About Ellen DeGeneres: (part 2) 25 hours = 3800 views

NO idea of what is going on but here's what our youtube analytics look like, yesterday at 1PM:

Today at 2PM:

One thing that's certain is that this would not be happening without the support of friends of this show for the past 7 years...  WE WOULD NOT BE HERE. 

Without your clicks and precious comments, encouraging emails, social media sharing, contributions of hard-earned cash to our Seed&Spark Crowdfunder, votes on our PBS/WNET !3 run, clicks on the Shorty Award campaign ... WE WOULD NOT BE HERE.  This would NOT BE HAPPENING.  This is the victory of the little web series that could because of its amazingly fierce and generous fan base who made it possible for us to KEEP GOING.  

I thank you from my heart.  Video coming soon starring yours truly heaped with gratitude.  

GROUP HUGGGGG!!!  :D  

Eve Ensler @EmilyBest @seedandspark @adelscreenwri @muddlavoie @brideofrocknrol @ryanstansky @louiseedington @caro @shericandler @SusanMillerNYC @devt @mollydcampbell @annsrants @GDRPempress @annalefler @scarymommy @HaBarb @KarenandWendy1 @diggsyt @DailyDimmick @nataliegrillon @jackieschklar @FunnyNotSlutty @_elena @spidvid @frankthurston @carlaflou @jeremycampbell @robinobryant @devt @brickdoc @KatieTibaldi @Xiane @ShiningStrong @JuliaWrona @EitherOrFilms @erinmargolin @mizbohemia @marinkaNYC @ComedyVan @PLSSTREETTEAM @kimcummings @luciwest @christinagausas @allisonsilvermn 

(This is just the tip of the iceberg...  Please stay tuned!)

In case you missed the video:


Henry Sheppard Says Farewell on Adelaide Screenwriter Due To Failing Health

If you're a writer for films or web series and are not aware of Henry Sheppard's blog, run don't walk over to Adelaide Screenwriter which will likely not be online indefinitely: Henry has just posted a Farewell post.  I'm not exaggerating to say that it is an incredible resource, a compendium of what every writer for any screen needs to know.  Henry Sheppard is also the author of the riveting novel Play The Devil which may be made into a television mini-series. 

I don't remember the details of how I met Henry except that it was on twitter and we hit it off right away.  Given his twitter name: AdelaideScreenwriter @AdelScreenWri I was fairly certain that I was talking to my doppelganger, a woman named Adelaide.  (One of my nicknames is Addie.)  

With his blog and beyond, Henry has been a model of generosity and selfless service educating and moving his readers with a wide variety of posts.  One staple is interviews with people in the business: from leading lights in Hollywood and beyond (writers and more) to unknown newcomers in film and web series, Henry has curated the juicy and the informative, allowed us to learn from the masters and sometimes put us in touch with each other. He alerted us to possible pitfalls in our attempts at promotion via Facebook and posts a blogroll every person interested in writing for the screen should adopt.  And that's only the tip of the iceberg.  

Above and beyond all of this accomplishment, Henry is an inspiration.  He's honest, he's got a wicked sense of humor and he's as generous as the day is long.  Thank you Henry for all you've given so freely. I am deeply grateful to have known you as much as I have.  It's a sad day on the internet. 

                                  photo from AdelaideScreenwriter    http://adelaidescreenwriter.blogspot.com/ 

                                  photo from AdelaideScreenwriter    http://adelaidescreenwriter.blogspot.com/ 

Rubber-Necker Special: Diary of a Crowdfunder

Rubber-Necker Special: Diary of a Crowdfunder 

(This piece was edited for and first appeared on the Seed&Spark blog.) 

4.1.13

Love that most important part of a crowdfunder is the ‘pitch video’.  One thing I can do is make a video. Shooting it tonight.

4.2.13

Starting over on the ‘pitch video’.  Hate talking to a camera.  Didn’t realize my entire life has been about avoiding this moment.  

4.3.13

Hmm.  Re-reshooting pitch video.  Ideally a rough-cut by tonight.  Is this a sinus headache or a tension headache? 

4.4.13

Darn pitch video eating up every waking minute.  Tense, thinking too much and it all reads on camera.  Better get some help with the budget and wish list.  Where can I find an intern?  

4.5.13 

Up half the night listening to M. snoring.  Homicidal.  How’m I supposed to look good for pitch video on no sleep?  Would it be so terrible if we launch the campaign a week later?  NEED AN INTERN.  

4.7.13

Meeting prospective interns.  Things could come together very very quickly with pitch video.  

4.8.13

We have an intern!  Super organized and self-directed.  AND finally have material of me for pitch video.  Finally TALKING NATURALLY into camera.    

4.9.13

Beginning to think I should cut budget in half… 30 instead of 60.  Must get back to work on pitch video.  B. was encouraging: “Sometimes you have to do 100 takes.”  

4.11.13

WHERE DID YESTERDAY GO?

4.14.13

Stayed up til 5AM working on pitch video.  Pushed back launch date by two weeks.  Scouring notes on How To Crowdfund to see what else am sposed to be doing.    

4.15.13

FINALLY.  Aced it.  Now need KEYWORDS for very strong new pitch video. 

4.16.13

Nooooooooo. M. HATED new pitch video. Panic setting in.  Make it shorter but keep the belly dancing?  Have GOT to put my attention on other aspects of the campaign!!  Why am I starting to itch all over?  

4.18.13

Reshot pitch video yesterday.  Almost there.  

4.19.13

About to reshoot yet again, now with S directing.  Thinking loose. Spontaneous.  How’m I EVER going to come up with one video a week??  Must get back on twitter and fb.  NEED MORE HELP.

4.20.13

Thank GOD.  Uploading excellent pitch video. 

4.22.13

Focused, confident, positive.  Must make sure budget numbers all add up to 26,000.  

4.28.13

Crowdfunder LIVE.  Money coming in!

4.29.13

Wasn’t planning on having to deal with resentments at friends who don’t chip in. Keeping track of who I’ve sent to, what list they’re from. Have to speed it up with the thank you notes.  Need more help!

4.30.13

Hundreds of people have seen pitch video and aren’t even following the project … much less donating.  Spending too much time writing thank you emails.  

5.2.13

F. and I shot for this week’s video “Wreck Your Life With Crowdfunding”.  Why’d he let me wear horrible baggy shirt? 

5.4.13

Feeling SO unsupported by so many people.  Gotta reread the crowdfunder tips sheets.  Work on the fucking video.  

5.5.13

Amazing how hard it is to get people to pay attention. Thank GOD for my team!  AND team at Seed&Spark.  How’d I ever think I could do this alone? 

5.6.13

Emily from Seed&Spark said it flat out: “If you’re not being a LITTLE annoying, you’re not doing it right.”  Not sure what she meant by  *a little*.  DITHERING over this video.  And we’ve got to get to 20% TODAY.  Yesterday.  

5.7.13

Have to lean harder on people asking them to share it.  Asking for money is different animal than asking for a click.  

5.8.13

Finished video and I LOVE it!!  “Wreck Your Life With Crowdfunding”  Does it matter about the sound?  We actually do need milk, groceries.  Nothing here to eat.  

5.9.13

Crowdfunding not unlike transactional therapy - forcing me to deal with taking everything personally-  petty resentments.  PEOPLE ARE BUSY.  PEOPLE HAVE JOBS AND LIVES. Maybe I am alienating people LEFT AND RIGHT.  But maybe G. is having a personal crisis.  Her silence might have NOTHING to do with me.  Get up to date on the spreadsheet and ask everyone to fb status this.  We need to EXPLODE.

5.10.13

The miracle we needed: “Wreck Your Life” going viral.  600 views in three hours!   

5.11.13

Come on, this is already old news??  “Wreck Your Life” isn’t 24 hours old and no one’s watching?  Do I have to make a pest of myself?  

5.12.13

Uh-oh. Should’ve kept a record of who I’ve already thanked publicly on fb.  Where are the lists?  The goddamned spreadsheet?

5.17.13

Went into crazy place last night, thinking I’m being attacked by my own team.  They say I’ve got to be more on social media, stop trying to make more videos.  

5.19.13

Can’t eat or sleep.  Crowdfunding is modern version of a gladiator fight.  People check in to see if you’re winning … or total loser.  They can see everything.  

5.21.13

HELP.  Who do I know who’s influential?  

5.25.13

We just need 8G’s.  (just).  

5.26.13

Have to go back to people who’ve already given. We’re so close. 

5.30.13

WE DID IT.  JOY!  GRATITUDE!   State of collapse.   

Huge thanks to my crowdfunding team (Clarissa Léon, Mudd Lavoie, Victoria Trestrail, Louise Edington and Cristina Chavez), to Stephen Dimmick for his invaluable help directing the pitch video, to Barbara Rick and Niall McKay for their encouragement and to Emily Best and her crew at Seed&Spark for their extraordinary support.  I am deeply grateful to each and every person who contributed to our crowdfunder in May 2013 and made it such a success.  

 

Writing Process Blog Tour

I'm grateful to Leesa Dean for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.  Leesa is the one-woman dynamo who writes, directs and hand animates the hilarious and addictive web series Chilltown TV ("the best in scathing urban animated comedy") which I like to describe as The Simpsons meets Pulp Fiction by way of Chien Andalou.  It's that good.  

The format of this blog tour is to answer four questions and introduce three new writers.  Here we go: 

WHAT AM I WORKING ON: I’m working on Season 3 of The Louise Log, the comedy web series which has been my consuming passion since late 2007.  

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE: It’s very hard to keep up with all the new web series cropping up but I think that The Louise Log differs from other comedy series in its focus on the inner life of Louise, a housewife/frustrated artist.  You see the polite smile, the mask…but then you hear what she’s really thinking from her inner voice.  

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO? I have a lot of different motivations for writing but mostly I write about things in an effort to understand them.  If something in the news, a movie or a book makes me laugh and especially if I don’t understand why I find it funny, I often steal it and use it.  The act of writing is crucial for both focusing and developing my thoughts.  

HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?  I don’t really have a writing process as much as I have corrals to corner me and get me to write.  

  • The brain drain.  First thing in the morning, before talking or being talked to, I scribble on three sides of 8 1/2” x 11” paper.  Julia Cameron’s excellent book The Artist's Way  introduced me to this discipline and, at this point, I’m superstitious about giving it up.  Some of the voice-overs and many of the themes of The Louise Log come from this free-writing.  

  • Trial webs.  Gabriele Rico developed this truly astonishing way of writing and explains it in great detail in her book Writing The Natural Way.  After being moved to tears by the essays some supposedly “ineducable” high school boys wrote using her method, I felt hopeful that maybe it would work for me.  I use it for any and everything I write- letters, a blog post, scenes, character development, voice-overs, etc.  The radical aspect of this approach is that you don’t have to have an outline or even an idea of what you’re going to write.  All you have to do is let a feeling, an image or an idea affect you and then jot down what comes to mind as it does.   

  • Deadlines. Without a deadline, I rewrote one feature script for seventeen years.  Monthly deadlines have worked well for me on The Louise Log.  

Finally, here are three writer/artist friends who are extremely productive and (I think) really smart.  They'll post blogs on this tour next Monday, June 2nd but you can take a look at what they're up to right now.

Henry Sheppard is a novelist and screenwriter. His novel Play the Devil, published last December, is the fruit of a number of years spent in Pentecostal churches, where he encountered hypocrisy, sexual and financial abuse, and a pyramid of personality cults. He has also written several screenplays, all romantic comedies, and is currently working on converting the novel into a TV series.  http://adelaidescreenwriter.blogspot.com.au/ 

Susan Kouguell's internationally award-winning short films are in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection and archives and were included in the Whitney Musuem's Biennial. Awards include top prizes at the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, Marburg International Film Festival, Bucks County Festival, Berline Interilm International Festival and the Baltimore International Film Festival.  

She has worked on over a dozen feature films including Mariel Hemingway’s The Suicide Club and voice-over narrations for Miramax Film Corp (assigned by Harvey Weinstein). Kouguell is the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including the MacDowell Colony, Jerome Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS) and Edward Albee Foundation.

In addition, Kouguell has taught screenwriting at Tufts University for fourteen years, at Prague Film School, Harvard University Extension School, Antioch University, School of Visual Arts, at Screenwriters Online and is a regular contributor to many screenplay and film publications.  http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog/

Marie Christine Katz is a multi-media artist. Her work is an intuitive and spontaneous gesture in reaction to current event(s) or a personal situation that is developed over time.  

She uses paper, fabric, threads, wire, hair, yarn, lint, glass and wax to text, performance & participatory art, sound photography and video. 

Exhibition highlights:  Velada Santa Lucia, Venezuela,  Art in Odd Places NYC, Sell out at No Longer Empty LIC,  Brooklyn Utopias "In TRANSITion", Mapnificent BRAC and Dixon Place NYC.  Marie Christine Katz had an Artist Residency at The Field and Art Omi in 2011. www.mariechristine.com

How To Wreck Your Life With Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a 19-hour a day job so I'll be brief.   The videos (below) give a general idea of what we're up to.  The details of how to donate and support this effort are explained on our page at Seed&Spark.  

How To Wreck Your Life WIth Crowdfunding (part 1)    (3:11)

How To Wreck Your Life With Crowdfunding (part 2)   (1:58)

Introductory Pitch Video: The Louise Log and Season 3   (2:31)   

Growing a Thicker Skin

Out of the blue,  I received this (since edited) email:

Picture 9.png

Hungry for a pat on the back, I eagerly clicked on the link to read what turned out to be a very mixed review, mixed (I thought) to the point of mean.  Okay, maybe I'm thin-skinned.  But I had my revenge: I never shared it, posted it, or told anyone about it.  Well, except my husband.  Got him back, that reviewer.  HA. 

But it stuck with me that in this review, the writer did say that our marketing efforts might not be reaching all demographics.  And rereading it, maybe he wasn't so mean.  Still.  I know how to hold a grudge.  

So last weekend, for Pete Chatmon and Candice Sanchez McFarlane's upcoming feature doc CLICK HERE, a group of video producers assembled to talk on camera about the challenge of finding an audience online- Tahir Jetter, Tom Wardach, Stephanie Mohorn, Leyla Rosario, Anthony Artis, Candice, Pete and I. 

l to r Candice Sanchez McFarlane, Pete Chatmon, Anthony Artis

l to r Candice Sanchez McFarlane, Pete Chatmon, Anthony Artis

l to r Tom Wardach, me, Tahir Jetter, Candice half-hidden

l to r Tom Wardach, me, Tahir Jetter, Candice half-hidden

At one point, off-camera, I said to Candice:  "Well, though it LOOKS in the YouTube analytics like my audience is women over 40, I wonder if it just looks that way because the main actors and I are in that demographic, as are our friends and family and I guess their friends, etc.  And, a reviewer once suggested that maybe we aren't reaching all segments of our possible audience."  

Candice:  "Did you ask him if he had any ideas about how to get to the people you're not reaching?"  

I heard a crack in my brain like when a glacier splits.  WHAT.   It had never even occurred to me to ask 'that reviewer'.  But then, there is this 500 pound chip sitting on my shoulder since last October 17 when I read his review.  But who's counting.  I wrote him that night.  

Picture 11.png

Four days later he wrote me back .  He had some ideas and sent a url where he had 'written them down'. The url took me to a blog post  (see below), using The Louise Log as a case study for this very problem so many of us are having online. He mentioned the series in the title and both it and me in the the article, hyperlinking to a blog I'd written, etc. etc.  It was better PR than I could have organized in my wildest dreams.  And he was generous to The Louise Log  in the article, very generous.  Within 48 hours, his post had been 'viewed' over 800 times. 

At the risk of looking like I've gone over the edge with the self-promotion, I have to recommend his post: it's chock full of really good, focused ideas-  some that I'd never thought of,  some I'd never even heard of.  (I'm looking at you, Google Trends.*)  But the even bigger lesson for me here is a life lesson.  Deal with whatever chips you've got on your shoulder, get a thicker skin and be more open-minded about what might be an opportunity. Make no assumptions.  

Here's the link to the post.

* Line stolen outright from Suzy Soro's thigh-slappingly funny Celebrity sTalker.

How We're Going To Become A Shorty Award Finalist

One Step At A Time

We're in 8th place!! YAYYY and Thank you!! BUT. To be a Finalist we MUST get to 6th place- at least 123 more votes. A lotta votes. If you're not on twitter but are on fb, please skip to the bottom of the page: 3).

My brilliant friend Louise Edington is thinking the KONY 2012 strategy is the way to go: we tweet at people with big followings. 

Though NO ONE can vote more than once, we'll think of it like a bank shot in pool - aim at the side of the table to hit the middle. Our duplicate votes ('nominations') we send out won't count but they might get more people to vote. So:

1) @ people with a lot of followers (see list below for ideas),  After writing in why, TWEET THIS:

<< I nominated @TheLouiseLog in #webshow b/c (FILL IN WHY). Please take a look @(fill in name from list/someone else) http://shortyawards.com/thelouiselog  >> 

2) In case you don't have an idea of who to tweet @, pick from here. Tweet as many of them as you want.   

CARLA IN TSHIRT (FRONT ONLY).png
Picture 569.png

3)  If you're not on twitter but are on facebook and want to help, here's a sample post.  Maybe your friends on twitter will 'nominate' (vote for) us.

SAMPLE POST FOR FACEBOOK

(Not trying to put words in your mouth, just want to make it easy...)

<<  Please take 132 seconds to look at this indie comedy episode about the inner life of a NYC wife and mother.  It needs 123 votes to be a Finalist.  http://youtu.be/YmBelEcURiw  http://shortyawards.com/thelouiselog  >>

Thank you very much for your support!