TVWriter™ pal Bri Castellini and Bri Castellini pal Chris Cherry clearly don’t have enough to do. In addition to their web series Sam and Pat are Depressed, their podcast, Bri and Chris are Depressed, and all their individual projects, they’ve taken on something new.
Their new show also is a podcast, this time one with an absolutely insane premise. It’s called Burn, Noticed and here’s how they describe it:
Burn, Noticed is an episode-by-episode discussion and deconstruction of the USA television series Burn Notice. Co-created and co-hosted by myself and Chris Cherry. This podcast is currently in development and will launch its first full episode on July 22nd, 2019. Burn, Noticed is available on Spotify and, soon, iTunes.
You can always count on Bri and Chris to bring you the best, right, kids?
Ageism is the irrational exclusion of people of a certain age (or, if you will people beyond a certain age) from employment, right? And all of us, including this particular TVWriter™ minion, who is well over TV writing’s oft-discussed age limit of 40, agree that ageism is discriminatory, unjustified, and needs to be stopped, right?
But what if it is justified? I mean, WTF?
Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think…Here’s how to make the most of it
by Arthur C. Brooks
“It’s not true that no one needs you anymore.”
These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The plane was dark and quiet. A man I assumed to be her husband murmured almost inaudibly in response, something to the effect of “I wish I was dead.”
Again, the woman: “Oh, stop saying that.”
I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but couldn’t help it. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.
At the end of the flight, as the lights switched on, I finally got a look at the desolate man. I was shocked. I recognized him—he was, and still is, world-famous. Then in his mid?80s, he was beloved as a hero for his courage, patriotism, and accomplishments many decades ago.
As he walked up the aisle of the plane behind me, other passengers greeted him with veneration. Standing at the door of the cockpit, the pilot stopped him and said, “Sir, I have admired you since I was a little boy.” The older man—apparently wishing for death just a few minutes earlier—beamed with pride at the recognition of his past glories.
For selfish reasons, I couldn’t get the cognitive dissonance of that scene out of my mind. It was the summer of 2015, shortly after my 51st birthday. I was not world-famous like the man on the plane, but my professional life was going very well….
We love the opening of this piece from Seth Godin’s brilliant blog. And the rest is just about as feelgood as a written work about writing can be. Keep reading and you’ll see what we mean:
Even if it’s not graduation week for you…
by Seth Godin
Even if it’s not graduation week for you…
Not Wall Street.
As we race toward a post-literate world, the surprising shortcut is compelling indeed: Learn to write.
Audiobooks outsell print. AI can turn text into speech. People scan, they don’t read.
Doesn’t matter. Learn to write.
Yes, it would be great if you could become a full-stack developer. If you put in the hard work to be a civil engineer or a mathematician on the cutting edge. But most people were persuaded from an early age that this isn’t the work for them.
Better With You, Predictably, Was Better With All Of You
by Bri Castellini
That’s right, folks- I’ve officially finished another production, which means it’s time for a round-up reflection and thank you post! This production, a Halloween romcom called Better With You, marks many firsts for me: first time hired as a director, first time directing a script I hadn’t written, first on-location shoot, first time working with an all (or mostly) female crew.
I hope none of these firsts, and none of these working relationships, will be my last. This was the absolute best production I’ve ever worked on, meaning no offense to any of the wonderful productions I’ve worked on before, but if you read on, you’ll understand why.
***spoiler alert- it’s because we had more than 2 crew members and locations that weren’t just apartments and parks and also everyone was incredible at their jobs and did them without drama***
First of all, a huge big thank you to the Apple Juice Productions matriarchs Amanda Taylor and Kailee Brown. Thank you for taking my joking “well if you ever need a director…” email seriously all those months ago and bringing me onto this project. I’ve been a fan of you both and your work for such a long time, and getting to create something together has been a privilege and an honor.
Now, more specifically.
Kailee Brown is a kickass DP and an even better production partner. Thank you for always knowing what my sound effects and hand motions meant in terms of shots, for calling me out for my producer brain getting in the way of my director brain, and for being the perfect combination of efficient and innovative at every stage. I’m a worrier, but when you were by my side (or, more often, in front of me), all my nerves were calmed.
Amanda Taylor wrote a funny, heartfelt script, and I was honored just to offer feedback when it was in draft stage, let alone be the one to help bring it to life. I was worried, admittedly, that having Amanda also be the star would mean some awkward director/writer-star moments on set, but from the very beginning we had a similar goal- to make this show amazing. And we did it, because Amanda is a dedicated, funny, hard-working, incredible leader of this production company and this cast, and I can’t wait to tell her to make a snack out of a line instead of a meal again soon.
Colin Hinckley at this point should just be considered my muse, as he’s been in every project I’ve ever directed or created. This should come as no surprise that Colin was professional and fantastic in his role and a director’s dream actor. May we continue working together and contributing minor amounts of boy energy to all our projects.
Sage Nelson was our AD and the first AD I’ve ever worked with as a director to be available the whole shoot, which was an amazing experience because Sage was proactive, always prepared, always patient, and completely calming to what could have been a totally chaotic process.
Tayler Swenson, as Elodie, was warm and funny and the perfect twin sister pairing for Colin/ best friend pairing for Amanda. She’s one of those insanely sharp actors with complete control over her own performance, and was one of the most fun people to watch on and off camera.
Cheryl Holdaway plays Suzanne, a frenemy character of sorts, who was so sweet and funny that she made me root for her in spite of myself and (in many cases) the script. Hashtag Team Suzanne forever.
Tito Livas was only on set one day, as his character Mark was only in one episode, but trust me, it’ll be an episode to remember. His flirtatious physicality and subtle physical comedy are going to make you lose your mind come October.
Rounding out our cast was Cindy Manwill, playing Lucy, who brought this sweet, excitable, totally unique energy to set and to screen. Cindy was always game to try out a new motivation and was consistently good natured, keeping everyone’s spirits up.
Samantha Highsmith was our behind-the-scenes director and photographer, and even helped us out as Endor Princess Leia during a scene where we needed extras. I can’t share most of her photos yet because spoilers, but when you see them, you’ll understand why everyone was excited when the camera was pointed at them.
Cee Ryle Brown, Kailee’s little brother and our dedicated AC, was our only male crew member, but even if he wasn’t, he’d absolutely get the “best dude on set award.” Cee was the most positive influence, was hardworking and kind even at the end of supremely long days, and I can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.
Madison and Cassidy Connell were, respectively, the on-set producer (& grip) and the gaffer on Better With You. They are also sisters, with what seemed to me one of the healthiest sibling/work relationships I’ve ever seen. They kept things moving, were proactive and creative, and I wish I could have stolen them and brought them back to New York with me. There’s still time. (this is not a threat)
Kayen Lee did our sound and in spite of a mixer malfunction on the first day never quit or refused to get into a weird spot to make sure our amazing actors could be heard. She was diligent about room tone (and therefore is the love of my life) and always game to try a new strategy to make sure Kailee and I were getting what we needed.
Mia Hunt was our production designer and is equally as responsible for how amazing this show is going to look as Kailee or me. I never worried that a prop mentioned in the script wouldn’t be in one of her tote bags at the beginning of every day, and even when Kailee and I realized we needed a prop that we didn’t tell her about, she already had it! Is she magic? More tests needed.
Sarra Keddington championed HMU 5 out of the 6 days totally alone, and yet our cast looks like an entire fleet of beauticians got them ready. Sarra sped through hair and makeup to make sure actors were ready for their marks but they always looked amazing and at least as far as we could tell, she never broke a sweat. She kept everyone positive and in stitches and was a great person to have around on the longer days.
Emily Gardner was our PA, the most thankless job on set, and never once complained. On an indie set, that’s basically unheard of. She also donned a bright gold jumpsuit at one point and absolutely killed it, but shhhh. Spoilers.
Annie Tram Phan recreated a particular iconic dress to such intense detail that I still look at the photos from that day to convince myself it was real. I can’t say much more than that, and I can’t show you the photos yet, but I am absolutely delighted and I know you will be too. Thanks to Aura Martinez, wardrobe assistant, for your part in it as well!
I wasn’t a producer on this project, so I didn’t meet a number of other amazing people who helped us bring this to life, but I know Gina Taylor, Hannah Bayles, and a number of local businesses were instrumental in our success. And it was a success- this project is going to be out of this world, and it’s because of everyone in this post. I can’t wait for you to see it, because I genuinely could not be prouder.
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Director 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 Bri’s wonderfully refreshing blog.
Our Most Important Post of the Week, as in, “Whoa, I really wish I’d written this.” Hats off to Mihaela Ivan Holtz.
by Mihaela Ivan Holtz
As an artist, you live in a dreamworld. It’s a world filled with creative ideas, passion, and fantasy. In that world you meet characters, you hear music, you envision the stories that you want to create.
You love your dreamworld. It’s where all your creative ideas are born and where your big career dreams come to light. This is where you feel most at home.
Living in the dreamworld comes naturally, but that might mean that reality feels like a strange and challenging territory, for you.
The arts world is a particularly big reality to take on. It’s a world filled with uncertainty, unknowns, and competition. Rejection lurks around every corner. It can take a lot to be seen and valued for your real worth. And then there’s the potential for mistreatment and abuse…
So, you may be inclined to avoid reality – not only because you love your dream world so much, but also because the arts world can be harsh and challenging.
Is Avoiding Reality Actually Helping You Achieve Your Creative Dreams?
What would happen if you dared to see and face reality? What if reckoning with reality could move your artistic career forward? What if there is power in working with the reality?
It’s important to understand that even if you deny reality, reality doesn’t go anywhere. Whatever you wish to avoid is still there to challenge you. In fact, being in denial makes you less able to face your challenges. It can make you more emotionally reactive, overwhelmed, or terrified of the things that you need to face. Denial steals your ability to consciously work within reality. When ignored, reality has a way of taking over and controlling you….