Bri Castellini: I Don’t Have Hobbies – @brisownworld

Who is this strangely masked, erm, being?

by Bri Castellini

In an attempt to make the laziest possible vlog, I asked Twitter for questions I could answer. 

One question I wanted to expand on was from my pal Amanda Taylor, who asked if I had any hobbies that I do strictly for fun, referencing the fact that for most people making movies/videos/writing weren’t a part of a larger scheme to get wildly famous and do them full time for lots of money. It legitimately took me a while to answer that question, because on the surface it really doesn’t seem like I have any “real” hobbies. I am, as you’ve likely discovered, very boring.

I couldn’t even consider watching TV shows a hobby, because even though I do it a lot and technically I’ll never be paid to do that, I’m always analyzing shows I watch for structure and themes and seeing what they’re doing that I could be doing better in my own work. To be honest, watching TV has gotten a little exhausting because I can’t turn that part of my brain off anymore. I’m always scanning for continuity issues, for where cuts take place and why they take place where they do, and if the writing or characters are problematic in any way. Becoming a filmmaker and a feminist have ruined my ability to casually enjoy watching things and there are times when I very much wish I was still ignorant.

I don’t consider “hanging out with friends” a hobby and besides, I rarely do it outside of work or networking anymore. Half the reason I’m always scheduling shoots is to see the people I love because otherwise we’re all too busy with OTHER shoots and projects and work. If I didn’t live with Quinn, I’d barely see him at all, and even now we often miss each other due to my work and creative schedule.

Crafting/crocheting could count, but I only really do that when it’s wintertime and Christmas and birthday season is upon me, because I have like ten years worth of yarn built up I can make hats and crocheted trinkets as gifts. That’s not for fun, but function, so crocheting is out as well.

That leaves the only real hobby I have left…

Video games.

It’s weird- though my brother and I played a lot of video games as kids, I never really considered myself a gamer. I considered myself a misanthrope. We used to play the podracer and Harry Potter PC games together, and then later Super Smash Bros on the Game Cube, and I had a Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advanced mostly for car trips, and for a while I had a flirtation with Runescape, but none of those things ever felt central to my relaxation or identity. They were just things I did to pass the time outside of reading and writing and playing sports and going to school.

Now, video games are truly the only time I’m not multitasking. Since I don’t have cable, I watch TV/movies on my laptop, which means I can leave the tab playing while I browse Twitter or Tumblr or check emails or send out press releases. Even while I’m crocheting and watching something I take breaks for email and social media, all of which are not for personal reasons but to keep up with my creative projects.

Playing video games doesn’t allow me to do that, because my hands are busy with the controller and my eyes and mind are busy with the screen, anticipating enemy movement or building a dope homestead on an island west of post-apocalyptic Boston. Depending on how familiar I am with the game, I might also be listening to a podcast, but usually it’s just me and the adventure.

I almost exclusively play open world games, because I’m easily frustrated by not being allowed to forge my own paths to my destination and having to follow a single storyline. I like being able to peel off from the plot to massacre some raiders or spend twelve hours building a mansion for myself and my twelve dogs. My favorite game of all time is Fallout 4, which Quinn got me for my birthday back in 2015, but close behind are Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I played all the way through Dishonored, another Bethesda game (the developer behind Fallout and Skyrim), but it’s not as open as the other games and being stuck in a single quest was really annoying. It was a shorter game which helped me complete it, but overall it’s not an experience I’m likely to repeat.

I like that I can’t multitask during games- it keeps me present and actually allows me to relax (even if the game itself is tense). Never thought I’d end up being someone who plays video games as much as I do, but I’m grateful for the role it plays in my life.

Now, Bethesda, for the love of GOD stop coming out with crappy VR versions of 7 year old games and just give us a new Elder Scrolls already.


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.

WOMEN IN FILM SPOTLIGHT: BRI CASTELLINI

We’re a little late to the parade but are mighty glad that TVWriter™ frequent visitor Ella sent us this illuminating interview with one of our favorite indie auteurs, the inevitable (figure that one out) Bri Castellini!


by Claudia Hoffman

OR DIE TRYING’S CLAUDIA HOFFMAN CAUGHT UP WITH INDIE FILMMAKER BRI CASTELLINI TO DISCUSS HER EXPERIENCE IN THE FILM INDUSTRY AND HER AWARD-WINNING WEB SERIES, BRAINS.

ODT: HOW DID YOU BEGIN TO ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN THE FILM COMMUNITY?

BRI CASTELLINI: TWITTER, ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY. AND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN UNTIL WELL INTO PRODUCTION FOR THE SECOND SEASON OF MY WEB SERIES, BECAUSE ALL THIS KIND OF HAPPENED ON ACCIDENT AND I SEVERELY UNDERESTIMATED HOW DIFFICULT MARKETING WAS. BASICALLY, I STARTED FOLLOWING A BUNCH OF WEB SERIES CREATORS AND WEB SERIES BLOGGERS ON TWITTER, AND NOTICED THAT EVERY WEDNESDAY A LOT OF THEM PARTICIPATE IN AN HOUR LONG HASHTAG CONVERSATION AT #WEBSERIESCHAT.

I STARTED JOINING IN AROUND SEPTEMBER OF LAST YEAR, AND EVERY WEEK WE COVER A DIFFERENT TOPIC SPECIFIC TO CREATING CONTENT FOR THE WEB, AND IT’S AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY TO MEET PEOPLE AND TO DISCUSS/SHARE HORROR STORIES ABOUT BEING A WEB SERIES CREATOR.

ODT: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHILE STARTING OUT? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

BC: PROBABLY THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED WHEN I FIRST STARTED FILMMAKING WAS THE FACT THAT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. BEFORE MOVING TO NEW YORK FOR GRAD SCHOOL (I HAVE AN MFA IN WRITING AND PRODUCING FOR TELEVISION), I WAS A PROSE-FOCUSED CREATIVE WRITING MAJOR. I COULD TELL A STORY AND MAKE PEOPLE CHUCKLE, BUT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE ON A SET, TO BE IN CHARGE OF A PRODUCTION, OR TO HAVE UP TO THIRTY PEOPLE ASKING YOU QUESTIONS FOR PROBLEMS YOU DIDN’T REALIZE COULD POSSIBLY EXIST. PLUS, THE SUMMER I STARTED OUT, WE WEREN’T JUST FILMING MY WEB SERIES, WE WERE FILMING TWO OTHERS AS WELL, AND I HELD A VARIETY OF ROLES IN EACH. THERE WAS ONE WEEK WHERE WE WERE ON ONE SET OR ANOTHER FOR EIGHT DAYS STRAIGHT, ALL WHILE HAVING FULL TIME JOBS ELSEWHERE.

AS WITH MOST THINGS, I OVERCAME NOT KNOWING WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIRECTOR AND A PRODUCER WAS WITH TIME. THAT THREE PRODUCTION SUMMER WAS HELL, BUT IT WAS ALSO A CRASH COURSE IN EVERYTHING THAT COULD GO WRONG AND RIGHT ON A FILM PROJECT. I LEARNED WHAT A PRODUCTION DESIGNER WAS AND WHY THEY WERE SO VITAL, I LEARNED THAT YOU HAVE TO SCHEDULE THINGS WEEKS IN ADVANCE AND THEN SEND REMINDERS FREQUENTLY, I LEARNED THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE FRUIT SNACKS ON SET, AND I LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF DELEGATING, BECAUSE NO FILM PROJECT GETS DONE WITHOUT HELP.

ODT: WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES YOU FACE BEING AN INDIE FILMMAKER? WHAT ARE THE PERKS?

BC: HONESTLY, THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE I FACE IS MONEY, AND THE SEVERE LACK OF IT. EVERY PROJECT I’VE MADE SO FAR HAS BEEN DONE LARGELY BY VOLUNTEER EFFORT, WHICH IS INCREDIBLE, BUT WHICH IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.

WE’RE YOUNG ARTISTS IN NEW YORK CITY, AND THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH YOU CAN ASK OF OR EXPECT OF PEOPLE WITHOUT THEM GETTING PAID. IF THEY’RE LOSING MONEY BY WORKING ON YOUR PROJECT, BECAUSE THEY HAD TO SWITCH SHIFTS AT WORK OR DECLINE ANOTHER JOB, THAT’S NOT A GREAT SYSTEM. IT ALSO MEANS WE HAVE TO MAKE A LOT OF SACRIFICES WITH QUALITY AND CERTAIN STORIES, BECAUSE WE CAN’T AFFORD A LOCATION, OR A FULL FILM CREW, OR MORE THAN TWO HOURS WITH A PARTICULAR ACTOR….

Read it all at Or Die Trying

Indie Video: ‘Alexa Ruins Families

Great stuff:

by Lauren ell, who clearly is a person who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “amateur” because everything in this channel is totally PRO.
.
— LIKE FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/ellcartoons/
— INSTA @eLL_cartoons
— TWITTER @eLL_cartoons
— SUBSCRIBE YOUTUBE! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl5P…
— ellcartoons.com

Bri Castellini: You Are Not A Failure – @stareable

You Are Not A Failure
by Bri Castellini

When you’re self-funding and self-producing passion projects, things not going well hits hard. Between film festival rejections, watching creators in your genre get picked up by HBO, and burning through every favor you had to make a single short film, a single setback can feel catastrophic. But I’m here to tell you that no matter your level of past, present, or future success, you are not a failure; rather, in the words of legendary philosopher Jason Mendoza, you’re “pre-successful.” So take heart, and reread this article whenever you need to remind yourself that not all creators are created equally, and that’s 100% ok.

The number of projects you’ve completed is not a measure of your worth as an artist

Whether you have five completed web series under your belt, or maybe just a web series pilot, or maybe just a web series idea, it doesn’t matter. A robust portfolio doesn’t make you more or less of a filmmaker as anyone else, it just means you’re at different stages of your careers. There are so many reasons you could be without many finished products, be it lack of money (#relatable), lack of cast and crew, or even lack of an idea that you feel passionate about. Similarly, there are a billion reasons why someone else had no problem racking up their IMDb credits, reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you and have absolutely no effect on your current or future potential.

If you’re serious about being a filmmaker, either as a hobby or a full-time gig, then just work a little every day and eventually, something will connect. Give yourself permission to build up a body of work at your own pace.

How quickly you produce projects is not a measure of your worth as an artist

In a similar vein, how quickly you create, produce, and release content is by no means an indicator of your overall talent or worth. Some people come up with ideas very quickly, or have a cast and crew at their fingertips, ready to pick up and film at a moment’s notice. Those people aren’t better writers or producers or filmmakers. They’re just different people, with different brains and different circumstances, and their work is not inherently better or worse than yours because of the rate at which they churn out content.

Think of authors like James Patterson, who writes approximately 15 books an hour, and then George RR Martin, who writes about one a century. I’m not here to make a case for either/or, but I am saying that both men have found tremendous success in spite of their very different creative speeds. It’s not a race, so making things slower than other people doesn’t make you a failure, the same way making things faster than other people doesn’t make you a winner.

A [insert film role here] failure isn’t the same thing as being a failure

This is something that comes up a lot in web series, when people are forced into as many roles as they can muster due to smaller crew sizes and lack of budget. Often, the people forced into these roles aren’t actually skilled in them, and if a project is slowed down or stopped by this fact, they’re branded as failures, but that’s not fair or true.

For the same reason that I shouldn’t be a biologist, some people shouldn’t be producers, or actors, or directors, or sound recordists. That doesn’t make me a failed biologist, or you a failed director, it just means our success lays elsewhere.

If you find yourself forced into a role you’re uncomfortable or struggling with, you are not the problem. You’ve been set up for failure, a markedly different thing than being a failure. Sometimes people are able to limp by in roles they’re not fit for, but sometimes they aren’t, and neither of these example people are better or worse than the other. They’re people doing their best, so don’t beat yourself up if you discover producing isn’t for you. All you can conclude from not being a great producer is that you aren’t a great producer. Who cares? Find what you’re great at, and what you love to do, and do that instead.

Finding financial, mainstream success does not inherently make someone else better than you

This is the big one, folks, because it’s the one we all have: career envy. Especially as more digital creators get promoted to mainstream, like High Maintenance, Brown Girls, The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, and Broad City, it can get disheartening when you’re still fighting for your first 100 pilot views. But the thing about art is that the path to success isn’t linear, and the end-game is different for every person. Some artists get discovered early, some don’t find a sustainable creative career until well into their fifties, some start as PAs and work their way up, and some win a fellowship and enter the industry that way.

It’s always a waste of time to compare yourself to other people, because people are so varied and diverse in their circumstances, but it’s even more of a waste to compare careers in entertainment. Almost no one has the same story of how they found success, because again, there is no standard path. We’re not lawyers or doctors; we don’t go through a series of pre-set steps until we reach our ideal career. We flounder and network and make things and cry a lot and contemplate quitting and then network some more. Give yourself a break; this isn’t an easy path, but you’re on it, and that’s further than a lot of people get.

Repeat it and believe it: you are not a failure. Indie filmmaking is hard and expensive and terrifying, but it’s also rewarding beyond measure, because otherwise, why would we bother? Remind yourself every day why you’re doing this, then get out of bed, stop tearing yourself down, and get out there.

For further reading, here are some great articles about people who were half a step from quitting before they made their big break:


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

Web Series: ‘Wenlock & Jones’

Not bad, huh? Cute trailer, yeah? Makes the search for a missing college mascot look fun, right?

This episode is pretty fun too:

We at TVWriter™ admit it – we’re suckers for Brit accents. (munchman even more than the rest of us, which is why he goes around using several different varieties whenever he can…usually in moments of stress. )

The accents here are wonderful…and pretty darn high class as well. To top it all off, they’re real. At least we think they are. Not being the experts that muncherado is we can’t be sure (and he isn’t talking in anything but his strictest Manchesterieze right now which means he’s unintelligible to all human beings with anything resembling normal hearing.

Bottom line: If you like the way the characters in the Harry Potter films sound, you’ll love listening to Wenlock & Jones. And if you’re into well-made video with truly sensational young UK actors, hie thyself to Wenlock & Jones.Com for more, more, more!

Oh, before we go, here the highly deserved credits:

Writer/Director
Cassia Price

Writer
Yaseen Kader

Director of Photography
Patrick Brooks

Producer
Elizabeth Howcroft

Executive Producer
Sathya James

Assistant Director
Hannah Moss

Composer
Alexander Day

Script Supervisor
Noah Geelan

Sound Recordist
David Erwood

Location Manager
Michaela Higham

Assistant Producer
Millie Morgan

Production Assistants
Liz Campbell
Joanna Taylor
Bella Hull

Publicity Photographer
Johannes Hjorth

Iphigenia “Genie” Jones – Dolores “Dolly” Carbonari

Henry Wenlock – Enrico Hallworth

JJ Lyons – Patrick Sylla

Ingrid Sabbatini – Teuta Day

Rita Douglas – Maya Achan

Innogen Garamond – Beth Hindhaugh

Benji Mapham – Nick Hendy

Alistair Ormsby-Gore – Orlando Gibbs

Sally Forth – Shimali De Silva

Grace Campion – Fay Cartwright

Verity Cho – Cara Fung

Connie Rudd – Louise Harris

Frank Henslowe – Zac Peel

Fox-Lavender Faraway – Ania Magliano-Wright

Douglas Heywood – Leo Benedict

Sammy MacFarland – Colin Rothwell

Jackie Kirkpatrick – Carine Valarché

Olivia Kondabolu – Ananya Mishra

Rahul Dev – Rahul Dev

Johnny Burrow – Johnny Burrow

Nicholas Horton – Ben Morley

For the record – we think these folks are gonna go far!