Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

Adventures of a Web Series Newbie - Chapter 23: Missives From The Trenches

Chapter 23: Missives From The Trenches
by Leesa Dean

I’m officially on hiatus with both Chilltown and the Lele Show but it seems like I’m busier than ever.

Been working on the TOP SECRET PROJECT and the relaunch. Had a great shoot Monday. Really killer and a lot of fun. Then Tuesday had a long edit session that was also fun and wildly productive. Also, exciting to see some of Monday’s footage up on the screen and how it even exceeded my expectations.

Before the session, I met with Kai Alexandre. I’ve mentioned him here before. He’s definitely one of the players in the web series game. A former MTV producer (and actor), he had a fairly popular series on youtube a few years ago called Potty Mouth TV. He’s resurrecting it as part of 3Senso, a brand new network he’s starting and seems to know everybody. He’s been a huge fan of ChilltownTV from the start.

We met at The Royalton, a pretty swanky hotel in midtown Manhattan with an equally swanky bar (i.e. In hushed tones, wearing seemingly velvet slippers, they float over slinging large bottles of imported non-sparkling Italian water that probably doesn’t, but seems to taste better than tap.) Over said water and yummy summer artisanal (yes, artisanal) drinks we caught up.

Kai told me VC funding war stories from the trenches. I told him part of the relaunch plans for Chilltown and the Lele Show–well, some of the parts I’ve already figured out. Compared to launching a web series, launching an online network is a whole other animal. I’ve read quite a bit about the VC startup dance. It’s very fast-paced world–especially in tech where everything changes from moment to moment–and very exciting. And hearing about Kai’s experiences was pretty cool. A lot of his plans have changed/shifted in the five or six months he’s mentioned them to me. Mostly in a really good way. A reflection of the market. I can’t wait to see what happens with 3Senso and write more about it.

The rest of the week I’ve been deep in animation production and doing a lot of recording, Victor Cruz who’s a HUGE talent and starred in Chilltown did some voiceover work on Thursday. It’s always a good sign when someone reads their lines and the reading is SO funny, tears start streaming down your face. We also spent some time catching up. Victor’s wife just had a baby a few weeks ago which is so exciting. And, he just wrapped work on the new Nick Cassavetes film, starring Cameron Diaz. It was pretty thrilling to hear. Especially since I’m a huge fan of Nick’s dad, the iconic brilliant director (and actor) John Cassavetes.

The week ended with me getting yet another contract offer. And boy was it a doozy. I’ll write about it next week.

Finally, my thoughts are with Will Gray and family.  As of this writing, Friday, he’s in hospice on a breathing tube with severe pneumonia and unresponsive.  It is not looking good.  He’s 33 years old.  Will, a brilliant songwriter/singer/mc was diagnosed with Stage 4 sinus cancer on Oct. 31, 2012.   Right before his diagnosis, he finished a documentary about unsung, struggling musicians called Broke*.   Check it out.

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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