Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie, Chapter 10 – Don’t F*ck With Mr. Zero

by Leesa Dean

What a week! The good, the bad, the ugly!


So, in reverse order, first the ugly: Boston.Wow. It was shocking, surreal and awful to read about. As someone who lived through 9/11 in New York City and knew a number of people who were killed, it was particularly tough and scary. I have a few friends who live in Boston and luckily, no one I know was hurt. My heart goes out to the victims and everyone directly affected. My thoughts definitely are with with them. And while I normally write about web series stuff here, I felt I had to mention it.

Ok, next, the bad: Part of getting your show out there is, hopefully, being attached to an online network. They can provide support (financially and in other ways) and really help promote your show and get you tons of views. I’ve had a few offers so far, but have yet to sign a deal. There’s been a bit of publicity recently about some of the contracts certain networks have that are just outrageously unfair (want the rights to a series forever, etc.) and, in particular, there was a lot of negative fallout after the whole Ray William Johnson/Maker split-up.

This week, I got a couple of offers from (very) smaller networks and ended up turning both down. One in particular was just CRAZY (let’s just say, it wouldn’t have surprised me if it had a clause saying, “We will only pay you if you can make a unicorn magically appear in our offices.”) As flattering as it is to receive these types of offers, it’s also really stressful, mainly cause they’re so insulting. I mean, what exactly are you thinking when you type up a contract that, essentially, screws a content creator completely? I mean, COMPLETELY?! I’ve found that I have to maintain a “Don’t F*ck With Mr. Zero”(yes, a shameless When Harry Met Sally reference) stance just to read them. It’s really like the wild, wild west out here. There are no rules and people are trying to take whatever they can, whichever way they can.  Mainly from indies like me.  Makes Hollywood seem gentile.

And then Rollo postponed. Hmmm. Pushed our meeting back a week, which has never happened before. Even though I’m at a point where I, pretty much, don’t expect anything to materialize from whatever he brings to the party, I am curious about what he has to say. And wonder why he needed to push things back.

Finally, the good: Another hip-hop radio station decided to play the Lele radio segment! Now, every Wednesday at 11am, her 60 second week in review will also play on the Just Wake Show on WRN in Bethlehem, PA on 97.5FM. Really excited about it! Plus, last week,Blip featured us for five days. Even made us a Staff Pick!! The result? 30,000 views!!! In five days!! More than 25,000 on the featured episode (episode 6) and the rest spill-out. It really showed me that once people actually know about the show, they’ll watch and like it. Which was incredibly encouraging to see. There is SO much content out there, it’s nearly impossible to get people to watch–which is why I (and most content creators) spend tons and tons of time promoting. Sadly, Blip moved on to featuring someone else’s show, so while Chilltown is still getting views there, it’s not thousands a day. Luckily, some of that spilled onto YouTube (the radio show segments have also been helpful.) Views are up. But once Blip stopped featuring us, I realized, ok, I have to really dig my heels in again and start promoting like crazy again. But, in general, seeing a lot of movement, which is great.

So, next week, more Rollo. Plus, I’m gonna write about the very very cool animation panel I attended.