It's a great time of year. The days are getting longer, the Earth is warming up (except New England) as are the baseball players. Here in Colorado, the song birds are back and I'm pretty sure I saw an real, honest-to-god flower blooming yesterday. Yes, it's a great time of year, and is made doubly so by the fact that the next 8 days will bring us not one but two incredible web-related events.
The 4th annual Hollyweb Festival runs from March 27th-29th and will feature screenings, an award ceremony and a blue carpet event (which is just like a red carpet event, only bluer). We're excited about that, and will be bringing you reviews and news of the festivities. Hollyweb has done a lot to highlight some really great series and a lot for the industry in general, and this year promises to be their best show ever.
We are even more excited about the 6th annual Indie Series Awards (being held April 1st) because WebVee will be teaming up with our friends at Happy Little Guillotine Studios to bring you exclusive streaming coverage of the ceremony and red carpet (you hear that, Hollyweb? RED carpet!) right here on our site! We will also, of course, be bringing you reviews of as many of the nominees and winners as we possibly can.
Hooray for Everything!
With such great shows and festivals to cover, we couldn't resist turning this issue into a double feature, so check back frequently to see what's going on. We have 2 new podcasts going up Wednesday, a written interview with Chris Hadley and the crew from The Late Late News, new pieces by Yuri Baranovsky and Susan E. Clarke, oh and please clear your April Fool's Day calendars so you can hang out with us and watch the ISAs. We'll bring the popcorn.
The WebVee Podcast - Episode 44: Regan Latimer and Rochelle Dancel of Witch Like Me
Jeff chats with Rochelle Dancel and Regan Latimer about the global production of their new web series, Witch Like Me.
And The Nominee Reviews Are:
I love a good mystery, particularly when it has some basis in reality. Lots of people do, I think, which is part of the recent success of the NPR podcast Serial. The other thing about Serial which captured audience's attention was the fact that it was (wait for it) serialized! That's right! No matter how much listeners wanted to marathon the whole thing, they were stuck waiting for each new episode. This flies in the face of conventional web-wisdom, but actually served several purposes:
I'm not really a believer in most conspiracy theories. I mean, okay, certainly conspiracies have happened. People conspire all the time. I'm talking about the big theories here, though. I am pretty positive, for example, that we actually landed on the moon, that the holocaust happened, that 9-11 was NOT an inside job, and that “chemtrails” are a load of utter garbage.
Terrestrial Comedy Thursday
The Amazing Gayl Pile
I will admit to the occasional lapse in judgment in purchasing items found on home shopping channels. Most of these items usually proved disappointing once the box was opened. What makes us buy this stuff? It’s the skill of the on air salesman. Acting as merchandise evangelists, and with the assistance of their able models, the best shopping channel hosts can make you believe they are selling an item you cannot possibly live without at this super spectacular low price. And while you’re at it, buy two or three because heaven knows when the item will be back in stock.
Chris and Josh
Wow, I got assigned Chris and Josh. Whoopdey Effin Do! Another comedy show about a couple of millennial slackers. I know Chris and Josh has been an award winner and official selection at several web fests. But really, it’s not like the set-up hasn’t been done before on the web. Hey! 2007 called and asked if I still had those podcasts of Casanovas I downloaded from iTunes. But, something happened before I hit the intersection of Snark Street and Yawn Avenue. Funny happened. Like something really, really clever and funny happened.
Let us consider Thumper, the rabbit from Bambi. While the talkative bunny has dozens of lines of dialogue in the film, the only one anybody really remembers is “If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.” This is good advice for casual social situations, though perhaps a bit impractical if you, say, review shows for a living. What I wonder, though, is about the inverse of that expression. “If you can say something nice, say it.” seems, to me, like a more positive way of going about things. It's certainly the approach being taken by Rabbi Moshe Mones (credited as Paul Mones) in his adaptation of Yitta Halberstaim and Judith Leventhal's bestselling books Small Miracles.
Space Comedy Wednesday
Space Riders: Division Earth
I have a problem. Scratch that, I have many problems, but the one confronting me at this moment is an almost overwhelming desire not to tell you about Space Riders: Division Earth. This is a problem because it is more or less my job to do the exact opposite, but I really don't want to spoil this one.
Sweethearts of the Galaxy
Trinity Infinity and Element 47 are the Sweethearts of the Galaxy. Sworn to “help the helpless, defend the defenseless, and avenge the... avengeless”, Trinity fights evil with her fists, while Element 47 uses skill and wit to disarm her enemies. As Officers of the Galactic Rangers, they battle the nefarious Necrocide while clad in standard-issue Ranger spandex, hoping to restore justice and peace to the galaxy. One problem: Sweethearts of he Galaxy is a comic book, and its reality has spilled from the page in the mind of one cosplaying accident victim who believes she’s truly an Officer of the Galactic Rangers.
Oy veh! Rabbi Leah Levy has such a big problem. Unless she can build her congregation, Temple Beth Shalom, the temple her great-grandfather built with his own two hands, brick by brick, will close its doors for good. What a shanda! Her twin brother Asher (Michael Saltzman), in a classic case of sibling rivalry, is luring Leah’s congregants to his rival temple. Leah is given a deadline. If within three months she doesn’t get “butts in the seats” on Shabbat, the doors will be closed for good. Why are Rabbi Leah’s members defecting? For one, she’s “an unmarried woman on the wrong side of 30 who’s spent her whole life in a temple”. How can she possibly counsel those whose marriages may be in trouble, despite her assurances that she is” mother, father, best friend, spiritual confidant”?
Call me risk averse - I’m not much of a gambler. I’ve gone to racetracks, but more to look at the horses than to bet on them. I’ve even been to some casinos and thrown away a few quarters in the slot machines. But when it comes to cards, I’m quite content to play solitaire on the computer – no betting, and no actual card shuffling means I don’t mess up my manicure. I have never played poker, though I have tuned in to watch a couple of rounds of championship games. These high stakes games make me incredibly anxious, even though I’m not the one playing. I guess it takes a certain type of personality to go for broke.
If you haven’t seen DeVanity yet, what on earth are you waiting for? Catch up now because the fourth and final season of this Emmy nominated series is the best yet. I’ll try not to spoil too much for those who haven’t yet seen the season. (Find our previous review here.)
Transformative Media: On Gen Zed, Art and Visibility
By Kyle Price-Livingston
Within the world of creative media, the internet is the last frontier (though, as the late great Sir Terry Pratchett noted, there can't be a “last frontier” because there would be nothing for it to be a frontier to). Living along that cutting edge are pioneers, adventurers who use their content to highlight important societal issues and to give a voice to the voiceless. Hayden Black and Julie Rei Goldstein are two of those pioneers, and their upcoming animated comedy Gen Zed has a very specific intent: normalization of the marginalized. That's a pretty ambitious goal for any show, let alone an animated comedy, and they were kind enough to sit down and chat with me about it.
Previously On WebVee Guide
In which we honor the creative and technological contributions of roughly half the planet.
Issue 83: Vancouver Web Fest Week 2
In which we celebrate the winners and premiere our Vancouver Web Fest red carpet coverage.
Issue 82: Vancouver Web Fest Week 1
In which we watch the shows of Vancouver Web Fest
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