Update: Ze Frank raises $200k to kickstart his media empire

Hot off the heals of his Kickstarter success, video blogging pioneer Ze Frank has raised an additional $756,000 from Marc Andreessen and others. His declared goal: To build “a new kind of media company” with a number of shows and active audience engagement.

Ze Frank officially launches his new show

Ze Frank is back: The video blogging pioneer posted the first episode of his new show on his site as well as on YouTube this weekend. The show’s launch has been financed with a Kickstarter campaign, which brought in more than $140,000.

Ze Frank hits Kickstarter goal, new show in March

It took video blogging pioneer Ze Frank less than eight hours to achieve his funding goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter yesterday. Now he’s already working on planing the relaunch of his show, which is currently scheduled to debut at the end of March.

Ze Frank is back… on Kickstarter

Ze Frank, the original vlogger, is working on a comeback. His new show could start as soon as he reaches his goal of $50,000 funding on Kickstarter. The odds are looking good: Fans already pledged more than $25,000 just two hours after his pitch went up.

Vimeo Festival and Awards Release Shortlist, Add Judges

The first annual Vimeo Festival and Awards approaches, with today bringing the announcement of the submissions shortlist, determining the top 20 videos in nine categories — one of which will go on to receive a $25,000 grant and the attention of David Lynch and M.I.A.

Ze, Buckley and Homestar Runner Tell All

Ze Frank made the best money he’s ever made on his web video series theshow. You won’t see Homestar Runner-branded pillows and sleeping bags anytime soon. Michael Buckley hates taking the weekend off.
Read these and many other interesting first-person tidbits from artists who’ve cultivated audiences and communities online in reporter and blogger Scott Kirsner’s new book, Fans, Friends & Followers. Kirsner made up a special excerpt for NewTeeVee readers that includes sections from Frank, Buckley, and Homestar Runner co-creator Mike Chapman. We’ve embedded it below.
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Is There Life Left in The Remnants?

Though Charlie’s Angels and Big Fish screenwriter John August’s web pilot The Remnants was beloved by fans and NTV Station alike, as of this writing August says the series is more or less dead in the water.  This week, he addressed the outpouring of positive fan response on his blog, outlining the hurdles that stand in the way of a Remnants revival.  But NewTeeVee, being a fan of things that are good, reached out to some online video businesspeople to see if and how they thought The Remnants might have a chance of becoming the Little Web Series That Could.


The Remnants from John August on Vimeo.

The Remnants already has a promise from NBCUni Digital via 60Frames for its distribution, but that deal is contingent on the show finding a sponsor.  So far, one has yet to materialize.  With material this good, why? And what other options does the show have?

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Vlog Brothers Are Good But They Still Aren’t Ze

NTV StationVideo blogging, or “vlogging,” is still finding itself as a medium, exploring its artistic, didactic and philosophical potential. Arguably, the format’s greatest laureate is a now-retired vlogger by the name of Ze Frank, who ran a daily vlog for a full year, building a sizable audience and doing more than any other vlogger to develop a distinct syntax, vocabulary and dialectic. Frank’s “the show” crafted a refined style — with closeups, jump cuts and a frenetic, direct address of the viewer — that has begotten a large number of disciples. But none carry Ze’s torch with more earnestness than the brothers Green.

John and Hank Green haven’t done a lot to push Ze’s winning model forward — as John Green says in the duet at the end of their first year, “In 2006 I fell in love with Ze, and I told my brother Hank we should do the same thing our way.” So, they’ve got the silly songs, collaborative projects and jump cuts aplenty, but instead of “sportsracers” (the name Ze gave his devout audience) they have dubbed their active viewers “nerdfighters,” “nerd” having been appropriate by bespectacled ones everywhere as a badge oh honor. Read More about Vlog Brothers Are Good But They Still Aren’t Ze

New Web Pilot Stars Justine Bateman and Ze Frank

Actors from Smallville and other TV shows. The writer of Go, Big Fish and Charlie’s Angels. Web star Ze Frank. Famous-for-other-things-but-now-all-aboutthe-web Justine Bateman. All these people and more are involved in what sounds like a promising upcoming web series, The Remnants.


The Remnants (preview) from John August on Vimeo.

The show was unveiled for the first time this week as part of a broader announcement from NBC detailing the slate of original productions it created in partnership with new media studio 60Frames. It was described as “a quirky and comedic story of a group of friends who search for answers and survival, upon realizing they are some of society’s last living inhabitants in post-something Los Angeles.”

Since the studios let the cat out of the bag, writer John August posted 2 minutes from the pilot on Vimeo and wrote about it on his blog. According to August, the project is still in development and won’t necessarily become a series. The part that’s done was shot during the WGA strike.

August also revealed the cast of The Remnants, which besides Bateman and Frank also stars Michael Cassidy, Ben Falcone, Ernie Hudson and Amanda Walsh.

August describes the show as “a comedy about a group of squabbling survivors in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Tonally, it’s a cross between The Stand and The Office.” The 2 minutes were promising, if a little hard to grok. Right at the end of the clip, Ze Frank gets a roshambo mention in, so that’s a good sign.