Can 5 Roommates Make and Star In 1 Web Series?

The Apartment - The Web Series

I recently had the opportunity to interview TJ Brown who’s a co-creator, writer, and actor in the roommate web series “The Apartment.” This series is a comedy about the incredibly awkward and ridiculous adventures of 5 roommates.

You can watch the latest episode and read what TJ had to say in our interesting Q and A, below.

The Apartment – Episode 5 – Mail

1. What’s the story behind your team wanting to develop “The Apartment” into a web series?

Lisa Best and I had been trying, (and failing), to get a sketch group formed for a few months. We even made a couple of sketches featuring all the members of “The Apartment” cast, but it just didn’t feel right. Then, one day at work, Lisa came up with the idea for our pilot episode. She pitched it to us and we all got very excited. Lisa attributes her inspiration to a desire to cast one of her bosses as our landlord which, of course, we weren’t able to do.

2. Who is involved with the project, and are the cast members roommates for real?

The five stars: Lisa Best, Andrew Duvall, Paul Laier, JC Currais, and myself are all the writers as well. We are also real life roommates (art definitely imitates life), and we are also stand-up comics from Florida. Our director Daniel Brea is the glue that holds our insanity together. We’ve also been fortunate enough to have some very talented friends that are going to be making appearances. Aristotle Georgeson crushed it as our slightly weird landlord, and Greg Kashmanian will be appearing in season two and, hopefully, more to come.

3. What are the core goals for the series?

We wanted to make something different. Our core rule is to avoid the joke that always gets made and instead, make it weirder. It gets weird. Our hope is that, as the show’s popularity grows, it may eventually lead us to an opportunity to make full TV episodes. Big dreaming.

4. Where do the ideas for episodes come from; real life experiences, fiction, or a combination of both?

A lot of our episodes start as something that happens around the house. Somebody says “this should be in an episode” and then we take it as far as our imagination will let us. “The Apartment” is basically what life would be like in our home if the real world didn’t get in the way.

5. What have been the biggest project challenges and struggles to date?

We had some trouble finding a director. We needed somebody that would compliment the team, and become another voice behind the camera. It took time, but we were lucky enough to get just that. Also, the first series hit some unseen real life roadblocks (we actually lost our apartment) that forced us to shoot 8 episodes in one month.

6. How does your team collaboratively manage the project work flow?

This particular team works very well together. Sure, we argue….a lot, but it’s because we are passionate about making great episodes. The writing is collaborative for the most part, and, once we start shooting, it becomes the kind of creative scene where everybody is adding ideas and jokes to make it work. The interview scenes are my favorite. It’s like a joke off every time.

7. Do you have any tips or insights for producing a web series?

Don’t get caught up in what people will think. Have a vision, and have faith in that. We have a team of funny people, and our core rule is simple: we have to think it’s funny. Now we just have to hope the audience will agree with us.

8. Where can we watch “The Apartment” and what can viewers expect from the series in the short and long term future?

“The Apartment” season one is being released every Tuesday on our YouTube channel, and we have a Facebook fan page set up also. The first season is nine episodes and really just explores our relationship in the house. We have started writing season two, and we are going to try to increase the scale a bit; take our characters into the world a bit. That being said, this show is and always will be about 5 oddballs stuck together in one apartment, for better or worse.

We thank TJ for his insightful answers for web series creators to learn from! We also wish him and his team all the best with their show and journey going forward.

Enjoy this interview?! Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, animators and producers from our members on Spidvid.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

A Fun Q and A With the Creator of the Series "Maggie"

Maggie the Web Series

I recently had the opportunity to interview Emily Rued (featured in the picture above), who’s the lead actress and creator behind the web series “Maggie” which is most simply described as a quirky supernatural comedy with heart. You can watch episode 1 on Blip, and read what Emily had to say below in our interesting Q and A.

1. What’s the story behind you wanting to develop “Maggie” into a web series?

Well, I wanted to put my career in my own hands a little and create my own work. I wanted to make something in my voice that was meaningful to me, as well as being funny. The idea for “Maggie,” came from losing my Mom and my wish to continue to communicate with her. I wanted to explore the relationship between the living and the dead- in a quirky, fun and zany way, of course.

Maggie the Web Series - cast

2. Who is involved with the project?

I am so lucky. I’m in an acting class with so many talented and motivated people, I’ve been able to assemble most of my cast and crew from it. I first took my idea to my classmate, Joe Bearor, and asked him to be my leading man as well as a co-writer with me, and he jumped on board. Dustin Cook, also in our acting class, came on as a director/writer and the three of us are working together to shape “Maggie.” My talented boyfriend, Eric Callero, is our Director of Photography and helps me with editing when I run into problems, as “Maggie” is my first experience working as an editor and I’m learning as I go.

3. What are your core goals for the series?

To suck you in! WHAA-HA-HA-HA!! Really… To create content that makes you giggle and breaks your heart a little – in a warm fuzzy way, and characters that you care for and want to watch.

4. What have been your biggest project challenges and struggles to date?

Wearing a lot of hats. I’m used to just showing up and being focused on for my performance, but with “Maggie,” I’m also wearing my producer/writer/editor/sometimes director/production and lunch coordinator hats, so it’s a lot I have to think about and be aware of at once. But eventually wearing a lot of hats will become old hat, I’m sure.

5. How do you manage the project work flow?

Delegate when I can, ask for help when I need it. Take breaks. Run and do yoga for my sanity. I have a job-job and I’m attending grad school, so there’s a lot on my plate, but you always find time for what’s important to you. And “Maggie” is certainly that for me.

6. Since releasing the series, what has been the biggest surprise?

We got a script to a pretty big name actor. He had some great things to say about the series so I hope we get to work together.

7. Do you have any tips for creating a web series?

Fall in love with the story you’re telling and surround yourself with good people.

8. Where can we watch your web series?

Watch “Maggie,” on Blip and like the web series on Facebook!

We thank Emily for her interesting answers for web series creators to learn from! And wish her and her team all the best with Maggie going forward.

Enjoy this insightful interview?! Great! Then subscribe to our blog via email as we will be doing more of these fun interviews in the future with other amazingly talented video creators, filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, animators and producers from our members on Spidvid.

And if you are a web series, TV, short film or feature film creator or producer and want your story and content featured here, then reach out to us and lets discuss.

The Top 5 Viral Videos of January 2011

Narrated Sex

We are now officially one month into 2011, and the viral videos continue to get pumped out! Below are our favorite five, including one created by Spidvid community member’s Deron, Meghan, and Claudia featured on our video sharing partner’s site UnleashVideo. This one hasn’t gone viral yet but should very soon. Spread the word about the “Narrated Sex” video (as pictured above), and be part of our “viral seeding” team! Enjoy these, and if you have one to add then please share the link to the video in the comments below.

1. Narrated Sex – This is taking narrated sex to a whole new level.

Narrated Sex from Deron on UnleashVideo

2. Greatest Putt-Putt Shot of all Time – Not sure if this is fake or real, but either way it’s cool to see this unique hole in one. And the guy’s silly laughter is pretty funny too! The video now has over 2.3 million views, and was uploaded on January 21st.

3. Ted Williams – Homeless Man, Golden Voice – Inspiring viral videos are uplifting and emotionally charging to see. If you haven’t heard the Ted Williams story yet, then be sure to watch the video below.

4. Kobe Bryant Is “Black Mamba” – Nike are among the elite when it comes to creative TV ads. Black Mamba starring Los Angeles Laker superstar Kobe Bryant, is a masterful 30 second spot produced by filmmaking legend Robert Rodriguez who’s also the mastermind behind Sin City, and other popular movies.

5. Heavy Metal Penguin – Our list would be incomplete without having at least one animal video on the list. There is something very fun and cool about penguins! Check out the hyper-active penguin below, and don’t be shy to jump around a little yourself!

Again, if you have a favorite viral video from January please use the comment section below to share it!

An Online Video Recap of the Webby Awards

Webby awards logo

On Monday we looked at the Streamy awards, today the focus is on the 14th annual Webby awards as they relate to online video.

There were 27 awards handed out yesterday for the category of “Online Film & Video”. The top award of “Film & Video Artist of the Year” was from viral music band OK GO. In case you have been living under a rock and haven’t seen their video “This Too Shall Pass” it’s been embedded below for your viewing pleasure. This is creativity at its best, and that’s what it takes to cut through the millions of videos alive on the Web today, to reach millions of viewers in a short period of time.

Complete Recap of Webby Winners

1. Animation – Pixar Into Parody by CollegeHumor.

2. Best Editing – Driftless: Stories From Iowa by MediaStorm.

3. Best Individual Performance – Isabella Rossellini for Green Porno by Sundance Channel.

4. Best Reality/Variety Host – Jen and Barb, Mom Life by BBE.

5. Best Use of Interactive Video – by BETC Euro RSCG.

6. Best Writing – The Onion News Network by The Onion.

7. Comedy: Individual Short or Episode – The Onion News Network by The Onion.

8. Comedy: Long Form or Series – Web Therapy II by Web Therapy, LLC.

9. Documentary: Individual Episode – by National Film Board of Canada.

10. Documentary: Series – Presents Interview Project.

11. Drama – by BBDO New York/Barbarian Group.

12. Events & Live Webcasts – We’re All Fans by TBWA/Chiat/Day.

13. Experimental & Weird – Green Porno Season 2 and 3 by Sundance Channel.

14. How-To & DIY –’s You’re Doing it All Wrong by

15. Music – Queen and The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody by The Muppets Studio.

16. News & Politics: Individual Episode – Alabama’s Homeboys by Los Angeles Times.

17. News & Politics: Series – Held by the Taliban by The New York Times.

18. Public Service and Activism – Love Project Music Video by BBDO New York.

19. Reality – The Specials by Kada Media.

20. Sports – Sonicsgate by Seattle Super Sonics Historical Preservation Society.

21. Student – GameZombie TV by GameZombie TV.

22. Technology – CNET TV by CBS Interactive.

23. Travel & Adventure – The Vice Guide to Travel: Liberia by

24. Variety – Live From Daryl’s House by Wolfson Entertainment, Inc.

25. Video Remixes/Mashups – Auto-Tune the News by Next New Networks.

26. Viral – Queen + The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody by The Muppets Studio.

The 2011 Webby award announcements are just 364 days away. Want to create content that’s Webby worthy? The most important part is connecting with the talent you need to make your video or web series a reality. What better place to connect and collaborate with the individuals who have the skills your production needs than Spidvid’s community.

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