Typing Faster

April 14, 2011

It Takes A Lot of People to Make a Movie

Filed under: Uncategorized — petertypingfaster @ 4:09 pm

Don’t believe me? Just watch this behind the scenes look at filming The Hobbit!

April 6, 2011

The Times They Are A Changing…

Filed under: Future of TV, Mad Men, Netflix — petertypingfaster @ 5:13 pm

So here’s a story that blew my mind a little bit: Netflix just bought the rerun rights to Mad Men.

Netflix, in a sign of its growing importance in television, will become Don Draper’s second home.

The home entertainment company has bought the rerun rights to the TV series Mad Men, making its online streaming service the next place to watch episodes after the show’s initial airing on cable network AMC.

So what did they give up to secure these rights?

Netflix will pay Mad Men producer Lionsgate between $750,000 and $900,000 per episode (dollar figures U.S.), according to people familiar with the situation.

That’s a nice chunk of change.

This follows on the heels of Netflix’s decision to get into the original programming racket with David Fincher’s House of Cards.

If all these moves pan out, Netflix is going to be an even bigger mover and shaker than they already are. Exciting times indeed.

April 5, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles – Lessons from the Front

Filed under: Features — petertypingfaster @ 11:08 pm

Battle: Los Angeles (or World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles) wasn’t my first choice of movie to see, but when you decide to pop by a theater at 10:45pm on a weekday your selection is kind of limited.

I would have liked to see Source Code, but what ya gonna do.

Back to Battle: Los Angeles. It wasn’t a bad flick. About as stupid and cliched as one would expect, but somewhat entertaining. I remember being stoked by the trailer when I saw it…

…especially liked the choice of song juxtaposed with footage at the tail end of it (aside…anyone know what song that is?).

But I think the real reason I enjoyed the movie as much as I did was that I’d had the chance to read an earlier draft of the script a while back and found it interesting to see what kind of changes they’d made in the transition from page to screen.

I figured I’d come on here and share some observations about the changes, what worked, what didn’t and why I think the changes were made.

Obviously there will be SPOILERS ahead, so go ahead and stop reading if you’re the kind of person that cares about that sort of thing…

1. The Opening

Both the script and movie start in medias res, one of my favorite techniques. The aliens are here and things are going into the shitter in a very fast way.

Then we jump back in time.

In the script we only jump back a few hours earlier. The aliens are already crashing into the world’s oceans, but our marines have yet to be deployed. We don’t learn much about them as they’re literally briefed and thrown into the fray by page seven (7!). It’s fast, it’s ballsy, but it kind of works.

Of course the downside to this approach is we literally know nothing about our characters. We don’t know anything about their backstory, anything about their personal lives, hell, we wouldn’t even know their names if there weren’t name tags on their uniforms.

Which brings me to the first big change the movie made.

The movie starts the same way, with our marines already fighting the aliens, but then we jump further back in time. We see our hero, Staff Sergeant Nantz (played by Aaron Eckhart) as he has his discharge paperwork signed. He’s getting out of the military. We see another guy planning his wedding. We spend time with yet another as he says goodbye to his very pregnant wife.

It’s all very touching, and it definitely gives us a better handle on the characters (if only as “That’s the guy with the pregnant wife,” “That’s the guy with the fiancee,” etc), but there’s a one big problem that’s ignored.

Once the shit hits the fan we NEVER hear about their families again.

Not once are they mentioned (other than a cliched dying “give this letter to my wife” scene that could have just as easily played without the revised opening…the scene was so generic that I’m not even sure if it was in the script) throughout the rest of the movie. None of the marines were worried about their significant others. None of them wanted to go off mission to rescue a loved one.

It just felt odd, like the two elements existed in separate universes. Which brings us to our first lesson:

If you’re going to make revisions in a script, make sure you track them.

There was no payoff to the opening character introductions. What’s the point of introducing someone as “The guy with the fiancee” if he’s never going to think about that fiancee ever again?

It’s especially odd when you realize that the marines’ entire mission is to evacuate civilians, yet none of them ever mention / think about their civilian families again despite the fact we know they exist? Struck me as very odd…

2. The Aliens

While I can understand why a misguided soul would make the first big change, this next one left me completely stumped.

In the script the aliens are scary for a number of reasons:

  • It was a surprise attack, so they caught us with our pants down.
  • They have some mean, never before seen technology.
  • They’re hitting us where it hurts: in our own backyard.
  • There are a hell of a lot of them.

The one thing they’re not in the script is invincible.

They are for the first half of the movie.

Literally, for the entire first half of the movie our heroes can’t kill the aliens. They shoot them, and shoot them, and shoot them, but the aliens just shrug it off. It gets to the point where it was distracting.

I was actually wondering how the hell they were going to solve the problem, when they did something the stupidest, most cliched way they could.

They had a “We need to know how to kill it” scene.

Literally, they find an injured alien (wait, but I thought they were invincible…ah well, don’t think too hard about it) and proceed to vivisect it, stabbing it here, stabbing it there, trying to figure out where its weak spot is (right where the heart would be…really guys?! Really?).

It’s an utterly ridiculous, and frankly useless sequence, no doubt put in by an executive / director with the justification of “we need our monsters to be more frightening.”

So what’s the lesson?

Don’t heap complication on top of complication. At a point it just gets silly.

This is a movie about being invaded by an overwhelming force. That’s scary enough. You don’t need to make them invulnerable on top of that. There’s already a bajillion of them.

3) Replacing the Autistic Kid with Michelle Rodriguez

Wait, the what you say?

Here’s the thing. The climax of the movie revolves around the marines taking out an alien command and control center, the thing that controls all the aliens air power. Take it out and the US Air Force would once again control the skies, and they might just have a chance to turn the tide of battle.

In the script the marines do this once they realize that one of the kids they’ve rescued, who’s mildly autistic, can telepathically hear the aliens communications, a power which allows him to home in on where the command and control center.

Yeah, it didn’t make a lot of sense on the page either.

The problem with this turn in the script was that it always seemed a little too far fetched. What was a fairly straight forward (for an alien invasion story at least) battle against long odds all of a sudden took a sharp right turn into whacky sci-fi territory. It never really worked that well on the page.

The movie made what, in my opinion, was a fairly smart change.

Instead of relying on the mystical powers of an autistic child, our heroes now run into another unit, one of whom happens to be an Air Force technician played by Michelle Rodriguez. Turns out her mission was to track the command and control center, find it, and then call in an air strike to take it out.

And that’s eventually just what they do.

The ultimate solution is still pseudo science, something about how the command and control center distorts power around it (they find it when they fly over a patch of the city that’s blacked out), but still much more plausible than relying on a kids ESP.

So what’s the lesson?

Keep it realistic.

And I don’t mean realistic, realistic. I don’t think we’re about to be invaded by aliens. But an alien invasion is realistic given the premise of the movie, whereas ESP is not. It’s just one step too far.

4) You Don’t Need Justification

This one drives me up the wall.

You don’t need to justify an alien invasion.

Why are they invading us? Who cares! They’re invading us! This isn’t a movie about the politics of the invasion. We’re not sitting down to negotiate with them. We can’t even talk to them! The why doesn’t matter, all that matters is the “how the fuck are we going to get out of this mess now that they’re here.”

This is especially true when you use the justification as a heavy handed allegory for modern environmental / geopolitical issues. “Whenever you invade a place for its resources you wipe out the indigenous population.” Bullshit I say.

The script didn’t have any of this, or at least none that I can remember, and I think it was better for it.

Lesson?

Lose unnecessary elements.

You don’t need to explain why the aliens are here, the story is just about the fact that they are. Battle: Los Angeles works best when it’s about a bunch of individual marines thrown into an untenable situation. That’s what the movie’s about. Focus on that, and you don’t have to worry about the rest of it.

Oh, and no movie should ever, ever use a first person “gun sight” look. I don’t care if you directors think it looks cool, all it does is make me think I’m playing a shitty First Person Shooter.

I rest my case.

February 11, 2011

Web Series Week: Interview With Pretty In Geek Director Vivian Lin

Filed under: Web Series — petertypingfaster @ 7:04 pm

So, last but not least, here’s an interview with the director for Pretty in Geek, Vivian Lin!

Typing Faster: Tell us a little about yourself (bio, schooling, past projects, yadda yadda, you know the drill)

Vivian Lin: I am the director of PRETTY IN GEEK. I apparently take a long time to respond to interviews. I spend my non-Geek days as an Associate Producer at Sarrazin Couture Entertainment (STAY WITH ME). I previously directed a few shorts, one called FOUR WALLS, a short film starring Nina Dobrev (VAMPIRE DIARIES) and Brendan Jeffers (CLIVE HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM).

TF: Why new media?

VL: To be honest, my relationship with old media had been stilted for some time. We had been together for awhile and I think we needed some time away from each other. I never really went out of my way to get involved with new media, but new media was just so eager that it just happened.

TF: What attracted you to webseries?

VL: It’s about geeky gamer girls. Who doesn’t want to be in on that?

TF: How did you get hired?

VL: I was very peripherally involved in Geek (as in Pretty in Geek) in its early stages. Elize (the creator-showrunner) had been gathering a writing room for it and I asked to tag along. Being in from the ground floor allowed me to listen to the many conversations about what the show was about. I think this was one of the reasons why I ended up getting hired as a director, because Elize and the producers felt comfortable that I “got” the show. Or maybe I was hired because I was the first one to raise my hand when Elize asked “who wants to direct this?”

TF: Tell us a bit about your approach to directing PiG. Are there differences between this and short films / films / whatever? If so what are they?

VL: I think every web series has to have a different approach depending on the target market. The lovely thing about webseries is that it can be, and often is most successful when it is niche. We decided early on that Geek had to please its core gamer audience, with that in mind we cast actors who were gamers, we made sure that the gaming was accurate, and kept in the in-jokes. Of course, you don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy the series. We cast good-looking actors. Check ‘em out.

TF: Any lessons / suggestions for an aspiring web director.

VL: 1) Poach my crew. Sarah Mulholland, DOP. Lee-ann Cass, Editor. Courtney Wolfson, Producer. Amanda Vanhell, PM. Elize Morgan, Showrunner. Angela Morgan and Natalia Lopez-Woodside, Wardrobe. Jordana Savard and Meghan Pilato, Makeup. They are the most professional, enthusiastic, artistic, supportive crew that you will find.

2) Poach my cast. Meaghan Waterman, Todd Cleland, Jennifer Krukowski, Stefne Mercedes, Elize Morgan. They’re pleasant, they smell nice, they’re committed and they’re funny as hell.

3) Be appreciative. Because at the end of production you’ll realize you’ve become an over-caffeinated tyrant who has beaten the cast and crew to submit to your vision…uh, thank guys. =)

February 7, 2011

The First Gig: 18 to Life’s Andrew De Angelis

Filed under: The First Gig — petertypingfaster @ 9:00 am

Full disclosure. I’ve known Andrew for a couple of years now. I was lucky enough to go through the Canadian Film Centre’s Prime Time Television Program with him. Let me tell you, I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. Andrew De Angelis is, quite simply, one of the funniest comedy writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Dude’s hilarious.

Here’s Andrew talking about his first (paid) gig.

Typing Faster: Give us the intro – you know the drill!
Andrew De Angelis: Graduate of the CFC Prime Time Television program (2008-2009). An avid hunter and outdoorsman, I’m just waiting for the day when killing people is legal, or at least decriminalized.

TF: What was your first paid writing gig
ADA: I did a stint as a story co-ordinator on 18 To Life with a half-script.

TF: How did it come about? How were you hired?
ADA: I had a massive horseshoe up my ass. Seriously. The stars aligned for me in so many ways, it’s almost laughable. When I started in the CFC, Virginia Rankin was supposed to be the one helping us with our original series ideas. At the last minute, Virginia had to pull out of the program and was replaced by Karen Troubetzkoy. Luckily for me, Karen liked me and thought I was funny. Even luckier, she just so happened to have a show that was potentially going to be green-lit by the CBC. She told me that if it did get the go ahead, she would hire me as story co-ordinator. Well, her show got the green light, and true to her word, she hired me. The show was 18 to Life, and the rest is inconsequential irrelevant history.

TF: What are the big lessons you learned from it?
ADA: Writing TV was a dream job for me. A fantasy, if you will. When I found out I was accepted into the CFC, I triumphantly quit my government job and literally sauntered out the front door. I thought that life would be a breeze from that moment on. Going to work would be ‘fun’. While I do enjoy this job and genuinely don’t think I am meant to do anything else, what I learned from my first gig is that it just that – a job. Writing is easy from the comfort of your room when you have no deadlines and no notes. When you have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to propel you forward. It’s a whole other ball game when you have to be funny on command, get notes, write to a deadline and write fast. It’s work, hard work. Yes, there are genuine moments of fun where I can’t believe that I get paid to do this. But those moments are few and far between (perhaps that’s what makes them so special when they do happen). This is work – people are paying you good money to produce, not just dick around.

TF: What are the big lessons you’d pass on to newbies?
ADA: Talent is great, and you need some, for sure, but you also need to work your ass off. Everyone thinks that just because you’re writing TV you’re entitled to fuck the dog, phone it in, or even just be entitled. Working on a show is no different than working for a Heating and Air Conditioning company. You are there to execute someone else’s vision, not yours. Of course, if it was your show/company, you would do it different – but it’s not. No matter how stupid you might think something is, you have to do it because that’s the job. Sure, you must absolutely voice your opinion (that’s another reason you’re there), but after that, do what you’re told. Passion is wonderful unless it’s unbridled – then it’s just annoying. When it’s your show, you can call the shots and know that the people you’ve hired to help execute your vision will ultimately work with you, not against you.

TF: What were you able to parlay that first job into?

ADA: After my first season on 18 to Life, I got hired back for season two as a story editor with a script and a half.

TF: Any other advice/words of wisdom?

ADA: Although people admire talent, they truly value and appreciate work ethic. And don’t be assholes.

February 4, 2011

Joss Whedon’s Top Ten Screenwriting Tips

Filed under: Craft, Features, Joss Whedon, Stuff I Like — petertypingfaster @ 12:12 pm

Amazing post over on Danny Stack’s place listing Joss Whedon’s top ten writing tips. Worth a read for any writer, whether or not you’re a fan of Whedon’s work (and let’s face it, if you’re a screenwriter you probably are).

Of particular note for me were:

1. FINISH IT
Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.

If you can’t finish it, then what’s the point? This is so often the case with new writers I meet. I ask them what they’ve written and they tell me about all these great ideas they have. I ask to read something, and they say they’re still trying to finish all those great ideas.

If you want to write, you need to finish stuff. End of story.

2. STRUCTURE
Structure means knowing where you’re going; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes? The thrills? The romance? Who knows what, and when? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around: the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.

I’m a structure nazi. Nine times out of ten, when I read a script that’s struggling it’s due to structural problems. It might not have a clear through line, it might be trying to juggle too many timelines, either way I’m pretty sure the writer didn’t bother to outline first.

Outline your scripts folks. It makes writing so, so, so much easier.

5. CUT WHAT YOU LOVE
Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.

Oh yeah. If it’s good enough for Mark Twain, it’s good enough for you.

The rest of Joss’ advice is equally good. You should head over to Danny’s place and check it out.

February 3, 2011

So You Want To Write An Action Movie?

Filed under: Features — petertypingfaster @ 9:58 am

Then you need to head over and read this article on Scriptshadow , which breaks down one of the greatest action movies of all time: Die Hard.

The article’s chock full of good action writing advice. A few specific points I’d like to pull out:

ONE-LINERS
Ahhh, the snappy action one-liner. An 80s film staple. But no film has ever approached Die Hard in this category. In fact, 95% of one-liners you hear in action movies these days are groan-worthy. So how does Die Hard still hold up? Simple. McClane’s one-liners stem from his situation, NOT from a writer wanting to add a funny line. When you watch Die Hard and hear McClane say, “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker,” you genuinely get the sense that he’s trying to add levity to the situation. He’s using humor to deflect the seriousness of his predicament. In other words, he’s not a mouthpiece for a clever line thought up by a writer, which is what every single one of these one-liners has been since Die Hard came out (please see The Expendables for numerous examples).

ONE OF THE BEST SCENES YOU CAN WRITE
One might argue that the most memorable scene in Die Hard is when Hans pretends to be a hostage. Part of the reason we love this scene so much is because it’s such a clever move by our villain. But this is actually a setup for a scene that works almost every time you use it in a screenplay: We the audience know something that our main character doesn’t – that he’s in danger – and there’s nothing we can do to help him. The tension this creates in a scene – the helplessness we feel – works on an audience almost every time, so if you have the opportunity to use it, do so. Just make sure we like your hero. Obviously, if we don’t, we won’t be too worried when he’s seconds away from getting a bullet in the chest.

THINGS GET WORSE FOR OUR HERO AS THE SCRIPT GOES ON
In every action script, you want it to get tougher on your hero the closer he gets to the finish line. McClane’s feet are heavily cut, making it difficult for him to walk. Hans figures out that Lucy is John’s wife and takes her hostage, making it more difficult to save her. In the final confrontation, McClane’s only got two bullets left, making his escape unlikely. Keep stacking the odds against your hero as he gets closer to achieving his goal.

There’s plenty more great advice in the rest of the article that’s well worth checking out if you have an interest in writing action.

Coming up tomorrow is my interview with Vivian Lin, director of Pretty in Geek.

February 2, 2011

Web Series Week: Interview with Pretty in Geek Producer Courtney Wolfson

Filed under: Web Series — petertypingfaster @ 7:34 am

Whoo boy. You guys have struck the motherload this time. Courtney Wolfson is the producer of Pretty in Geek and Tights and Fights: Ashes!. She’s got a lot of interesting things to say about all the stuff that’s going on behind the scenes of these web series. Anyone who’s interested in getting into web series would do well to sit down and pay attention.

Typing Faster: Introductions – Tell us a little about yourself (bio, schooling, past projects, yadda yadda, you know the drill)

Courtney Wolfson: I’ve been digging into the media production industry more or less my whole life. Academically, I applied twice but didnt get into film school, so I opted for a double-major in Communications and Psychology at York University. Professionally, I started young at age 16 as an unpaid summer intern. My first gig was an in-house PA at a music video production company. Over the last 10 years (or so) I’ve worked my way up from summer jobs to coordinating and PM’ing (yay for escaping the reception desk!) animated series. Some notable shows I’ve worked on are Chilly Beach and Yam Roll for March Entertainment; Gerald McBoing Boing and Busytown Mysteries for Cookie Jar; Rick and Steve for Cuppa Coffee, and Skatoony and Dating Guy for Marblemedia.

Last year I started to explore independent new media production, and wound up landing with GopherX.net. Right now I’m working with online entertainment geniuses Christopher Guest and Scott Albert of GopherX.net, Producing the web series Tights and Fights. I’m also, of course, producing the web series Pretty In Geek with creator Elize Morgan, and GopherX.net.

All told its been an amazing ride, and I can’t wait to see what the next few years in the new media industry hold.

TF: Tell us a bit about your current projects.

CW: Tights and Fights is a superhero transmedia comedy series. It’s an epic story, with 180 episodes being released over a year. We’ll still be releasing episodes, long after the superhero craze is over.. probably. http://www.tightsandfights.com It is a massive show, created on a 10th of a standard TV production budget. We were very proud to be recipients of the IPF web drama series pilot program last year, their support has been instrumental for us.

Pretty In Geek is a creative, dramatic comedy about gamer girls playing a fantasy table top role playing game. The 8 x 5-minute episodes ooze Geek Chic, FTW. It’s definitely a passion project. It’s a labour of love, and an incredible opportunity to showcase the talents of, and work as a career booster for, the cast and crew.

It’s also been an incredibly challenging project. Its offered me a real crash course in indie producing, I’m really, really proud of what we’ve created here.

TF: Why new media? What attracted you to webseries?

CW: It was something new and different, really. I was ready for this change in my career. I wanted to do something challenging, and to really establish myself as a Producer. This opportunity came along for me, so I grabbed it.

It’s easy to see that new media and online video consumption is growing. The industry continues to trend in that direction, and the demand for online content is becoming huge. This was an opportunity for me to get in on (or near) the ground floor as it were. I’m excited to see what will happen next, and where the industry ultimately goes.

TF: What are some key differences between producing a webseries and more traditional forms of producing work (short films, features, etc) – (could be as simple as how do you produce so much content on a shoestring budget)

CW: The biggest different is the simple fact that there’s less money. Budgets are smaller. Less funding’s available. You have to do more with less.

Cost per Minute is a key term in the industry, a general rule of thumb, budgeting term. Webseries tend to be shorter than broadcast series, which means fewer minutes, which (theoretically) means they thus cost less. At least that’s what the funding agencies and broadcasters believe, and thats why interactive content is typically underfunded compared to TV production bugets.

Unfortunately web series are still competing with TV. Regardless of how you’re funded (if at all), you’re still trying to make content that’s of a high enough production value it can directly compete with its better funded brethren (TV and Film), and you’re doing it on a shoestring. You have to make it look as good, and be just as engaging, as any of the most popular TV series.

People have been watching TV for a very long time now. Compared to that, web series are in their infancy. Convincing people to watch something online, as opposed to something on their television set, is difficult. People just flat out LOVE TV. Convincing people to give web series a go is the hardest part. The fact that we’re creating web content that’s as ambitious as a TV show, but doing it with way fewer resources, is just icing on the cake.

Alot of the time it feels like we are just making it all up as we go along. There are no rules to break yet, in new media creation. We’re among those emerging in recent years, pioneering it somewhat.

TF: Where have you secured web series funding (IPF? etc)?

CW: We’re one of 11 lucky recipients of last year’s IPF – Independent Production Fund’s Web Drama Series Pilot Program. It was a first for GopherX, and for myself, and we’re very proud, and are using this opportunity to launch our independent producing careers.

The IPF is a branch of the Bell New Media Fund, and they’ve decided to renew the webseries funding program again this year. Deadline for the first round of funding applications is March 1, 2011.

TF: Any lessons / suggestions for an aspiring web producer?

CW: Stay current on industry and technology trends, (read playback and nextmedia articles), and definitely have an open mind as to what people will like, and what you can potentially create.

TF: Walk us through a typical production cycle.

CW: The actual process doesnt differ much from Web to TV, or any other format, as far as I can tell. There’s a lot of overlap in phases, but that’s normal for any kind of series. Or maybe …this is because as the defacto PM, and with my background in TV, I’m manging our webseries, like a TV series.. hmm.

Development – creation of scripts, revise repeatedly, cast the characters, prepare budget, seek funding and support of all kinds.
Preproduction – moving on with the planning, spending money. finding location, rehearsing with cast, crewing up, creating the set, props, wardrobe, and getting all your ducks in line, everything from getting the right kind of gels for the lights, to making sure there are enough forks for lunch..
Production – where everything comes alive. the meat of it, the only part where we all do things without being attached to a computer for a few hours. To see what you’ve been planning for months finally come to life, is distinctly rewarding.
Post Production – where it all comes together. where you finally start to see the project take on a shape of its own, coming into its form as a final product. this part is 100% inside the computer. at all times. in a dark room with deep focus for endless hours.
Distribution – If you get so lucky! Have other people Also like your series AND want to give you money for it! (good luck, fingers crossed). Otherwise, YouTube it is – and find success in numbers and popularity anyway!
Interaction – connect with your audience, SomeHow. Engage your audience socially, through facebook, or twitter, or live events, or prize giveaways, fundraisers, parties, conventions, shows, merchandise selling, promotions, etc, engaging your community just got more exciting, acceptable and even mandatory these days.

TF: What do you need to produce a webseries? How many crew do you have? Hosting? Equipment? What are your shooting days like? What’s the schedule? How quickly do you shoot?

CW: Well, on Tights and Fights, the format of the show allowed us to shoot with very reasonable resources. We have shot 10 days so far, over 5 months, and have an average of about 10-hour days, 13 person crew, 2 minivans of gear/set dec/costumes/production, and shoot in 6 private locations mostly in downtown Toronto. We pump out up to 15 episodes in a day, in a couple hundred clips on 32 GB of HD footage.

Hosting, we let YouTube do that for us, and then pull the videos into our custom websites for additional online presence.

On Geek, the format is more like a traditional TV sitcom with 1 location, 2 sets, with very understanding and generous hosts. We have 5 cast in every episode so the headcount with crew nearly doubles to 23. So far the 8 episodes will be finished in the 7 shoot days planned, over 4 weekends, with about 30 shots per day, 12-hour days, about 40 GB of HD footage per day, hundreds of clips, 1 TB hardrive, 8 wardrobe changes per character, 5 lasagnas, 67 dice, and 3 bags of marshmallows.

TF: Anything else you’d like to say / share?

CW: Dive right in, if it’s something you want. Be a part of this online shift, and create opportunities for yourself. You kinda have to these days anyway, if not to make a living, then to make something truly creative. Also, handy to have an alternative source of income. :)

Oh yeah, I made up the number of dice, I really have no idea how many it takes, but we have lots!

February 1, 2011

Black Actors from The Wire: Where are they now?

Filed under: The Wire — petertypingfaster @ 12:23 pm

Interesting breakdown of how everyone’s career has evolved in the three years since The Wire finished its run.

January 31, 2011

Web Series Week: Delayed slightly, but still forthcoming!

Filed under: Web Series — petertypingfaster @ 8:33 am

Ah, the vagaries of production. I know I promised you interviews with the rest of the Pretty in Geek crew last week, and obviously they’re not up yet. Blame the delay on the vagaries of production. The schedule had to be rearranged, a couple of episodes were pushed, a couple moved up, all of which means that the prep work had to be redone on the fly. I’ve been assured that the interviews are still coming, they just might be a little late.

Look for them a little later this week.

But that’s okay, because we have other things in store for you! I’ve got a few writer’s lined up to talk about their first (paid) jobs. I’m going to try to get some people to talk about their networking strategies. I’m working on getting some producers I know to talk about negotiating your first option agreement, and all the dirty little tricks you need to be aware of.

If there’s anything specific you fine reader type folks would like to see addressed, just leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to find someone able to speak to your question.

Should be exciting!

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