Indie Film ‘Pulp’ to be released on Xbox Video in US & Canada

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Movies, Xbox

The indie comedy, Pulp, made history last year by becoming the first film to be released on Xbox Video in the UK. Since its initial release, the film has gone on to find audiences in Australia and New Zealand, as well as garner attention in the London Comedy scene. With a nomination for the London Comedy Film Festival Discovery Award and selection for the Just for Laughs Comedy Film Festival, you can be sure Pulp will tickle the funny bone.

Courtesy of Pulp Official Website

Looking to capitalize on the successful partnership again, Pulp seeks to expand their audience when it releases on Xbox Video in the US and Canada on January 14th, 2014. On the upcoming expanded release, Pulp co-director and producer, Adam Hamdy, had this to say:

Xbox Video did a great job of helping us find an audience for the film in the UK, Australia & New Zealand and we’re excited to be launching the film with Xbox Video in the US and Canada.”

It is good to see content providers enjoying their partnership with Xbox as the platform has the potential to reach so many households. Xbox Video is embracing the deal as well. Paul Davidson, Director of Xbox Video, stated:

Bringing Pulp to new audiences around the world enhances our offering for Xbox Live customers, who crave new and exciting content. We’re incredibly honored to introduce Pulp to new audiences around the world on Xbox Video.”

Pulp will be available for purchase at a special promotional price of $3.99 for SD and $4.99 for HD during the first 2 weeks following the January 14th release.

Below, you will find a synopsis as well as the official trailer. Included after the trailer is a scene from the film.

Synopsis: Infinite Finity. Thunder Racers. Rat Warriors. Junk Comics’s library of titles has been referred to as the ‘worst material printed since Mein Kampf’.  Tony Leary, the nice-guy owner of Junk Comics, is gearing up for one last roll of the dice. His new superhero title, The Sodomizer, launches at the British International Comic Show, and nothing will stop Tony from making it a success.  Nothing except a gang of Geordie criminals who are using another comic company to launder their dirty money. Tony is drafted by the police to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.  Aided by his trusty geek sidekicks, Rick and Keith, Tony must defy the odds if he is to become a real life hero.

Disclosure: Video contains foul language which may not be appropriate for work or small children. You have been warned.

For more information about Pulp, you can find them online at:

Official Website: http://www.pulpthemovie.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pulpthemovie
Twitter: @pulpthemovie

Watching the Web: 2014 IAWTV Award Winners

Category : E-vents, Entertain Me, Featured, Watching the Web

Tonight, the Web Entertainment industry got dressed up to celebrate their own with the 2014 International Association of Web Television (IAWTV) Awards.

Courtesy of IAWTV

Courtesy of IAWTV

The award show takes place during the New Media Expo (NMX) being held in Las Vegas. Carrie Preston (True Blood, The Good Wife, Person of Interest) took on the hosting duties with awards presented by fellow IAWTV members.

 

And the award goes to…

Best Online Channel
WIGS

Best Original Score
Damon Criswell, Continuum

Best Makeup/Special Effects
Bianco Appice, Fallout: Nuka Break

Best Costume Design
Fallout: Nuka Break

Best Art Direction & Production Design
Eric Whitney, Continuum

Best Animated Series
RWBY

Best Female Performance in a Comedy
Hannah Spear, Versus Valerie

Best Male Performance in a Comedy
Brad Bell, HUSBANDS

Best Hosted Series (Live)
My Damn Channel Live

Best Hosted Series (Pre-recorded)
Tabletop

Best Documentary Series
Tailgate 32

Best Variety Series
Kids React

Best Directing (Drama)
Rodrigo Garcia, Blue

Best Directing (Comedy)
Scott Brown, Destroy the Alpha Gammas

Best Directing (Non-Fiction)
Tom Grey, Cosplay Piano

Best Interactive/Social Media Experience
Carrie Hayden, State of Syn

Best Supplemental Content
Super Geeked Up

Best Live Event
Comedy Gives Back 2013

Best Returning Series
Squaresville

Best Editing
Phil Bucci, Destroy the Alpha Gammas

Best Ensemble Performance
HUSBANDS

Best Host (Live)
Beth Hoyt, My Damn Channel Live

Best Host (Pre-recorded)
Wil Wheaton, Tabletop

Best Educational Series
AWEME/Man at Arms

Best News Series
AMC Movie Talk

Best Writing (Drama)
Nikki Racklin, CUCKOO

Best Writing (Comedy)
Brad Bell & Jane Espenson, HUSBANDS

Best Writing (Non-Fiction)
What’s Trending

Best Male Performance in a Drama
Milo Ventamiglia, Chosen

Best Female Performance in a Drama
Julia Stiles, Blue

Best Cinematography
Marco Mazzei, 10,000 Days

Best Visual Effects
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome

Best Drama Series
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome

Best Comedy Series
HUSBANDS

 

Watching the Web – “Learning Town” with Paul and Storm on Geek & Sundry!

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Category : Candid Conversations, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Watching the Web

Paul and Storm are best known as a comedy/music duo with songs such as “Write Like the Wind,” a plea to George R.R. Martin, and are part of the driving force behind w00tstock. Paul and Storm have teamed up with Geek & Sundry to bring more entertainment to the web with  a new web series, Learning Town.

 

Learning Town follows Paul and Storm as they take on the task of running a kids show – puppets, musical numbers and all. Bringing a bit of play to YouTube with their unique brand of humor and wit, Paul and Storm present 10 episodes of Learning Town. The first episode airs today on Geek & Sundry and new episodes will air every Tuesday. Each episode is approximately 6-8 minutes in length and will feature an original song.

 

Thomas Jordan and Paul Brochu sat down with Paul and Storm for a candid conversation. The men talk about Learning Town, their influences, a cappella and the state of Geek.

 

Learning Town with Paul and Storm!

 

In addition to Learning Town, you can catch Paul and Storm in person at the following upcoming events:

February 1, 2013 – Paul and Storm will appear with Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage for a w00tstock Founders’ night show at San Francisco Sketchfest!

February 10-17, 2013 – Paul and Storm get on the boat for JoCo Cruise Crazy 3, a Jonathan Coulton!

March 22-24, 2013 – Paul and Storm get their game on at PAX East 2013!

 

For more of Paul and Storm, visit their website. You can also follow them on Twitter (@paulandstorm), like them on Facebook or connect with them on Google+!

Fluff Up Your Vagina Pillows: Portlandia S3 is Here!

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Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews, Television, Travel, Watching the Web

The Holidays have come and gone, my pretties. The gift cards have been defrayed with frightening speed and, for some of us, like Dr. Lucy and myself, Comic-Con is still a staggering seven months away. What’s a creative spirit to do in the grey bane of post-gifting, post-cocktail Winter? Prepare for Season 3 of Portlandia on IFC, of course. Get ready to get your Pacific Northwest-weird on, America!

 

 

From weird to Wired frames-of-reference, Primetime Emmy Awards-nominated and Gracie Allen Awards-winning Portlandia proffers an Übermodern vaudeville steeped in a homey and comforting grey and rainy respite of Northwestern coffee culture and smells just slightly of a musty vintage shop. Amidst a television culture of all-too-shiny, all-too-sparkly drama and desperate, hacky, wannabe comedy usually set in New York or L.A., Portlandia scratches an itch that one can only get from wearing the same rarely-cleaned, wool, REI sweater too many days in a row. (Apropos to NYC/LA: Producers, enough with where you live. We love landing at LAX and JFK, too; but there are other population centers across this vast country. Get out once in a while. Try San Diego, in fact. My Hotel del Coronado would make a sparkling backdrop for some such nonesuch.)

Depending on your sphere of comedy, Portlandia will range from side-splitting cackles to bemused snorts. Like an Anne Rice novel, a bottle of red or seasons 1-6 of Family Guy, even the worst of the bunch is still better than just about anything else in your purview. A hybrid of American and Canadian sketch comedy pacing, British story and character oddity, plus off-the-beaten-path travelogues, Portlandia serves up a grande porcelain cup of soy-frothed satire and schtick. Everything, from vegetarian dumpster dining, to hipper-than-thou thrift store clerks, to dog park etiquette, to gender-neutral booksellers, to Supa kawaii -Japan’s obsession with the super cute/super tiny- gets the snarky treatment. It’s a beautiful thing. Be ye a Renaissance Faire geek, a SciFi freak, a hippie poetess, a steampunk tinkerer (~ahem~ Dr. Lucy?), a vintage glam girl (Who, Moi?), a psychobilly crooner, a Jack White stalker or a power-lib Ivy Leaguer, Portlandia will tickle something on you, somewhere.

Special treats include the occasional, surprise guest star, including Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Jack McBrayer, Penny Marshall and Jeff Goldblum.

Already a fan? All apologies for preaching to the non-denominational choir. If not? Acquaint yourself pronto with the locally-sourced, fair trade, dye-free, organic, vegan stylings of Arminsen & Brownstein, co-creators and -stars. Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix Instant. You could also take a wee break from your pre-recycling activities of chipping the dried cheese off your pizza box and rinsing your Parmalat milk box and sample some tapas-sized clips of Portlandia here, courtesy of IFC. Have even more time because you quit your job and you’re makin’ jewelry now? Play at the whole site for a while and even take a tour of Portland with Kumail Nanjiani (frequent guest star) to find IRL inspirations for some of the show’s sketches … including America’s only all-vegan strip club! Colour me there!

So, get your Battlestar Galactica marathons out of the way, brew some Fair Trade Kopi Luwak Indonesian cat coffee and fluff up your vagina pillows … it’s time for Portlandia, Season 3!

“The modern world’s gone all off track, but you can escape it all in Portland. It’s the dream of the 1890s in Portland.”
-Portlandia, S2E5

S3 Premiere on IFC Friday, January 4 @ 10/9C

Starring: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein

Executive Producer: Lorne Michaels

Director: Jonathan Krisel

Production company: Broadway Video Entertainment

Distribution: IFC, Netflix and Umbrella Entertainment

Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Karey Dornetto, Allison Silverman, Bill Oakley

 

Hannah’s fave places to haunt online? JennyPop.net and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Follow @JennyPopNet

A Conversation with The Guild Co-Star Amy Okuda

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Category : Candid Conversations, Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Geek Out, GraniteCon, Watching the Web

 

I don’t go to conventions for the costumes. I don’t go to conventions for the swag. I go to conventions for the guests. Granite State Comicon has always been able to produce some pretty amazing guests, and this year was no exception.

Seeing guests like Jason Ciarmella, writer of Joe Hill’s The Cape, and Godzilla, and Mark McKenna of Invincible Ironman and The Punisher fame, was exactly the kind of guest list I was hoping for. Then I saw another familiar face. Amy Okuda, star of the award winning web series The Guild. In only a matter of minutes, I composed and sent an email to her manager requesting an interview.  Being very proud of myself (as I am prone to be), I got on twitter and told everyone about my intention to interview “Tinkerballa” at the convention. The reply I soon received was not the overwhelming excitement I had hoped for.

It actually went something like this…

FRAK!!!! I should have checked that out, before I got all email and twitter crazy! It felt like I was crit by an 85 Mage.  But hey, the guest lists are always subject to change. That’s just the nature of the business. How could I be disappointed hearing Amy was filming?

Fast forward two days and I hear Professor Farnsworth exclaim, “Good News Everyone!”(That’s the email alert on my phone, btw.) Amy’s manager had replied to my email with an apology for Amy’s inability to make it to Granite State ComiCon, and asked if I would be able to do a phone interview. So, alas, here it is.

TJ:  Hi, Amy.

Amy: How are you?

TJ:  Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today!

Amy: Oh, of course.

Amy: I was supposed to meet you in New Hampshire, right?

TJ:  Yes!

Amy: I’m sorry about that.

TJ:  No, that’s perfectly okay, you have a job you have to keep up with, so that’s understandable.

Amy: Yeah, thankfully I have a job. It’s good to have work.

TJ: Yeah, they don’t just give those away in L.A.

Amy:  Yeah, you take what you can get.

TJ:  So before you started acting, you were a young basketball player?

Amy: (Haha) I was. Yeah, a lot of basketball.

TJ:  Then from basketball you went into dancing.

Amy: Yeah.  I injured myself playing basketball.  I think I was 12 or 13, and playing against girls who were already six feet tall.   I got injured and my chiropractor told me to go and take dance classes to stretch out my body, and I kind of fell in love with it.  So, I dropped basketball and went in to dance.

TJ:  Was the transition from dancing to actress a natural one?

Amy: Yeah, kind of. I met my manager that I’m still with when I was dancing. I probably met her when I was 14, and she started managing me when I was about 16. I was doing a lot of commercials and print jobs as a dancer, kids’ kind of stuff, and she told me, “You need to get into acting so you can get more work.” I liked it more, mostly because the dance world was a little much for me. I think if I were to go into it now, it probably wouldn’t be as overwhelming.  I was 16, and you had to get out and party with the right people. The dance world is very small, even smaller than Hollywood, and I don’t think I was ready for the social aspect of it when I was 16.

TJ:  I bet dancing was super competitive, too.

Amy: It’s really competitive. Yeah.  I mean, when I was actually doing it I was still working in kids’ jobs, so it wasn’t as bad.  I think when you’re getting older and you’re auditioning for the real stuff, like touring with Britney Spears, it probably is very competitive, because not very many people get to that.  But, you know, acting is really competitive too, so it’s not like it’s getting easier.

TJ:  I can imagine that the realm of acting is probably as cutthroat as dancing is.

Amy: Yeah, yeah, it really is.

TJ:  So, you had a role in Californication.

Amy: (Haha) Yeah.

TJ:  Which was pretty early on in your career, which I think is a big get for someone that was your age.

Amy: Yeah, It got me my SAG card so that was good (Haha.)

TJ: …and now Chastity Bites is in postproduction.

Amy:  It was my first movie.  I was really excited.  I had a lot of fun.  It was an indie, so it was pretty similar to filming something like The Guild, just because it was still pretty low-budget. The scheduling and everything was pretty similar also, because we shot everything…umm…I think it was about six weeks that we were in production.  It was really, really fun.   I got to work with a lot of really cool young actors on it.   I got to work with Allison Scagliotti from Warehouse 13, and that was really cool.  It’s a horror-comedy.   I think it’s in the same sci-fi geek genre, so my fans would like it.   It’s not like some romantic comedy or anything, so I think it was a good first film for me.

TJ: Awesome. I’m excited. Do you know when the release date is?

Amy: They’re still in postproduction. It’s a horror and everything, so there’s a lot of special effects and all that stuff happening. They’re aiming for September I believe, or that’s what I’ve been told, so they can start submitting it to film festivals.  They can get into that circuit for next year, probably.  I’m excited.  I want to go to a film festival.  I’ve never been to one. Well, I’ve been to a couple of very small ones, but hoping to get into some other really cool ones.

TJ:  Maybe when the time comes we can do a Chastity Bites interview.

Amy: I know! Yeah, for sure, I would love to.

TJ:  Now you just mentioned The Guild, which I think is probably your most obvious work. It has an amazing cult following.

Amy: Yeah.  It’s crazy.  It’s really crazy, because when I auditioned for it we were just making a random YouTube video, you know? We weren’t getting paid.  It was just Felicia [Day] writing the script and she thought it was funny, and we all thought it was funny too, so we were all just making it, and now it’s a real job.

TJ:  The writing is spectacular.  It’s top-notch comedy, and it’s a great commentary on not only gaming, but about the social life of gamers.   I think gamers often have an anti-social stigma.

Amy: Yeah, I think it’s really cool because The Guild‘s cast is so diverse, you know? We have Jeff Lewis, who is a 40-year-old guy.  Then we have Vince, who is a 15-year-old.  Then there’s me and Robin.  Everyone is so diverse. It goes to show that gaming can be social because these people would never be friends if it wasn’t for the game.  I think [Felicia] really portrays that well.

TJ:  Now speaking of social, you seem like a really happy and upbeat person, but your character, Tinkerballa…well, Tinkerballa, not so much.

Amy: (Haha) Yeah, I think we all have the bitchy side to us, and I just kind of channel that. It’s really fun to play her.  Tink is kind of what everyone else wants to be but can’t, because of the social protocols we have to follow.

TJ:  Yeah.  There’s not much of a filter with Tink.

Amy: I know and I love that, you know? I have my moments where I’m very much like her.  I just blurt out what I think and I don’t really care, you know? If I don’t like you, I don’t like you.  I’m not going to be fake about it, and that’s how Tink is.

TJ:  I have noticed though, through the progression of the seasons, especially season five, there’s a lot more humanity in Tink.   I think she’s a lot more tolerable of other people.

Amy: Yeah. This season was really exciting to play just because I didn’t even know much about Tink playing her for the last four seasons.  So, when Felicia let me read the script for season five, I felt like I finally understood her.  In a sense, it was like, “Oh, hello, nice to meet you character I’ve been playing for four years.” (Haha)

TJ:  There was a major character development for Tink in season five.

Amy: *SEASON FIVE SPOILER ALERT* Yeah.  It was really, really cool.  I felt like I really related to her a lot this season because I didn’t really tell people that I was acting when I first started The Guild.  Literally, the last one or two years is when my friends found out about The Guild because it has gotten so big that people would find me on Netflix. The girls in my sorority would be like, “Oh my God, Amy’s in this show and it’s on Netflix.” Even though they don’t really understand it, they just know that I’m in this thing and it’s on Netflix, and [they think] if it’s on Netflix it’s a really huge deal.  So, people found out about it like that.  You know personally, I felt better when people knew.  I think it was the same way with Tink when she came out to her parents about her major.  So I totally had that connection.

TJ:  There was also social commentary telling people to follow their dreams as well.  Who knew Tink could be an inspiring character?

Amy: (Haha) Yeah, who knew?

TJ:  Now, it has been announced that you’re going to be unable to make it to the Granite State ComiCon.

Amy: Yeah. I mean, I’ve never really had to cancel going to a convention before, so I told my manager,  I asked what I should do. I still want to send them head shots or autographs to give away at another event or something. I feel bad because I’ve seen other people cancel at conventions that I’ve been to, and I see how disappointed people can get. You think you’re going to get to meet somebody at this event and if they don’t show up it’s like, “Well, what the heck?” But, I think people understand.

TJ:  It seems like people have been very supportive and understanding.

Amy: Our fans are so great. They’re so loyal and happy and they understand that we’re real people.  I think that’s what’s great about being on a web series, is that no one really puts you on a pedestal. You’re just human, and people are just happy when you get work and you are doing a good job.  It’s very encouraging.

TJ: What is it that you’re filming? Is it something new, or a secret?

Amy: I don’t really know if it’s a secret, so I’m going to be vague about it in case it is a secret.  You’re probably aware that YouTube is launching a bunch of channels for their initiative for original content, so I am going to be on a series on one of those channels.  It’s actually an Asian American channel.  It’s not all Asian American, but it’s very much promoting Asian American talent and whatnot. It will be a web series.   Yeah, it will be exciting to do something different.  My character is very different than anything I’ve played before, so it will be fun.

TJ:  I think that’ll do.  It gives us something to look forward to. So what questions do you usually get asked by fans, or when interviewed?

Amy: Questions like, “How did you get involved in The Guild?” Or, lately it’s been a lot of questions about season five like, “How did you feel about your character storyline?” From fans I get asked, “Are you like your character? Are you a bitch, too?” Or, “Do you actually game?” That’s actually a big one I get asked by everybody.

TJ:  Well, I’ll be scratching a couple questions off my list.  So, after looking at your website and having talked to you, I’m going to guess that you’re not a gamer.

Amy:  No, I am not a gamer. You can tell that just by talking to me?

TJ: By seeing all of the projects you have going and the time that I’ve spent talking to you today, it sounds like you wouldn’t have a lot of time to be a gamer.

Amy: Well, I do like to play some games.  It’s more like console games than computer MMOs. I actually tried to play WoW, because we got a free subscription one year.  I thought, “Okay, I’ll try this out.” It took two hours to even create a character.  You choose your hair color, and your eye color, and your fingernail color.  You come up with a name and it’s your name forever, so there’s a lot of pressure.

TJ: It’s pretty involved.

Amy: Yeah, it was little too much. After two hours I was just tired and I was over it.  I thought, “If it takes this much effort to even create a character, what will I have to do when I’m actually playing?” So, I actually just gave my subscription away to somebody else and they enjoyed it.  Other than that, I went through a phase where I was always playing my Nintendo DS, like Mario Kart.  I have a Nintendo Wii that I play a lot, but other than that, not too many games.

TJ:  So not completely excluded from the genre?

Amy: Yeah, I feel like when I first started The Guild, I had no idea what the culture even entailed in any sense at all.   There were a lot of lines that had WoW lingo and I was like, “What am I even saying?” I’m learning.

TJ:  So, you went to San Diego Comic Con.  Do you get invited to hundreds of conventions a year?

Amy: Not that many, but I feel like in the past two years I’ve been to a lot and I’ve been able to really cool places, so that’s been fun.  I just came back from London a couple weeks ago.  I went to a convention and that was awesome because I have never been to Europe before. We went to London and Paris and I thought, “This isn’t even a job anymore.”  I just get to meet fans that enjoy what I do, and travel the world.  I’ve had a pretty good life.

TJ:  I bet there are a lot of people who would love the opportunity to live a day in your shoes.

Amy: I cannot complain.  I mean I do catch myself a lot after I’ve been on the set for 12 or 15 hours and I say to myself, “I’m so tired, blah, blah, blah,” but I have no reason to complain.  I have a pretty easy job. I mean, I just say words that are written on paper, and have makeup on me, and do my hair, and I get to travel the world.  I like what I do and I get paid for it, so I really don’t have much to complain about.

TJ:  Do you bring Lola [Amy’s dog] around with you?

Amy:  No.  Lola has never flown before.  Actually, Felicia is always like, “We have to put her in the show,” but we never actually do.  It’s really sad.  She’s just waiting for her big break, still.

TJ:  Obviously everybody has a good dynamic on set, what is the cast dynamic off set?

Amy:  We all get along pretty well.  I know everyone has to say that because they work in a show together.  Honestly, I do enjoy everyone’s company. It has been awesome because we’re able to travel together and go to cons, but unfortunately, the whole cast doesn’t get to go very often.  We get to go in groups of two or three and we have a lot of fun.  It’s just crazy, because in real life I would’ve never met them if it wasn’t for The Guild, but they’re my best friends. Like Robin, she’s one of my best friends and it’s really cool that I like the people that I work with.  Felicia teaches me a lot and so do Jeff and Sandeep, because they’ve been acting for so much longer.  It’s pretty cool to be on set and just learn from them.  Jeff lectures me a lot on life.  Sometimes he yells at me, but it’s all out of love, we all love each other.

TJ:  Speaking of traveling together, in season five, The Guild went to a convention. How close are your convention experiences to that which was portrayed on The Guild?

Amy:  I guess it was pretty accurate.  I mean, I guess our production designer, the art department, and our crew made these booths look way better than any convention that we’ve been to, like the steam punk booth. If real conventions looked like that, I would never be at my autograph booth.  I’d walk around the whole entire time.   So I thought they did a really good job on that.   I mean, everything is just a little heightened for comedy and for the show to be entertaining. The whole celebrity aspect of it, I thought, was kind of a little over exaggerated in a sense. I think that’s what Felicia wanted to do with season five was kind of have it be a homage to conventions, because that’s how we grew as a show. By going to conventions, and growing our own show, and having fans talk about it.  So the whole part where Bladezz was giving out his head shots and people were throwing them into the trash can, she said she got that from when we went to the comic con for the first time.  This was probably maybe season two, or very early on.  No one knew about the show,   really.  We were at comic con at this really tiny booth, and maybe one or two people would come by and be like, “Love the show.”  She would go out and give out The Guild bookmarks and say, “Watch my show, watch my show!” No one would take bookmarks from her.  People would just ignore her and a lot of that.

TJ:  What was the turning point?

Amy:  When Dr. Horrible came out it really gave us a big push.  I think because Felicia was in it and people were like, “Oh, who is this girl?”  I realized this was really cool when the “Date My Avatar” video came out. We premiered it at the San Diego Comic Con.  It’s kind of unfortunate, because we were outside when the video was playing.  They played the video first at the panel, and we were listening at the door.  So, the whole thing was going to be, they would play the video, and then we come out in our avatar outfits and do our panel in our costumes.  They loved it so much, and after the video we all came out, and everybody was standing up and cheering.   It was the first time I ever saw the physical reaction from people to our show, and I thought that was really cool, because we see comments on YouTube and a lot of them are really mean.   They’re just writing, and you don’t actually see the physical applause or craze, I guess, for the work you do, so I was like, “Wow, people actually like this. All these people came out and watch this video.” That was really cool.

TJ:  If you could tell someone about yourself who hasn’t met you and only has your body of work to reference, what would you like people to know about Amy Okuda?

Amy: Good question, no one has asked me that before…that I’m not a bitch? I think a lot of people actually think that this is their job, and that they’re famous, and that they’ve made it, but I’m still very much a struggling actress. I think that we all just work really, really hard, and it’s fun, but it’s not always smooth sailing.  A lot of people, when they see you on the show, they just think that life is so easy and that everything is taken care of, even though we are a web series.  I know that there are a few people that ask, “Oh, well, what’s it like to be famous?” I’m definitely not famous.

TJ:  I told a few friends of mine that I was going to be interviewing you today, and they got excited like you are famous, so I wouldn’t sell yourself short.

Amy: I still feel like I have a long way to go.

TJ:  And you’re just about to tell me about season six of The Guild?

Amy: Oh, yes, I will tell you every detail.  No, I think that we all have good intentions of it happening, so we’re working on it.  You don’t always know until you’re on set that it’s actually going to happen, and even when you’re on set they could just cancel production one day, so it’s kind of hard to say.  I want to do it, so if they told me to be on set on a certain day I would be there. But look out for it, it could happen.

TJ:  Any other upcoming projects?

Amy: I’m also guest starring on another new web series.  It’s called, Away We Happened.  One of my episodes already came out, but I think I may be in one or two more, so check that out. If you type that in YouTube it will do its little magic and I’m thinking you will be able to find it.  It’s also on my tumblr, and I tweet about it all the time @amyokuda. My movie will be out later this year.  Not that my fans watch it, but I’ll be on three episodes of Disney’s Shake it Up in August.   That’ll be cool to actually see me on TV. Just keep checking my Twitter, I always update it, and my tumblr.

TJ:  I will.  Actually, a friend of mine looked at your Twitter account yesterday and noted that you really talk back to people who talk to you, and I think that’s awesome.

Amy:  Yeah, I try my best.  I think what really made me start doing it even more, was when a couple months ago I went to a Kansas City convention.  I’ve never had so many people tell me that it’s really cool I talk to my fans, like,  ”Oh, we had this conversation on twitter.” I actually remembered some of it, and just the fact that people appreciate me made me want to do it even more.

TJ:  Thank you for talking to me today!

Amy:  It was my pleasure!

Web Series You SHOULD Be Watching – DragonCon 2011 Panel

5

Category : Conventions, DragonCon, E-vents, Entertain Me, Watching the Web

 

 

DragonCon was this past weekend in Atlanta, GA. Among the many interesting panels on diverse topics included a panel title “Web Series You SHOULD Be Watching.” The panel, which I was pleased to appear on as a panelist, focused on web series. This new media distribution channel is steadily becoming a more accepted entertainment option and looks to give traditional media outlets something to think about, as well as provide an alternative means for creative projects to find an audience. Also appearing on the panel were Kelley Clark (Agora Productions), Kelley Harkins (Director, American SciFi Media Track), Joe Crowe (Revolutionsf.com), Thomas Gofton (Creator, Mind’s Eye web series) and Derek Conley (The Hunted: Tampa and The Hunted: Vindication web series).

 

The panel was intended to introduce prospective audience members to the world of web entertainment and offer a sampling of web series worth watching to new and veteran viewers. With two web creators and the remainder of the panel including veteran web consumers, the panel provided a more in-depth discussion of the trials and triumphs of entertainment content created for web distribution. Of course for all the geeky goodness, you really had to be there. But do not fret, I will not leave you wanting.

 

If you want the listing of web series selections panel attendees received, you will find below the sampling of web series to get you started. The panel was sponsored by the American SciFi Media track. As such, the web series selections primarily fall within the sci-fi or fantasy genres. Entertainment is subjective and you may not enjoy all the series listed here, but please do not let one series prevent you from seeking other web entertainment. There is a plethora of web entertainment on the internet that will appeal to you. You have only to find it. To assist in your discovery, I have also included resource links at the end of the listing. These resource links are hubs for web entertainment and have created directories of web series and films for you to enjoy. If you discovery a series that you enjoy, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

The Usual Suspects - Popular series most people have likely heard of. These series are often pointed to as examples of how web distributed content can be a successful business model.

 

Doctor Horrible Sing-Along Blog – Completed, 3 episodes.
http://www.drhorrible.com | Now available on DVD & BluRay, or download on iTunes.
Summary: Following a want to be evil genius as he attempts to earn his place in the Evil League of Evil and impress the girl of his dreams. His every attempt is thwarted by his nemesis, Captain Hammer. Created, written and directed by Joss Whedon. Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon also contributed their writing talents, making it a family affair. Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day.

 

The Guild – Currently airing Season 5
Fantasy, Comedy
http://www.watchtheguild.com/
Summary: Created and starring Felicia Day. The Guild follows the adventures of 6 people who form a “guild” in an online MMORPG game. Over the course of the series, the members meet and become entangled in each others social and love lives, all while getting some raid time in. In the fifth season, the guild heads to a gaming convention where they learn more about themselves, each other and the game.

 

The Legend of Neil – Completed, 3 Seasons
Fantasy, Action
http://www.legendofneil.com
Summary: Created and directed by Sandeep Parikh, who is also known as “Zaboo” on The Guild. The Legend of Neil tells the story of a drunk gamer wakes to find himself in the video game Zelda. The series takes fantasy roleplaying to another level, incorporating all the troupes of the classic video game, everyday drama and a contemporary sense of humor. Cast includes scifi favorite Felicia Day. Mature Content Warning: Language, Sexual Situations

 

Mortal Kombat: Legacy – Completed
Scifi, , Action, Drama
http://www.youtube.com/show/mortalkombatlegacy
Summary: A fan-inspired web series that received corporate funding due to the quality of work. Mortal Kombat: Legacy is a live-action adaptation of the classic video game. Starring scifi fan favorites Tahmoh Penikett and Jeri Ryan.

 

Aidan 5 – Season 1.5 begins September 2nd, 2011
SciFi, Mystery
http://www.aidan5.com
Summary: In a future when cloning is everyday practice with up to 5 clones per person, a serial killer is murdering clones. Two detectives head the manhunt for the mysterious culprit and come face to face with their own mortality. Film Noire style series that incorporates a dynamic comic feel.

 

Cable Network Sponsored Series - Cable networks have caught on to the marketing and advertising options web series can create, especially as a means of extending an established brand. These series are shows created or sponsored by major cable networks.

 

Torchwood: Web of Lies – Currently airing
SciFi, Mystery
http://www.youtube.com/starz | Download the App for iPad & iPhone in iTunes
Summary: Sponsored by BBC Worldwide and Starz. The web series is a companion to the current season of Torchwood: Miracle Day. In 2007, someone is after Captain Jack Harkness. It is up to Jack & Gwen Cooper to find out who and why. Simultaneously, the story follows Holly, whose brother is shot on Miracle Day for information he has about the people behind the miracle. Interactive motion comic produced by Russell T. Davies & Julie Gardner. Jane Espenson contributes her writing talents. Staring John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Eliza Dushku.

 

Warehouse 13: Of Monsters and Men – Completed, 10 Episodes
Scifi, Action, Mystery
http://www.syfy.com/rewind/ofmonstersandmen
Sponsored by Syfy.
Summary: When Claudia and Pete accidentally trigger an artifact obtained from a man who found comics detrimental to the youth of America, they find themselves and Artie living out the adventures of a comic book. Can they solve the comic’s mysteries? Can they find a way out of the story before it ends, or will they be stuck in 4-color?

 

Mercury Men – Completed Season 1. Awaiting news on Season 2
SciFi, Action, Mystery
http://www.syfy.com/rewind/mercurymen
Sponsored by Syfy.
Summary: In 1976, men from Mercury come to earth with a sinister plan to drag the moon down to earth. It is up to Engineer Jack Yeager and an everyday citizen, Edward Borman, to save the world and find out who’s calling the shots. Great tribute to classic black and white scifi movies.

 

Riese: Kingdom Falling – Completed Season 1. Awaiting news of Season 2 & possible transition to tv.
Fantasy, Drama
http://www.syfy.com/rewind/riese
Sponsored by Syfy.
Summary: In a realm much like the feudal society of Europe’s medieval times, the land is in turmoil. An evil queen has a stranglehold on the realm and will go to any lengths to retain power. Across the land, an orphaned woman wanders with her wolf companion to find out who she is. Steampunk sensibilities interwoven into character development and costume design. Cast includes many Syfy fan favorites.

 

Rigamortis – Completed, 3 episodes
Scifi, Zombies
http://www.rigamortis.com
Summary: After the zombie apocalypse, two zombies fall in love while they struggle to resist their brain-eating ways. Meanwhile, the premier zombie hunter shows us no matter his fame, life isn’t always awesome. Fantastically fun musical take on the zombie apocalypse.

 

Blood Light – Completed, 2 Seasons
Scifi, Vampires
http://www.bloodlight.com
Summary: Blood Light sheds light on the everyday life of vampires. It is a bit of a parody of the hit HBO series True Blood. The series follows the after-lives of 2 vampires and their wannabe friend living normal lives. Topics covered range from therapy, anger management, dating and identity crisis. Mature content warning: Language, Sexual Situations.

 

The Black Dawn
Scifi, Mystery
http://http://www.webserials.com/blackdawn/
Summary: A plague sweeps the globe, killing most of the world’s population within seconds of exposure. A small band of survivors in Los Angeles struggle to find answers, other survivors and to stay alive.

 

Lumina – Completed Season 1. Awaiting news of Season 2
Scifi, Mystery
http://www.luminaseries.com
Summary: What if alternate dimensions existed on the other side of reflections? The series explores that question. As the series begin, a woman meets and falls for a prince from the opposites side of reflections. As they become more involved and more people become aware of the relationship, we discover nothing is what it appears to be. There is a bigger conspiracy being played out in both realms. Beautifully shot with great use of soundtrack.

 

Gemini Division – Completed Season 1, 50 Episodes
Scifi, Mystery
http://www.bing.com/videos/browse/source?tag=mccannum%3ageminidivision
Summary: A happy couple visits Paris. When the guy goes missing, his girlfriend must find out what happened to him and stumbles onto a government conspiracy. Live action with CGI landscapes. Cast includes Syfy favorite, Allison Scagliotti.

 

Afterworld – Completed, 130 Episodes
Scifi, Mystery
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=07E03F5180A9F18A
Summary: A massive electromagnetic event occurs, causing permanent electronic outages across the globe, along with the disappearance of most the world’s population. One man is determined to find his way back to the family he left across the country. During his journey, he will meet other survivors – some friendly and helpful, others with more sinister intentions. As he travels, he will find clues that lead him to learn who caused “the fall” and why.

 

Misfits – Currently airing Season 2
Scifi, Drama
http://www.hulu.com/presents/misfits
Summary: Five British teenagers are sentenced to community service. When they are struck by lightening during a spontaneous storm, they develop super-powers. As they come to grips with their new abilities, they realize they weren’t the only ones affected by the storm. Can they learn how to use their abilities? Will they use their powers for good?

 

The Booth at the End – Currently airing Season 1
Scifi, Drama
http://www.hulu.com/presents/boothattheend
Summary: What would you do to heal a sick loved one, get the girl of your dreams, or the life you always wanted? In The Booth at the End we meet a mysterious man who can help you get what you’ve always wanted. All you have to do is complete a task. What if the task puts you or someone else in danger? What if it is illegal?

 

Border Guardians of Ackernon – Currently airing Season 2
Fantasy, Drama
http://www.ackernon.com
Summary: In a fantasy realm, graduates of “The University” become politicians, warriors and powerful mages entrusted with the safety and security of the realm. In recent years, their power has been weakening and a danger from another land threatens the enchanted walls. The series follows the Guardians as they recruit and train new students to ward off the dangers facing the realm.

 

Trenches – Completed, 10 Episodes
Scifi, Action, Drama
http://www.crackle/c/trenches
Summary: Two civilizations embroiled in a space battle find themselves forced to work together to survive the planet. Cooperation is a priority because they are not alone.

 

Anica – Completed Season 1. Season 2 in pre-production & talk of a movie
Scifi, Drama
http://www.wix.com/kenyonglover/test
In the future, government soldiers are selected for experimentation in hopes of creating an elite force. When one of the super soldiers is accused of murdering a high official, a disgraced soldier is tapped to track the missing soldier before the political climate worsens and endangers galactic peace. Fantastic CGI landscapes.

 

Future Series to Watch For - These series are currently in the works. Given what we have seen, these series are worth checking out when they are released.

 

Osiris – Premiers September 28, 2011
Scifi, Mystery
http://www.facebook.com/OsirisTheSeries
Summary: A man with resurrection abilities must track down a kidnapped federal witness. As he embarks on his search, he discovers a conspiracy, and finds clues about the source of his ability.

 

H+ - Season 1 in production
Scifi, Drama
http://www.facebook.com/HplusTheDigitalSeries
Summary: In the future, people take internet connectivity to the next level with a chip implant. Making the internet more accessible changes the socioeconomic landscapes across the globe. What happens when something goes wrong? Will the desire to be connected be our downfall?

 

Zenoids – Season 1 in production
Animated Musical
http://www.myouterspace.com/index.php/community/Starships/Orion.html
Summary: Created and starring William Shatner. Executive produced and starring Amanda Tapping. The story follows an alien family singing across the galaxy.

 

Resource Links - Websites which provide directories of web series and films available for viewing.

 

Cracklehttp://www.crackle.com

Webserialshttp://www.webserials.com

Web Series Channelhttp://www.webserieschannel.com

Scifinalhttp://www.scifinal.com

Huluhttp://www.hulu.com/network/hulu-presents

IFChttp://www.ifc.com/web-series

Fearhttp://www.fearnet.com/shows

 

Remember to check back here at Goodtobeageek.com for our regular series, Watching the Web, where I highlight web series worth watching.

 

 

Watching the Web: Awkward Embraces

Category : Entertain Me, Watching the Web

Meeting people is not easy for everyone and dating can be awkward for anyone – a series of high anxiety situations that take us out of our comfort zone. Add the uneasiness that sometimes accompanies the geek set and things have the potential to go horribly wrong. Awkward Embraces is a web series, taking the internet by storm, that gives audiences an inside look into just how awkward dating can be . . . with a geek twist.

The series follows Jessica (Mills), “a geek boy’s dream girl,” as she navigates the dating world. Accompanying her on her misadventures are her best friends, the sensible Candis (Phlegm) and matter of fact Lyndsey (Doolen), both with their own share of dating drama, including blind dates and bulges.

Brought to life from the immaginative mind of Jessica Mills, Awkward Embraces is clever and features situations that ring a bit true to life, making it a true joy to watch. The friendship between the actors is evident and makes the acting effortless. The characters incorporate their own brand of quirkiness into the antics and are incredibly relatable if you’ve ever dated a nerd, or been the nerd dating the “norm.” The series is laugh out loud funny and will leave you wanting more.

Season one consists of 11 entertaining episodes concluding with a twist that took the audience by surprise. February 18th saw the premiere of Season 2, with Jessica in a bad way while Candis and Lyndsey attempt to boost her spirits and find her a man.

Awkward Embraces is easy to find on the web. Use one of the distribution channels below to catch up on past episodes and follow along with Season 2. You can also subscribe to the series in iTunes.

Awkward Embraces Website – http://www.awkwardembraces.com

Blip TV – http://awkwardembraces.blip.tv

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4nvV8Da2Jo&feature=relmfu

The Awkward Embraces Team is still in production for Season 2 and they need our help to continue. If you can, contribute to their IndiGoGo effort to raise funds which will enable them to create more fantastic episodes. Even if you cannot contribute financially, be sure to tell your friends, Like Awkward Embraces on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter. Spread the word!

Movie Review – Zombieland

Category : Entertain Me, Movies, Reviews

Genre: Action/Comedy/Horror

Director: Ruben FLeischer

Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick

Could you survive the Zombie Apocolypse? This movies shows you might . . .  if you follow a few simple rules. A small group of survivors struggle to continue a normal life.

From the beginning, you will notice this is not your classic zombie movie. The story is told from the perspective of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), an anxious college student and shut-in as he explains how he has survived in a world overrun by zombies. His key to survival is a set of rules and the audience gets to see them in practical demonstration. Columbus crosses paths with Talahassee (Woody Harrelson), who finds a disturbing satisfaction in killing down zombies and has a perfectly natural obsession with a certain Hostess product. Along the way, they run into two sisters, Witchita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), as they search to find a place untouched by zombies.

I was lucky enough to see Zombieland today with my friend Aaron. If you have not see this movie, GO SEE IT! Zombieland is pure hilarity! The writing is quick and witty. From the first rule, we were laughing. Comic relief reigns in Zombieland. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of blood and gore to satisfy the true zombie fans. There are even a few jumps for those who need a little scare.

The casting here is perfect. Jesse Eisenberg is great as the anxiety-ridden virgin. Woody Harrelson is magnificent as the tough-as-nails, zombie-killing Talahassee. Emma Stone is just plain gorgeous with her sarcastic sense of humor. I was surprised to see Abigail Breslin, but she is very good as the younger sister. For something extra special, there is even a guest cameo. I cannot imagine any other actors in these roles, that is how good these roles were cast.

As a side note, keep an ear out for the musical selections. The song choices were excellent and in tune with the story.