Sunday, April 17, 2011

Twentease - The Pilot Webisode!

Here’s the timeline of how it happened:


First, I didn’t like my job. And desperate to find a way out, my mother emailed me a link to a video contest to win an amazing job. Make a 60 second video and submit it.

I had never done anything like before, but we learned on the fly and I became a finalist. I didn’t get that job, but I started doing video contests so that was cool.

Next, I was doing a favor for a friend of mine acting (which is to say pretending to be a 12 year old in a pit stained white tee) in a one-act play about the 60s. And while running around the stage firing an imaginary toy gun at another actor who was taking this way too seriously I thought two things.

1.    I am the worst actor in the world and don’t want to ever act again.
2.    I could write something better than this!

And so I got to writing my first plays and put them on later that fall. I didn’t become wildly famous from them, or wealthy, but I still got to put them on and I found something new that I loved, so that was cool.

And most recently I was sitting around in my apartment with a friend of mine after some very cheap wine and a dinner that had roughly the same amount of garlic as a vampire defense kit, and we were talking about some ideas I had for future projects.

And as we chatted without directly facing each other to avoid what is known as an “exhalation assassination” I spoke of the idea I had for a future play about people in their twenties not really making it in Manhattan. It would be like a cross between Sex and the City and Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.

We both agreed we liked the idea, and then retired to our respective abodes to sleep off what I refer to as an Italian hangover (wine and garlic).

So the idea was ruminating in my head while I was getting ready to start making for short videos to enter into contests so that I could continue financing my vacations with free trips to exotic beach locales.

But then something happened.

I saw a contest for a web series pilot. The contest was based around decisions and the winning pilot would win 25 thousand dollars and the ability to make 6 more episodes. And I had one of those moments where your heart starts beating really fast. When that happens my first instinct is usually oh shit, I screwed something up.

But when I realized I hadn’t done anything wrong in days, I realized I was excited. This contest was perfect for that play idea my friend and I had talked about. So I put all of my other important obligations (laundry, dishes, dusting) aside and got cranking on a script.

I wrote it in one very neurotically and obsessive-compulsive weekend. And my friend and I spent the next 3 weeks editing it and trying to gather a crew.

We had to hustle because the deadline was only a couple of months away and Thanksgiving was fast approaching which meant people would be pretty much booked straight through to the end of the year.

And we didn’t just need a couple of actors, we needed:

5 Actors
A director of photography
A cameraman
A producer
An editor
A musician
Five locations

And the only thing I had… was an actor.

And while we were able to fill almost all of those needs in several weeks, I decided, against the better judgment of the universe, that since I knew I needed something specific for the lead role. I would just play it myself.

Is it considered nepotism if you give the role to yourself?

Oh wait, I forgot, that’s just called narcissism.

I hadn’t had a critically acclaimed (Read: Teacher Supported) performance since my turn as the Cary Grant role in the play Arsenic and Old Lace. And that role, which I played in 8th grade, was not uncomfortable at all seeing as I had to make out with a girl 5 years older than me on stage in front of my parents.

Noooo, not uncomfortable at all!

My theatrical roles in high school consisted of people who were either careless, emotionally exposed, or completely out of control. So I thought I was pretty well poised to play somebody in their twenties.

That and the fact that I am in my twenties. So… ya know… I could just be myself.

So that was it. We found a location that was willing to let us shoot before they were even open. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that fabulous place here.

Wine Bar
65 Second Ave
Between 3rd and 4th Street.

A great place for wine, laughter and friends.

That’s not their motto, but I think it should be.

So we had a location, we had actors, a crew, and a date. And we went and we made it happen!

Oh yea, and then I spent a million hours editing it using software I didn’t know how to use, bought DVDs to burn copies so I could submit it, then went to submit it in person but accidentally went to the wrong building and spent 20 minutes there before I realized I was an idiot, went to the correct location, dropped it off, then got an email saying none of the DVD copies worked so I went and bought new DVDs, re-burnt the series, snail mailed it, emailed twice to make sure they got it and found out they did.

Ta-Da! Easy enough. Now all I had to do was wait until May so I could get that 25 grand and make an amazing web series and become wildly successful.

Naturally we found out last week that we didn’t win.

::Deep melodramatic sigh::

But it’s cool, because in the mean time I wrote the rest of the episodes, which we can start shooting. And now I can finally show the pilot to my friends instead of fearing that I was breaking contest rules and hording it like some kind of troll.

So without further ado I present to you a show about people not quite making it in their twenties. All I ask is that you share it with your friends, post it on Facebook, tweet it out and whatever else. Let’s make this the most significant event in my life since that time I made out in front of my parents.

6 comments:

AB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A(nonymous) said...

I read the title as "Twin-Tease" and was pleasantly surprised that the video was, thank god, nothing like what that phrase conjures up in the imagination.
On a less awkward note, it was great and I can't wait to see more!

CMB said...

Good stuff. I would watch it. Just keep in mind that I also watch The Angry Beavers, too. I kind of wish you had a lapel mic on you in the beginning to bring out your voice some more. I hate working with sound, I'm having to boom mic everything I do. What camera are you using? I noticed it wasn't doing the auto face focus thing that most of the HD Canon's automatically do. I hate auto face focus because it just ruins shots. Nice job holding your composure while walking through busy streets with the inevitable gawkiers. You're a better actor than you let on.

Pond said...

This is awesome Rich! It looks like it was a ton of fun to do as well. The good thing about these projects is that with every one you learn, each one gets better. Your acting is great; I would say sound quality might be your next focus :)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I'm intrigued! I can't wait to see the other episodes; will you be posting them here on your blog or on Youtube? I'll include a link to your video in my next blog post, which is probably going to go up sometime this week.
I can definitely relate to this video, even though I'm technically not in my twenties anymore (I just turned 30 a couple weeks ago, eek!). I'd like to say that it gets easier once you're in your
30s, but for me I'd say the jury's still out on that one.

Ever Perceived said...

"For Christmas I'm buying you some testicles!" that was great. I really think you might be on to something here, I'm wont pretend to be a critic but I really enjoyed it. I told myself I would watch a couple minutes and turn it off if I didn't like it, but I loved it! I agree with Pond though, sound quality. Somethings I couldn't hear. I am definitely sharing this with some friends!