Posts tagged as this week in web videos

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 [...]

This Week In Web Videos: '101 Ways to Get Rejected'

Fire up your Internet and go on a web series hunt. What you’ll probably find are the creative outputs of twenty and thirty-somethings—folks clamoring to express sensibilities seasoned by the years of pain that drove them to become comedians. Much less common are web series created by teens. (I’m looking past the YouTube glut of make-up tutorials and weekly twerk sessions posted by 13-year-olds and met with unfailingly creepy fanfare.) Created by and starring Susie Yankou, 101 Ways to Get Rejected attracted me not because it’s flawless, but because it’s an anomaly and because this Freshman effort is as impressive as it is brave and pure.

How did you get [...]

This Week In Web Videos: Bill Stiteler's Vines

Six months ago, I didn’t know what Vine was. I mean, I knew in the way that I know what brain surgery is. I knew it existed, but I didn’t know the first thing about making or even critiquing one. So being the man I am — a sniveling victim of fear and cowardice — I steered clear of reviewing them in this column. Then, this past December, while home for the holidays, I was inspired to watch some Vines. And by “inspired,” I mean I got sucked in by YouTube click bait, the legion of ass and boob screenshots that serve as cover art for what seems like [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'The Cleanists'

Tristram Baumber takes his time.

A big part of comedy is throwing caution to the wind and just producing content, getting out there and “doing it” even if your idea isn’t completely baked. That’s all true, great stuff, and readers of this column know we spend a lot of time talking about the need to pursue passions without self-defeating at the early stages of idea development. That said, the line between cultivating unfettered rawness and creating product that people will actually sit through and enjoy…is OH so very thin. The best creators are able to open the creative flood gates without regard for norms or structure, whittle down their Post-It note [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'The Usual Tornado'

“Don’t go to crazy town!” It’s one of the first things every sketch comedy student is taught — or should be. Crazy Town isn’t an actual place, of course; it’s a metaphor for a type of off-the-wall, ungrounded comedy comprised of so many weird elements that the audience isn’t sure what to laugh at and, as a result, doesn’t really laugh at all. Because sketch comedians are so afraid of traveling to Crazy Town, we often write things that stay within the lines of a parody or a character sketch or some celebrity impression. We’re tempted to stay safe within the haven of jokes that are instantly recognizable, in [...]

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: 'Ramsey Has a Time Machine'

Good comedy is made when creators mine their personal passions for a subject that other people will care about and find funny. Fantastic comedy comes when creators take those personal experiences and present them in creative ways that are as interesting as the narrative insights themselves. Created by Ramsey Ess and directed by Chris Donahue, Ramsey Has a Time Machine is fantastic.

Talk to me a little bit about your comedic background and how you got started.

Ramsey: I always had a big interest in comedy as far as I can remember. When I was in college I took an intensive class over the summer at Second [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Movie Title Breakup'

Going viral. Everyone wants to do it, but few people deserve to. I’m not saying that there’s not a lot of funny stuff floating around the Internet, because there is. But busting through that elusive barrier that separates the very funny metropolitan-centric cringe humor video sure to get 10,000 views and the “Why didn’t I think of that?” universally relatable, instantly understandable, blow up your Facebook feed video that’s sure to get in the hundreds of thousands or millions? That’s like catching lightning in a bottle. This week, sketch group POYKPAC Comedy has done it with one of the most brilliantly obvious concepts. In their Movie Title Breakup, [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Are You a DILDO?'

It’s another year and that means another batch of “This Week In Web Videos” installments. And this thing you’re reading now is the first of those. Except we’re starting off the year on a bit of an unusual note because I’m doing something I told myself I would never do: post something that’s already been on BuzzFeed.

This week’s selection, written and directed by the very talented Lauren Cook (who also made PHIL—covered here) and starring the under-hyped Kurt Braunohler, appeared on the ubiquitous purveyor of sort of funny GIFs a couple of months ago. Somehow, despite the constant flood of BuzzFeed articles clogging my newsfeed’s [...]

This Week In Web Videos: '#YouUp'

“Even though I'll assume from your two last names that you are a bro, I hope you'll still enjoy our POV on this matter.” That was the last line of the email I got from #YouUp producer/writer/star Teresa Lee, turning me on to the series she created with writing partner Melanie Owens (DP’d by Alissa Crist and Alex Tepper). Despite my two last names, I made the transition from “bro” to self-loathing quasi-hipster during my Freshman year of college when a member of the lacrosse team yelled “Get a room, faggots” at me and my best friend, Sam, from the open window of his hunter green Rav 4. All [...]

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: 'Uninspired'

News of Harold Ramis’s death this week rocked the comedy community, and a bunch of folks posted uncharacteristically heartwarming things about the effect Ramis had on their careers and lives. The one that stuck with me most was by Jon Perry, who excerpted this Ramis quote from comedy writer manual Here’s The Kicker: The only thing totally unique is you. There's no one like you. No one else has had your experience. No one has been in your body or had your parents. Yes, we've all had the same cultural influences. We've all lived at the same time, watched the same shows, gone to the same movies, listened [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Written It Down'

When it comes to web series, relying too heavily on improv is a very dangerous thing. It’s so tempting to birth a series idea, gather some funny people together in front of a 5D, and yell “Action!” just to… ”see what happens.” But most times, the people you thought were really funny when the camera was off, turn out to be sort of stiff or long winded or they deviate too far from the heart of the highly complex narrative you’ve developed and expected them to “make funnier.” Unless you’ve got Jeff Garlin and Larry David at your disposal or Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara, there’s usually no substitute [...]

This Week In Web Videos: 'Bill Weiner: High School Guidance Counselor'

There’s no substitute for hard work. That’s true in anything, whether you’re cooking a grilled cheese, creating a sitcom, or underwriting an insurance policy. Bill Weiner: High School Guidance Counselor creator Patrick Michalak knows that all too well –better than most in fact — because he works at an insurance underwriting company and creates comedy. Working a day job while writing and producing the kind of series he’s managed here is a pretty huge accomplishment. It’s also surprising given the fact that the insurance business probably isn’t a hotbed of comedic talent. (I’m guessing about that and I may be wrong, but I doubt it.) Michalak’s tenacity and passion [...]