Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

wranglingcomplexityChapter 35 – Wrangling Celebs
by Leesa Dean

I’ve mentioned it in passing a few times here, but since April I’ve been working on a TOP SECRET project. It’s brand new, I have a producing partner (a first!) and we’re still a ways off from figuring out when we’re gonna release it, etc. And while, as the world’s most superstitious atheist, I don’t normally like to talk about projects til I’m ready to release them, I will talk about this.

We’ve been having a tough time wrangling celebs.

When you’re a relative nobody like me, let’s just say it doesn’t hurt to have a celeb attached to your project. It’s definitely a way to get views and, if said celeb has a big following and tweets about it, well you just might have a hit on your hands.

While the script I wrote doesn’t call for a celeb, we figured it was worth it to spend a few weeks trying to get someone and it’s a lot harder than I thought.   I’m not talking garden variety celebs.  I’m talking celebs with muscle.  Household-ish names or, at least, someone who’s been mentioned on TMZ or Necole Bitchie at least once.  You know, the untouchables.

We’re at phase one, which basically involves calling people friends and fishing around. NOTE: This phase is a lot harder when you don’t have an agent or manager, hint hint, nudge nudge anybody reading this, to do the dirty work for you.

Sample phone call:

Me: “Hey, so & so, is your cousin still dating B LEVEL CELEBRITY #1?”
Friend: “That ended two years ago. He was a total dick and she needs a drink whenever his name is mentioned. Why”?
Me: “Never mind.”

Phase 1 also involves scouring the internet in desperation at 3am searching for ideas/clues and happening upon tips like this one: “A Sure Fire Way to Get a Celebrity To Work on Your Project: Butter them up and tell them they have first dibs.” Gee. Great tip. Cause so far, “We can’t pay you anything but we’re BEGGING you to be involved” hasn’t exactly been working for us.

What this article fails to mention is: Why would any celeb would want to take a meeting with you in the first place?!

But then, seemingly, our luck changed. We got a meeting. And, like so many other things that have happened this past year, it felt like it just fell in our laps.

Next week: The meeting.

Author: ChilltownTV

I'm primarily a writer. Sold a few series to tv networks and production companies but never had anything get on the air. So I taught myself how to animate and completed 3 digital series, launching two. The first, Chilltown has been named one of "Five Web Series That Should Be on Your Radar" by ABCNews/Univision and a "Show to Watch" by Tubefilter. The second, Lele's Ratchet Advice Show, garnered a fanatic cult following. As a result, I now do Lele's 60 Second Wrap Up, a weekly comedic entertainment report (which I write & perform) that airs on urban radio stations Rhythm 105.9fm and the Just Wake Up Morning Show on WWRNfm.

One thought on “Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie”

Comments are closed.