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Posts tagged as this week in web videos

This Week In Web Videos: 'Compliments'

Banter is such a polarizing comedic art. To appreciate the humor in unremarkable conversation is to know the nuances of human interaction, both in their audible forms — rich, often conflict-ridden dialogue — and in those manifestations which must be seen to be truly appreciated — the facial ticks, the pregnant pauses that adorn acted words with that special kind of hyper-realism that makes one half of the population crack up, and the other squirm out of its skin. As readers of this column know, I fall squarely in the camp of "Banter Lovers" and the reason why I go out of my goddamned gourd for a well-executed banter [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'With Friends Like These'

The digital age of entertainment is no longer “on the horizon” or “about to break” or whatever other stupid phrase any number of automaton trends bloggers vomited out over the past three years. It’s here. Ask Reed Hastings, ask Kevin Spacey, ask Jeff Bezos, and… Mr. Hulu. We no longer watch TV. We watch content. That means two important things. First, the term “web series” is useless. Second, we, as independent producers, have to start upping our game. Created by and starring Christopher Graves and TJ Del Reno, With Friends Like These is an interesting foray into the world of intricately narrative, highly produced content built for a new [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Studio Heads'

I realize I’m about to tread on some touchy territory but just hear me out. Maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little prejudiced when it comes to our entertainment choices, and it’s sort of understandable. Because pleasure is usually derived — especially in terms of comedy — from content we relate to, it makes sense that the more focused a particular piece of content is on situations endemic to a certain demographic (race, creed, age group, whatever), the better it’s going to hit within that group. That concept is kind of what the whole TV and advertising industries are founded on. “Oh, we’d like to target 35-year-old white women with [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Esther with Hot Chicks'

Esther Povitsky doesn’t give a fuck, and that’s why I think she’ll be very famous. Let me explain. You see fame, at least as I see it, so often tends to lie just beyond the grasp of even the most talented people if those people fall prey to charting their upward progress like an investment analyst. Making it BIG requires constant attention and work, of course, but it also takes a person able to create a marketable body of work while remaining true to their art—the thing that got eyeballs on them in the first place. That means being able to say “no” to offers you’re uncomfortable with [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Reporter Slapped in the Face for Upskirting'

Making a fake thing look real is one of the hardest things. And I’m not talking about “scripted” real, as in movies and TV, as in mediums that evoke the reaction “Yeah, I suppose that could theoretically happen in real life.” I’m talking real as shit real, as in “Holy hell, did you see that reporter just get slapped for trying to take an upskirt shot of a woman walking down the street?!” That’s the kind of real that gets people talking and when that kind of real is totally fake it’s one of the highest art forms I know. (I know VERY little about art.) This week’s featured [...]

This Week in Web Videos: 'The Amazing Gayl Pile'

Casting ain’t easy, but it’s necessary: wise words spoken by…no one in particular, but felt deep down in the heart cockles of everyone who’s ever produced any piece of performance art. Strong writing is nothing without human vessels to bring those words to life. This is especially true in faux-reality content that lives and dies on characters who must inhabit a world much closer to the messiness of actual life than the delicately crafted chaos in most TV and film. When creators need real, they usually mine the improv set. Few have the cojones to stake their project’s success on a bunch of randos solicited on Craigslist, but The [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'The Residuals '

Every morning, New York City's streets are filled with millions of people, walking toward work and hoping beyond hope that their next step will somehow take them a little closer to realizing their dreams. That’s until about 9:30. At 1, the streets are filled with actors on their way to commercial auditions. You see, these folks are professionals at re-sculpting their dreams so that they feature roles in commercials for toothpaste or hot wings or wireless companies looking for a spokesperson who’s a "cross between Jonah Hill and Rachel McAdams." They’re not just performers, they’re warriors; and their day-to-day travails are perfectly captured in The Residuals – a subtly [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Small, Medium, Tall'

We’ve discussed the adage “write what you know” many times in this column and have provided well over 100 examples of creators following it toward fantastic results. “Write who you know” has never been covered and that’s a huge oversight on my part. While writing what you know allows for the construction of believable worlds and set pieces, writing who you know brings these to life through the mouths and motions of characters without whom there would be no story. It occurs to me after watching Samantha Schecter’s Small, Medium, Tall  (starring Schecter, Danya LaBelle, and Elyse Brandau and shot by Russell Hasenauer) that writing who you know is [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Being a Better You'

Creative feedback is paramount, especially in comedy. That’s because very few people have the comedic equivalent of perfect pitch — that special ability to pinpoint what will work from a funny POV without actually working on it with anyone else. Most of us need partners to brainstorm, to write, to revise, and once a script is set, most of us need help producing, directing, lighting, and editing it. Most of us are not Being a Better You creator Zach Broussard. As a matter of fact, none of us are. Just Zach. And he really knows what he’s doing.

How’d you get started in comedy?

Zach: Well I’m from [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Clench and Release'

It’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to an artist. You have a great idea for a project, you toil over its creation and then, you step back and realize “It’s really, really bad.” So bad that you can’t release it for public consumption. So bad that it feels like everything you’d worked so hard on — obsessed over during countless conversation lulls, subway rides, and sleepless nights — is a giant waste. Okay, maybe that’s not the worst thing that could happen (cancer is bad), but it’s a pretty terrifying prospect that either quells creative urges from the outset or forces spiteful artists to release every dud they [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'K&A'

I’m supposed to write things that are at least marginally insightful about the world of web video. That’s part of the whole “column” deal, you see, because insights qualify my words as a “review” and not just a verbal fire hydrant of fandom. While I have plenty of professional things to say about K&A — created by Katie Shannon and Katie Thompson and starring Audrey Claire and Ashley Elmi — like how its leads are perfectly paired improv dynamos, how it looks better than most indie films with 50 times the budget and is rife with cool and fresh storytelling accents that help us segue from [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Are You Better Than Don Draper?'

Most good comedy is thought provoking at its core but few creators are better at walking the line between hilarity and appealingly erudite social commentary than UCB stalwart Zack Phillips. This week, in honor of Mad Men, a series that has already inspired countless sketches (some good, many not), we present one of the good ‘uns. It’s fast, it’s smart, and it may even make you think twice about criticizing folks who smoke in elevators, drink in the office, and have sex in the middle of Ted talks. Does that happen on Mad Men? I haven’t watched in like 3 years, but the sketch…the sketch is good.

Luke [...]

The 5 Best New Web Videos/Series You Almost Definitely Haven't Seen

We’re doing things a bit differently this week. Instead of profiling one web series or one really hilarious, merit-worthy sketch, we’re grouping some of the top submissions we’ve received over the past few weeks and uniting them in an ode to what’s beautiful and great about those pieces that, up until now, have flown under all of our radars, untouched by the hand of virality or comedy nerd buzz (yet) but still really really good. Today at Splitsider, we’re becoming kingmakers of sorts. At least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves as we wear these huge crowns we bought from Party City.

This Week In Web Videos: 'The Actress', Season 3

I told myself I’d never cover the same series twice, but when I made that promise, I hadn’t conceived of a couple like Ann Carr and Warren Holstein — the hearts and brains behind one of the web’s longest running and consistently excellent series, The Actress. In a digital environment saturated with folks making shameless grabs at quasi-fame and fleeting HuffPo notoriety and then trying something new if they don’t get instantly huge, this series stands out not only because it’s quality, but also because its creators are so apparently committed to putting the time in, nurturing The Actress in its native state to make it the absolute best [...]