrow focus within the MCU. The very good news, as seen in the first gallery, is that the Marvel (which began life in 1939 as Timely Publications) is represented by way of a ton of original production art.
MoPOP has filled its exhibit’s halls with large, framed pieces of art, but the biggest stunners aren’t full-color, perfectly polished posters. Instead, that honor goes to countless production pages, all revealing original pencil lines, ink traces, white-outs, and color-request markings.
“Without private collectors, we wouldn’t have a show,” curator Benjamin Saunders frankly admitted to Ars, as pretty much every piece has a collector’s name attached. When pressed, Saunders pointed to longtime writer and producer David Mandel (Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld) as the exhibit’s largest contributor. The collection’s main exception is the first-ever appearance of Spider-man on a comic page, on loan from the Library of Congress for only three months. (“I shudder to think of the insurance value,” Saunders notes about that page.)…
A few weeks ago on Twitter, I was having a conversation about branding and public personas with some fellow filmmakers, and one of them (a fantastic Canadian director named Brianne Nord-Stewart) made a joke that “my personal online presence is regulated by the notions of “am I okay with this living on forever?” & “do I care if my grandpa sees this?”” And it struck me how considerably less family friendly my online presence has become over the past few years.
When I first started out on the internet, in my wee pre-teen years, I was incredibly cautious about my public activities. I wouldn’t tell anyone my last name, wouldn’t reveal my home state let alone my city, and would sometimes even invent fake names for friends and places to keep myself “safe.” I got older and a little more bold[er], yet in college I was still chastising friends for swearing on camera for videos I intended to upload to YouTube. Because I’ve been online in the same few places so long, my entire family has access to my blogs, videos, and social media posts- Hi, family!- so I’ve always kept my digital identity cleanish.
This despite the fact that I’ve been swearing like an injured sailor since I was 12 years old. I used to play basketball with a boy at lunch where instead of talking we’d just swear at each other and giggle. For two years in a row in high school I put “stop swearing so much” as a New Years Resolution. It never stuck.
But throughout that time, online and around the fam, I kept my expletives to myself- it was a big deal for me to start using “hell” and “pissed.” It wasn’t that I personally found these words offensive, but that I knew who I was to my family and didn’t want to upset them.
I’m not actually sure when this changed. I know I started swearing around the ‘rents when I went to college, because I was more confident in my relationship with them and my own budding “adulthood,” but my online presence remained relatively clean. I worried that a dirty digital mouth could affect my future job prospects but also that it could affect my relationship with my family.
The swearing online happened slowly, but probably the biggest change was when I moved to New York. Not only was I living entirely on my own dime, marking the ACTUAL start of my adulthood, but I had moved to become a filmmaker, which has its own set of rules and decorum. No longer was I theoretically vying for a professional office gig- I was entering a world where a little inappropriate online humor was not only tolerated, but considered a special skill. And then I made a web series where I played a character who in the pilot spends a lot of time adjusting her cleavage and saying things like “I have needs…. SEX NEEDS.” Safe to say the ship done sailed on my public persona’s PG rating.
I know most of my family has seen at least some of my film work, all of which include “fucks” and “shits” and discussions of sex and once even of masturbation (honestly the grossest word of the whole set). The fact that my grandparents (allege) to enjoy Brains, since season 2 featured me aggressively making out with multiple people, and the fact that my mom sat through an early cut of Ace and Anxious where a full minute of screen time was dedicated to the protagonist preparing to use a vibrator for the first time and still found herself able to chuckle, is patently insane.
Sure, there’s something to be said about adulthood and autonomy and not needing permission to be the way I am, but there’s also still a part of me that pauses before posting a particularly raunchy tweet. Not because I think it’ll reflect poorly on me as a professional, because at this point profanity is part of my brand, but because I know that at some point in the following few hours, my grandmother will see it, gasp, and, depending on the subject, text my mom. Not to say that this cycle isn’t amusing- it very much is. But I don’t post things with the express purpose to horrify my grandmother, so it’s always a consideration.
I’m curious, fellow artists, what your thoughts are. Do your families follow your public posts, and your work? Do they approve? Do they care? Do you ever worry that saying “fuck” in a tweet or a film will make holidays uncomfortable?
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Liaison at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch Bri’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE This post first appeared on her seriously cool blog.
Possibly the best directed and shot live action web episode we’ve ever seen…and the script ain’t too shabby either:
Here’s the downlow:
On April 8th, 2018, the first episode of the original comedic web series My Death Co. was released. The series follows a recently deceased man, Sam (Jon Huck), as he’s forced to work as a grim reaper in the afterlife. Sam has to learn to connect with and bring closure to those on the brink of death and, in doing so, finds meaning in his own (after)life.
Created by Shawn McDaniel and Ben Hammond as a method of depicting loss in a more positive light, My Death Co.’s dark humor stands out and invokes a sense of hope in dark times. Directed by McDaniel and scripted by Hammond, subsequent episodes in the six-episode season will be independently released over the coming months via the My Death Co. website (www.mydeathco.com).
Though the creators have funded the first few episodes of the show themselves, further episodes will be crowdfunded via a pay-what-you-want model on Patreon. While the cost of network programming can reach millions of dollars per hour, McDaniel and Hammond have managed to shoot the first three episodes of My Death Co. for around $1,000 and are looking to raise $3,000 more for the remainder of the season. Proving that they can shoot high quality content on a minimal budget is part of their proof of concept as they look to develop My Death Co. as a series for studios like Amazon and Netflix.
“It’s been two years since the conception of the idea and we’ve gone through a feature script, a short film script and a pilot… but a short form web series really feels like the right place for people to fall in love with Sam and the struggles he goes through while learning the ropes of being a grim reaper,” Hammond says of the writing process. “Once they meet him, I think they’ll want more and we’re prepared to grow this thing if the demand is there.”
“My Death Co.” lead Jon Huck has appeared in Comedy Central’s “This is Not Happening” and “Live at Gotham,” as well as MTV’s “Punk’d,” NBC’s “Superstore” and CBS’s “Angel From Hell”. He will also appear later this year in “Hidden in the Heart of Texas: The Official Hide and Go Seek Documentary”.
This is work that its creators can be proud of. And so can anyone who participates via Patreon. (Yeah, that’s a hint.)
This TVWriter™ minion found the following information invaluable, which means it’s the kind of thing this site simply must pass along:
Know your rights as an author
by Nathan Bransford
Be careful out there.
While the Internet has been an incredible boon to authors, there are also lots of scammers who prey on authors’ dreams.
Protecting yourself starts with knowing your rights as an author. Here are some key things to know.
Literary agents get paid only when you get paid
It should not cost you anything to have your work read by an agent.
Reputable agents work on commission, meaning they take 15% of an author’s advance or royalties in exchange for their services (this is 20% for overseas rights where it’s split with a subagent).
Agents can recoup reasonable expenses from an author, like photocoyping submissions and postage, but there should not be reading fees or anything else charged to you. Especially things you didn’t know about in advance.
A good agent should adhere to the AAR’s canon of ethics
Not all reputable agents are members of the AAR, but if you are approaching a member of the AAR (which you can determine on their database) you should have a reasonably good sense that they are reputable.
But really, ANY good and reputable agent should adhere to these standards. Here’s an abridged version of the AAR’s canon of ethics:
Agents are loyal to their clients’ business, avoid conflict of interests, and never deceive or defraud their clients, other agents, the general public, or anyone else they do business with.
Agents are responsible and secure with their clients’ funds. Payments must be made on time. Books of account must be open.
Agents may pass along charges, such as photocopies and purchase of books used for sales of other rights.
Agents keep their client apprised of matters entrusted to the agent and provides information that the client requests.
Agents cannot represent the buyer and seller in a transaction.
Agents may not receive a secret profit, and may not receive a referral fee.
Agents keep their clients’ financial information confidential.
Agents may not charge clients or potential clients reading fees….