Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

surprise-catChapter 49 – Shooting, Surprising, Shooting
by Leesa Dean

So, this week was great. Since I last wrote, my camera production class went to Union Square Park and spent most of the day shooting. The day before I wrote a script in class and my shooting partner Tara and I put together a shot list.

The script was about the Oscars, which were happening the next night. We went up to people, prank style, told them we were from DCTV and ABC was debuting something new at this year’s red carpet event, The Hipster Fashion Police. We said we managed to get a copy of some of the categories, nominees and wanted to get people’s opinions about who would win.

For example, one of the questions was: who has the best beardage? Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix or Gov. Chris Christie who, admittedly doesn’t have a beard but probably used them in the whole George Washington Bridge scandal.

It really was fun shooting. Initially, we got some establishing shots, then picked victims, er, people to interview! Everyone we got on camera seemed got a kick out it, though I became a pro at accepting people blowing us off. We were just standing there, camera on tripod, I’d look at someone walking, start to open my mouth to ask if we could interview them, they’d half-way shake their head no and keep stepping. I’d mutter, “ok.” It actually was kinda amusing.

The only drag was the weather. While we lucked out and it didn’t snow, it was SERIOUSLY cold. While the temp was 38, real feel was in the teens and boy, could we feel it. In fact, I have a scratchy throat this week because of all the traipsing around.

After we shot, we went back to DCTV and screened the footage. It looked surprisingly good and I thought: Ok, I really really can do this. Now, the only thing I need is some cash to buy a camera so I can really start sinking my teeth into it.

And unbelievably, like something right out of a Seinfeld episode (the one where everything always evens out for him), I got an email from Focal Press.

Back in April 2013 I had submitted to their Bound to Create Contest. I wrote an essay about what motivated me to how to animate, my influences, how I taught myself, submitted it and literally forgot about the whole thing.

At the time I thought, if I win, maybe they’ll send me some cool free books (Focal Presspublishes really great production books about animation, cameras, directing, producing, etc.)

Well, I won. They told me it was a unanimous decision and as it turns out, they’re giving me a check which should be enough to buy the body of a digital camera and, maybe a tripod!! I’m really over the moon about it.

Meanwhile, last Sunday, we headed back into the green screen studio to reshoot with the actor and it was not what we expected.

More on that next week.

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.

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