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VIDCON 2012 – Part 1

4 Jul

So, myself along with “Legendary” director Barry Morgan, BTS and Youtube up and comer, Annie Bardosnski, and actor Brian Macewand, headed to Anaheim, California for Vidcon 2012 last week.  We were invited to screen the “Legendary” trailer and wanted to set up meetings with studios and distribution /production companies.  The trip…ended up ebing a massive success!

We arrived in Anaheim and stayed the first night at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel.  The festivities got started with Annie and Barry downing a fifth of Fireball and hittin’ up the pool where Annie tried to drunkenly beat up Barry!  Hilarious!

The following day we woke and hit up Downtown Disney.  We wanted to swim more and the Disney Hotel’s pool and water slides caught our attention.  A quick step towards the gate as someone left let us prop it open and get in where we enjoyed poolside service, several water slides, and the most amazing Tiki bar I have ever been too called “Trader Sams”.

Disney Hotel’s wonderful pool area that we snuck into!

That night, we met up with several of the “Legendary” cast at the VIDCON pre-party at the Anaheim K-1 Speedway!  We pulled in and new we were at the right spot when we saw tons of Youtube and new media fans holding signs up and sporting shirts that said things such as “Felicia Day…I love you!”.  We were joined by “Legendary’s” Executive Producer, Guido Orio, and one of ‘Legendary’s” actors, Drew Garrettson.  We made our way through the crowd and that’s about the time when a helicopter came in and landed.  Drew Baldwin of Tubefilter exited to announce that the “Streamy Awards” are returning.  What an entrance!

Fans in all their crazy glory!

…And more craziness.

The pre-party was fun and laid back and they served free margaritas!  “Legendary’s” Leah Cevoli was holdin’ down registration as she helped out one of the party’s sponsors, MOBLI Helenna Santos Levy met us outside and we headed in and mingled with all types of people.  I met a cool babe named Lindsay MC who told she’d been traveling around the country and posting her “episodes” on Mobli’s site!  Check them out!

http://www.mobli.com/lindsaymc

“Legendary’s” Direcor Barry Morgan and Actress Helenna Santos Levy.

When everyone got a bit burnt on the party, we bailed and found an AWESOME dive bar in Anaheim where we continued the night’s festivities with talk and pool!  I repped portland pretty hard by drinkin’ nothin but tall boys of PBR all night!

We miraculously found a dive bar in Anaheim and it was dope!

The one and only Helenna Santos Levy!

The next night brought us to the  “W Hotel” on Hollywood BLVD for a red carpet event called the “New Media Vault Summer Kick Off Party”.   Helenna Santos Levy, Barry Levy, Leah Cevoli, and Stephanie Thorpe met us there and we also invited some of our Portland transplants who are now living in LA!  “Forty Weight’s” Maren Mcquire and Joe Antone, Guido Orio and his wife, Eve, Mckenzie Coffee, and Drew Garrettson, all showed up.  Portland was rollin’ heavy up in that place!  We had several photo ops, met many industry peeps, and just had an all around grand time (even though a drink was $17)!  A big thanks to Damian Pelliccione of “Web Tv Workshop” and “new Media Vault” for setting the event up!

Orio, J.Lee, Brian, and Barry being themselves.

Helenna Santos Levy And Stephanie Thorpe!

Maddie D. and myself!

Portland in the house! J.Lee, Brian Macewand, Mckenzie Coffee, Barry Morgan, Guido Orio, Joe Antone, Maren Mcguire, and Drew Garrettson.

Leah Cevoli, Annie Bardonski, and Hels!

Friday saw Day #1 of VIDCON for us!  We arrived at the Anaheim Convention Center at about 11Am and collected our badges and goodies and met up with Hels, Orio, and Drew.  The first place we headed into was the expo hall.  It was packed with people, booths, and large showcase sponsors like Machinima and Maker Studios.  Machinima had an awesome main stage erected just to the left when you walked in!

“Whats Trending” W/ Shira Lazar live show on Machinima’s main stage!

Hels and I ran into one of new media’s greatest men and a wonderful friend of both of ours at the “Big Frame” lounge area, Mr. Paul Kontonis!

J.Lee and Paul Kontonis, who just launched Openslate!

Orio and I branched off to go check out a panel on building an audience and watch the “Legendary” Trailer’s first screening.  The panel was pretty awesome yet it was geared mainly for the younger Youtube crowd.  The ladies from the popular channel “The Hillywood show” talked mainly, sharing their experiences and thoughts on building and maintaining an audience.

“Building An Audience” Panel

Barry and I also got to snag a first look at the new animated series, “Scottish Ninjas”, which is friggin’ amazing!

The “Scottish Ninjas” Booth.

J.Lee with “Scottish Ninjas” co-creator, Rob Mullin.

Hels introduced us to several of Machinima’s “Bite Me” cast and crew (which happens to be my all time favorite web series so this was quite a big deal for me!).  Everyone hit it off and we pretty much hung out for the majority of Vidcon!

The “Bite Me” Direcotr, Jarrett Lee Conaway and the entire cast, along with Hels and me!

Orio, Dani Lennon (Bite Me), and Hels.

I also had the chance of chatting with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton towards the end of the day.  Afterwards, they played the game “Tabletop” at the Geek And Sundry booth to a mass of fans!  Cool peeps!

Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek”, “The Guild”, and “The Big Bang Theory” fame.

Felicia Day of “The Guild” getting ready to begin her panel.

Everyone was playing tabletop games at the “Geek And Sundry” booth.

The day ended with us checking out the Vidcon concert in the arena and then meeting up with Jarrett Lee Conaway (Bite Me’s Director), Al Thompson (Family guy, A Walk To Remember), Tim Street (New Media guru, Nickelodeon’s “All that”), and Heather Abbey (Alphabird) and slingin’ a few back in the Hilton Lobby’s bar then directing traffic to the Dennys down the street!  What a day!

The Arena was packed as several Youtube personalities took to the stage and got the crowd hyped. i have no idea who half the damn “Youtube clebs” are!

The Hilton Hotel Lobby Bar….glasses were dropped, people fell into the fountain, asses were grabbed, and Annie Bardonski accosted TONS of drunk men! Ha!

VIDCON PART 2 COMING SOON!

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My weekend with the Iron Throne at Miscon 26…Part 1.

30 May

The sun rose at about 5Am last Friday morning while I was sitting at my desk still working on the announcement trailer for “Legendary”.  Slept had not met me since the previous Monday and the amount of Redbull cans that surrounded me was that of epic stature!  Our photographer and principle “behind the scenes” shooter, Annie Bardonski, had just arrived and we began to instantly load up camera equipment, laptops, and notepads.  We left SW Washington and arrived at director Barry Morgan’s house where executive producer Guido Orio also joined us.  We loaded into Orio’s car and hit the road for Missoula, Montana.  Today was the day we would meet the creator of “Game Of Thrones”, Mr. George R. R. Martin, and promote “Embers Of War” and “Legendary” at Miscon 26!

Did Sean Bean ever make it this far? 😉

Friday’s drive out to Montana was interesting!  I was asked to be part of a panel on Friday night with Mr. Martin to talk about writing for the screen and my involvement within the new media space.  The panel was to start at 6PM and were were running LATE!

With Orio driving like Mad Max we passed through the Tri-cities in record time….and that’s when the red and blue came on behind us.  We pulled over to the side of the highway and another car pulled ahead of.  We thought “the cop pulled two cars over at the same time!”  The cop came to the passenger side and told us we were speeding.  Duh!  But he said he needed to check on the other car as well, so get the registration and license ready.  A few minutes passed and he came back.  “Today’s your lucky day.  The guy ahead of you is drunk.  Don’t speed and have a safe trip!”.  Talk about lucky!!!!

We arrived in Missoula at Miscon 26 (which was taking place at Ruby’s Hotel and Convention Center) at five minutes past 6PM!  I was late to a panel with George R. R. Martin!!!  I rushed through registration with the help of a very nice young female who comped Annie, Barry, and Orio, and then we were whisked away to the “Great Hall” where the panel was taking place.  I was welcomed quickly and everyone settled right back in.  There was a crowd of about 150 people in the room and Eldon Thompson (panel moderator) was asking George questions about “Game” and the amount of creative control he has on the show.  His responses were amazing and used such phrases as “HBO sends dump truck loads of money…and it’s nice!” along with “Hollywood is full of shitsniffers…And I have never wanted a brown nose!”.  Hilarity abound, Eldon turned and discussed my writing credentials in LA, my work on the sequel script for Goonies:  Part 2, and my ongoing involvement in the realm of new media.  When “Legendary” was brought up and discussed, George cut me off to say “You use real horses?!  They barely let us use them on the show!  We have to have men with coconuts standing by to mimic hoofing sounds!”.

Cthulu Bob (far left), George R. R. Martin, Eldon Thompson, and JLee

Part of the crowd during our panel “Writing for the silver screen”.

The panel ended and the four of us headed to our hotel room over at the Holiday Inn Express (thanks Tiffany Forni!) to drop off bags and unwind for a second before “Embers Of War” screened on a two hour panel and Q and A.  The turnout wasn’t massive but it was a very active Q and A!  Loads of questions about the VFX side of the series, where it’s filmed, what it’s shot on, and how the story came to fruition.  There were several film students in the room and it was awesome to be able to share some of the experiences and stories with them while we have been filming “Embers”.  It was a fun little panel and got us much closer to some of the fans who watch the show!

“Embers Of War” Screening and Q and A

After the screening, the room parties began!  Now, if you have never been to a fantasy, comic, or scifi convention, let me explain what room parties are.  Normally, several other convention organizers will show up and promote on of their upcoming cons.  At Miscon, several were there such as Radcon, Spocon, and Worldcon!  Each one was given a room to throw parties in on the second floor balcony overlooking the pool and the free booze flowed!

Part of the second floor balcony and all the wonderful drunks!

There were elves running around half naked, fairies doing shots, and weird people in random steam pun garb!  We made our way around and hit up every room, networking, making new friends, and just enjoying ourselves!

This lady was hysterical!

Not quite sure what she was…But Barry (to the right) didn’t really care!

Proof that goth apparently isn’t dead…as we’ve hoped!

This is also where I met the wonderful Sarah Kelley and discussed film and entertainment for a good hour before I started to spill my drink all over myself!  Sorry Sarah!

The wonderful Sarah (right) and the feisty Jenn (left).

Spocon’s room by far had the best and craziest concoctions and they would not let anyone know what they put in it!  Cool dudes though and they’re room party was hoppin’ on Friday night!

George loved to chat it up…and loved Annie!

Crazy broads were everywhere!

Annie B. (right) stares in confusion as Barry Morgan (center) and JLee (left) are on a quest for more booze!

Somehow…Orio looks like a dwarf in this picture! There could be a possible Hobbit audition in Orio’s future!

This is a FOX! I made the mistake of saying “nice werewolf costume”…and then got read the riot act!

There was a drag contest..and well…these dudes deserved to win!

Saturday came and Miscon’s chairman extended us an invite to screen “Legendary’s” trailer and a sneak peek clip on the IRON THRONE in front of a wonderful group of people!  Orio and Annie made up flyers that were passed around the convention and with the throne as our backdrop, we showed the trailer to an awesome crowd and talked the show up.  Questions were in detail and people were excited!  We even had a whole SCA group show up in garb to support the series!

Orio and Annie designed some nice flyers that went all around the convention Saturday to promote the “Legendary” panel that night!

After the panel and screening, we mingled with a few people to discuss Legendary more in depth.  Then we were allowed to hold a private video and photo shoot on the Iron Throne.  We recorded an intro for Indie Intertube’s live Sunday show and many other things such as “Thank You’s”.  This is about when I was sitting there, Annie was taking a pic, and a drunken man in a Kermit the Frog costume stumbled into the room.  My response was “I have to get a picture with you!”.  He took this as a “Please come jump in my lap on this throne!”.  The following picture and video should describe the incident.  I am just hoping that Annie Bardonski does not post any others!

WTF? Fantasy convention! Not the Muppet Show!

Saturday was also the day that I had been meandering outside on the balcony while a bunch of other panels were going on.  Mr. Martin appeared on the balcony ahead of me and met me halfway.  “Mr. Lee!”, he said.  “The new media dude!  Tell me a bit more about this stuff!”.  What I thought was going to be a 30 second convo turned into a full hour of conversation with George and ended up being the most inspirational conversation with a single human being I have ever had.  He talked to me about story and character, to never give up on a dream and to never give in to others who say something cannot be done.  When I asked him how he has dealt with criticism…he simply responded “There comes a time when those  that have sat back and been the critic will realize…they’ve never written a story…a screenplay…or made an idea come to life.  Let alone one with kings, beautiful women, sexual appeal, dragons, bad guys….and dwarves!”  This full conversation put a giant smile on my face and I thanked George for being such an inspiration.  He was an awesome guest of honor and an incredible man to get to know!  Thank you again George!

Creator of “Game Of Thrones”, George R. R. Martin and creator of “Legendary: A Tale Of Blood And Steel”, JLee.

We stayed for several more hours, enjoying room parties, meeting more people.  Hell…there was even a rave going on in one of the rooms with black lights and glow sticks!  It’s quite the experience to see someone dressed up as a Star War’s Rebel fighter grinding up against a chick dressed up as a Jawa!

Sarah and Jenn caught us on the way out to say “Bye”.

We soon packed the car up and headed back to Portland.  The idea was to get back in time for Wonder NW in Portland and jump on a panel towards the end of the day but, apparently, that panel was full.  Very much a bummer as we had lots to share from the weekend!

Later in the afternoon on Sunday, the world wide release of the trailer for “Legendary:  A Tale Of Blood And Steel”  aired on Indie Intertube’s live show!  We watched in amazement as over 3400 viewers tuned in to watch it live!  A giant thank you to Destini and Shad for being so supportive!

I will follow this blog up tomorrow with a Part 2!!!!

MISCON 26 FOR THE WIN!!!

Let the legend begin!!!!

23 May

Last Friday afternoon, a slow warm breeze blew across the grassy meadows of McKay Creek Stables as the production of “Legendary:  A Tale Of Blood And Steel” descended upon it’s grounds.  Canvas tents were erected, swords were unsheathed, and cast and crew dawned their battle faces.  For the weekend, this would serve as base camp!

Base camp at McKay Creek Stables!

When I dived into the new media field of entertainment, I never thought I would ever create something that would draw as much talent and crew as we had this past weekend.  With 28 extras and 12 principle cast members, the final two days of chapter one of  “Legendary” were about to begin.

The camera job was a highlight of the weekend, capturing some amazingly beautiful shots!

For Portland’s indie film scene, the weekend ended up being one of memory with a “who’s who” of talent..both on camera and off.  The crew consisted of over 30 individuals, full of veterans such as director Barry Morgan (creator and director of the web series “Arcana”), Guido Orio (Golden Summit Productions),  and Armeen Monahan (Arm Photo And Media) and also art institute students (that have more skill than most professionals I know!) like the amazingly talented Rowan Spiers-Floyd and the ever so creative eye of Adam Halverson.

Cinematographer Adam Halverson shoots the wonderfully talented Katie Michels.

In terms of talent, anyone who has seen a short or feature made by any Portland filmmaker has seen at least one of the faces on cast.  The awesome talents of Dennis Fitzpatrick, Michelle Damis, Aparna Brielle, Katie Michels, Todd Robinson, Rick Strange, and Brian MacEwan were all on location!  Add into the mix some featured extras (that deserve more screen time) like the vibrant Kevin Martin and Josh Mead and hey…we got a party!

Actor Aris Juson (left) and Brian MacEwan (right). Aris helped as a PA for the day and in this particular moment…was not very happy.

It was one for the record books!  Especially when so many un-egotistical people came to lend a hand.  Edd Blott, Aris Juson, Luis Garcia, and Wes Cornwall all came out to help and just be part of the amazing experience.  Krysta Kelley (the most amazing crafty you could ever ask for!) served food the entire weekend and made everyone’s appetites that much easier to get a long with!  Annie Bardonski (Annie Bardonski Photography) served as the principle “behind the scenes” filmer, capturing some amazing moments behind the cameras!

Actor Dennis Fitzpatrick and actress Michelle Damis.

The production was a serious dream come true and the uniting of several of Portland’s finest!  The weekend also gave way to a life changing experience for me as a creator.  Now, writing fantasy is no easy task.  It’s especially hard to find the right cast that can act out and speak a world that you have created.  On Sunday, I left location for about 30 minutes due to a scene that was acted out with such precision by Brian MacEwan and Joann Campbell that I felt disturbed I had even wrote it!

Actress Joan Campbell.

There were many stories that piled up over the three days.  How about my near death experience where I had a battle pike’s handle shatter just below it’s head and land inches away from my the side of my face as I lay on my back with a camera pointed up at  it?  The plan was to have the actor swing downward and smash the pike into the ground several feet to the right side of my head.  Someone had the brilliant idea of placing a log over me and having the actor use it as a blockade so he couldn’t swing past that point.  Stupid is all I can say.  I suppose I should take the blame and I should never have let the log be put over top of me.  Lesson learned!

Chris Landry (sound) mics up actor Rick Strange.

One thing that makes “Legendary” so awesome is it’s costuming!  The outfits that are portrayed though out chapter one are to die for!  From armor to leather to just plain cloth, it has it all!  A massive thank you to all that helped on that front!

Actor Brian MacEwan stands with one of the stunt team.

Another massive compliment I have to give is to Megan Gamez.  I am not quite sure how no one has taken notice of her talent as an art director and set designer because she straight killed it!  She’s better at making something out of nothing than anyone I know in Portland film!  Actors specifically said they got into character much better due to the sets she decked out.  Meg provided the ambiance and artistic flow needed to push “Legendary” one step beyond what was needed in the fantasy realm.  If you are a Portland creator, director, or producer and you don’t hire her for your next shoot…you’re straight stupid!

A simple corpse made to look as authentic as possible by the talented Megan Gamez!

The weekend wrapped late Sunday night around a campfire setting and the last scenes of “Legendary” were shot!  It was a total wrap on the production…for now.  30 pages in five days with a total production time of just under 100 hours.  It was one hell of an accomplishment for all involved!

I will be writing a second chapter to this when I have some more time..but right now I have a teaser to cut and must get ready to go show it to Mr. George R. R. Martin (creator of Game Of  Thrones)  this weekend in Montana where I will also be sitting on the IRON THRONE!  So stoked!   Take a second and check out some more photos from the past weekend below!  All photos are courtesy of Annie Bardonski.

“Legendary” for the win!

Actor Todd Robinson portraying evil in classic fashion!

J. Lee dressed for a quest!

Gorgeous costuming!

Actor Brian MacEwan and the fantastic Zoe! She was quite a delight this last weekend and Brian fell in love with her!

This past week and all its revealed!

18 May

Well…I have been hunkered down in the “Legendary” production office for over a week now getting ready for today!  Last weekend we shot three days.  One within Portland and one out on the Oregon coast and the footage could not have turned out better!  It’s amazing and the caliber of acting and character is top notch!

So here we are getting ready to leave today for Mckay Creek Stables out on highway 26.  Let me elaborate for a moment how everything has come together for this weekends shoot (which is massive by the way).  We had a semi skeleton crew for last weekend’s shoot and were a tad worried how this weekend would end up.  Within three days, those that hold no ties to the possessiveness of the infamous “Portland film cliques” came out of the wood work to help when they heard of our production value!  Tons of stand up people!  All of a sudden we had our hands on a massive jib with remote head,  four Canon Mark II 5 D cameras, a principle BTS filmer, 20ft of dolly track, shoulder rigs, glidecams, one of the most amazing creature FX specialists in the northwest, a full SCA troup of warriors, tons (literally tons) of armor and props, and some of the most talented crew that can be found north of LA!  All this on top of the already amazing locale that’s providing over 2o horses and livestock and 85 acres of forested area!

Now there have been a few people who have come and gone already on this project and it saddens me they could not have been a part of this.  I will be bold enough to say this is one production for the record books for Portland…Most def. on the new media front.  With 30 crew, 10 principle cast, and over 30 extras…it’s massive!  This past week has been full of blocking, rehearsals, and production meetings!  It has been an absolute highlight to see my story come to life!

However, in all my happiness, it still concerns me to see the state of our little film industry in Portland.  I was lucky enough to get to sit down and chat with several individuals about it this week.  It is blatant that when a project comes up that shows great potential in Portland, those “cliques” that we have mentioned before want to come out in droves to try and verbally bring down your project.  Or even those two faced beasts that we’ve touched on as well want a piece of the action.  I find it all rather humorous.  Is our space really that big where you don’t think things will be heard?  Where sound will not travel?  Or how about ego, once again?  What have you made recently?  Or acted in that has given you right to speak like Tom Cruise?  This is where I will give a massive shout out to some specific individuals.  These people in no way needed to help and are coming to lend a hand just out of sheer generosity and in my opinion are standouts in the Portland film community.  The creation of a film or short doesn’t tell anyone what kind of a person you are.  That acts that follow do.  Luis Garcia, Edd Blott, Aris Juson, Rowan Spiers, Sean Parker, Krysta Kelley, Claire Brooksbanks, Forge And Thistle, and Kevin Martin.  You all have a place in my heart for your generosity and giving spirits.  My sincere thanks and friendship!

I have to give my good friend and fellow actor a big shout out here.  Drew Garrettson was here from LA for about a week and a half and I wanted to get him in on this.  I revised a section of the script so he could get in.  I unknowingly wrote him a massive amount of dialogue and suddenly started worrying about him being able to memorize it in such a short time frame.  What I should have been thinking is how much of a professional he is because he was!  In the past four years that I have acted and worked with Drew, to me, this was the role that he rose with!  Drew nailed everything spot on and really shined in front of a lot of people!  His ability to adapt and contort his reactions, expressions, body, and abilities shows that he is a master of his craft!  Running lines with him brought me back to previous projects we’ve done and put a huge smile on my face!  Thanks, Drew!

“Legendary” has been a life changing experience for me.   As we get deeper into it,  I can only see big things happening for all involved!  With LA talent coming on in the near future (Courtney Zito and quite a few others), “Legendary” is going to be one hell of a wild ride full of busty babes, magic, creatures, and enough steel on steel that Stallone and Arnold will even be jealous!

FILM PRODUCTION FOR THE WIN!!!

The Beast with Two Heads (Or just two faces).

2 May

 

I always find it interesting when dealing with other people in the the same general industry.  By “interesting”, I mean what I like to call the “two headed beast”.  This is also commonly referred to as “two faced”.  You cannot be on a project without catching wind or being told of something that someone’s friend of a Brother’s Mother of your Cousin’s friend said about you.  When in all actuality it’s most likely one of your friends at your side or a colleague that said the damn thing.  This is the nature of human beings.  One of the toughest things in the world is to find someone who is genuine and doesn’t feel threatened by you or your accomplishments.

There comes a time in one’s project or projects where you may do something right and reach a goal or gain a tad bit of notoriety.  This is really when the “beasts” come out!  Over the past week, I personally, have been dealing with individuals within our own little film community of Portland, say things about myself and the projects which I have created.  These people range from close friends to colleagues to people I haven’t even met.  While some have offered up wonderful support, there are still those that feel it necessary to “put down” a project.  This would not be to big of an issue if these same people hadn’t already said, in some way shape or form, to me that they love what I, myself, am doing.  Henceforth, two faced.

The other issue at hand is when, once again, your own friends and colleagues don’t tell you or make you aware of things that are being said or done.  It’s always easy for someone to bitch…let alone when it isn’t directly to you.  They don’t have to deal with confrontation, blow back, etc.  The funny things is…could they ever do what you do?  Now…since we’re speaking of film at the moment, this is what I mention.  Could they be a show runner?  Can they produce?  Can they even write?  Most likely the answer is no.  So..before one opens their mouth…one should think how far their words will travel.  If you truly have issues with something, go to the person directly.  Don’t act as if you are back in junior high school.  I cannot stress this enough about Portland.  I will back up anything I say and will never be afraid to tell someone how I feel if asked.

Another massive issue that I have dealt with and hear about constantly is when people leave or step away from a project.  Now, some people don’t mesh and some see things different, creatively.  But, once again, two faces turn many a time.  Someone will step away from something only to talk insane amounts of “smack” about the project, people, or whatever.  Is this necessary?  Do you feel the need to discredit the others that are working on something that they may carry a ton of passion for?  This isn’t fucking Hollywood.  They’re aren’t five producers and four exec. producers all needing to compromise on input.  This is indie film.  And PORTLAND WILL NEVER BE HOLLYWOOD!  Stop acting like things need to be done so precise!  If you want to go film something, go film it.  If you want to offer your time and do something for someone for free, go do it!  Stop bitching people!  Just because Joe Schmoe got Jane Doe to use their RED for free doesn’t give you any right to sit in your clique at Starbucks and talk crap about that project.  If Wally Mcwallerson got a film location because they knew somebody…awesome!  You don’t need to jabber on about it.

Fact is…too many people here are ridiculously insecure with either their abilities or their projects.  And the size of egos within this town is stupidly…well…stupid!  If you have nothing to show for your work, then don’t go around saying you charge $400 for a day rate.  Don’t piss on emerging talent just because they haven’t been on “Grimm” or “Leverage”.  And we won;t even get started on the individuals who are charging money for “services” in this town!  I will plug Ryan Menard here and say that the free collective acting class you head is awesome, sir!  It’s how every other acting class should be done!  Free and with good company and those wanting to learn and have fun!

Once again, just writing this opens me up to the exact people I have talked about today.  So…I cannot wait to hear “what’s wrong with me”.  It’s cool though….because I have made some amazing new friends that fully support all of my endeavors.  From Portland to LA, some of these individuals will be life long friends.  Already, the kind words and genuine personalities of people like Barry Morgan, Helenna Santos Levy, Leah Cevoli, Drew Garrettson, Luis Garcia, Courtney Zito, Meg Gamez, Cindy Lemas, Katie Michels, Dennis Fitzpatrick, and Aris Juson have helped me get through this last week and I know will be rocks in the coming months ahead.  I thank you all for your kind words, respect, and friendship!

Genuine people for the win!

“Legendary” and it’s familiar faces…Part 1!

19 Apr

Creating one series has been hard enough (Embers Of War), but when I made the announcement about going into production on another series (Legendary:  A Tale Of Blood And Steel), I had no idea the kind of response that I would get from others.  I thought they’d think I was nuts!  And in fact, several people think I am.  “Embers Of War” is still in production and here I am starting ANOTHER show already!  Why do you ask?  Because I feel it’s the best way to properly monetize web series. Running two shows with built in audiences increases your chances of having two audiences play off one another.  It increases views.  A tactic that I think more creators need to look into.  As stressful and hectic as it may be, I am willing to take the gamble.  But one thing that has been amazing about getting into the “space”, has been the fortune of getting to know and beginning to work with other creators, actors, actresses, and producers.

“Legendary” in just over the past week has taken on a life of it’s own.  Two individuals who I will mention in this first post are Barry Morgan and Courtney Zito.  Barry Morgan is the creator of the series, Arcana, while Courtney Zito is the star, creator, writer, and producer of Hollywood Girl.  Both series shine in their respective genres.  Arcana brings a suspenseful take on horror showcasing so many strengths in tension building and character development that it is a show one cannot pass up!  Hollywood Girl is an amazing refreshing take on comedy and the daily life of most LA females trying to burst into the “scene”.  Courtney does a phenomenal job in her acting abilities to portray a character struggling with the small details of everyday life in a major city all while bringing the finer points of comedy to your monitor.

All of these are reasons why both have came on board “Legendary”.  Barry brings his amazing producing skills to the table while Courtney, wanting to play something outside of comedy, gets to do just that as recurring character “Lady Rhonwen”, a blade slinging feminist warrior.

I could not be more happier than to see two of web’s finest creators come aboard to help this project along.  This is where I see the face of new media going.  Creators helping creators…shows helping shows.  It seems to me that web series are working because everyone knows how much passion, money, labor, and love goes into everyone of our projects and we’re each willing to help one another.  For this..I am eternally thankful to Barry and Courtney and the several others that I will mention in the next post on this topic in part 2!

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