Bri Castellini: Fame, Branding, and Chubby Women – @brisownworld

Image credit goes to Marshall Taylor Thurman, who has the unique ability to get incredibly unflattering photos of my giant arms.

by Bri Castellini

Been thinking a lot about branding recently. It’s a topic that comes up a lot in indie filmmaking, because it’s important that all of your projects’ assets follow similar themes, colors, etc so that people can easily tell what accounts and posts are yours. It’s also something pretty integral to my ambitions in the media and entertainment world, because online, personal brand is everything.

I know how much me and my personal identity entangles with my work and the promotion of it. I know I’m one of the most Google-able (if not THE most Google-able) person in my casts and crews. I’m the only Bri Castellini on the internet, baby, and you can basically find my entire life story in the first few pages of search results. Plus I literally run all the social media and email accounts associated with my projects (as well as the social media for one of my friends) and at this point people are wise to that.

I’m also not ashamed to type here in my decade-old personal blog that I want to be famous. Whenever anyone asks what my plans for the future are, I say “get very famous,” and I’m only a little bit kidding (because my actual plans are to get MASSIVELY famous). With fame comes power, and with power comes the ability to be creative full time and pay my collaborators the crazy amount of money they’re absolutely worth.

I want to be famous, and therefore I spend a lot of time thinking about my brand. I can’t just be “Bri Castellini, person.” I have to be “Bri Castellini, pre-famous filmmaker and writer,” and that’s distinct, even if only subtly. This means I also have to be conscious of the kinds of projects I’m developing, because if I make things that are too dissimilar from each other, it’ll be hard to leverage my existing audience that I fought so hard to attract. Granted, that audience is pretty tiny right now, but it’s not nothing.

I’m very curious to hear what y’all think my “brand” is, so leave thoughts in the comments if you have them. In my mind, based on the projects that have been successful/gotten me my teensy audience, these are the Bri Castellini keywords I’ve come up with:

  • Millennial woman
  • Comedy
  • Profanity
  • Asexuality
  • Mental illness/anxiety/depression
  • Zombies

Looking at this list, struck me today that despite it being a pretty obvious option, I haven’t really leaned into the chubby facet of my identity. While I use my struggles with mental illness and my asexuality a lot in my work, further strengthening the “authenticity” of my brand as it relates to my creative endeavors, I haven’t really explored weight. Both Alison Sumner and Sam from ‘Sam and Pat’ are chubby because they’re me, but their weight literally never comes up in their stories. I have often wondered if this is a mistake.

You don’t see chubby women on screen very often, especially not as “women.” Chubby women are reduced (hah) to their weight, or to the undesirable comic relief character, and rarely find opportunities for lead roles or roles more complex than “fat lady trying to lose weight.” So even though it wasn’t really my intention or a part of my development process, the fact that Alison Sumner is a chubby girl with a voracious sexual appetite and a romantic arc never once mentioning her weight is kind of amazing. The only example coming immediately to mind of a chubby women on film getting a romantic arc without her weight being mentioned is Sookie from Gilmore Girls, although that show (and it’s creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing in general) has its own weird issues with weight and fat people.

It’s weird that such a massive (hah) part of my own identity literally never occurs to me when writing. Maybe it’s internalized fat-phobia from having never seen fat female protagonists on screen. Who can say?

I guess the question is… is that bad? Am I doing my chubby sisters a disservice by not mentioning the weight of characters I play? Or by explicitly writing characters with a little more junk in the trunk? Or is not mentioning the weight of chubbier characters the more nuanced way to approach this and promote further positive representation? Is this a part of my brand I should be leaning into to reach my full (HAH) potential as an independent artist, or is “loud depressed asexual feminist” enough?  Am I missing out on a significant potential audience? DOES ANY OF THIS REALLY MATTER? (probably not)

I don’t know the right answer here. Boiling myself down to my base keywords is a weird way to spend an afternoon, and a weird way to think about my online activities as they service my overall ambition of incredible fame and fortune. For the record, this isn’t an invitation to weigh in (HAAAAAH ok I’m done), especially if you’re of the male persuasion, but if other similarly sized ladies have thoughts, I’d love to hear them.


Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Liaison at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch Bri’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE This post first appeared on her seriously cool blog.

Optioning My TV Series From Outside of L.A.

At last! The info all of us who haven’t yet been able to relocate to the “land of fruits and nuts,” AKA Los Angeles have been waiting for.

We know, we know. For two decades TVWriter™ has been saying, “Ya gotta live in L.A. if you want to make in showbiz.” And throughout those two decades new writers have been emailing us with the plea, “Say it ain’t so.”

Well, we aren’t going to go quite that far. You do need to be in L.A. in order to become the grand success we all dream of. But here’s a heartwarming video that gives some good news to those who are uprooting-challenged: There’s hope after all!

See more informative videos from Stage 32

Video Interview: This One isn’t Just for ‘Beetlejuice’ Fans

This TVWriter™ minion has to proclaim the truth for all to hear:

I am a huge Beetlejuice fan and think y’all should be too!!!

That’s why we’re so delighted to have found the following recent interview with Beetlejuice producer and co-writer Larry Wilson. As we’ve said a time or two before, “Watch and learn, kids. Watch and learn!”

Yeppers, this time we really mean it.

As one of the YouTube commenters put it, “Larry [Wilson] is the friend every screenwriter wants to have.”

To which Larry Brody and TVWriter™ say, “Amen.”

InkTip.Com is More Than Just a Catchy Name

EDITOR’S NOTE: InkTip.Com and TVWriter™ have been associated for almost 20 years, but this is the first time the site has been reviewed here in over a decade. How’s the place holding up? Dawn McElligott tells us all about it:

by Dawn McElligott

From the “About” section at InkTip.Com:

InkTip was born in 2000 after witnessing the difficulties associates and friends in the industry have had in getting exposure for their works, let alone getting their scripts sold. The mission of InkTip.com is threefold:

  • Help the producer easily find a good script
  • Save time for the agent and manager in locating the right people for their clients’ scripts, or new clients
  • Greatly increase exposure for the screenwriter

InkTip seems more to this writer like Q-Tip, since it has a soft touch. Wary of scams but compelled to try a service that connects writers and producers, I registered two screenplays with InkTip at the end of February. As of this writing, the loglines for my works have been viewed 50 times by producers.

To register a script, the writer completes a questionnaire so that InkTip can categorize it for prospective producers. The survey asks about the genre, possible sub-genre, locations, etc. The writer must also be able to supply proof of prior registration with a creative works protection organization such as the Writers Guild of America, in order to list a script or a book on their website, https://www.inktip.com/.

After registering a script, I received an email from InkTip about loglines. The web service has a logline lab that gives practical guidance for a crucial ingredient in marketing: the logline. Writers can easily revise their loglines, synopses and scripts at no extra charge from InkTip.

After eight production companies read my loglines and went no further, I consulted the website’s loglines lab. Revising the logline caused me to re-think the essence of my work. The experience made me feel better prepared for an eventual sales pitch.

If I had a question, I was advised to email the company’s President, Jerrol LeBaron, at jerrol@inktip.com. Within 24 hours, either Jerrol or one of his employees would politely respond to my question. The website does publish a Writers’ Protocol, admonishing writers to first, wait three to six weeks before contacting production companies who’ve viewed their scripts and to do so only by snail-mail letters.

The company also advises writers to contact only those producers who have viewed their books, treatments or scripts. Contacting producers or production companies after a view limited to the logline and/or synopsis, is prohibited.

A non-refunded removal from the website is a published consequence of breaking these rules so writers are encouraged to play nice. As of this writing, at least one producer has assigned my script to a reader. InkTip notified me by email and the producer’s physical address was given.

The website states that viewing scripts is limited to members only and producers hoping to join are thoroughly scrutinized. Two of the criteria for membership as a producer are proof of funds and a perceived ability to make a film.

The website boasts that since its establishment in 2000, over 350 movies have been made through its services. The cost for listing a script is $60 for four months with discounts for multiple listings. The website also offers many other goodies, such as listings of networking events.

Receiving worldwide exposure from vetted producers makes InkTip.com a sound investment. Being treated politely and fairly will keep me coming back.


Dawn McElligott is a an award-winning writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles by way of Philadelphia and other points East. You can learn more about her HERE

TV Keeps On Growing…and Growing – Part 2

Just when you thought there was nothing left for TV to do, here’s another peek at Peak TV, non-fiction style (with one new drama thrown into the mix). Have a look into what Bravo believes America will want to see in the coming months:

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Bravo Network – and others

Bravo Expands Originals to 7 Nights With 10 New and 20 Returning Series
by Leslie Goldberg

Bravo is expanding its original programming to seven nights.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network, which recently entered the premium scripted space with anthology Dirty Johnhas handed out series orders to 10 more new shows to join a slate of 20 returning favorites.

Slated to join staples including Vanderpump Rules and the Real Housewives franchise are unscripted fare featuring original Queer Eye stars Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley as well as a spinoff of Married to Medicine. The slate comes as Bravo is fresh off a first quarter where it finished as the No. 5 ad-supported cable network among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic — its best primetime showing yet — and the top cable network among women 18-49 and 25-54.

“Our brand offers a unique environment for our viewers to escape with drama that is fun and funny, yet far from their normal reality,” said Jerry Leo, executive vp program strategy, lifestyle networks and production at Bravo. “By doubling down on noisy formats and big characters, expanding our lifestyle programming in the design and home space, and offering seven nights a week of originals, we’ll be able to serve our fans more of what they crave while also attracting new viewers with our wide scope of programming.”

The 10 new series join a slate that also includes Married to Medicine, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Don’t Be Tardy, Flipping Out, Shahs of Sunset, Southern Charm (and its Savannah spinoff), Million Dollar Listing New York, theReal Housewives franchise (with series set in Atlanta; New York; Beverly Hills; Orange County, California; New Jersey; Potomac, Maryland and Dallas), Below Deck Mediterranean, Watch What Happens Live, Top Chef and scripted drama Imposters and anthology Dirty John, the latter starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

Here’s a look at the 10 new series coming to Bravo (premiere dates have not been determined):

 

Read it all at HollywoodReporter.Com