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Written by Mandy McGee

The internet has been making it easier for creative people to still make their stuff and get it viewed. There are several places you can upload and gain audience for your web series. Youtube is the most used and known, but you also have Blip.tv, Vimeo, Crackle and many others where you can upload and build an audience (and possible gain monetarily from your film). Like any creative project, you may not make any money on it so you should not go into it wanting to be rich but you can hope it makes enough to be a sustainable enterprise. I know in my many creative endeavors I have probably spent more money than I am ever getting back, but if the end product makes me happy and potentially others happy then I have won! Obviously you need money in order to initially create these things. There are sites out there where you can pitch your project and ask for donations or you can just save a lot of money. Either way creating is no easy task especially when you are asking others to help you. You really want people on your side that believe in and really like the project enough to invest their time and/or lower their rates. Everyone needs to pay bills!

Living in Seattle I have met lots of creative individuals and I follow projects they get involved in. I have been watching a few amazing web series being made in Seattle right now. 

One is “Job Hunters”, a series about college graduates that must fight (potenially to the death) to be places by the MAEWIN corporation into careers. It is like today’s unemployment issues meets “Battle Royale”.

Watch more on their Youtube channel

Another one that I really like that is made by several talented friends of mine is Journey Quest. It is like scripted LARPing on video! That alone makes me SQUEE!!! It is a fantasy comedy by the creators of “The Gamers” and “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising”. If you never saw those, then you should. 

This series made enough on kickstarter to keep going and get a second season. Watch the first episode and get hooked.

Seattle is not the only city with awesome talent making amazing creative things. L.A. based actress, Teal Sherer, has a new web series called “My Gimpy Life”. You may have seen her on “The Guild” playing an angry and mean person with the rival guild, now she is telling how it is in the biz from her perspective. Her show is a scripted quirky comedy loosely based off of her struggles as an actress with a disability. She is in a wheelchair which can make things difficult but she is showing the world that she is not giving up. She just wrapped the first season and I can’t wait for more. I will also be having an interview pop on here soon enough with the beautiful actress so stay tuned for that.

Scripted shows are fun but what about the Vlog, podcast or interview shows? The Nerdist, Geek and Sundry and Stan Lee’s World of Heroes have put together their own channels/sites with tons of geeky content for your entertainment. Here are some of my favourite episodes from each of these channels. 

One of the shows that runs on The Nerdist is All of the All Star Celebrity Bowling. All of the episodes are frackin funny but here is the newest one with the cast of Doctor Who. Go watch all of them after you watch this. 

The Geek and Sundry team has some amazing shows on their channel (All produced by Felicia Day, Kim Evey and Sheri Bryant). The show “Table Top”, hosted by Wil Wheaton, has brought so many games to my attention that I didn’t know existed. I did play the game Fiasco before that episode aired, and believe me, it is just as twisted and hilarious as the show portrays it. I suggest you go watch “Table Top”. The episode I am going to post is actually from Felicia’s show “The Flog”. I am currently filming a web show that is like this. Felicia inspired me! I run this blog to promote independent makers/artists and I love promoting people so my show is me going around Seattle (and surrounding areas) talking with shop owners, artists, and such. I interview them and have them teach me something that they like or something they make. 

I digress…. stay tuned for that to air… in the mean time enjoy my favourite episode from “The Flog”. 

Stan Lee’s channel is amazing to me because ONE it’s Stan Lee, and TWO it’s STAN MOTHERFRACKIN LEE! I know a few people who host and produce these shows and it really makes me happy to see such amazing people doing great things. I have to plug two shows here. Bonnie Burton’s “Geek DIY” show launched recently and it is filled with glitter, toys and googly eyes… OH MY! Here is one of my favourite episodes where Bonnie and the girls from Team Unicorn make arm bands. 

and Jenna Busch does an interview show with Stan called “Cocktails with Stan”. Here is one of the recent episodes where they talked with the beautiful and talented actress/producer Clare Kramer. 

One more web series I would like to talk about is “My Music" created by the Fine Brothers. This isn’t just a web series with a scripted sitcom, it is a full circle, 24/7 interactive experience. The channel runs different shows every week. There is the sitcom styled show, a music news show, a live show and more. Everything has the actors stay in character. They all even have social media accounts where fans can interact with the characters like they are real people. It stars Adam Busch from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and several well known youtubers with the occasional guest star. Here is my favourite episode where Felicia Day shows up playing a black metal musician. 

Lastly I found this article about getting your web videos out there. http://www.brainsofminerva.com/2010/09/14/acting/finding-the-best-distribution-for-your-web-series/

Now get out there and create something!!!

What web shows do you watch? Tell me all about them and share links!

Written by Mandy McGee

Diesel Sweeties is a web comic created by Richard Stevens III. It is pixelated love full of low resolution robots, puns and lots of funny adventures. Richard also makes geeky T-shirts, socks and other things for your enjoyment. Some of his T-shirts have been worn by the likes of Wil Wheaton and Jim Parsons on The Big Bang Theory and in Scott Pilgrim. He sometimes even draws celebrities and geek icons in the comics. This is probably the funniest interview I have done yet.


Mandy: For our readers who are not familiar with you, who is Richard Stevens and what do you do?
RStevens: I am a so-far unmodified human male from the North American continent, consisting largely of caffeinated water and puns. I draw a comic strip on the internets called Diesel Sweeties and do all the side work that running a website and selling things entails.

Mandy: Where are you from?
RStevens: Originally, Connecticut. Currently, just outside Northampton, Mass.

Mandy: What projects are you currently working on?
RStevens: I’m currently doing my regular DS work, the gigantic 3,000+ comic ebook collection and a couple of secret books which are secret.

Mandy: When and why did you start Diesel Sweeties?
RStevens: I started in the Year Two Thousand. I’d always drawn comics as a kid, but had to stop during college. I had an easy, steady job at the time and decided to use my spare time to make up some comics. I was originally planning to do books, but fell into the routine of a comic strip.

Mandy: Did you start with doing the comic and then create merchandise?
RStevens: Yup. Comics first, merchandise second.

Mandy: What else do you do besides Diesel Sweeties?
RStevens: I tweet a lot and sometimes experiment with a crock pot. There was a brief period where I also collected some old arcade games because I was bored. That was my exercise for this decade.

Mandy: Were you aware that Wil Wheaton was going to wear your stuff before Big Bang Theory aired?
RStevens: Yup! He called me right as the production folks ordered them to give me a heads-up so I could get them to the show on time. That was a pretty wild day. I woke up in a blizzard without power, dug out from a couple feet of snow, and then Wil called about five minutes after the electricity came back on.

Pixelated Wil Wheaton

Mandy: If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
RStevens: I could really go for multiple, networked bodies and the intelligence boost that would come from there being a dozen of me. I’d really like to both get my work done *and* read more.

Mandy: If you were a Star Trek® [or Star Wars® ] character, which one would it be?
RStevens: Ideally, Scotty or R2-D2. More likely, Reginal Barclay or C-3PO.

Mandy: What is the last book you read?
RStevens: Shades of Grey, by Jasper Fforde. Great book! I love quiet sci-fi.

Shades of Grey: A Novel

Dedication to Bonnie Burton

Mandy: What was the last movie you went to see?
RStevens: Captain America, and Scott Pilgrim before that. I don’t get out to the movies much!

Mandy: If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
RStevens: Who could most benefit the original me for when I get back? I guess I would probably pick someone with the ability to give Original Me some huge, tax-free grants or sign over a building or NASA to me. Then, all I have to do is wait a week and life will be Good.

Barring that, switch me with someone in the Illuminati who knows the truth about aliens. I’m sure I could memorize some flying saucer diagrams.

Mandy: What hidden talents do you have?
RStevens: Apparently, I am very good at over complicating hypothetical life-swapping questions. Better that than overcomplicated wife-swapping, I guess.

Dedication to Warren Ellis

Mandy: What is your dream project?
RStevens: I want to write a sitcom so dense and speedy that it would make Arrested Development look like a cricket match. Nothing but an overlapping, multi-layered heap of recaps and flash-forwards that could drive a normal person mad.

I would settle for getting free reign over a weird think tank to invent crazy technology and give it away for free, hopefully screwing up large corporations in the process.

Mandy: Professionally, what’s your goal?
RStevens: I want to finally get caught up on work, automate a month’s worth of comic and then write a couple books while on a boat to Australia. That’s the closest thing to a vacation I think I’d enjoy.

Mandy: What advice can you give to those going into your line of work?
RStevens: Don’t do this because you think it’ll make you money. Do it because you love it. 

You can find more Diesel Sweeties HERE

Follow RStevens on Twitter (He is funny)

We both had a hard time figuring out which comics were our favourites so we reached out to the fans on twitter. There are so many Sweetie comics it is hard to think of one particular one, but a few were brought to my attention and refreshed my brain on the ones I really like. Here are two that I love and speak to me for different reasons. If you know me you can see why.

and…

Written by Mandy McGee

Jenna Busch is a host and writer for all things geeky. She works with numerous publications and companies interviewing celebrities and reviewing movies, TV, games and comics. She recently was seen on Felicia Day’s new you tube channel show, Tabletop, hosted by Wil Wheaton. This girl is beautiful, geeky, a natural on camera and a great writer. I got to talk with her about her job, her newest projects and some fun geeky things (we also realized we were separated at birth). I had so much fun interviewing an interviewer!

Mandy: For our readers who are not familiar with you, who is Jenna Busch and what do you do?
Jenna: I’m an entertainment journalist, currently working for Zap2it.com. I’ve written and appeared on camera for Zap2it, Huffington Post, AfterBuzzTV, AOL, Popeater, Newsarama, JoBlo, Blastr, UGO, IGN, Moviefone, SheKnows, Coming Soon, Screen Junkies, Famous Monsters and Geek Week. I think there is more, but I’ve forgotten. Don’t laugh. I’m a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association and a board member of the Broadcast Television Journalists’ Association. I’ve been a guest host on G4’s Fresh Ink Online for Blair Butler, a host on AfterBuzz TV and the host of Moviefone Minute. Basically I interview celebrities, do on camera hosting and write stories about movies, TV, video games and comics. I also moderate panels for Comic Con and Wondercon.

Mandy: Where are you from?
Jenna: I’m from Long Island. Greenlawn, but no one knows it. It’s a third of the way out, on the top. I had to leave NY though. Too cold and I’m a wimp.

Mandy: What projects are you currently working on?
Jenna: Zap2it takes a ton of time. I just wrote my first two comics for Womanthology and doing a project with Stan ‘The Man’ Lee. It premieres Friday, May 11. You can follow me on Twitter @JennaBusch for details. So excited! One more secret project in the works as well. So yeah, I don’t sleep. I love every second of it though.

Mandy: How did you become a reporter?
Jenna: Crazy story, actually. I was an actor, then a makeup artist. I was the Global Artist for Delux and Too Faced, and it was fun, but one day a friend from high school Chris Radtke called and asked if I could do some work for him for a site called UGO. My first interview was Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. He asked me to review the film “The Bucket List,” and it was off from there. It was a press conference, but I got in a question about cat poop coffee, which they talk about in the film. The two of them joked with me and asked me if I’d ever had it. I said no, but my sister once tricked me into drinking weasel vomit coffee. Yes, this does exist. It’s disgusting.

Mandy: Do you have a method to interviewing?
Jenna: I’m very conversational. I do a ton of research, but I really like it to be more of a chat between friends.

Mandy: Do you ever get nervous before you interview someone or host a show?
Jenna: No. I know that sounds weird, but they’re all just people. We’re just chatting. It’s nothing to be nervous about. I love being on camera because I’m giant ham. Just ask my mom and dad.

Mandy: Did you take public speaking classes or does talking in front of a camera come naturally?
Jenna: I actually majored in Musical Theater at Syracuse University. I spent a lot of time on stage and I moderate panels all the time. I believe this is also called being an attention whore. I love an audience.

Mandy: Why didn’t you not pursue musical theater?
Jenna: I played Eva Peron in Evita in three theaters for almost a year. I did my dream role and I wanted something different. I also wanted to move to LA. I still raise my hands in the Evita gesture when I win board games.

Mandy: What was your best moment in being a reporter?
Jenna: There are so many. I really do love with I do. I always love interviewing Russell Brand. He told me once that the definition of evil was wrapping a cat in a dishtowel and calling it the baby Jesus. He is a riot. Also, spending this much time with Stan Lee… there aren’t even enough words to explain how amazing that is.

Mandy: Who was your favorite person to interview?
Jenna: Russell, as I said. I love interviewing Colin Ferguson. He’s hysterical! Jason Segel is wonderful and so is Felicia Day. Maggie Q… here’s the thing. I love listening to people’s stories and I love interviewing. It’s really hard to pick a favorite.

Mandy: Who have you not interviewed that you really want to interview?
Jenna: Tommy Lee Jones. It’s funny. Almost everyone is nice. Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie…Tom Hanks once told me I won the title of “Miss Press Junket.” But Tommy has a rep for being difficult and I’d love to see how I’d do.

Mandy: If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
Jenna: Ooh, I love this question. Force Push. I would lift every car that refuses to go the speed limit and place them behind me. I’m not saying how gently I’d do that though.

Mandy: If you were a Star Trek® [or Star Wars® ] character, which one would it be?
Jenna: Princess Leia. She can fight, she’s smart, she’s a senator … also, I once did a short film where I played her. It’s…not kidding…called “Arr Wars.” Star Wars done by pirates. There is a clip on my old acting reel on Facebook. Don’t laugh. They used every clip where I was about to crack up. Also, I was the only character who didn’t get to say “arrgh.” Apparently I sound like a Yorkie.

Mandy: What is the last book you read?
Jenna: Fifty Shades of Grey (had to see what the buzz was about), the history of ballet since I’m back up on my pointe shoes and a Game of Thrones companion. This is where you yell “nerd.”

Mandy: What was the last movie you went to see?
Jenna: I saw a screening of The Avengers a few weeks before it came out. Amazing!

Mandy: If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
Jenna: I could go all artsy here and say Leonardo DaVinci, but honestly, I’m going to say Lessa or Menolly from the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffery. Mostly Lessa, but Menolly inspired me to go to school for singing. Rest in peace, Anne. Or Arya in Game of Thrones. Any kid who can kick that much ass … honestly, she’s an incredible character. I look forward to fan fiction written about her when she’s older.

Mandy: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Jenna: Judy Greer. I am known as a goofy, quirky girl and she’s got all of that. (I hesitate to use the word “quirky” since it’s getting a bit hipster.) I have swords in my house, a dog, cat, rat and bunny. The local squirrels knock at my door and eat peanuts out of my hand. I walk around the house in pointe shoes, I’d rather watch Game of Thrones than go to a party…maybe the word is crazy. :)

Photo by Kevin McIntyre

Mandy: What hidden talents do you have?
Jenna: I can knit, but only with one stitch. If you like scarves and blankets, I’m your girl. The rest is beyond me. The dancing is hidden, I suppose. I’ve been reading tarot cards since I was six years old. I love learning other languages. And I’m excellent at drunk purchasing strange items on Amazon.

Mandy: When you are not interviewing or writing what are you doing?
Jenna: Honestly, I work about 80 hours a week, so there is not a lot of downtime, but I love hiking with my dog. I love going out for drinks with friends and wine tasting. Hmm, I’m starting to sound like I’m filling out an online dating profile. Should I say long walks on the beach?

Mandy: What was your most embarrassing or scariest moment in your job?
Jenna: When you’re on a red carpet, sometimes people bring you an actor you’ve never heard of and don’t tell you anything about them. Then they refuse to wrap you up. Here’s a weird trick. If you don’t blink, people will keep talking. It freaks them out. So I’ll do that when asking about their latest project. That gives me time to think of what to ask.

Mandy: What jobs have you done other than being a reporter?
Jenna: Musical theater, makeup artist, tons of retail, I sold makeup on QVC (it’s on that reel as well…yikes!). Also, I was a paper girl way back when.

Mandy: What is your dream project?
Jenna: My own interview show. I would love that more than anything. If it’s on a beach, so much the better.

Mandy: Professionally, what’s your goal?
Jenna: To enjoy myself. If I don’t, what’s the point? The day I hate this, I’ll leave it.

Mandy: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and what advice can you give to others going into your line of work?
Jenna: Be your own publicist. I tweet/Facebook/Google+ about everything I’m doing. No one is going to do it for you unless you pay them. Someone told me that way back and it’s served me well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even more important? Pass work on to others. Help your competition out. It matters. It always comes back. One other thing. Carrie Keagan, who is on VH1 these days was the first person to talk to me at a junket. She is unfailingly nice and incredibly welcoming to everyone she meets. With no exception. There is no way to go wrong. Also, I want to be Carrie when I grow up.

Follow Jenna on Twitter

Her Blog- Girl Meets Lightsaber

Check out the show Tabletop on Geek and Sundry