So we hear there was some sort of awards show on Sunday night? We only know because we have a Google alert set up for “Lupita Nyong'o + ?uestlove.” Apparently, they handed out awards for a broad range of achievements in film making, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Picture and other filler categories of that nature. Strangely, though the show clocked it at approximately 17 hours long, they only found time to give out a few awards for writing. Now, as a group of writers, we can tell you without bias that writing is literally the only important thing in the world, and should be the only thing for which anyone receives a reward. There, we said it. Somebody had to, and we did.
The Acting In Seinfeld Was Good, But The Writing Was Transcendent
Acting? I mean, what's acting, really? Just being good at remembering words somebody else wrote for you! Okay, yes, improv is a thing, but they don't give you an Oscar for it, and besides, improv is really just writing out loud and really quickly.
Directing? Isn't that just telling people to do what the writer says?
Sound Editing? Uh, thanks for making it so people can hear our snappy dialogue, I guess...
Visual Effects only exists because sometimes writers are so great at telling stories that the things they describe are impossible to create without technological assistance.
Cinematography...wait, what's cinematography, again? Oh, who cares.
The point is, without writers, Neil Patrick Harris wouldn't have had any terrible jokes to tell last night, and the awkward celebrity presenters would have just had to walk out on stage and immediately tell us who won...actually, that probably would have been a lot better. Oh god...are writers actually the problem? Is everything we know a lie?
While we struggle with this, please enjoy the shows we have compiled for this week's theme: Writing. We will also have a written interview with Hayden Black and Julie Rei Goldstein from the upcoming animated series Gen Zed, a new piece by Yuri Baranovsky on working with a client, and a video interview by Susan E. Clarke featuring the folks from Wolfpack Productions. It's going to be a busy week here at WebVee, so check back early and often!
WebVee Guide Presents: A Drink-Along Interview With Wolfpack Productions
Susan E. Clarke brings us another cocktail-infused evening of fun conversation with a focus on web entertainment. This time she is joined by Christopher Rithin and Jay Oliver Yip of Wolfpack Productions. Drink along with us, won't you? (You know, assuming it's an appropriate time and you are of an appropriate age and not suffering from any kind of medical condition that would prevent you from safely consuming alcohol, that is.)
The WebVee Podcast - Ep. 40: Chris Banks of The Art of Theatrical Ushery
Chris Banks, creator of the webseries The Art of Theatrical Ushery, chats with Jeff about how his show got made with help from family & friends & inspiration from Sinbad!
I used to be in a band. A couple bands, actually. I mean, we only played in public a couple times, and never for money, and we mostly just hung out and got high and jammed. But that's still totally a band, right? Right?! I will take your silence to mean that the psychoactive drugs are finally quieting the voices in my head. Just know that if you were cool, like one of the dudes from Man Jam, you would have said “Hell yeah, bro! You were totally in a kickass band!” I wish you were cool like those dudes.
They say 30 is the new 20. As a kid in my early 20s I scoffed at this idea, dismissing it as yet another lie propagated by the elderly in a desperate attempt to regain their glory days. If I had been smart, I would have spent less time reveling in my youth and more time worrying that my glory days were being spent broke and hungover, but I figured there would be plenty of time to fix that stuff later. Oh to be young again.
Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. OK, now that I have your attention, let me tell you about Justin Harwood’s High Road.
I didn't grow up in the city. I mean, I grew up in a city, but with a population of less than 150,000, it's not what people are thinking about when they talk cities. There are only a few places in my mind where it's acceptable to replace “a” with “the.” Generally this is related to city size, but also to significance in terms of the surrounding areas. New York, for example, has over 8 million people and is the cultural and financial epicenter of the entire northeast. Dallas has a bit over 1 million, but still counts as The City because there's nothing around it but desert and farms for more than a hundred miles. Chicago is The City. Los Angeles is The City (and oddly, so is San Francisco). There are others, but you get the point.
Mozart in the Jungle
Were it not for the exuberant performance of Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle might just be another behind-the-scenes show biz tale. But his presence, and that of his supporting cast, Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters, and Saffron Burrows make this Amazon Prime original series one worth watching.
I was never a “theater person” which is a much lower rung on the ladder than “theater geek”. Except for a couple of mandatory performances in grade school, and an appearance as an angel in my high school Christmas pageant, I never set foot on a stage. What I know about backstage comes from the brief fling I had with the sound tech for my college theater during the run of the one play I worked on as wardrobe assistant (ie. laundress – make up stains are the worst!). In college, the theater majors didn’t mix much with the rest of us. They lived in the same dorm, dated each other and tended to sing show tunes in the townie bars while the rest of us were engaged in penny ante pool games. They formed their own community on campus, and as such, we mere civilians were pretty much excluded from their world
If you are a lover of of all things Hollywood, you most likely will have come across Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon, a tawdry tale of real life tragedy suffered by those who sought fame and fortune in Tinsel Town. In L.A. Macabre, Dan Ast has taken a page from Anger’s book and created one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in a long time, and I see a lot of them. What starts off as a mockumentary about Hollywood’s dark and weird side quickly turns into an edge-of-your-seat mystery.
The Inland Sea
In our recent Conversation, Norwegian journalist Steinar Ellingsen told us of emigrating to Australia to study. The Inland Sea is a documentary web series initially created as part of Steinar’s studies. The show took on a life of its own, and has led to so much more.
Some Thoughts On #Clausegate
By Jeff Siniawsky
I have spent my professional life in a hyper competitive world. In my world you have to work harder, be smarter, be better than another person at what you do. Winning is important because the people who pay me expect that result. Sometimes winning may be as simple as achieving an objective, a win-win for all parties. Many times though, winning means someone else loses. Success is measured by wins and loses.
When we started WebVee Guide one of the first things that impressed me was how uncompetitive the independent web series world seemed to be. Anti-competitive, actually, as collaboration and not competition seemed to be the order. Talking with show creators and actors we heard numerous stories and saw numerous examples of people coming together voluntarily to create art. I’ve seen a community of creative people supporting one another. For me the web series world is like being on a different planet. I’m the alien in that world, and I love it.
It is because of my love for the web series world, because I see it from the inside as an outsider, that I find #clausegate so disconcerting and disappointing. #clausegate is about competition not inherent in the web series world.
The No-Name Game Show: Episode 2
It's Pairings Vs. Last Fall of Ashes! Who Will Prevail?
Missed out on Episode 1? Click Here!
Previously On WebVee Guide
Issue 80: Shows Featuring Black Americans
In which we highlight great shows featuring Black Americans
Issue 79: On Cupid and Cupidity
In which we watch shows about love.
Issue 78: Channels That Are YouTube
In which we watch shows that are specifically on YouTube.
Looking for something older? Check out The Archives!