I’ve been complaining all year about not having made anything of my own in 2017, but this weekend, that all changed. Somehow, in less than a month, me and the smallest crew I’ve ever worked on pulled together an entire web series, from script to production. Literally, this show did not exist, even in abstract, two months ago. It’s called Sam and Pat Are Depressed, and I’m really frickin’ excited about it, because it’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s nine episodes, one room, two characters, and hopefully worth a couple laughs. Continue reading “Sam And Pat Are Depressed (and just wrapped their first season!)”
I celebration of Brains getting picked up by SeekaTV, I decided to do something totally unexpected and write about Brains on my blog! I contain multitudes. This is a blog about why, specifically, I’m bummed about not getting more seasons. Warning: spoilers, obviously, so if you haven’t watched Brains yet (or you’re due for a rewatch), why not give it a go, right now, on Seeka?
Tweets by josswheelin
Hey you. Yeah, you. The sleep-deprived indie filmmaker who just tried to film 25 script pages in a single day. Things seem bleak, but there’s a silver lining to this whole mess of a process- you could be making your passion project AND getting fit at the same time!
- Don’t eat on set. You don’t have time to stop working anyways!
- Insist on setting up all the equipment alone. It’s your project, after all, and people will judge you if you aren’t doing enough to help out.
- Take public transportation to and from every shoot. Nothing says “FITNESS” like carrying a 50 pound lighting kit up and down subway stairs while balancing a costume bag on your head.
- Only write walk and talk scenes. Not only will this filming style keep the energy up in a scene, but you’ll get to 10,000 steps on your FitBit NO PROBLEM!
- Stare into the void. The void doesn’t care that you’re hungry or tired and will offer no sympathy, so you may as well get over it.
- Offer actors piggy-back rides to and from holding. Your cast will appreciate the break, plus you’ll really tone those glutes.
- Have all of your equipment with you all the time. Sure, it’s inconvenient to drag your lighting kit to the park when there’s nowhere to plug in, but you never know, and your biceps have never looked better!
- If you MUST eat on set, only eat fruit snacks. Fruit is good for you.
- Buy costumes one size too small for yourself. Nothing says “thinspiration” like constant discomfort and self-loathing!
- Always be working. Done with one project? Start another! If you’re a workaholic, you can’t ALSO be a chocoholic! #Logic #Paleo
What are YOUR Get Fit Tips for indie filmmakers? Tell me in the comments!
A few months ago I did a podcast called The Other 50%- Women in Hollywood, hosted by Julie Harris Walker. As you can probably guess, it was on the subject of being a woman in the entertainment industry (and relentless self promotion). Near the end of the podcast, Julie asked “what’s your big dream?” Continue reading “Dream Bigger”
As I often do when I’m out of ideas, I turned to Twitter this month for some prompts for today’s blog. Instead of just picking one, I decided to do all of them, in order of receiving them.
It’s complicated. Isn’t everything?
April was a rough month for me, and May was a chaotic one. June was a slow burn, in a partially depressing but mostly apathetic way, because not having a structure to my day to day sucks. Here’s to July?
The recent good:
- Ace and Anxious premiered online, and did extremely well on Tumblr. All the feedback but two YouTube comments was positive.
- Ace and Anxious got into several film festivals, and has three awards under its belt already.
- Brains got distribution via Brooklyn on Demand via their website and their Roku app
- I got published by The Financial Diet, one of my favorite websites
- I was chosen as Filmmaker of the Month for a random website
- I moved into a new, better apartment with just Quinn
- I met a bunch of wonderful new web series and filmmaker friends in person and online
- A Starbucks barista slipped me his phone number on a day when I thought I looked my worst
The recent bad:
- I had to stop going to therapy after five weeks because apparently no one in this city with my insurance has open slots
- I haven’t produced a single project I’ve written all year
- I lost my MTV job at the end of May and am still unemployed, despite working roughly full time hours for Stareable
- One of the projects I was counting on for at least SOME money got pushed by several months, so who knows if it’ll ever happen, let alone if I’ll still be available by the time we’re back on track
- Did I mention I’m unemployed and haven’t produced a single thing of my own writing all year?
It’s not that I’m saying 2017 has been a shit year, even though it has been for a lot of reasons. But it’s already July and I feel like everything I do is just barely keeping my head above water. I’m not drowning, but I’m also not making any progress, and boy howdy do I hate being unemployed.
I’m doing ok. Better than in April/May, but considerably worse than I was doing last year around this time, because I was just starting my exciting new job at MTV and was mid-production for Brains season 2 and starting to plan the shoot for Ace and Anxious. I know that’s not a fair comparison, but I’m definitely feeling stuck in a way I haven’t been for a long time. Certainly for the first time since being in New York.
I’ve been writing things unrelated to Brains, which has been a nice change, but nothing is connecting yet, so we’ll see where I end the year. It’s also really really hot and humid in New York right now and if I’m being honest that’s probably a statistically significant portion of my bad mood.
However. By and large, the thing I’ve been most proud of this year is this website. I finally fell into a good pattern for the first time in years. Two posts a month plus one video a month seems like exactly as much as I can manage while also allowing for some semblance of quality. My new pal Larry Brody of TVWriter.com (hi Larry!) certainly seems to think I’m doing something worthwhile, as he’s been republishing a lot of what I’ve been musing about this year over on his site.
Now if only I could get paid.
1. Produce 2 new projects to completion- In Progress
2. Finish writing Brains.- Complete!
Date of first draft completion: March 4th, 2017.
Date I’ll get over being done: Never.
3. Post a blog twice a month and a personal YouTube video once a month.- Partial completion
- Dead End Day Job (blog)
- This blog!
4. Write 2 new original pilots- one drama, one comedy- Partial Completion
It’s been a weird writing year for me. I’ve done a TON of writing, but it was all focused on blogs (for this site as well as for my new job at Stareable) or Brains. Brains was really the only true creative thing I’ve written that has gotten anywhere, and that’s not particularly useful. That said, I did write like 35 pages of a pilot that might become my “drama” pilot, so I’m counting it as in progress.
5. Edit The Toast, my screenplay. [alternate: write a new screenplay]- Partial Completion
I technically have edited a decent amount of The Toast, but there are a few logic holes I keep falling into that make me think maybe I should just retire it. But uggggh I hate writing full-length screenplays. I’d rather write a full season of a new web series.
Hey past Bri… would that count? (no- the point of this resolution is to get me some writing samples that aren’t episodic)
6. Work on a set or production that I didn’t write- Complete!
In February, I spent a Saturday in Queens with my friend Lauren to film a Valentine’s Day commercial parody. You can watch it here:
I was also in an MTV sketch alongside, wait for it, Rupert Grint!!
Plus, I stepped in as an associate producer on season 2 of the web series History.
I was also hired as associate producer and assistant director the new web series The Mother Lode.
7. Leave New York City at least twice. – Partial completion
To film the pitch video for The Mother Lode web series, I went to Hoboken, New Jersey.
Ok, so technically, this resolution should get marked as complete because a few weeks after the above photos were taken, I went BACK to Hoboken, to a different part of it, for a production meeting for the same production. However, I’m holding off calling it a success for now because I’m hoping I can go to two unique places other than NYC this year. I feel decently good about my chances, but you never know.
8. Make better choices when it comes to diet and exercise.- In Progress
Since moving into an apartment just with Quinn, I’ve gotten a lot better about my diet. I’m not making salads for every meal -let’s not go crazy here- but having complete control of my kitchen has encouraged me to start cooking again, meaning I’m eating out less. I’ve also been walking a lot more recently because of all these sets I’ve worked on. Not exactly a choice, per se, but sometimes, when given the option to walk to a closer subway stop from which I’d need to transfer or walking further to not have to transfer, I usually walk further.
9. Be less impatient with other people.
Well. Not having roommates anymore definitely helps with this, but honestly, I haven’t noticed a substantial difference in my internal monologue this year. I’m not even sure what a non-impatient Bri would look like, so this resolution might have been poorly conceived. If you have suggestions for how to measure or combat this, let me know.
10. Go to therapy -Complete!
In record time, I finished this resolution less than two weeks after the new year. Then, five weeks later, I discovered I could no longer afford it due to a series of circumstances, and the suggestions for other therapists to contact fell through because of scheduling. Then like two weeks later I was moving and learned I had lost my job at MTV, which is like a weird therapy trend for me. I stop going, and then my life falls apart. Last time, a week later, my parents got a divorce. Not sure what to do with this information, but hey, new years resolution checked off!
After the insanity of last month, I finally filmed a full video to orient you all to my new apartment, which I love a lot. Forgive the slight kitchen mess- Quinn is halfway through making bread. *swoon*