INDIE HOUSE: Blind Item!, ANACOSTIA, ANYONE BUT ME, Jeff Branson, VARIANTS, OUTS, BROKEN AT LOVE, STARTUP DIARIES, HUNTING SEASON

MAKING HISTORY:  First, a film debut; next up?  Someone will die!
Gossip, secrets, leaks; kudos, picks, congrats - in the Indie Soap Web Series (Indies) world, this is where they live. Listen up: Kevin's Indie House.

UPDATE! Kevin's Indie House has received its first MEGA tip!

For now, this has to be a "blind item," but I will have more info soon.

A reliable source tells me that big news is ahead for one Indie series.  This news could possibly change the face of how you watch scripted drama!  My source says a press release is in the works with all the exciting details!

Now, on with the column...

ANACOSTIA and ANYONE BUT ME made brief-but-beautiful appearances Tuesday evening up on the big screen at Landmark Sunshine Cinema (on the Lower East Side). A choice excerpt of each (about thirty seconds or so long) appears in the soon-to-be-released documentary Soap Life, which mentioned several Indies as a way of illustrating alternatives to network, daytime dramas.

Watching the film, at the premiere, it suddenly hit me. I had just witnessed a watershed moment for the Indie community: Soap Life presents the clips in a style (and as part of a narrative) that places them on equal footing, culturally and qualitatively, as the TV series excerpted right alongside.

In fact, ANACOSTIA and ANYONE BUT ME were also subtly lauded for telling stories and spotlighting communities usually absent from the TV universe. Both clips held up brilliantly on the big, big screen. I was so insanely psyched when they popped up about three-quarters of the way through the film! And I'm so happy (and a little proud, yes) for Anthony Anderson of ANACOSTIA and Tina Cesa Ward and Susan Miller of ANYONE BUT ME.

Indies are the future of the "television" series medium. Soap Life may be the first, major, historical documentary to cotton onto the cultural continuum: from Dickens' serials to radio dramas, then from radio dramas to TV series, and then, finally (triumphantly!) from TV series to Indies.

But it certainly won't be the last...

VARIANTS 3:  What if every shop had a web series?
GRAPHIC; NOVEL
THE VARIANTS is back, in full effect:
September 5th, 2012 -- Dallas, TX - “The Variants,” the original web television series about life behind the counter at your local comic book shop, released their first episode for season 3 today. This season is entirely funded from our successful Kickstarter campaign this summer.

The premiere episode, “Zeus Comics Worldwide,” is the first in a series of ten episodes scheduled to launch weekly for the rest of the season.

Chris Haley and Kurt Franklin of the web comic strip “Let’s Be Friends Again” join cast members Keli Wolfe, Richard Neal, Barry Fuhrman and Ken Lowery for the release of season three.

This season’s main story arc follows Keli’s struggle to navigate the tough realities of keeping her comic shop authentic without selling out, while also fighting for her place in a world that’s traditionally seen as a boy’s club. In “Zeus Comics Worldwide,” Keli finds herself tucked into a costume to film a commercial for Zeus -- and questioning her decision to go along with her new boss’s schemes for expansion.

WHO'S NEWS?
- Time Out New York's number one critic's pick this week is a Brooklyn edu-party with a wicked Indie flair. You can catch the team behind the acclaimed THE OUTS (creator/actor Adam Goldman, writer/actor Sasha Winters, actor Hunter Canning and more) live at tomorrow's gathering of "Queer Not Cool," where they've promised to discuss the show and their own geeky obsessions. I've also heard they'll show a little leg, screening some juicy bits from the next, upcoming episode.
- BROKEN AT LOVE fans: head to Facebook and Like and Share both episode 1 and 2 to be entered to win a walk-on role. Be in scenes with Vivie, Holden, and other members of the BROKEN AT LOVE family.
- @jeffbranson (Jeff Branson) tweeted Thursday: "Shot a great web series this weekend with Milo Ventimiglia. Let u guys know when it's coming out. Great cast. Great shoot." Jeff is on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and has also starred in GUIDING LIGHT and ALL MY CHILDREN. Amy Sedaris fans may remember his appearance way back in 2000 in cult favorite STRANGERS WITH CANDY. Milo may be best known for HEROES and GILMORE GIRLS, but I'm looking forward to his appearance as "Milo the Frat Boy" in the upcoming Grown Ups 2, alongside extra Carol Mulcahy (my sister!).

DEAR DIARIES:   The always goofy and often funny Alex & Michael
FINISH-UP?
If you think the boys at right are cute, or if you think these tweets are funny:
- I feel like people who ask for “no ice” are really beating the system.
- If the homeless were smarter, they'd get together and form a human pyramid to live in.
- The people who think Obama is a Muslim are the same people who clap when the plane lands.
Then STARTUP DIARIES is for you.

Showrunner (and writer/actor, pictured at left) Alex J. Mann has created four entertaining, snack-size episodes that cater to the dorky, hetero, New-York-City-Dude demo (and the women who love them, natch). Essentially a succession of sketches that serve as one-liner and site-gag delivery systems, STARTUP DIARIES is so packed with punchlines that, inevitably, many of them do hit the mark. Exactly how many is a matter of individual taste.

The first three episodes are posted to their kickstarter page, and then there's a floater. They're a bit rough around the edges, but that's kind of the point.

See, Alex, co-star Michael Ziman and director David Monk (along with a few of their friends) are showing us what they can do with a budget of almost zero, and it's actually pretty impressive. Nevertheless, even just a little money would make the series much more watchable. It's like they're holding the rest of the season hostage and they want you to help pay the ransom.

If you care to encourage such behavior, if you want to see more episodes or if you just like to support Indies and/or NYC artists, I say, back their project. For as little as five bucks, you get a personalized thank you note from the STARTUP DIARIES team and "a hug if/when we see you in-person."   Awww.

BEN CRUISING:  Yet another "gay SEX IN THE CITY."
FULL RELEASE
Sometimes the press release says it best, especially when the subject matter trends a tad blue... I don't want to lose track of myself.  Also, since this series is backed by Logo (which is MTV, which is Viacom) it's not an Indie. I thought I would share it anyway, however, because HUNTING SEASON is indicative of how mainstream "edgy" serialized web series have become, and also shows what has been done within the medium by the big boys.

I would encourage you to compare it to the crowdfunded THE OUTS, which I actually think may be a better show... what do you think?
There is nothing common about Jon Marcus’ “Hunting Season,” a brand new digital series, debuting September 12th with the first three episodes at LogoTV.com and HuntingSeason.tv. Marcus has pulled together a talented cast, nearly all of whom are openly gay, with an iconic New York City backdrop, offering a candid and often provocative glimpse into the world of four best friends as they each cope with varying perspectives and challenges in their love and sex lives. “Hunting Season” plays like a mash-up of Sex and the City, Girls and Queer as Folk complete with full frontal nudity and unabashed real-life social and sexual dilemmas. The eight episodes run between 10-12 minutes long, and new episodes premiere every Wednesday night after the launch.

“Hunting Season” is based on the wildly popular blog, “The Great Cock Hunt”, which garnered hundreds of thousands of avid readers and fans while it was published between 2005-2008. The blog won loyal followers for its honest and explicit sex adventures and smart storytelling. When “Alex” decided to stop blogging, Kensington Books published a novel based on the characters and their continued adventures. The show uses the original material as a jumping off point, with a production that is intimate, explicit and of a quality you might see on HBO.

The lead role of “Alex” is performed by BEN BAUR, who has appeared on Happily Divorced (TV Land) and Nip/Tuck (F/X). The best friends in his orbit are played by fellow New York-based actors JACK FERVER (Strangers With Candy, The Big C, Gayby), JAKE MANABAT (Bored to Death, RENT), and MARC SINOWAY (Felony Friday, Little Accidents). Two love interests are played by WALKER HARE (Sin Matador, Dawn of Conviction, As The World Turns) and TYLER FRENCH in his debut role. Extended cast members also include PRESSLY COKER (Law & Order: SVU, Suits, Spike Lee’s The Girl Is In Trouble) as a straight object of affection and KATE GELLER (PAN AM, Mercy, Disconnect, Labor Day) as a best girlfriend.

JON MARCUS (Director/Writer/Executive Producer) makes his directorial debut with “Hunting Season”. He has been a feature film and television producer for over a decade, developing and producing Scoundrels (ABC), starring Virginia Madsen, and producing the indie cult hit film Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin & Seth Green. He has sold a half-dozen other network and cable television pilots and has been a producer on feature films like The Safety of Objects, starring Glenn Close & Patricia Clarkson, and Women In Film, starring Portia DeRossi & Beverly D’Angelo. He was an executive for many years at New York’s famed indie company Killer Films, working on Boys Don’t Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Far From Heaven, and One Hour Photo, among many others.
Do you have an item for Kevin's Indie House? Please email me!

4 comments:

  1. ANYONE BUT ME part of a documentary?? Wow. This is totally news to me, Kevin! Can you tell us who the producers of "Soap Life" are? And thanks for the huge shout out in your article.

    Susan Miller

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  2. I emailed you, Susan =) Keep on keepin' on!

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  3. I was happy to see indie soaps mentioned. In my vision for a documentary like this, it would end with this transition to the web, maybe even showing a bubble-filled theater at the Indie Soap Awards.

    Blind item!! Big news in the indie world is always good. Does anyone have any guesses?

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  4. No guesses. Just really really curious... :)

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