This week in our continuing looks at the web fests of the world brings us to beautiful Marseille, France. Well, not brings us, exactly, because this is one of the fests we are forced to watch from a distance. Side note: even from a distance Marseille looks gorgeous. Who would have thought that a 2600-year-old city on the Mediterranean would be so beautiful? If any of you readers are fortunate enough to be in the area (by which we mean "Europe"), please know that this festival is totally free, open to everyone, and features 25 of the best web series you'll find anywhere on the internet.
No, Seriously. Why Didn't We Go To This One?
This week, our writers took a look at some of the excellent series which have earned official selection to the 2014 Marseille Web Fest. We wish the best of luck to all the shows involved, and hope we can make the festival ourselves next year. This week will also include a new column from Yuri Baranovsky (going up Tuesday) which focuses on starting a creatitive troop with your friends, as well as some interviews and videos from our time at Miami Web Fest. Stay tuned!
By Yuri Baranovsky
I’ve been very lucky in my career -- I’ve gotten to work almost primarily with my friends.
When I say friends, I don’t mean, “people I got along with while on a job” – I mean, real life, “we’ve known each other since high school and/or college” friends. People who I grew up with and who happen to be a major part of HLG Studios – either as actors, crew or management.
A lot of people tell us we’re really lucky – and we are. Working in such close quarters with significant amount of money involved is a recipe for pushing a friend off a roof. Surprisingly, though, other than a few innocent arguments here and there and the time I almost stabbed one of the other founders in the stomach with a sword (it was his fault!) it’s been smooth sailing.
Which leads me to this blog and, more importantly, to the question of: how? How do you start a creative troupe in college and have it be successful twelve years later.
I’ll tell you how. Like this…
Vive La Show Reviews!
Mission Backup Earth
We’re told the Sun will last for another 5 billion years, give or take an eon or two. It’s the year 2176 and the Sun’s hydrogen reserves have been rapidly depleted, down to less than 5%. When that happens, the Sun swells into a red giant. I imagine that would not be a very good day on Earth. As Sarah Connor said, “Anybody not wearing 2 million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day. Get it? ” Oh, and all of this is going to happen without any warning.
Max and Billy's Drill Machine Girl
I wish I spoke Dutch (and not for the first time). See, I just watched Max and Billy's Drill Machine Girl, and while I'm pretty sure it was awesome, I have literally no idea what's being said most of the time. Here's what I think I know:
A New York detective who pulls a disappearing act at will; a college football player who doesn’t realize his own incredible strength; a beautiful woman who is not only one hell of a driver, but can also replicate herself at will are a few of the characters we’re introduced to in the first three episodes of Gifted Corporation.
I don't really know how to start this review. Usually I make an oblique reference to the show, provide some vaguely related anecdotes (like this one, I guess) then finish it up with a discussion of the series' technical and creative merits. Wastelander Panda is so jaw-droppingly good that I don't want to waste any time talking about myself (which is just about the most ringing endorsement I can give).
An African City
Some years ago I spent a couple of months in Lagos, Nigeria. The parents of my fiancé (now husband) had lived there for some time, and I welcomed the chance to explore a different culture. I didn’t quite appreciate just how different a world I would be stepping into. The modern was juxtaposed with the third world in a way we don’t see in America. After seeing An African City described as Sex and The City set in Ghana, I couldn’t wait to see the show and how Accra compared to Lagos. I was not disappointed.
Sin Vida Propia
Any comedy about men and women approaching the age of 30 will invariably draw comparisons with Friends. Even those of us who didn't regularly watch that show are certainly aware of the premise. Twenty years later and many of those creating shows are 20-somethings looking at their own lives and telling us about it. One of the best and most successful of these shows is Sin Vida Propia (Eng. Translation: With No Life Of My Own). On the verge of losing their jobs on a Spanish television station, creators Ana Ramón Rubio and Miguel Cañizares and other crew members came together to create the series.
New Zealand: more than just a background for Peter Jackson movies. While you might not know it from those Lord of the Rings movies, New Zealand actually has a whole population, with towns and cities and everything that comes with that. Sadly, one of the things included in that “everything” is racism.
But I'm Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho was the wrestling champion of the world until he lost it all. He even tells you in the intro to his series. In his own words:
“I was the wrestling champion of the world until I lost it all. Now I’m starting over and I’m gonna be the greatest actor of all time. If someone else said that to you, you probably wouldn’t believe them, But I’m Chris Jericho.”
Blue. Not Sally or Beth or Nicole, but Blue. This is the name that Francine chooses for herself. The name that everyone, even her son, calls her. Just hearing that name, one expects a degree of mystery about the woman, a secret history that she’s not sharing. And boy, does Blue have secrets!
On the first season of Manigances aka Shenanigans, Detectives Jonathan Briere (Maxim Martin) and Dan Portal (Jean-Guy Moreau) are called upon to investigate the death of renowned author Michel Galland (Marc Fournier) and discern whether he committed suicide or was murdered by one of the guests at his dinner party. But since their introductory story, Dan has met his demise at the hands of a government conspiracy. Distraught by the death of his partner and disillusioned with police work altogether, Briere quits the force and plunges himself into a haze of booze and women.
Not a Review:
The No Name Game Show: Episode 1!
In this exciting new game show, Jonathan Robbins, Matthew Carvery, Tonya Dodds and Victoria Sullivan of Asset square off against Rachael Hip-Flores, Jenny Grace, Betty Kaplan and Kevin Sebastian of Producing Juliet!