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How Iron Core Media Is Rocking Out With Web Series

June 21st, 2013

Iron Core Media

I recently had the opportunity to interview Nathan Quinn, who’s the talented writer, director, and executive producer behind the many web series discussed below. You can watch episode 0 of NECROLAND  below, and read what Nathan had to say in our interesting Q and A.

1. What’s the story behind you wanting to develop “NECROLAND” into a web series?

A: We actually have multiple web series all at different stages of completion. The “Flagship” series right now is NECROLAND as it has attained National Distribution in all the major store chains across the U.S. come 2014. It is 28 Days Later meets Red Dawn meets LOST. Here it is on Blip and on Facebook.

Necroland is about a sudden shift in 80% of the worldwide population going berserk, and the weather going wild around the Earth. The survivors, try to do just that, survive, as they unravel the mystery behind it all. NECROLAND was originally started as a “throw away” web series to practice for a full length feature film that never happened called PULP ZOMBIE.

B: One of our other popular series is CAUGHT. A dramedy action series in the vein of NCIS meets Leverage meets Lethal Weapon meets Sneakers. It’s about a group of rag tag mercenaries hired by 12 widows to investigate their wealthy and patriotic husbands murder/plane shot down. Here it is on Blip, and on Facebook.

C: RASHA is our Science Fantasy series in the vein of Lord of the Rings, DUNE, Willow, Dragonheart and just traditional D&D Final Fantasy game structure. RASHA is the rebel daughter of Lord Veerose. He has become ill along with many of the people of the land as the planets energy, or Quase, is being tainted by the Evil Casters of magic the Kaska Vale. When Rasha begins showing signs of the ailment she actively heads out into the land to stop them.

We also have several comedies such as our Star Wars satire/parody AMIL THE EWOK about a 6′4″ ewok with a glandular disorder and a drinking problem. It’s basically Benny Hill in an Ewok costume basically. Here it is on Blip, and on Facebook.

And AVIS OSWALD: PRIVATE EYE. Old black and white noire Humphrey Bogart detective meets Naked Gun/Monty Python kind of ridiculous.

THOSE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR DIFFERENT SERIES. Apologies for using the word “meets” a thousand times.

2. Who is involved with the project?

Most of the people involved are Michigan natives, specifically Metro Detroit and Detroit city/suburb residents. Although, thanks to the internet, we have people in Scotland, Cancun, L.A., Seattle, and more contributing CGI, score and soundtrack, props, stock footage, scene footage, website design, etc.

3. What are your core goals for these series?

The core goals for the multiple series is to get them picked up by a network, “to go viral,” and/or continue to produce said multiple series and make the quality better and better. Leaving the less favorable elements of Guerrilla Film making behind. Investors/Contributors are key.

4. What have been your biggest project challenges and struggles to date?

PEOPLE: Lots of people don’t realize the magnitude of producing projects in this industry and they end up flaking out or worse. SCHEDULING: When you can’t dole out paychecks, as of yet, it’s hard to work with large ensemble casts and their varying schedules. MONEY: The most obvious hurdle but true. You have to get REALLY creative when you work on low budget guerrilla productions.

5. How do you manage the project work flow?

Prayer and Vodka.

6. Since releasing the series, what has been the biggest surprise?

For Necroland it has been the distribution deal.

For CAUGHT it was Nikita Brezinkov from the old WWF coming out for 13 days for very little compensation to star in several of the webisodes for that series. He played our Russian girl’s uncle.

For RASHA it’s been the amazing movie quality CGI we’ve been receiving from the Scottish folk and beyond.

7. Do you have any tips for creating a web series?

Think in increments like commercial break to commercial break for actual on going series. In other words, Necroland usually ends on a mini cliffhanger every 7 to 8 minutes which is perfect length for a webisode in a story like ours.

But, also think bigger as 15 to 20 webisodes can accumulate into a TV pilot or a feature length film over time. 45 minutes to 90 minutes. So you then have something to pitch in all three markets. Internet and festivals, TV, and then of course film.

8. Where can we watch your web series, and what can we expect from your series in the future?

Our company website is IronCoreMedia and here we are on Facebook.

On our company page you can surf all of our different series which are all at different stages of completion. Some have ONE webisode or a trailer to offer, while others are 8 to 10 webisodes deep.

As for the future, we want to tell bigger and better stories with larger budgets, but without compromising integrity and creativity. And that is a slippery slope quite often.

We thank Nathan for his interesting answers for web series creators to learn from! And wish him and his team all the best with their multiple web series going forward.

Enjoy this insightful interview?! Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, animators and producers with our members on Spidvid.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

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An Inside Look Into The Art Of Awkward Conversation

March 8th, 2013

Art of Awkward Conversation

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tom Melia, who’s the writer, director, and editor behind the web series “The Art Of Awkward Conversation” which is a mini-mini series celebrating the bizarre, insipid, or just plain painful chats in which we have all found ourselves as unwitting participants. You can watch episode 1 below, then read what Tom had to say about his team’s project in our interesting Q and A.

1. What’s the story behind you wanting to develop “The Art Of Awkward Conversation” into a web series?

Originally I wanted to make a series of sketches, each one with a different cast and location. My strongest suit writing-wise has always been dialogue, so I thought it was an interesting (or lazy) way for me to write conversations without having the added complication of story lines and characters arcs and all that pesky stuff. But after filming the first episode, I fell in love with the Paul & Claire characters and specifically what the actors did with them. So I scrapped the idea of making each episode as random sketches and made it more of a scattershot look at the lives of these two people. There still isn’t much in the way of story, but hopefully the situations become funnier the more you get to know the characters.

2. Who is involved with the series?

I write, direct and edit the series but the process is definitely collaborative. I run ideas past the two leads Jack and Charlotte and have used the same DOP and cameraman on all of them. Me taking on the majority of the work is more about ease then ego, everyone is giving up their precious time for free, so I try and take up as little of it as possible. I’m actually looking for a Producer to take some of the work off my hands and help me to grow the project (don’t all offer at once!).

3. What are your core goals for the series?

I started with the simple goal of doing something creative, meeting some like minded people and having a platform for my scripts. Now it’s grown into something more. I thought we might get a couple of hundred views for each one, as we don’t have sponsors or a marketing budget. But we’re up to about 40,000 views now, but suddenly that’s not good enough either, you always want more. My core goal is just to get more people to watch it. My pie in the sky goal is to get a production company or broadcaster interested in developing it.

4. What have been your biggest project challenges and struggles to date?

Budget and time, which I think is the same whether you’re making a web series or a Hollywood blockbuster, we never have enough money to get the locations we want, or pay people to give up their time on days when we need them. Before now I’ve had to write episodes, cast extra parts and find locations with only a couple of days to spare, because everyone’s suddenly free on a particular date.

5. How do you manage each episode’s project work flow?

This question already suggests a much more organized process then the one in place. I don’t manage it particularly well, which is why there isn’t more episodes. I have a day job, so I do what I can, sometimes I can edit in one (long) day, sometimes I have to do it in ten minute bursts here and there spread across weeks. Each episode is different. The latest episode for instance, The Dance Class, had 5 large parts that needed to be cast other than the Paul and Claire characters, that was a monster undertaking compared to say The Pub, where there was just one other person to find (and I wrote the part for him anyway!). I manage it as best I can – to do lists, bursts of productivity and an undercurrent of mild to middling panic.

6. Since releasing the series, what has been the biggest surprise?

People’s reactions, I’m not sure we’re an appointment to watch for anyone yet, but if you read the comments on YouTube, the people that find it seem to really like it. It’s very strange to hear lines you’ve written quoted back to you in comments. We had a letter from a writing teacher in Adelaide saying that he devoted a lesson to the series which was a lovely compliment. Other then that, I’ll never cease to be amazed by actors and crew who are willing to work for free if they like the material.

7. Where do you see the web series industry in 5 years from now?

I honestly think the web is the future of TV. I don’t know anyone who is watching in the same way we all did 5 years ago – where you make your cup of tea and sit down at 10pm on the dot and watch your favourite show adverts and all. Now it’s all catch up on demand, iPlayer, streaming or Netflix. More then that, I think people’s tolerance for boredom has shrunk. I can’t remember the last time I just stood at a bus stop and waited. There is so much entertainment at our fingertips now, why would you waste that 10 minute journey to work by not watching an episode of something. And if it’s funny and puts you in a good mood – even better. Plus, in the same way we had ‘watercooler TV’ where you discuss last nights episode of “The X-Files’ or whatever, you can now share a link and say “watch this – you’ll love it” and that’s addictive. America is really embracing the medium now, the UK just needs to catch up. After all, if David Fincher is making a series that can only be watched on a web based channel, then I think that’s a fair sign that this isn’t just a fad.

8. Do you have any tips for creating and producing a web series?

I’ve been asked this a few times, and I always feel eggy about dishing out advice. After all, we’re only on our 6th episode, and although we’re doing better then most fledgling series’ we’ve hardly gone viral. Having said that, the one thing I always react against is people who say “just go out and do it, grab your camera phone, grab a few friends and get out there!”. Technology does mean everyone has the capabilities and video submission channels means that everyone has the platform, but I think you should aim higher then that. Production value is always the difference between something looking amateurish or not, so try and get your hands on a good camera, try and light it well, your friends are probably terrible actors, reach out to people who aren’t.

9. Where can we watch your series?

Either on YouTube, or on our website.

We thank Tom for his insightful answers for web series creators/producers, filmmakers, screenwriters, directors, and actors to learn from! And wish him and his team all the best with The Art Of Awkward Conversation going forward.

Enjoy this insightful interview? Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, and producers from Spidvid.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

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Passion and Drive Pushes Video Projects Forward

February 13th, 2013

Jason Elkin

This incredible guest article comes to us from Jason T. Elkin who’s an Executive Producer, Director, Writer, Host and TV Personality. He’s the unstoppable force behind JTE Productions and Entertainment. Watch his well produced promo video below, and enjoy and learn what he had to say below. His passion and drive is certainly contagious!

I’ve been blessed to be presented with a plethora of opportunities at this time with-multiple entities that are very credible in the film & television industry. Although involved in producing and launching different projects and companies, If I had the ability to focus or introduce one specific project at this time, I would have to inform you to keep you eyes open for “Jason Elkin uncorked” where I am producer, writer, and also host/talent. It’s an international wine, food, lifestyle, travel TV show. Talk about a specialized market or “Niche” concept to get picked up! You would think with all the hundreds of popular cooking shows in this would it would just make sense. Nope, it took an awful lot of convincing due to the fact that so many other shows were being pitched or picked up before not succeeding. Previous failures can also affect your projects.

Most everyone I showed enjoyed the idea and felt the production value was fantastic and myself had a great camera presence, although the concept was always suggested as being too specialized or “niche” as they called it. Have no fear, My final outcome I’m proud to announce is international distribution from Matriarch multimedia TV group at Paramount Pictures/Hollywood CA. I’ve also built a pretty impressive crew at this time. I’m flattered to say one of my producers “Napa Nick”, is presently a producer in charge of production on location, for ABC. Good Morning America, Primetime, World News and Nightline. The involvement you can get once you prove yourself is definitely worth it!

Although this creation started with just my cinematographer, co director “Brandon Katcher” owner of “Lost Summit Films” who believed in me and stuck with me now becoming one of my best friends. I consider myself a piece of a puzzle and found others as good if not better than me in all the different necessary realms of this industry. All of us wanted to make money and none of us could afford each other, so I would swap my expertise in exchange for theirs. Eventually we would run across another pies of our puzzle and as a whole, and would now have more to offer benefiting one another’s different projects.

You can find out about myself, project and team as well as other projects I’ll be working on at on the website, or you can connect with me on Twitter. And I have a presence on Facebook too!

This is probably the hardest industry in the world to get into. For me I found it is “not” about who you know. That is the first thing you always here when trying to pursue this industry and it doesn’t have to be the preventative factor anymore. Plus, if you’re sincerely wanting to pursue this professionally, you want people to know you by your ability and credibility you’ve created for yourself, not by who you knew. I stuck with determination, passion, a focus on a goal and a very competitive drive. There’s a lot of nonbelievers out there and a lot don’t want you to succeed ( some of them may even be your friends or family). Then you got the ones that are willing to support you only after you make it.

I prepared myself to come in this industry hoping to remember certain things when I knew I would come across difficult and disappointing times.

1. It’s going to take time, always remember the ones who inspired you like Walt Disney – it can happen, all he had was a brief case and a dream! He too had many nonbelievers.

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Walt Disney

Top 10 Walt Disney Quotes

2. Absorb as much as you can, ask questions – listen just as much as you talk or “pitch”. Be careful who you partner with or take direction from, their intentions could be to take over . Or, you could actually be further ahead of the game than they are. They may even slow you down dragging on your coattails looking for introductions or finagling your connections for benefit. Take what benefits and support you get to the next level and drop/leave/forget the rest, don’t let it effect you. Grow tough skin, you are going to need it!

3. I needed to be just as much if not more “business” minded with aggressive abilities as a credible artist, talent, creator or producer. I’ve unfortunately become aware of many talented people getting stuck because of not having an aggressive side, business sense or confidence/ability to sell. Make sure you have the answers to all the questions not just an idea

( Think “Fish Tank” TV show )

If you’re young, this is tricky, you got to appear confident & aggressive although just as much sincere at the same time. If you are younger, sometimes confidence can be taken in the wrong way.

Poker face- Never make a decision on the spot if you can and be interested but never overly excited appearing desperate.

4. I didn’t force myself to do everything by the rules or out of some book or class as how to get in the industry or on how content needs or should be created. I didn’t force myself to take all the special, suggested or specific Hollywood success courses. Sometimes the suggestions, steps and check off lists cost a lot of money & time and that could be the biggest preventer of them all.

I’m not saying that may not work for some, you just need to do your homework… before you do your homework.

5. Confirm this is who you are not just what you daydream about. I was positive this is what I was going to do and born to do, couldn’t imagine my life without entertainment or doing any else, In fact, I couldn’t control turning it off! Think “American Idol”, lots of those people go on there thinking they can sing. My Production value and content is what spoke to the decision-makers, you have to create and have credible content to sell. Remember, I did this with no money just the willingness to grind and hustle. I also had to redo and try creating the same content in different ways till I got it right. I also have a family and had to dig deep asking myself if this was fair to put them through this journey. This one is the hard one because you don’t have control over it. Question? Do I give myself a time frame before just realizing it’s not going to happen and just force myself to focus on my current daytime career. I’ll be honest, there was a couple times I tried to force my attention and direction to just find a cozy position in management from my daytime job. Then, like the mafia, every time I tried to step out this industry it/they would pull me right back in. Something or someone would present an opportunity that would confirm, influence, or benefit me accomplishing going forward and not giving up. I just found too many reasons to not quit.

(majority of support needs to come from your inner self )

Then again… I may have also been looking and finding those reasons to make it happen.

Good luck! Somewhere there’s a spotlight waiting for you to walk into it!

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Four Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Shot My Web Series

December 13th, 2012

Twentease

Today’s amazing guest article come from the talented Spidvid member, Richard Boehmcke. Richard is the writer and director of Twentease, a Web Series about people in their twenties not making it in New York City. He is also the founder of Make Better Videos which teaches brands and individuals how to make high quality online videos.

Make Better Videos

Shooting a web series is a lot like playing a carnival game. It seems easy enough on it’s face, but once you actually try it you realize there is way more going on behind the scenes than you first realized. I created my series with no web series experience and the learning process has been tremendous if not also incredibly frustrating. Looking back there are four things I wish I would have known before I even wrote the first word of the script.

Write to Shoot

I wrote and shot the first episode within a short time span, but then I had many months to write the next 7 episodes before we shot any of them. While this was great for saving time, it also allowed my imagination to run wild. I was focused more on the story and the arc of the characters, than the actual implementation of the project. I wrote scenes that took place in a museum, on a bus, in a nightclub, and in a taxi without ever considering how hard they might be to shoot. In the end we had to rewrite most of the scenes because it just wasn’t practical to shoot in a dozen different locations. Make sure the scene in the script is a place you can shoot in with minimal effort.

If You Have No Sound You Have No Web Series

The first episode we shot we paid very little attention to the microphone. Now, it’s one of the most important elements of our setup. People will forgive low film quality before they will forgive poor sound. We are used to watching things that are moderately entertaining in low resolution. However if you can’t understand what the actors are saying, nobody is going to pretend they are watching a silent film. Make sure you get your sound right the first time. Double-check the sound IMMEDIATELY after you shoot the scene. Finding out you didn’t get it right while still on set is way better than figuring that out during the editing process.

Trying To Do It All Is Suicide

I love being a writer/director, but it’s dangerous. Even if you are the best writer/director/producer/actor/whatever, it is impossible to be the best at all of them at the same time. Doing two (or three or four) things at once means that something has to suffer. Often, you don’t realize what has suffered until it’s time to edit. And then you see you missed correcting an actor’s mistake because you were too busy trying to get the perfect lighting for the shot. Find talented people to fill the other roles. It will allow you to make a much better product.

720 is Better Than 1080

The reason? Time. When it comes down to it, yes 1080 is a better quality than 720, but the amount of extra time it takes to move the files, render them during editing, and export a final product are often more trouble than it is worth. Plus most people don’t have the patience or the bandwidth to wait for something to load up in 1080. If you are doing a scripted web series, it’s OK to have it exist in 720. Nobody is expecting products done on a shoestring budget to look like cinematic masterpieces. It just needs to look good enough to get you to the next step.

It’s easy to think that we are capable of anything, and that we want to make the biggest, best, most HD web series ever. But that is often impractical. It is far more beneficial is to break it down into smaller chunks. First, evaluate your end goal. Next, take a look at your resources. Then, figure out how your resources can help you reach that end goal. Finally, go make something incredibly awesome and impossible to ignore.

Enjoy these sensational insights? Great! Get other great articles like this sent directly to your inbox by subscribing to our blog.  And here we are on Twitter (23,483 followers and growing fast) and on Facebook (2,003 likes).

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An Interview With Filmmaker Anthony Marinelli

June 28th, 2012

Anthony Marinelli

I recently had the opportunity to interview Anthony Marinelli who’s an extremely talented screenwriter, director, editor, and producer of films. He’s also a full time editor at Shooters NYC. Check out Anthony’s romantic short film, “Subway” below,  and then read what Anthony had to say in our interesting Q and A.


1. What’s the story behind you wanting to develop video for the web?

I haven’t been developing video specifically for the web, although I find it a tremendously valuable distribution model and a great way to build a fan base and a wider audience. I have thought about creating web series, and would certainly be open to doing it, if the right project presented itself.

2. What have been your biggest challenges and struggles to date?

The biggest challenges are always monetary. Thankfully, there are more ways to raise money now (through crowdfunding, etc.) than ever before, so the excuses not to do something don’t fly. The example with “Subway” is perfect. I basically took a camera, a PA and two actors, went on the train and started shooting. Was there a risk involved in being found out by the MTA? Sure. In fact, there was an MTA worker sitting in the seat right next to where I was shooting, but she was probably on her way home and didn’t bother with us (either that or she really just thought we were tourists or something). I love that “Subway” has been so well received. It’s a 2 minute short and it’s really a sweet story that actually kind of mirrors real life (the two actors, Patrick Avella and Rosa Rodriguez, were a couple before, but were broken up during the shoot. They’ve since gotten back together and are now engaged.)

3. You are now creating a feature film called “Eventually Yours.” What has that experience been like for you and your team?

Anyone will tell you that making an independent film is like “Fitzcarraldo” pulling the steamer over a mountain. There are nothing but hurdles to overcome, particularly where money is concerned. However, I have a fantastic group of actors who have been working with me for five years in developing the script. So the time it’s taking has been a mixed blessing in that that I’ve had the opportunity to dig deeper and make the script stronger. Back in November we did a staged reading so I was able to see firsthand what works and what doesn’t And, of course, this being a comedy, I wanted to make sure it got some laughs. It did. What I love about this film and the reason I’m so passionate about it is, not only do I have a wonderful cast with amazing chemistry — I mean, these people have been working together for at least five years, so they really know their characters – the film actually has something to say about people searching for the right person, the right job, the right life, to get what they want, only to find that, as human beings, we always want more.

4. Where do you draw ideas and inspiration for your video projects?

I get inspired by movies, art and music, but really, it’s people that inspire me most. I’m most interested in what makes people tick; human nature. My tastes in books, movies, plays all reflect that sensibility and, if there’s a common theme in my work so far, it’s people trying to make a connection. It’s a wonderful metaphor in “Subway” and it’s true of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” (which I directed on stage a couple of years ago), and it’s true of “Eventually Yours.” That’s what interests me and inspires me most: the desire for people to form connections that are lasting and meaningful.

5. Do you have any tips for creating and producing videos for the online audience?

I’ve had great success at finding the right people, for whatever projects I’ve done, on Facebook. It actually can work very well as a networking tool. When I was putting together my first stage production (Sam Shepard’s “Fool For Love”) I didn’t know anyone in theater personally, but I had a network of “friends” who helped me find the right people to put it together. I followed suit the following year when I did “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” There are so many resources and ways to meet the right people for whatever project you’re doing. Spidvid being another great example. I hope to be utilizing your site to build a team for my next project!

6. Where can we watch your videos and films?

You can check out my bio as well as my commercial, film and stage work at https://vimeo.com/user5832756

And here’s Anthony Marinelli’s profile on Spidvid.

Enjoy this insightful interview? Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, and producers from our Spidvid community.

And if you are a web series creator or producer and want your story and show featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

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