Bri Castellini: Join Buy In on Seed&Spark today! – @brisownworld

by Bri Castellini

In November 2016, my good friend Colin and I decided to write a horror short film together. Colin had just finished a stint as Carl in season 2 of Brains (a web series I created and also starred in) and as Kevin in Ace and Anxious (a short film I had written/directed).

He was a big fan of horror and I had been wanting to try my own hand at it, so it was decided: a short film in the horror genre with an idea of our production restrictions in mind as they developed the script. We knew we wanted to keep the cast small, the location singular, and the horror psychological, and within a month we’d written the first draft of what would become Buy In, the story of a charming young salesman and a strange, lonely traveler who find themselves locked in a struggle for control over their own destinies.

Production commenced in January 2018, with a tiny cast and crew of seven people total (4 crew, 3 cast), and post-production was completed the following year in January 2019. Buy In then began its successful festival run, racking up several nominations and award wins.

Why did it take so long?

Money. We were a team of volunteers, who loved working together and wanted to make a creepy film about the horrors of multilevel marketing schemes. Colin and I financed production and post-production with our day job salaries, and we couldn’t be prouder of what we put together. Now, we want to give our short a splashy entrance to the world, and we need your help to once again live burden free.

But isn’t Buy In finished? What’s the money for?

First and foremost, we need your help to settle our debts. We bought in to make this film, and to get it to your screens, we need to pay up, to our incredibly talented cast and crew who also bought in.

More importantly, though, we have an exciting proposition for you. Would you, [insert name here], like to buy in to an exciting new opportunity? It’s called Buy In on Seed&Spark, and here’s how it works:

Step 1: Pledge to & follow the campaign! Any pledge amount to one of the team member salaries on our Wish List page or to the campaign at large.

Step 2: Recruit others to pledge to and follow the campaign! Every new pledge you bring gets you closer to the top. The top of what? Why, our Buy In on Seed&Spark leader board! Compete to become the most valuable salesperson in our international community! Each new level you rise to will unlock a new employee ID card to show off your success to other salespeople, in addition to seeing your name move up our Employee Rankings list on the campaign page.

Please note: this is not a pyramid scheme and we take any claim that it is to be deeply hurtful.

Level 1: Limbo

You have been recruited to the Buy In on Seed&Spark team by pledging and following our campaign. Welcome to the team! Now get recruiting by sharing the following message with your friends, enemies, and followers:

Help me climb the ranks of the exciting definitely-not-a-pyramid-scheme by supporting the psychological horror project #BuyInFilm on @seedandspark! Join the team and climb the ranks yourself:

Level 2: Lust

You have recruited 1 additional teammate to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your new recruit’s pledge to us here.

Level 3: Gluttony

You have recruited 2 additional teammates to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your new recruit’s pledges to us here.

Level 4: Greed

You have recruited 4 additional teammates to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your new recruit’s pledges to us here.

Level 5: Platinum Executive Diamond

You and your recruits have personally pledged $666 or more to the Buy In on Seed&Spark community. Tweet proof of your and your recruit’s pledge total to us here.

Is there anything else you need, my supreme overlords?

There is no need for such formalities. As your supreme overlords, we graciously request you simply call us ‘teammate.’

Thank you, truly, for helping us bring this project to a screen near you and to seize the means of production. We are so proud of this project, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we’re going to enjoy sucking out your souls into our eternal soul bank. Terms and services apply.

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.

Is The Word “Podcast” Holding You Back?

“Podcasting” (the word) and the power of…words

LB’S NOTE: TVWriter™ ‘s illustrious audio fiction/podcast fiction expert Bob Tinsley, brings up an interesting point. I’d label this as “Yet another thing to think about at 3 a.m., but, yeah it definitely needs some sorting out. Thanks, dood!

by Bob Tinsley

Bottom Line Up Front: I think it’s high time the words “audio fiction” and “podcast” got a divorce.

I have it on good authority that most Hollywood pros have: a) only a vague notion of what a podcast is, and b) in light of “a,” want nothing to do with them.

This attitude is not universal, by any means. Look at Netflix, Dick Wolf, and Amblin Entertainment. And then there were 12 Hollywood pros, good and true, who thought enough of my humble podcasts to place them in the winners’ circle of the 2019 People’s Pilot competition.

But the prevailing attitude seems to be, “Podcasts! Argh! Run away, run away!” The same attitude runs rampant through the general public.

As writers we should know better than most that words affect our attitudes and emotions. So when a word is keeping us from achieving our goal, we need to change the word. I think that’s called marketing.

The word to change is podcast. My vote goes to the word, “show.” Think about it. Show is ubiquitous in the entertainment world. TV show. Broadway show. Stage show. Radio show. Audio show.

Note the phrasing: audio show. Not audio fiction show. I think the words “drama” and “fiction” are part of the problem. They just add clutter and confusion. A TV show can be either Orphan Black or Planet Earth. Nobody gets confused.

Why can’t that work for audio? I think it can.

From this point on I vow to use the word, “show,” whenever other people might use the p-word. I urge you to do the same.

Bri Castellini & Undead Burrito Productions are at it Again – @brisownworld

We at TVWriter™ are big admirers of Bri Castellini and her partners in indy interweb and short film production, so it’s with great pleasure that we pass along the following message. (Oh, and, yeppers, we recommend Bri’s project to the max.)

Award-winning horror short about pyramid schemes launches crowdfunding campaign designed as a pyramid scheme
by Bri Castellini

Hi All,

Undead Burrito Productions is the producers of the award-winning horror short Buy In, a psychological horror short about lies, desperation, and multi-level marketing schemes, which seems like a project right up your alley.
Today we launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark for distribution as well as for marketing purposes, designed as a multi-level marketing scheme itself to align with the themes of the film.
Here’s how Bri & Company see this new project shaking down:

Brooklyn, NY- The latest award-winning project by Undead Burrito Productions announces its online and NYC premiere with another announcement: a Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign that hints at the themes of the film itself.

Buy In on Seed&Spark is described as an exciting new international community, where each time a pledge to the campaign recruits new pledges, they move up the leader board of top salespeople. If this sounds like a pyramid scheme, the co-writers of the film insist it’s just shaped that way.

Incentives for the campaign (outside of a place on their Buy In on Seed&Spark leader board for top salespeople) include an anti-capitalism propaganda poster, access to the film early, and, for just $666, associate producer credit on the film and immediate Platinum Executive Diamond membership status on the leader board.

Buy In is an award-winning psychological horror short about lies, desperation, and multi-level marketing schemes, which follows a charming young salesman and a strange, lonely traveler who find themselves locked in a struggle for control over their own destinies. Written by Colin Hinckley and Bri Castellini, directed by Bri Castellini, and starring Colin Hinckley, Marshall Taylor Thurman, and Mae Mitchell.

The film won the Spotlight Award at Stephenville Fright Fest in 2019, and was nominated for horror and acting awards at the Northern Horror Fest, VOB Film Festival, and the Northeast Film Festival Horror Fest. It will be available for rent or purchase on Amazon Prime on March 23rd, 2020.

About Undead Burrito Productions

Undead Burrito Productions is a Brooklyn, NY based collective of filmmakers known for the award-winning web series’ Brains (2015-2016), Sam and Pat Are Depressed (2017-present), and Relativity (2016) and short film Ace and Anxious (2016).

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.


Writer Rob Kutner, known for his work on The Daily Show, Conan, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, among other things, and our Beloved Leader, Larry Brody, often hang out in the same circles – online at least – and share a host of common friends on Facebook.

If you are a Rob Kutner FB follower – and why aren’t you? – you already  know about this piece Rob did for The New Yorker recently. If you are, congratulations, you sure as hell know about it now!

Photograph by Alex Linch / Alamy

by Rob Kutner

“Sal was the owner and sole proprietor of Sal’s Salumeria Salata, but, to us kids, he was more like Santa Claus. We’d drop by after school, and Sal would say, ‘Wait, bambinos, I got a little something for you in the back.’ Then he’d disappear for a sec and return with a special treat he’d pop right in our mouths—garlic knots, cannoli, cheesecloth, antifreeze, long rows of industrial staples—just whatever Sal had on hand that was fresh, no money accepted, no questions asked. In retrospect, maybe someone shoulda asked some questions.”

“See that knucklehead counting tickets by the money box? That was Jimmy (Screeches) Scrizzione, a smooth-talking grifter with a million-dollar smile and a work ethic that’d put any Puritan to shame. Unfortunately, he also had a teensy little habit—some of the boys think it may have been neurophysiological—of being unable to take a whiz without making a series of screeches so loud and, frankly, alarming that they unfailingly attracted the notice of law enforcement.”

“Nobody was prouder of his Italian heritage than Wesleydale (the Italian Guy) Von Stroppenheimer IX. The I.G. was constantly hitting us with phrases from the old country, like ‘Oh! Solo mio?’ and ‘That is a spicy ball of meat!’ And good luck trying to stop him whenever a hydrant burst—he would rush outside to get into a splash war with the neighborhood kids, frolicking among the ice-cold jets of marinara….”

Read it all at

Robert Conrad’s Final Performance

As most TVWriter™ visitors probably know, The Wild Wild West‘s main character, James West, AKA actor Robert Conrad, died last weekend.

TVWriter™’s good buddy, Contributing Editor Herbie J Pilato, reminded us the other day that Conrad’s last TV appearance was on Herbie’s fascinating classic TV talk show, Then Again with Herbie J Pilato.

Here’s an exclusive report on the appearance, courtesy of Herbie J.

by Herbie J Pilato

“I’m not debonair. I’m not suave. I did wear tight pants, though, because I found out that it worked.” — Robert Conrad

Robert Conrad — you were one tough nut to crack.

But I loved having you on my show, “Then Again with Herbie J Pilato,” which ultimately became your final on-screen appearance.

What an honor — and what a blast it really was.

You joked — and you razed me, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Rest well, tough guy.

Whether in fiction or in reality, no male TV character of the 1950s, ’60s, and ‘70s came any tougher than Robert Conrad as James West on the unique sci-fi western, The Wild Wild West, which originally aired on CBS from 1965 to 1969.

The fact that Conrad portrayed a character named West on a series that was set in the Old West served both as a metaphor and as a wink to the program’s loyal fan-base who came to love the show’s frequent use of self-deprecating humor and style. As Conrad once said about the series, which displayed ingenious, whimsical stories, sets, props, and performances, “It was just so elaborate and so luxurious. We had every gadget imaginable…[like] the little gun that [popped] out of [West’s] shoe.”

The show arrived on TV just as the western genre was giving way to the spy game….

Read it all at Medium.Com

Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host ofclassic TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime, Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, and author of several classic TV companion books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE. This article first appeared in Medium.