Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
All good things must come to an end, and with this post, so ends the Big Bother BBlog. We've covered the development of BB and featured over 50 other webseries. But have no fear! We’ll be returning with a new blog soon. Following the release of Big Bother: Season 2, there won’t be a lot of Big Bother news until we return next summer with the third and final season. BUT, Dumper Entertainment has multiple animated webseries in the works. We’ll bring you all of the latest news on them in the new monthly blog. We just haven’t decided what to call it yet J. On to this month’s WebTV category: Super Hero Shows.
Believe it or not, America’s favorite TV super hero of the ‘80s is back … on WebTV. Writer/producer Frank Zanca has reimagined the adventures of Ralph Hinkley (Allen Rueckert), the high school teacher who inherited a super suit, but not the instructions. This time around, Hinkley is joined by cheerleader sidekick Ashley Rizzo (Brittany Ross). Other cast members include Morgan Snyder, Duane Daniels and Don Stark (From That ‘70s Show). The Greatest American Hero can be viewed at Zanca’s video website StayTunedTV.net, which also hosts such webseries as The Darkness Descending, Safety Geeks: SVI, Murder Squad, Workshop and Big Bother.
Our next show is one of WebTV’s biggest success stories. Its super hero, Captain Hammer, is actually the antagonist to protagonist Dr. Horrible, the evil genius. Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother) has his wicked heart set on acceptance in the Evil League of Evil. But he encounters two obstacles: 1) His nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Filion from Castle) and 2) His love interest Penny (Felicia Day from The Guild). Joss Wedon (Creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) directs this family project, written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Joss, Zack and Jed Whedon, who also composed.
Our next selection was inspired by Dr. Horrible. At ComiCon 2008, Joss Whedon announced a contest that would accept video submissions for the Evil League of Evil; the top picks would be included on the Dr. Horrible DVD. Thus, The Fury of Solace was born. In the musical pilot episode, we learn of the mysterious Fury of Solace (Creator Emmett Furey from Bumps in the Night), and the crime he once committed. We also learn of The Orphan (Played by Laurel Rankin), a blue-haired hero with a tragic past. Look for BB's Carly Jones in new episodes later this year.
Our final show is a cross between super drama and super slapstick comedy. Johnny Raikou (Writer/director Jonathan Hance) is a hero for hire. With the aid of his friend, Friend (Portis Hershey), no case is too small. But their half efforts to engage in just enough heroics to pay the bills quickly spiral into a super adventure when they get involved with Jaden Adventure (Hana Mae Lee) and battle a human trafficking ring. Producer Amber Thomas mixes conventional comedy staples, like thought bubbles, with unconventional staples, like staples (you need to see it) to create a unique super show experience.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In a world ruled by barbaric warlords, the oppressed, fearful masses now have someone to turn to – Doraleous and Associates (for a small fee). Legendary warrior Doraleous fights for justice with the aid of his not-so-legendary companions: Neebs the archer, Mirdon the wizard and Drak the dwarf. Available on EscapistMagazine.com, this animated fantasy comedy is currently releasing Season 2 episodes every Thursday (Like BB!). The tale of the band of bumbling brothers is written and voiced by Brent Triplett, Nate Panning, Bryan Mahoney, Jon Etheridge and Tony Schnur, collectively known as Hank and Jed Movie Pictures.
Also from Escapist Magazine.com comes our next selection, A Good Knight’s Quest. Video gamer Dorian (Craig Frank from Compulsions) has a geek’s dream-come-true when video Princess Adriana (Show creator Paula Rhodes) zaps out of the game and into his living room. But the dream becomes a nightmare when she’s followed by wicked vixens Raine (Cathy Baron from Valley Peaks) and Sandrine (Angie Cole from Sorority Forever), servants of the evil Galen (Douglas Sarine from Ask a Ninja). Dorian, Adriana and Gabriel (Charlie Bodin) must save the world by completing A Good Knight’s Quest, directed by The Crew’s Brett Register.
One of WebTV’s biggest success stories is 305. After their webseries, a parody of the film 300, received millions of views, creators David and Daniel Holechek produced a feature-length, DVD version (Available at Blockbuster and Netflix). You know the story of King Leonidas and the 300. But what you don’t know is the tale of five other Spartans who were hand-picked to remain behind and protect the goat gate. This mockumentary style webseries focuses on Claudius the boss (Tim Larson), Darryl, his incompetent assistant (David Schultz), Shazaam (Edward Portillo), Demetrius the Blind (Sunny Peabody) and the almost competent Testicleese (Brandon Tyra).
Our final fantasy selection strays from the comedy realm into pure fantasy with Canadian W.T.S. Entertainment’s Spellfury. In this mystical world, Druinia, the heroic and beautiful elf (Julie O’Halloran), finds herself in possession of a mysterious sword. Evil forces like the ghostly Straos (Darian Tibert) will stop at nothing to reclaim the powerful weapon. Druinia’s only companion is the thief Tarek (Matt Ficner), whose incompetence makes him more of a hindrance than an ally. Additional cast members include Rob Drebitt and Penu Chalykoff. Spellfury releases new episodes monthly on Koldcast and is written and directed by Travis Gordon.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Big Bother is back, with brand new episodes every Thursday through the end of August. We’re getting the word out -- I recently did a promotional event in which the latest episode was strapped to my back (See picture). Another BB promotional opportunity is the Big Bother t-shirt. We’re hoping to have them available next month, so contact Justin if you’re interested in getting one. On to this month’s WebTV category – roommate comedies. Some are “friends,” others are “odd couples,” but all of these characters make great web stories because of their roommates.
Shot on location in the apartments of New York, We Need Girlfriends follows the escapades of boy-next-door Tom (Partrick Cohen), neurotic Henry (Seth Kirschner) and over-confident Rod (Evan Bass) as they attempt to cope with their recent break-ups by finding -- you guessed it -- new girlfriends. The show gained instant YouTube fame for creators Angel Acevedo, Brian Amyot and Steven Tsapelas (Collectively known as Ragtag Productions). The group relocated from New York to Los Angeles after scoring a development deal with CBS. The Ragtaggers are now working on their next webseries, My Future Girlfriend (Watch for 2010 release).
Our next webseries to watch centers around former roommates Hank (Director Brendan Bradley from The Legend of Neil) and Alex (Erik Scott Smith), who learn in the pilot episode that they’ve been evicted. After they make a vow to never pay rent again, their lives become an unending quest of finding a place to squat. Alex turns his office into his home, carefully avoiding annoying supervisor Sam (Sandeep Parikh from The Guild). Hank relies on the kindness of women -- like Julie (Co-producer Cooper Harris). This Toad Hop Entertainment production will soon return with the conclusion of season one on Daily Motion.
Our next set of roommates includes, believe it or not, a robot (Ryan Churchill), a ninja (composer Brian Giovanni) and a gay guy (show creator Travis Richey). The trio deals with the usual problems of 20-something roomies. Who owes rent money? Who ordered the pizza? Whose throwing stars are lodged in the flat screen? All three actors are students of the ACME Comedy Theater in Los Angeles. Helping out the robot, ninja and gay guy are director Rob Wood, head writer Eric Loya, co-creator Curtiss Frisle and guest star Nicholas Brendon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Our final selection is the tale of Mason Evan Harris (show creator Robb Padgett), a once famous songwriter who no longer has a career and technically doesn’t have any roommates. But, his fear of leaving the apartment makes surrogate roomies out of his friends: slacker BFF Guy (Steven Lekowicz), nosy neighbor Ashleigh (Tanya Ihnen), building supervisor and love interest Jennifer (Corrie Myers) and power broker agent Kate (Kathy Harmening). Check out their website for sitcom-length episodes (a rare thing in WebTV) and lots of additional shorts. Padgett and KATR Pictures are currently producing their next web series, Vampire Zombie Werewolf.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
You may be able to enjoy the first travel series with out even leaving your city. In My Way or the Highway, car enthusiast Joe Neuburger attempts to cross a different town every episode using only the highways. Green traveler Chad Rock attempts the same feat using only, you guessed it – public transportation. Producers Neuburger and Rock, along with producer Joe Stockman, are planning trips to New York, Seattle, Chicago and maybe even your town. Check out the first episode to see who will win – the green guy or the gas guzzler – as they take on their first challenge – Los Angeles.
When you’re ready to breach the L.A. city limits, you’re ready for Gettin Outta Town. "Daycations" are the travel topic for creator Venetia Pristavec, who co-hosts the show with Matthew Anderson. Join them for a day in Solvang, a Danish community where you can take a tandem bike ride and visit the Hans Christian Anderson Museum. Their Julian tour includes a gold hunt, a horseback ride and homemade apple pie. Or, accompany them to Santa Ynez for wine tasting, berry-picking and a mini-horse ranch. Associate Producers Michael Siegel and Corina Garcia help assure that every destination is a delight.
When you’re ready to go abroad, you just might be ready for The Peregrine Dame. Creator, producer and host Rachel Parsons is a one-woman travel documentarian. In Australia, she hikes Uluru (Ayers Rock), takes in a Sydney opera and camps in the Outback. In India, she explores the Gandhi Memorial and the Red Fort, but is also unafraid of visiting the not-so-scenic side of town. In Israel, she visits a Jerusalem bazaar, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western (Wailing) Wall (As well as the catacombs beneath it). Other destinations include Italy, California and a soon-to-be-taken African safari.
If traveling around the globe isn’t enough for you, then you’re ready for the ultimate destination … Mars. OK, this last selection is a joke, as travel shows go. But it’s legit for web comedy. SOLO is the tale of Scott Drizhal (creator, writer and star Jonathan Nail), who is on his way to Mars as a reality TV show star. He leaves behind wife Becks (Michelle Boyd from The Guild) for the sole company of his ship’s computer, PHAL9000 (Jason Burns). Everything is going according to plan for the solo explorer … until his TV show is cancelled.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Creator Taryn Southern (from Sorority Forever) wrote our next selection, Private High Musical (Think High School Musical with sex, drugs and talent). Southern plays Sandra Smith, the awkward new girl joining the class of Mr. Johnson (Dennis Haskins from Saved By The Bell). Her classmates include WebTV regulars Craig Frank and Angie Cole (Both from The Crew and A Good Knight’s Quest) as well as several faces from Southern’s upcoming project, Taken: Among the Stars, including Lauren C. Mayhew, Mark Hapka, Jeff D’Agostino, Brett A. Newton and Katy Stoll (Look for BB’s Justin Marchert in Taken as well J).
The 2010 Streamy Awards brought a night of surprises – some of them were even planned. You may recall the two beauties who opened the show by trying to kill each other. That was just a taste of the feminine fighting in Damsels & Dragons. Creators/producers April Wade and America Young, along with writer Eric Campbell, bring the RPG webseries to new heights with Live Action Role Playing. Every episode, the Game Master (Wade) leads the femme fatales into a fantasy adventure. The group includes a Cleric (Mirai Booth-Ong), Warrior (Kelly Lloyd), Wizard (Shaifali Ratti), Thief (May Zayan) and of course a Monster (Young).
Ever participate in a market research study? Did that study require you to rub yourself down with a product that caused scratching, scarring, bruising and mild constipation? If so, you may be a victim of Groupthink (I mean a “productitioner” of Groupthink). This office comedy is created, written, directed, produced by and stars Angela Espinosa and Wendy Rosoff (both from Goodnight Burbank). Market research partners Cynthia (Espinosa) and Pilar (Rosoff) are less concerned with their work and more concerned with where to get highlights afterward. The duo reprise their roles for The Temp Life: Season 4 episode, Cynthia and Pilar.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The biggest winner of the night was SONY/Crackle’s The Bannen Way, which took awards for best drama, director, editing and male in a drama series. The film-like style of Bannen has been redefining what webseries are capable of offering since its release last year. Writers Mark Gantt and Jesse Warren (also the director) draw us into a slick underworld of fast cars and dangerous dealings. Neil Bannen (Gantt) is prepared to leave the criminal lifestyle … after one last job, of course. Rounding out the cast are veteran actors Vanessa Marcil, Michael Ironside, Robert Forster and Michael Lerner.
Do you remember the worst public access show you ever saw? It was probably very close to Between Two Ferns. Don’t think this is a rip on creator and Streamy best comedic male actor winner Zack Galifianakis. The Hangover actor successfully portrays the worst local cable host ever. He knows exactly what questions his guests are tired of hearing … and then asks them. Some guests who have had the misery of joining him include Charlize Theron, Jimmy Kimmel and a very disgruntled Ben Stiller. Between Two Ferns is written by Galifianakis and Scott Aukerman, directed by Auckerman and Ruben Fleischer and won the Streamy for Best Comedy Series.
The Streamy award for best new webseries (A coveted category when the majority of webseries are new) went to OddJobNation's Odd Jobs. Creator/writer/director Jeremy Redleaf plays Nate Brooks, a recently fired New York yuppy. To make matters worse, his fiancee Cassie (Alex Daddario from Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief) is planning the wedding of the century. Enter roommate Joe (Devin Ratray from Surrogates) who introduces Neil to the lucrative world of -- you guessed it -- odd jobs. The show goes beyond entertainment by providing viewers with recession news, career advice and even job postings at OddJobNation.com.
Possibly the biggest surprise of the evening went to Cracked.com's Agents of Cracked -- not surprising because Agents is undeserving, but because it was up against some of the oldest and most successful webseries out there -- The Legend of Neil, Dorm Life, Elevator, etc. Agents is a look at what life is like for the editors of a comedy website -- but in buddy cop show form. Agent Michael (Swain) is coping with the tragic loss of his (8th) partner when he's paired up with Agent Dan (O'Brien). Agents is Cracked.com's first original webseries and was created by Swain, O'Brien and Abe Epperson.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Our college edition begins on the notorious dorm floor – 5 South. With the exception of writer Mark Stewart Iverson, Dorm Life’s creators are all regulars in the show: Chris W. Smith and Jordan Riggs play college students Mike and Daniel, Jim Brandon and Jack DeSena play party animals “Gopher” and Shane, and Brian Singleton and Jessie Gaskell take charge of the floor in a good cop/bad cop relationship as Marshall and Steph (Steph’s floor-bonding ideas include “Temporary Tattoo-sday”). Dorm Life is also up for an audience choice Streamy Award. Cast your vote here.
We move from college comedy to the darker side of campus in the WB's Sorority Forever. Directors Doug Cheney, Chris Hampel, Chris McCaleb and Ryan Wise (Collectively known as Big Fantastic) and executive producer McG bring us the exclusive sorority, Phi Chi Kappa. Here, freshman Julie (Jessica Rose from Lonelygirl15) tries to fit in with seemingly confident sorority girls like Taryn (Taryn Southern from Private High Musical), Naomi (Angie Cole from The Crew) and Rachel (Annemarie Pazmino from Compulsions). But with the help of the mysterious Joaquin (Joaquin Pastor), Julie soon learns that Phi Chi Kappa holds secrets she could never imagine.
If the secrets and scandals of Phi Chi Kappa aren’t enough for you, then perhaps you’re seeking MTV’s gothic horror, Valemont. Creators Christian Taylor and Brent Friedman introduce us to Sophie Gracen (Kristen Hager), who enrolls at Valemont University in hopes of learning how her brother Eric (Eric Balfour from 24) was brutally killed. Things quickly get creepy when she sneaks into the fraternity house of horror. Sophie’s crazy new roommate, Poppy (Nikki Blonsky from Hairspray) turns out to be the sanest one on this campus of supernatural surprises. Valemont was nominated for six Streamy Awards, including best drama and best writing.
We return to college comedy/drama with Koldcast’s Sex Ed. Professor Alison Trevase (Joanna Cassidy, whose extensive credits include Blade Runner) has decided to teach her students a thing or two about sex – without the textbook. Creator Ernie Vecchione and director Tamela D’Amico bring us a class of students whose sexual experience varies … greatly. Dean (Matt Barr) knows “a lot about lovin’ but little ‘bout love.” Kate (Andrea Lui) must learn to overcome her self-consciousness. Al (Andra Fuller) seems the most out of place, with no intention of having sex before marriage. Cassidy is nominated for a Streamy for best actor.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The granddaddy of all webseries, Lonelygirl15 launched in 2006 and acquired an immediate and loyal following. Lead character Bree (Jessica Rose from Sorority Forever) was believed to be a real teen vlogger. When the truth was revealed, fans were forgiving. The “reveal” also gave creators Mesh Flinders, Miles Beckett, Greg Goodfried and Amanda Goodfried the opportunity to shift the show into much more exciting directions. Bree turned out to possess a biological trait which put her on the run with characters like Daniel (Yousef Abu-Taleb), Jonas (Jackson Davis) and Spencer (Maxwell Glick). International “LG15 Spinoffs” include KateModern, N1ckola and the latest, Outbreak.
With the Angels
Our next selection is Strike.tv’s more down-to-earth vlog show, With the Angels. Taffy (Jamie Tisdale) has just moved from Arkansas to California with dreams of filmmaking. Creator Mary Feuer shows us that Taffy is not an instant match with the Hollywood lifestyle. She feels much safer with the camera between her and Venice residents like Andy (Rene Alvarado), Clay (Timothy Lee DePriest) and Miranda (Kay Ostrenko). Two of her new friends, Trey and Ashley, are Lonelygirl15 alums, Sean Vincent Biggins and Carly Jones. Listen to Jones as the voice of Kiki Bonjour this spring in Big Bother: Season 2.
We head across the Pacific from California to Australia for our next selection, Oz Girl. Sadie (Sophie Tilson) has just moved from the countryside to the big city of Melbourne (Sound familiar?). There, she reunites with cousin and fashionista Megan (Shanrah Wakefield, who guest starred in The Guild). But their friendship is soon splintered by a love triangle with Aussie barrista George (Richard Askin). Creator/director Nicholas Carlton and writers Tilson and Lisa Bedwell prove that love, betrayal, ambition and other elements of the American soap story are just as prevalent in the land down under.
Abigail’s Teen Diary
And now for something completely different. Abigail Hoffman is our final vlogger girl. She discusses many of the same topics as the rest – love, sex, K-Fed. The difference is that this 13-year old web chick looks like a 40-year-old, overweight, bearded man. Hayden Black plays the digital debutante who is suffering from the fictitious “Bloomberg’s Disease,” which caused her to age approximately 25 years between the 7th and 8th grades. Abigail even has plans for a book, DVD and TV series. BBlog followers will recall Black’s many other webseries, including Goodnight Burbank, The Occulterers and the upcoming The Cabonauts.