Getting seen is one of the toughest challenges for a web series, even a web series like the highly successful Guild. But looking at a survey conducted on The Guild‘s Facebook wall, making a music video seems to be a big help.
This branded series sponsored by Trident ran into a major roadblock given that it was constructed around the second annual Streamy Awards, which, um, didn’t go so well. Here, producer Wilson Cleveland explains what happened behind the scenes to keep the show alive.
Ah, the Sci-Fi Channel original movie. Even the channel’s recent name change to SyFy (s GE) can’t keep Saturday nights from being must-see TV for B-movie fans who like their snakes mega-sized and their spiders on ice.
A pretty wide range of actors have done their time fighting CGI-rendered monsters, and today the Internet’s own Felicia Day joins their ranks, taking the lead role in the Little Red Riding Hood-inspired Red, which is due to premiere in 2011. (She’s a werewolf hunter!)
Being famous on the Internet doesn’t necessarily translate to offline success, but Day is the rare star who might just pull it off — at least, by SyFy’s standards. Why? Let’s look at the numbers. Read More about Will Felicia Day’s Online Success Transfer Offline?
Channels.com 2.0 Launches; revamped site aiming to become a “web video DVR” lets users subscribe to video via RSS feeds. (VideoNuze)
Guiding Light Actress Taking Her Lesbian Character to the Web; Since the soap is going off the air, Crystal Chappell taking the “Otalia” duo to a new web series called Venice for an ongoing story (under different character names) and an on-screen kiss. (The New York Times)
Felicia Day is Hollywood’s “Cat Lady;” in a lengthy profile of The Guild, the series’ star says that’s the only kind of part she’s offered. (The Wall Street Journal)
Redbox Adding Simultaneous Returns; company is testing a system that lets users return a movie at the same time another customer is renting one. (Video Business)
Jessica Biel is Dangerous; McAfee says that searches for the actress are more likely to lead to spyware and viruses than any other celebrity. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Theater Chains Eliminating Print Showtimes; Regal and AMC have started reducing or cutting out entirely their small print movie listings. (Variety)
RDF and Artificial Life to Make Interactive Animated Series; new show Sleuths would have viewer avatars compete in live telecast. (The Hollywood Reporter)
[show=theguild size=large]On Monday morning, the Internet’s answer to Felicia Day’s lyrical question, Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?, was very much yes. The Jed Whedon-directed music video for The Guild‘s upcoming season three became a trendy topic on Twitter, climbed the iTunes music video charts, and remained just as clever and well-produced as it was when it premiered at Comic-Con a month ago.
However, I’m bracing myself for the copycats — because as fun as a music video is, it’s important to note how, exactly, one should include them into a series’ regular content. After all, music videos are rarely a vehicle for storytelling, and as fun as they can be, it’s hard to make them work within the episodes themselves.
Take, for example, the Entourage spoof Underage, created by comedian Patrick O’Sullivan. The series has a lot of charm, thanks to its barely legal cast, with Lily Holleman as Poodle (the show’s Turtle analog) being a notable standout. But the adventures of teen star Kylie Lohanson and her hangers-on also suffered from poor sound design and some offensive character choices…and then, in the second episode, one awkward gag riffing on a modification of an Entourage catchphrase — “shrug it out” — was drawn out into a music video/dance montage that ate up 30 seconds of the three-minute episode and was nearly unbearable to watch. Lesson 1: If you’re going to devote that kind of screen time to a music video, make sure it’s structured around more than one joke.
Also, the reality show satire Whorified: The Search for America’s Next Top Whore found a great deal of gross-out gags by getting down and dirty in its depiction of the world’s oldest profession. And over 10 episodes, the show’s no-holds-barred humor was paired well with “behind-the-scenes” footage of the reality show’s producers, grappling with the sad and demeaning monster they’d created.
In episode 10, the producers meet with the show’s crew to discuss rising concerns about how awful the show has become, the crew asking questions like, “When [the contestants] have to leave the show, do we really have to throw them out in the front yard like they’re trash?” Read More about Lessons to Learn From Felicia Day on Combining Music Videos and Web Series
Major League Baseball Nabs Geo-location Patent; system will tell if MLB.TV users are in areas where games need to be blacked out. (Silicon Alley Insider)
Felicia Day on Questions You Should Ask Before Starting a Web Series; new media mogul suggests figuring out how your project is unique to the web and yourself, as well as identifying who your audience is and if you know what you are getting into. (Felicia Day)
Comedy Central Signs Midwest Teen Sex Show; cable network developing the straight-talking, risque show about sex education. (Tilzy.tv)
CBS CFO Talks Hulu; says that his network’s content would only appear on the Hulu on a non-exclusive basis. (paidContent)
Dailymotion and Hayden Black Team up for Cabonauts; web series described as a sci-fi musical comedy. (MediaWeek)
Lawyer Sees “First Amendment Perfect Storm” on the Horizon; Matthew Leibowitz wrote to the FCC to warn that newspapers declining mixed with potential bank/government control of TV stations could negatively impact free speech. (Multichannel News)
It’s hard to hate too much on the Society for Geek Advancement. I’m not quite sure what or how serious the project is, but the group wants us all to embrace our inner geek while giving a little something to charity (and a lot of self-promotion to a bunch of web celebs who are certainly not starved for online attention).
It would be easier to have fun with the group if it didn’t paint geeks at some kind of tortured sub-culture. From the Society’s about page: “The reality is, while geek seems to be the new chic and is spreading its wings in the land of mainstream culture, us native geeks are still a misunderstood community.”
The Society even created an accompanying video packed with a parade of web stars like Felicia Day, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Kevin Rose waving their geek flag. Which is pretty easy, if you are them. Felicia Day starred in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible, and signed another exclusive deal with Microsoft and Sprint to air the third season of her hit web series The Guild. Vaynerchuk is expanding his wine empire and just signed a seven-figure, 10-book deal. And Kevin Rose’s segment appears to have been shot at a second floor pool side suite at the swanky Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Yes, pity the poor geek! Especially after some in the video snidely castigate the hoi polloi for not knowing the difference between Twitter and tweet or how to pronounce meme.
But, as we said at the start of this piece, you can’t get too mad at the so-called society, especially since it (hopefully) doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it encourages people donate to the Room to Read charity, which builds libraries and schools in developing countries.
Now we just need all these geeks to gather in one place for a big song along with Quincy Jones conducting.
We are the geek
We are the nerdlington
We are the ones who actually do get paid
From this web phenomenon
Web video it-girl Felicia Day has signed Microsoft to distribute and Sprint to sponsor her show The Guild‘s third season, which airs this summer. As we all await the future of our soap operatic gang of gamer nerds, we know that creator and star Felicia Day (and everyone else) will keep getting paid.
Day had previously chosen Microsoft (s MSFT) and Sprint (s S) last season because they allowed her to retain full rights to the show, paying an upfront fee for an exclusive airing window. Since her star has only risen since then, a new deal must have been at least as favorable. The trade-off is that The Guild is locked up on MSN Video, which is not particularly full-featured. From what we can see, episode play counts on MSN seem to generally be around 200,000. For season 1, which was hosted on YouTube, views for an average episode are more like 750,000, with a high of 2.5 million views for the pilot.
MySpace CEO Ousted; Chris DeWolfe’s contract not being renewed, co-founder Tom Anderson’s role in the company uncertain. (release) With this announcement, Om likens MySpace to an 80s rock band whose time has come and gone.
The Guild Goes Up on Amazon; seasons 1 and 2 of Felicia Day’s web series can be pre-ordered on DVD or digital HD download. (WatchtheGuild.com)
Interactive Ads Coming to DVRs; TiVo, Cablevision and other companies rolling out ads that appear when a user pauses or fast-forwards, and can be clicked on to access further information. (The New York Times)
Report: Hulu in Talks with Record Labels; record labels Universal, Warner, EMI and Sony negotiating to bring music videos to the premium content portal. (Bloomberg) (This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this one.)
AT&T Launches Enterprise CDN; Private Content Distribution Service designed to help big companies deliver large video behind a corporate firewall. (Contentinople) (Read Stacey’s take over at GigaOM.)
$99 Blu-ray Players? Bringing the high-definition format to China could spur a low-cost entry level player. (Blu-ray.com)
Felicia Day, creator of web series The Guild, said during her talk at NewTeeVee Live that she had some major sponsorship on news on the way. Looks like it’s a bit more than just that: The Hollywood Reporter writes that Microsoft (s MSFT) has nabbed the exclusive rights to the second season of the series and will show it across the Xbox, MSN and Zune platforms.
Sprint (s S) will sponsor all 12 episodes of the season across the three Microsoft outlets and will have commercials attached as well as product placements within the show.
Day told us earlier this month that she rejected about 25 offers to sponsor the geek-friendly comedy, saying, “For me, an important part of the show is that I retain the rights to the show.” Her deal with the Redmond giant lets her keep the intellectual property rights to The Guild while collecting an up-front fee. This means that should The Guild follow in the footsteps of Sanctuary (another series where the creator held on to the IP) and move to TV, Microsoft won’t participate in any revenues generated from that.
Read More about Microsoft Locks Up The Guild