A Web Series for Those of Us Who Work at Home

HOME/OFFICE trailer from Good Worker on Vimeo.

Technology has made it possible for over a million people to become independent workers in the last year alone. Many of you web series creators may be among them! We know you’ve got that entrepreneurial spirit. But too much freedom can sometimes bring it’s own ups and downs. In between bouts of productivity, independent workers and filmmakers James Darling and Josh Shayne decided to make a web series about it: HOME/OFFICE. The first season of the series explores common challenges such as winning a client, avoiding distraction, trying to stay in-shape, dating online, and meeting intense deadlines.

As web series creators, we’re always interested when an indie series finds funding before it launches. Isn’t that the dream? HOME/OFFICE was able to do so, partnering with very specific brands DreamHost and Backblaze. Here’s creator James Darling explaining the smart way they went about funding the series:

“We self-financed these initial 8 episodes and shot them over 7 straight days at Josh’s apartment in Brooklyn. Once the episodes were finished, we reached out to brands that shared our audience–freelancers, designers, and entrepreneurs–and offered them ad spots after each episode and promotion on the show’s website.

Basically we’ve managed to put the show “in the black” before airing a single episode — which, as you know, is quite unusual for an independent web series.  We’re hoping to replicate and expand upon this model with our 2nd season and future shows–ideally lining up the budget with brand partners/sponsors BEFORE production.”

Good Worker co-founders Darling and Shayne are both graduates from NYU’s acclaimed Tisch School of the Arts film program. They are already accomplished filmmakers and screenwriters in the traditional sense: Darling’s screenplay In Motion won an Alfred P. Sloan Prize in 2005 and his feature film project The Pilot was awarded the Richard Vague Production Grant from the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television in 2015. Shayne’s 2013 screenplay You’re the Ones was a semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting and his short film Le Voyeur aired on IFC in 2007. In 2009, they were hired by Stetson Hats to travel cross-country and film their quest to deliver an inaugural hat to the President.

Learn more about Good Worker and watch the full series Home/Office at Home/Office.tv

Steph’s FINAL LAWeekly Web Series Pick of the Week: Adult Wednesday Addams, Season 2 – Full Interview with Creator/Star – Melissa Hunter

Melissa Hunter spent her youth being told she was a ringer for Christina Ricci. Middle school bullies mocked her with the moniker, “Wednesday.” So a couple years ago, the ebony haired, doe-eyed Hunter decided to reclaim the epithet and go as the acrimonious adolescent for Halloween.The reaction from friends and strangers was so enthusiastic that the writer/actress decided to rewatch the Addams Family films and reclaim the character who haunted her childhood as a creative ally.

Check out my review of Hunter’s web series Adult Wednesday Addams for the LAWeekly HERE and continue reading below to see my full interview with Hunter about creating the two seasons of the series. Hunter is full of great advice on how to launch a successful series.

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LA Weekly Web Series Pick: The Smalls Family

David Catalano’s web series The Smalls Family, features a sit-com-esque suburban clan with one twist: their dialog is a word-for-word transcription of songs by platinum record-selling hip-hop artist, Notorious B.I.G.

“Some people wanna stick me like fly paper, neighbor!” fumes teen Katie Smalls to her parents over a pizza dinner in their upper-middle class home. A jealous friend just texted her at “5:46 in the evening” and now she’s steamin’, “Why they wanna stick me for my cream?” Check out Steph’s full review of The Smalls Family for the L.A. Weekly HERE and continue reading for her full interview with creator David Catalano.

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Steph’s L.A. Weekly Web Series of the Week: Jeff 1000 – Full Interview with Wired’s Rachel Samuels and Creator Michael Karnow

There are countless web series about actors in L.A., but very few in which the actor is a ten-foot tall, alien robot. Enter hot hunk… of metal Jeff, the well-meaning, socially awkward robot hero of Wired and Condé Nast Entertainment’s new mockumentary web series, Jeff 1000. Check out my review of Jeff 1000 for the L.A. Weekly HERE and continue reading for my full interview with creator Michael Karnow and Wired’s Head of Digital Content, Rachel Samuels.

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Steph’s LA Weekly Web Series of the Week: Crack Duck – Full Interview with Creator Danny Lacy

Crack Duck has a lot on his plate. As apartment manager of Grungetown Towers, he has to muster the courage to interact socially with his tenants, deal with discord – like when diaper-clad Thievy Tim steals the Sun from Zqiygyxz, the all-knowing dog who has reached nirvana, all while coping with the crippling pain of existence. Crack Duck is the surreal, disturbing and oddly heart-warming brainchild of writer/actor Danny Lacy, who also lends his voice to his woebegone web-footed hero.

Check out Steph’s review of Crack Duck for the L.A. Weekly HERE and check out her full interview with creator Danny Lacy below.

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LA Weekly Web Series Pick of the Week: 52 Ways To Break Up – Interview w/Creator Megan Rosati

In the age of ‘right swiping’, dick pics, student loan debt and egg freezing, the etiquette of dating has become blurrier than ever. In her thoughtful, beautifully shot and soundscaped web series 52 Ways to Break-Up, actress/writer/producer Megan Rosati explores the many ways a romantic connection might explode or sputter and die in 2014. Check out Steph’s full article on 52 Ways for the LA Weekly HERE and continue reading for her full interview with Rosati about creating the show.

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A Web Series about a “Hip” Youth Pastor with Awesome T-Shirts -YOUTH PASTOR KEVIN!

Husband and wife film making team Kerri Fernsworth and Jeff Feazell have had a roller-coaster ride relationship with religion. Jeff grew up in an extremely religious household, Kerri chose to become an evangelical Christian at 13. The two met at Christian college and undertook a huge upheaval of belief and world perspective together. Now they’re looking back at their experiences through a VERY humorous and perceptive lens… their very funny web series, Youth Pastor Kevin!

YPK is directed by Fernsworth and stars Jeff as “hip” and VERY devout YPK.  Jeff also runs The Web Show Show – an amazing venue to screen your comedy videos or web series episodes in front of a panel of internet professionals and gain both exposure and advice. Submit your vid HERE!

I got to speak to Kerri and Jeff about how they met and made the show. They also have kick ass T-shirts for sale that are featured in the series that might just make it onto your Christmas list this year. Enjoy!

When did the idea of the character for YPK surface and why did you decide to make it a web series?
Jeff: I went to a bunch of churches in high school, and all the youth leaders were like that. But there was this one guy, the RD in my freshman dorm at Christian college, who was REALLY like that. The lame bro-drawl and all that. I used to imitate him a lot, so one day I was thinking about how funny it was and I just sat down and wrote the script for “White Problems”.

Kerri: Yep, Jeff invented the character. And from that central figure, it was pretty easy to determine the other types of people he needed to interact with and what they should be like–his different youth group kids, his controlling but technically submissive wife, a senior pastor who is way more chill than YPK. We wanted to make a web series because that seemed like something doable to try it out as short character-based sketches of awkward moments we were both familiar with.

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