In her home town of Hong Kong, Shiela Cancino is a special sort of “rock star.” Businesswoman, activist, toastmaster, author, poet, lyricist, you name it, and if it has to do with moving words and positive values, Shiela does it, and does it very well.
I feel a special closeness to Shiela because she’s also a former student of TVWriter University (in a super cool Special Master Class and was co-director of a Hong Kong spinoff of Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts. (Some of you may remember that name, yeah?)
I met Shiela when I was a judge at a Hong Kong song writing competition, which she won. Recently, she sent me a copy of her latest song, which I’m proud to share here.
WE ARE ALL WRITERS
Lyrics by Shiela Cancino Music by Franniel Music Performed by Franniel Music
Everybody’s got to start somewhere, and we here at TVWriter™ are very grateful to ScriptMag.Com for posting very handy guide to web series creation.
Don’t Know How to Start a Web Series? Award-winning web series creator, Rebecca Norris, gives her expert advice in our FREE download! Download Your Free Copy of Creating a Web Series 101 Now!
1. Get your TV pilot idea off the ground.
If you have a TV show idea and can’t get noticed by a network, take your TV pilot and break it into mini episodes of two-minute, bite-sized bits. Season one of your web series is your entire pilot episode! Send the series link out with your one sheet when pitching networks to prove your idea has value.
2. The price is right.
Creating a web series is extremely low cost compared to creating a TV series. Crowdfunding is the most popular way to get the funds to produce your web series. Your backers then become your audience and will help spread the word when your webseries launches! Plus creating the campaign pitch video gives people a taste for what your webseries will look like.
3. Build your audience and brand.
Making a web series is a great way to be able to supply a constant stream of storytelling to a huge online audience. In less time than making a pilot, you can create and launch new material that keeps your audience coming back and wanting more. Your fans will keep coming back to support your work, and in turn will look forward to any bigger projects you create, like feature films. Learning how to make a web series is part of establishing your brand as a filmmaker and storyteller.
4. Break the rules.
You are your own boss. No network limitations. Just don’t break the video sharing website’s terms of agreements and you’re set….
Since college I’ve had a folder on my laptop called “Be Professional,” where I keep the various versions of my resume, my professional headshots (a thing I never thought I’d need), my business card InDesign file, and my cover letter templates.
Since childhood, I’ve had a pretty clear understanding of what my professional path would be. It was gonna be great- I’d go to a small liberal arts college somewhere in Oregon or Washington, graduate with a creative writing degree, write novels, and work as a barista until I was published.
It’s misleading to say that was always the plan, I guess. I had a brief flirtation with law school after my first year doing speech and debate in high school, and I dabbled with graphic design because I was an early (and young) adopter of Photoshop and rudimentary web design. In both cases the plan was still to be a published novelist (and maybe YouTuber- John Green I’m comin’ for ya), but I knew I needed a survival job that paid well in the meantime.
I didn’t really have ambitions in the film realm, and I certainly never imagined myself working for a series of exciting media start ups where I’d use skills I’ve cultivated as hobbies for literally two decades, but here we are.
In an attempt to explain to my family what exactly the fuck I do for work, and in an attempt to showcase how the strangest things end up being professionally important, I wanted to go through the steps that brought me to where I am now. Unpack my career path as it were….
LB’S NOTE: Yes, we usually run Bri’s blog posts in their entirety, but this one is, well, pretty darn long. In a nutshell, what’s coming up is Bri’s resume. One that would make TVWriter™ hire her in an instant! I urge everyone interested in an indie film or TV career to click on the link above.
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Film Community Manager for Seed&Spark, a film crowdfunding platform, as well as an adjunct professor for two MFA programs. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on Bri’s wonderfully refreshing blog.
Not only is the subject matter of this article fascinating, so is the perspective of the writer, Jenna Dorst. You don’t see this kind of thing on Old Media, or even Big Media, gang.
Exploring Trauma: VOD and Web Series Picks
by Jenna Dorsi
In media, women’s pain is usually used to motivate men. So there’s a real demand for nuanced portrayals of female trauma, which looks at what women are actually going through — as opposed to how their distress impacts some guy.
Each of this month’s picks deal with women’s trauma and mental health. “Second Assault” sees a rape survivor and documentary filmmaker confronting the cop who, years earlier, refused to believe her. The short doc examines how his initial response exacerbated her pain.
Then, there’s the rom-com web series “How to Survive: A Break-Up,” which lightens up the mood a little. It centers on a recently dumped young woman who is not coping healthily. “Gremlin Girl” also uses humor to examine mental health issues. It’s an animated web series about a woman who’s haunted by her anxieties, literally, as embodied by the titular pest.
Here are Women and Hollywood’s VOD and web series selections for August.
The French call it; Raison D’être which literally means ‘purpose.’ The phrase is infamous for the associated in philosophical circles with the trial of Socrates, where the question is asked; “Is the life lived sans Raison D’être worth redemption?”
Mr. Jack, a New Media series from writer turned director Mick Lexington takes this age-old question and asks it in the modern-day backdrop of The LES of Manhattan, the last bastion of Bohemianism in New York City, warts and all.
The crowdfunding campaign for Mr. Jack kicked off Friday, August 16. The series is based on Lexington’s novel and follows a young artist returning to New York after a self-imposed exile and his struggle to reconnect with the reality he has detached from.
The project is a collaboration of Lexington, fashion photographer turned cinematographer James M. Graham, and musician Justin Wert who, working outside his jazz roots, will deliver the a-tonal series soundtrack.
The plan is to raise enough to top off the budget to shoot the pilot episode of Mr. Jack and shop it around to raise funding for five more episodes. Says Lexington on the project, “We own the cameras and sound equipment which covers a considerable part of our expense. What we need help with is the day to day operation of shooting onsite in New York City.”
Val, the main character in Mr. Jack is the classic tragic artist archetype. He feels he is not worthy of happiness. He does not recognize that he must take responsibility for his own contentment.
Instead, Val lives vicariously through the character called Mr. Jack, who by claiming credit for other people’s art, sleeping with other men’s wives, and substituting chemicals for his own endorphins, takes a shortcut to happiness.
Mr. Jack is Lexington’s passion project, and he is to seeking independent financing via Indiegogo to make it as a TV series without compromises.
“I had 500K on the table to develop another TV series I created. The catch was I had to work with a producer who wanted to turn to turn my drama into a slapstick action thriller. I walked away from that rather than have the project compromised.”
Lexington turned to crowdfunding because he believes it empowers the full gamut of artistic expression from the artist to the spectator.
“Before crowdfunding,” he says, “the only control the viewer had was the purchase of a ticket. With crowdfunding, it is the collaboration of creator and viewer that shapes the future of communication.”
Lexington believes that in the past entertainment and art were in essence two different things. He sees crowdfunding as facilitating their merger, putting it this way.
What is considered as art today does not challenge the audience or viewer. It anesthetizes it inebriates, but it does not transform. It should be the duty of not only the filmmaker but of every artist, regardless of medium, to pursue the objective of throwing complacency off-kilter.
I don’t believe an artist should put the responsibility for the significance of a work of art on the viewer. The artist cannot create and distribute without some rationale behind their creation. The viewer may have their own interpretation, and there is no right or wrong interpretation; beauty fails any dictate as beauty a cannot be legislated.
To Lexington, the importance of the artist lies in the truth that splendor cannot be ordered from “above.” Art has to emerge from the conjoining of artist and audience, which benefits society by allowing the creation of “entertainment” that “touches our souls, breaks our hearts, causes us to laugh, permits us to cry, and kicks our asses into a higher state being.”
In view of the passion Lexington feels about Mr. Jack, it clearly is his Raison D’être, to do just that.
Mick Lexington was a semi-finalist in the 2013 People’s Pilot, leading to him coming to the attention of the producer he turned later turned down. The Crowdfunding campaign for Mr. Jack kicked off Friday, August 16.