Archive for September, 2015

PoPS video update 275-Writing and Shipping

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2015 by PoPS blog

What the Internet Wants

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2015 by PoPS blog

I was going to do this post about a month ago, before I got slammed by travel, work, and finishing episode 9. After the posts about YouTubers making movies and studios grabbing sci-fi shorts, I thought I’d give you the insight I’ve acquired about what the internet—or rather those who spend all day on it—really want out of video content.

-Super short comedy (Under 4 minutes is good, under two minutes is way better. Late-night talk shows are really harnessing this well for their online presences. And Amy Schumer’s stuff gets passed around like crazy a sketch at a time.)

-Snippets of real life (Cell phone footage of family, pets, and communities being funny or relatable)

-Short real life-based videos in three categories: Amazing stuff people can do, inspirational stories of people helping others, or infuriating stories of people hurting others. Pretty much like a news story format. This basically backs up the two main ways people see the world and they just seek out the content that supports their worldview and mock the other stuff as naïve or mean spirited.

-Tutorials. Those can be longer as long as they announce the topic in the first 10 seconds and stay pretty focused and instructional for the duration.

That’s pretty much it. Those four are the four biggies you’ll find floating around on social media sites. Fictional scripted content is WAY down the list of internet wants.

Speaking of, I was recognized at a Chicago street fair last weekend. A dude came up and said, “Hey, I’ve seen you in a bunch of Wheezy Waiter videos (Short comedy).” I started making small talk about how fun it was to be in those and he also mentioned seeing me play a character known as Rick Riffson, the CEO of Super Metal Records on Rob Scallon’s channel (People doing real life amazing things—this guy’s guitar playing is insane).

At this point, Eliza says, “Not to be mercenary or anything, but we have a channel, too.” And the guy cuts her off right away with that aw-shucks head shake that every web series creator has seen a thousand times. “Yeah, no, I know. I just can’t get into the long form stuff.” And I was like, “That’s cool, man.” I wasn’t even going to mention our channel to this guy, because he wanted to talk to Craig’s friend and Rick Riffson, CEO of Super Metal Records. Those guys truly do the internet game. I’m just a long form scripted fictional guy.

And the responses to episode 9 have been amazing. I feel so lucky that people keep coming back to learn more about this story and these characters. It’s incredibly fulfilling and fun. The comments sections are soooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOO awesome.

And today, let’s close with something I don’t think I’ve ever linked here. The latest appearance of Rick Riffson in a Rob Scallon video. This one’s a choose-your-own-adventure video as the player tries to get a contract with me playing “djent” metal.

Thanks for reading.


The Problem with “Acting” on YouTube

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2015 by PoPS blog

Wow. Four weeks without a written post on the PoPS blog. Quick recap of blogger rationalization: A lot of traveling meant I had a lot of work to catch up on at my day-job and I’ve spent the last couple weeks going crazy on finishing PoPS episode 9. We premiere on Sunday. Finally. As this trailer attests:

Today, I wanted to talk about one of the unfortunate side effects of doing a show on YouTube. Don’t worry, this isn’t a big complain’y type blog post. It’s just that we have a lot of great actors is our show, and people’s expectations when watching YouTube is that they’re seeing people who are simply being themselves. Our actors don’t get credit for acting.

That’s part of why I’m so pleased I got to do a video update each with the remaining members of the villain crew. The audience finally got to see them out of character. There were so many comments like—

“Wow! He’s nothing like his character! What a great actor!”

They need to get the chance to see what a team of genuinely sweet natured collaborators we’ve built in order to understand that they’re really good actors. If they were watching them on TV or in a movie, that’s something that would be inherently conveyed. But the very platform of YouTube is largely based on the premise of watching REAL people express themselves as who they genuinely are.

This is also a reason why many prefer not to watch web series on YouTube. The very platform makes everything seem even more phoney and fakey because people aren’t just telling stories looking straight into the lens of their cell phone or DSLR.

Just an unexpected hurdle on the platform of YouTube. So, it’s nice that at least the contingent of our audience that watches the updates finally understands how legit our cast actually is.

Another fun bit in preparing to release episode 9 are the hype’ish previously-ons I put together. This time it’s 21 seconds long and only helps the people who’ve already seen the show remember where we are and get a little amped. It does NOTHING to help anyone who’s never seen the show before understand what’s happened. I love it:

Thanks for reading. #PoPSweek


PoPS video update 273-The Lowdown on Danny (Eric Staves)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2015 by PoPS blog