Archive for March, 2012

Using Fandom Right

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on March 28, 2012 by PoPS blog

Awhile back I did a post about how the internet isn’t a big fan of original content, instead preferring fan films pairing Batman with the Predator, plotless lightsaber battles, or covers of whatever’s on the iTunes top 10 instead of original songs. It’s just the nature of the thing. Even as original content explodes in every medium with a very real avenue to the eyes of the entire internet-surfing world, people still search for the things that the conventional industries are pushing with their marketing. The new trick is getting your original content out there. Most content creators are useless at marketing their stuff. Branding, click-throughs, promotion, grass roots, and then the brass ring of the internet…viral. How do you go viral? Good grief, that’s like trying to catch a lightning bolt. I have no idea. Here’s all I do know…film kittens; eventually one of them will yawn while falling over. But for those of us who aren’t in the kitten pushing business, and trying to push our original stuff, what do we do? For people like me who have an original series, the best we can do is try to get in with the internet communities who like our genre and hope enough people pass it around to catch the interest of the blogs big enough to have traditional media eyes on them.

The title of this post doesn’t work for series-guys like me. It works for other internet entertainers though. It’s on my mind because of a dude I became internet-obsessed with just TODAY. His name is Levar Allen and the dude landed on my radar by writing a great original song about my favorite show, Community. He uploaded it to YouTube yesterday, was tweeted by practically the entire cast AND the creator, and as soon as I heard his fan-song, I tore through his backlog, including his originals. That’s how it’s done. He targeted a very specific, niche community while displaying his serious ability for creating original songs. I don’t know if this particular video will land him a recording contract, or if he would even want one—inside sources these days seem to be saying not to get involved with record companies if you can get your own audience going online, but who the hell really knows?

I’m including the video here because it’s the perfect example of how it’s done right. It’s also an example of a YouTube genre called a “video song,” where you see video clips of the actual takes that end up on the track. You’re actually watching the song happen. As far as I know, it was pioneered by a dude named Jack Conte, who is definitely worth checking out as well. He’s an example of the opposite though. His covers are impeccable, but I don’t connect with his originals. I digress, here’s Levar:

How cool is he? Thanks for reading, guys.


PoPS video update 107-Pre-pro Ep7

Posted in Hypotheses 6 & 7 on March 25, 2012 by PoPS blog

Post-Pro Lull

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on March 21, 2012 by PoPS blog

We met for a production meeting for episode 7 preparations this week and the boys watched the rough cut of episode 6. Everyone seems to think things are moving along just fine. There’s plenty that still needs to be done, but we’ll get there eventually and I just hope it’ll get people excited about the show again.

I’m taking a break from working on effects for a couple days so Eliza and I can get a preliminary schedule for episode 7 put together including cast, locations, and props lists, so that Tim and Ryan can get an idea of a budget put together. Then I’ll dive back into effects work so we can keep plugging toward our goal of releasing episode 6 by the end of April.

Back when I started writing for the NexTV blog I was doing a from-the-trenches style how-to for people wanting step-by-step hints for making a no-money web series. (I am the hyphenate king!) Now that it’s more like a production blog, I dread post-production blogging when it’s the most exciting time to see things coming together but there’s the least amount of things to talk about without including spoilers. It’s all basically a few people sitting by themselves in front of computers wearing headphones and slowly gaining weight.

Since things are a little slow this week I’ll keep it short, but if you’re sitting at your day job looking for something else to read, check out this interview with Joss Whedon from SXSW. The dude is the perfect person to talk about the pros and cons of working on film vs. TV vs. web series vs. comics. This guy is taking over the world—which is as it should be.

Thanks for reading, everyone.


PoPS video update 106-Random Things

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on March 18, 2012 by PoPS blog

Jake Jarvi Speaks #77-First Fan Fiction

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on March 14, 2012 by PoPS blog

The video below is a short loop that a fan of the show made. One of the coolest things we’ve gotten so far.

So today it finally happened. We finally got some fan fiction. I’ve been waiting my whole life for some and it’s finally here. Someone—a complete stranger to me—was taken enough with the show we’ve created to spend their time and energy creating a brand new 7,500-word story for our characters using plots and theories of their very own. AMAZING! I don’t know how familiar any of you are with fan fiction, but much of it is campy, fan-service, relationship mash-ups, often of the sexuality bending variety, so I’ve basically been waiting to see who of us was going to end up on the gratuitous make out agenda first, Eliza and Carlyn or Craig and me. Nope. Eliza and I take the gold for first out of the gate. And they didn’t even make it gratuitous! I was kind of glad about that, actually. When the scene first started and I found myself reading a make believe version of me putting the moves on my wife, it made me feel a little weird, but then it turned into something that we could conceivably have done on the actual show with a twist and everything. It was the most well thought out fan fiction ever. The characterizations were solid, the individual plots were unique and involving, the dialogue was quippy. I was pretty shocked. The thing would make a good episode if I didn’t already have the series arcs on lockdown.

We’ve been getting really great fan art for a long time, much of which I’ve already posted here, and I sincerely hope this isn’t the last PoPS fan fiction we get. I’d love to link to it, but it was sent to me in a private YouTube message, so I’m not sure they’re going to make it public. If they do, I’ll definitely link to it in a future entry.

I finished a complete rough cut of episode 6 and started working on a couple of the VFX while Ryan, Leo, and our first VFX intern, Ethan, do the same. This weekend, I should start to think about scheduling episode 7 production. Here we go again.

Thanks for reading.


PoPS video update 105-Keep on Working

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on March 11, 2012 by PoPS blog

Just Like Old Times

Posted in Hypothesis the 6th on March 7, 2012 by PoPS blog

The video below is from the vault; it was uploaded to my YouTube account in the middle of 2008. It’s the first teaser trailer for a fantasy short I did called Twisted Thicket. It’s the only thing I’ve shot on actual film so far. I’m including the teaser here because it features a score that I wrote for the project.

I ran into my choir teacher from high school when I was prepping to shoot Twisted Thicket and asked if the school choir would sing on the soundtrack. My mom took the temp track of the parts I recorded, transposed it onto sheet music for me (I can’t even read sheet music anymore), and the choir sang it beautifully. It was an awesome experience.

I used to write music all the time. My family is very musical, we were even a family band when I was in high school. My parents moved us to Austin, Texas to chase the dream, and for a year we played our originals in coffee houses. My dad on guitar, my sister on mandolin, myself on stand-up bass, my mom on various percussion instruments, and we all sang. Oh! There’s a video. My sister recorded us doing one of our signature songs in the living room a couple of years ago, way past our heyday. Apologies if you’ve seen this before.

How crazy is that action? The family band about 13 years after we left Austin. The reason that all of this is on my mind is because I’m at the phase of post on Ep6 where I’ve been dropping in temp music as reference for our composer, Suede. At the end of act 2 is a beat where I wanted a very specific shift in direction to a character’s musical theme. I couldn’t find what I wanted temp-wise, so I pulled out the guitar, plugged the Lightsnake into the computer, and played the reference track in myself. It was great. I always loved making music. I just loved making movies a little bit more. So when I decided to buckle down on this web series, I decided not to split my energies and I stopped writing music. I’m not saying that whipping out the guitar and laying down one temp track has made me re-evaluate things, just that the effect of getting exactly the music you want underneath a scene can change everything and elevate the whole project.

In other news, I have a couple more scenes in Act 3 to appropriately temp-score and then I have a rough cut of Ep6 completed. It was finally complete enough last night for me to show it to Eliza, and she really liked it. I was really worried about it, I‘ve been too close to it for a month now. Having another pair of eyes on it made me see it a little more clearly. This episode is going to be so awesome. Now onto all the time intensive post work: VFX, sound effects, sound sweetening, color correction. There’s a ton yet to do, however this time, people other than myself are tackling a majority of it before I do the final mix and polish. Weird times.

Thanks for reading, guys.


PoPS video update 104-One of Those Days

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2012 by PoPS blog