How Not To Make A Webseries – Anne Flournoy

the louise log

In the latest installment of Anne Flournoy’s The Louise Log, Louise takes up the art of webseries production. I found it so amusing that Anne created a character in her webseries who is now making a webseries…I just had to ask her about it…


The concept of your alter ego character Louise starting a web series is written into your web series—-  How did you come up with this?

It was set up in Season 1 that, before becoming a mother, Louise had been a sculptor, a creative person, and that she is longing to get back to work after being (happily but stuck) at home raising kids.  But the idea of her getting back to sculpture was problematic for our low-budget production.  Sculpture can be dirty and cumbersome.  We’d have to actually make the sculptures or (more likely) borrow them but then somehow manage to show them in the process of being made.  Also, there was the fact of my ignorance.  I’m not as immersed in the art world as I once was, in fact I hardly know what’s going on.  

 Meanwhile, in making the first seventeen episodes of this series, there have been some horrible and hilarious missteps: for example, when I first decided to make some ‘short videos for the internet’, I did try to tape myself talking to the camera.  It was an unqualified disaster.  And then, not being naturally tech-y and coming from film where you generally work with a camera operator/lighting DP, a sound mixer and all their assistants, you can get pretty far having very little technical knowledge.  The crew takes care of the details.  Not so with video. 

Are Louise’s motivations for creating a web series the same as your own? Does she need a short film series, or want one? What about you? [Read more...]

FnS Interview – Comedian and Style Pundit Erika Wasser

  Comedian Erika Wasser 

Erika Wasser is a rising NY comedian and humorist with an affinity for fashion. She shares her unique bravado about the modern woman’s everyday world in her stand up, in a weekly column InTouch Magazine, and on The Tyra Banks Show.

   

If you could banish one fashion style, what would it be?
Plaid shirts and being dirty as looking cool. Why people wear those lumberjack shirts, made for those who are cutting trees, when all they’re doing is smoking trees is beyond me. If unemployment had a uniform, all of the lower east side would be it. I don’t get it. Dress for the job you want – not the one you don’t have. Also, when did it become OK not to shower, yet the ‘cheek kiss hello’ is still in. When people in plaid and unwashed hair go in to say hello, I say “wait right there and don’t take another step unless you want a hello and my dermatology bill” – it’s just plain gross. And then these same over confident ‘I don’t need to be clean to be cool’ people are the same ones who want to hit on you?!! If you go out looking like you’ve rolled out of bed, be prepared to roll back into bed… alone. Second on the list: Flip Flops… unsanitary, unsightly… need I continue?    

 What’s the most embarrassing ensemble you look back on ever having worn?
I was responsible for bringing Ugg boots to my high school, which was a boarding school in Upstate New York. Way before the Uggs took off, I also paired these sad excuses for shoes with a barely there denim mini skirt, and an array of “emo-esque” pink skull t-shirts that were too tight. I looked like a hooker who wanted to be lazy about it. My t-shirts suggested I was depressed, my lack of ability to put real shoes on confirmed it. The yearbook actually touted my ‘fashion sense’ and featured me, and my signature look. I realize now that they were mocking me but at the time I really thought I looked sexy-cool. Looking back, I think my friend and fellow comic Veronica Mosey says it best, “There’s a reason strippers aren’t wearing ugg boots”. Also, they were made for surfers. New rule of thumb: When the last thing you surfed was the internet, either go get yourself a long board, or go buy a decent pair of shoes.   

Why is it so hard to find a man who dresses well? [Read more...]

Infamous AXE Clean Your Balls Campaign – Scout Durwood Interview

Scout Durwood AXE Clean Your Balls Campaign

Scout Durwood is known as our friend Doctor Princess Lady Scoutington, Stalker of Penelope Cruz, former Miss America contestant, and The Lesbian Grinch. But wait, that’s not all. Scout is a prominent research professional for AXE Detailer in the infamous AXE Clean Your Balls marketing campaign. Scout stars in various episodes of this ballbreaking landbreaking ad campaign for one of the world’s largest soap manufacturers in the world, Unilever.

11 Million plus viewings of the AXE Clean Your Balls campaign vids. They won bigger advertising accolades than even the Old Spice campaign. Has AXE rewarded you well?

Well, as a downtown comedian/performance artist, my penny jar is just overflowing with pennies to begin with, so I hardly noticed the monetary compensation, but I am just swimming in loofa’s… er, AXE Detailers, and I have to say, the switch has really helped me get in touch with my love of men’s cleaning products, so, yes, I’m sittin’ pretty.  

How did you land the AXE campaign? [Read more...]

FnS Interview – Jenn Dodd, Jenneral Assembly

 Jenn Dodd

Jenn Dodd is an entire sketch comedy troupe in one smart, riotous little package. She writes and acts for I’ve Got Munchies, a cooking sketch comedy program that airs biweekly on Manhattan Neighborhood Network. She performed live sketch in a 4-person group called Lolabrigada. Jenn’s must see blog and YouTube channel are her Jenneral Assembly of characters and their stories.



So where do all these people come from? Your characters exhibit all these lovely facets, and then even more detail can be found in your blog entries about them. Are those additional notes that did not make it to the sketches?

I am fascinated by people. I think my characters come from the part of my brain that is (annoyingly) observant of other peoples mannerisms. I’ll find myself watching someone tell a story rather than listening to it; how their lips move, how they use their hands, unique affectations. Countless times, I’m so caught up in observing, it’s an awkward moment when I’m supposed to respond.

My characters are usually based on people I know, people who I’ve observed from my costumer service jobs or a medley of several of them. More often than not, they’re even inspired by an interesting wig that I’ve found. I think I may have a wig addiction. Really. The stories which accompany the videos on my blog are usually done after the fact. It’s essentially me trying to expel any additional information about the character I can think of. Kind of like a character dry heave. Yep, I said it. Character dry heave. [Read more...]

Interview – Laura McBryde from the West Coast. Not THAT West Coast.

Laura McBryde

My, we get some fun submissions from time to time! Laura McBryde wrote saying she LOVES FnS, and asked if we would feature her. I took a look at her videos and for a second I thought, well, her timing is a bit different. And she talks a little funny….OH! OK! She is from the UK. That explains alot. But according to her videos, she had hayfever and chemical sensitivities – just like me. See, we’re not so different after all!



What area of the UK are you from/in, and how do you describe it?
I’m from Scotland. I’m in the west coast, where it gets very rainy and very windy. In a town where I’ve heard people say about it, “I’m not going there I’ll get robbed.” But on the upside, in Summer when there are no clouds you can see a million stars cause there is practically no light pollution.

You seem to have a lot of projects going on with your blogs, modeling, videos…what are you focusing on now?
My focus changes week by week, not for any particular reason, I just have a short attention span. I filmed at the end of last week and will be editing and posting to youtube later this week, so watch out for that!

Why do you make funny videos? [Read more...]

Ted and Gracie Save the Date – Jena Friedman

TedandGracie

The Newark Times is doing an intimate portrait of couples planning their wedding during a recession:

“I’ve always been interested in serial killers, but could never wrap my head around the type of women who dated/married them… Ted Bundy got married while he was on trial and then proceeded to have a child with a woman who left him 8 years later…once she realized he was ‘guilty’. What I wouldn’t give to get inside her head! This series hopes to explore that…”

- Jena Friedman http://jenafriedman.com/

Interview with Filmmaker Anne Flournoy – The Louise Log

The Louise Log is a dark, funny, weird yet relatable web series about a woman, her life, her men, and her inner voice. The series has recently gained attention as a topic of interest for Roger Ebert on this twitter page. Producer and writer of the series, Anne Flournoy, is no stranger to getting attention and accolades for her works in video. Her first film, Louise Smells A Rat was invited to be in the New York Film Festival. Variety called her third short Nadja Yet “a nine-minute showstopper”. Anne has shared insights about her series in this FnS interview.

All of your video projects focus on the inner consciousness. Is that your “thing”?

The ‘unseen’ is one of my burning interests– that and the discrepancy between what appears to be and what is.  

It may not be true for people in their teens and 20′s today who seem very at ease being ‘transparent’, but when I was growing up we were trained in wearing a mask, sort of like an emotional Sunday Best.  That makes for a lot of conflict but a rich inner life.

Much of The Louise Log is unpredictable, and even irrelevant. Is this symbolic, or is it written as a stream of consciousness, as the narrative sounds?

We’re talking about the voiceover here, right?  The voiceover is sort of the secret weapon of The Louise Log.  It started out as a way to salvage a first episode which looked pretty and had great music but which needed something more.  Years ago a friend who’d taken a class in graduate school with Emir Kusturica learned about (and passed on to me) the marvel of ‘the third thing’.  If a scene isn’t working, say between a man and a woman, add an angry cat.  Etc.  I’d seen and been haunted by a wonderful Godard film Two or Three Things I Know About Her.  No matter how many times I watched it, I couldn’t seem to grasp it.  I’ve probably seen that film more than any other and it has an extended whispered voice-over.  

So getting around to answer your question, usually, the voice-over gets added after the picture is cut as a way to make sense of the ‘action’ and sometimes to fill in essential information that isn’t in the picture.   There’s a temptation for the VO to just react to the action but this seems to be less successful than if the voice-over has a ‘theme’ of its own– and often one which wasn’t even considered in the shooting script.   In Season 2, my co-writer Sandra Vannucchi was more careful about making sure the VO was written in but even so, sometimes it changes in the editing.  The VO does a balancing act of doing a lot of jobs.  If it sounds like a natural stream of consciousness, I’m happy.  

So which came first? Louise’s loss of attraction to her husband, or her neurosis about her relationship with him? What is the origin of her “frustrated ego”? [Read more...]

Funny not Slutty Interview – Robyn Schall

comedian-robyn-schall

Kim Kardashian meets Fran Drescher meets Lucille Ball…It’s Robyn Schall in Not The Sharpest Crayon. Robyn took a moment to let us know a little more about her life and her funny new series.


I have a feeling that the description of your character is a little autobiographical. What are the similarities, and the differences between you and your NTSC character?

Yes, the character “Robyn Schall” and “the real Robyn Schall” have a lot in common.  When I first started doing stand up, from day one, I wasn’t one to be able to tell jokes. So I got up there and told stories about the crazy situations I get myself into with jobs or boys or family. It worked.  As time went on, I found myself doing an exaggerated character of myself on stage and it added to the “funny.”  Everything about the character are all traits I have, just times 10.  The biggest thing we have in common is that whatever crazy situation is put infront of us we roll with it because anything awkward will always be funny the next day!  The biggest difference is I’m not THAT clueless… well at least not most of the time.

Your brother, Richard Schall, who works with you on the series was in game show casting? What is it like to work with your brother producing adult comedy content? [Read more...]

Zombie Lullaby – Jessica Delfino

By Jessica Delfino, follow her on twitter.

The worst part of New York is leaving it. There is no easy way to do it. If you take a bus, it could flip over and decapitate you. If you take a train, you have to ride on a train. Driving isn’t even an option.

But when a strange man invited me out of the blue to sing my ditties in a syndicated TV show that he was somehow involved in which featured zombies, an exit strategy was in order. There was talk of a hot tub, a small exchange of money and free food. Did someone say free food? The Scooby Doo meets Garfield in me clicked “LIKE” on the internal comment thread going on in my brain.

I googled the producers and people associated with the show to make sure they weren’t an off-spin of the Manson cult, and found no sufficient evidence proving or disproving any such link. ‘Good enough’, my inner warrior princess assured my outer twisted minstrel. “Let’s all go to New Jersey”, the various voices in my Gemini head announced. Well, one was singing.

At Penn Station, I met just the sweetest couple you have ever laid eyes on, who would be my escorts and advisors on this zombie adventure. We had a great chat about the biz, shared raisins or some such snack, laughed and also just cut right through the crap. In short, a great ride was had by all.

 We were greeted by our driver, a very friendly fellow who led us to our coach, a Mini Cooper, and chauffered us to the studio, simultaneously taking us on a brief and exhilarating tour of Princeton, NJ. When we pulled up in front of the studio, the place looked haunted. It was abandoned looking, with spotty patches of grass and no movement near or around it. It was the perfect place to film a TV show about zombies. It crossed my mind that this was not a TV show at all, but a real event involving real zombies. [Read more...]

Jessica Delfino Knows How to Craft Vagina Material

Jessica Delfino

One of our favorite Funnies is Jessica Delfino, who really knows vagina material. After all, her pussy IS magic… Jessica speaks and sings confidently about her vagina in this lovely performance on Ars Nova NYC. And in the second video she is interviewed by Ted the Puppet and converses about her glamorous Tampax Christmas Ornaments, for which it is definitely the season. Buy one of these little gems today!