Tag Archives: leah cevoli

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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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!

Projects worth support…because I said so!

25 Apr

Weeding through all those video posts and blog posts and kickstarter/indiegogo campains on Facebook can be a trying task. Especially when trying to figure which ones to actually support, read, or become a fan of. Below are projects which I have become fond of, believe in, become friends with, and fully support. Unfortunately, there is little in the way of my own local colleagues due to the fact that we have to many big headed and egotistical entities in Portland film these days. Some may blame this on creative differences or differences in opinion where I blame it on entitlement. Don’t lay claim to a genre which you are new to. Stop hiding behind a charity hoping it will cover the terrible piece of work you have created. And lastly, be humble in your approach when talking to others in the same industry. Don’t mock those that paved the way for you to be able to create something in your respected form of media.

Examples that are paving the way and stand for wonderful things are right here below and I am very proud of all those involved and what they are creating and accomplishing!

First Glance Films’ “Jedi Camp”

Good friends, Leah Cevoli and Cricket Lee, have been helping with this and acting in it and what a wonderful project it is! Using the “Star Wars” fandom, “Jedi Camp” deals with kids going to a camp to learn the ways of the Jedi and sends out an anti-bullying message for all. I am really stoked to see this thing come to life! Props to Camden Toy, Leah, Cricket, Kristin Nedopak, and Mark Gantt fro getting behind this! Visit Jedicamp.com for more information!

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Shelf Life: The Series

I saw this little gem in LA this last February at a screening and met some of the cast. I have since became friends with Stephanie Thorpe and must say…this is one of my all time favorite shows on the web! The series follows a slew of action figures that are perched on a young boy’s shelf and come to life when no one is looking. It’s the adult version of Toy Story and it is hilarious! Mad props to Stephanie, Tara Platt, and Yuri Lowenthal! Give it a watch at shelflifeseries.com!

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A Tale Of Delight

Now…this is one of those local Portland projects which I DO support because it is genuine and is diving into very fragile subject matter. I respect Edd Blott so much for this! It also has some amazing local talent on board with not only acting, but producing as well! “A Tale of Delight” follows Michael, a young illustrator, who helplessly witnesses his wife’s tragic death. One year later, as his family celebrates the holiday season, Michael’s depression leads him towards suicide. Only his sister, Camille, recognizes his desperation and sees where his need for peace is leading him. Now, she must convince him that a joy exists, despite horror and grief, and that it is something worth fighting for. Check out more info at the placeholder page where they did an indiegogo campaign: delightmovie.com.

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