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The Queen Hussy Chronicles w/ Pete Chatmon: Issue VI

Features
by Pete Chatmon
November 14, 2011 10:13 AM
7 Comments
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It's been a couple of weeks since the last chronicle. Things have been nicely hectic around Double7 as we were finishing a campaign featuring the Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet (awesome car!) and editing Queen Hussy Episode 2, "But, We're Neighbors".

We also snuck in a few more "Meet The Character" videos along the way. Episode 1 has been hovering around 4,000 views and creator Hannelore Williams has decided it's time to expand the show to new people while also rewarding the folks that have supported thus far.

It should be noted that this here webseries game is a wild, wild west, and keeping your guns blazing with content is the modus operandi.

THE CAMPAIGN

The snapshot above is from the portfolio page on our website and reflects most of the content we've released in support of Queen Hussy. A lot of people have put great time and energy into it, and we've stuck to our belief of not only creating, but educating folks about the process. We may stumble along the way, but that doesn't mean everyone else should.

I invite you to check out the page HERE and see everything we've released!

MEET RICK

You first met Rick in Episode 1 at the party, and he'll appear again in Episode 2 to set the stage for Episode 3. The beauty of the webseries is having the time to develop storylines while also responding to what the audience finds most engaging or entertaining. In the event you missed Rick's "Meet the Character" video, you can check it out now:

BONUS

Since we just wrapped this up and this particular video has to do with independent film(!), check out the $FREE.99 episode of the 911x7 Porsche Campaign I directed. $FREE.99 won the Creative Promise Award at the 2008 Tribeca All Access Program at the Tribeca Film Festival and we're about to make this heist film happen next year, by hook or by crook! I'll definitely be keeping Shadow and Act in the mix.

In this snippet you'll get a window into the creative brainstorms I share with my co-writer, Candice Sanchez McFarlane.

911x7 Episode 2: $FREE.99 from Double7 Images on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for Episode 2 and as always, drop any comments, questions, etc in here and I'll respond.

Onward,

Pete Chatmon

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7 Comments

  • Pete Chatmon | November 18, 2011 9:47 AMReply

    Tony, well said. And to your word, it was great when you, me, and Hanne got to sit down and chop it up when we had just gotten back from LA and the Queen Hussy shoot. 22 episodes is very impressive, and the buzz about your show continues to grow and stay positive. Issa Rae mentioned you in a recent article as well:

    http://bitchmagazine.org/article/young-awkward-and-black

    Keep it up man and let's stay connected!

  • Tony Clomax | November 17, 2011 1:07 AMReply

    This is why I'm trying to do consultations and share everything I've learned on the way. The do's and don'ts of the web series world. It's ever changing and it can be a challenge to stay relevant, but that comes with the territory. 12-Steps to Recovery has 16 episodes up, with another 6 coming. Our episodes aren't cheap and although post-production works like an assembly line with me (editor / colorist), my composer and my sound mixer/designer, time is still needed. Like Pete says, the goal is to present the best product possible. This isn't the goal of all online content creators and it shows. I think you can see the hard work that goes into shows like 12-Steps, Osiris, Queen Husey and several other shows. I'm currently doing voting with the International Association of Web Television and I think I've seen about 250 web series. Some folks are really putting in work and you can see that money was spent. At the end of the day, I think the best thing you can do is keep content rolling out, be a major player in the Social Media game, get into festivals and get some merchandising out there. Merchandising is my next step. It's something that I put to the side because I wanted to use funds to get episodes in the can, but it's still a crucial process.

  • Pete Chatmon | November 14, 2011 11:26 PMReply

    @CareyCarey -- what's good. Here are some answers to your questions:

    - it takes about 3 weeks to edit each episode, but that's a bit of an average. There's crazy schedules of course, and then the demands of each episode. Episode 3, which we are starting now, has SO MUCH COVERAGE that there are many nuanced choices for us to make in the cut. Once we lock picture, then our colorist Eric Alvarado spends a few days working on the color correction, our Sound Designer Melina Greene spends about a week on sound design, and then music from Russell Fraze is tweaked, revised, and added in. I oversee the whole process, and since web is like the TV world, all of these things are given a final look by Hannelore Williams as creator of the show.

    - we called in a LOT of favors on this bad boy but I'll have to check in with Hannelore on the budget.

    - For me, there's one goal and that's to make the best product possible from what we were able to create. I also try to be as specific as possible, so as mentioned above, folks time on each episode is very limited, though VERY focused. Dragging it on forever and without direction I think is where you start losing the collective spirit around the project and people start feeling like they're wasting their time. On top of that, being supportive and excited about the end project AND the process should keep your team engaged while they work so hard.

    - Before heading out to LA, I rehearsed in NYC with Hannelore and Heather (Nicole and Katie) about 4-5 times. Everyone else I got to meet in LA when I got to set, and we worked out (rehearsed) in the couple days I was there before the shoot. Not the most time, but we were pretty specific and able to maximize our time.

    - There are always mistakes to be made. I'd say personally, whether or not the audience notices or not, there are about 4 shots over the 3 episodes we shot that I would have preferred to get to sell some jokes a little better. It was tough with time constraints to even get what we got!, but these shots would've made me happier as a director in terms of delivering information to the audience. If you want to know a specific shot, at the end of Episode 1 I didn't have time to get a tighter shot of Nicole and Katie singing Puss N Boots, so we had to zoom in on the existing wide shot. We went as close as we could while maintaining the resolution, but I would've preferred to be in a much tighter 2 shot to emphasize the moment.

    - Re: promotional tips, so much of this is organic. Take Issa Rae as an example, Awkward Black Girl is not her first webseries, and she's obviously learned a tremendous amount over the the time she's worked on her other content. I think Queen Hussy is still finding its footing, but the biggest driver will be the episodes so people can get invested in the characters. I'm all about the educational aspects too, and as we grow I think folks will really appreciate that, but it's episodes first for most folks which is why we're bringing Episode 2 next week.

    - Re: keeping guns blazing, I just feel you have to keep content popping because someone else will come up with some content if you don't. Once you have the attention of the audience, you have to keep it by releasing early and often. If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it did it really fall? Same kinda deal I'd say.

    Thanks 4 the dialogue.

    ~ Pete

  • CareyCarey | November 15, 2011 9:21 AM

    Pete, thanks for the speedy response. Yeah, I understand this-----> we called in a LOT of favors on this bad boy. Man, I am doing a little something and every time I turn around I need someone with more technical experience or expertise than I possess. Some are gracious enough to add their assistance but others have to get paid. For instance on a musical tip, one small group ( piano player, drummer & 3 background singers) require $1000.00 a night for a one hour performance. That's not including payments for and during rehearsals. Then, as you mentioned, it's always demanding to find the time in which each person in the production can come together at one specific time and place. Not to mention keeping other folks on retainers/understudies (insurance) as backup in case someone breaks their neck or goes to jail :-) The show has to go on so I can't let one monkey stop the show. Yet again, that costs money. RE: rehearsals, DAMN, yep, another huge problem. Without such, the final product will suffer... the more the better. (imo). RE: Technical staff, another issue that is nice to have the BIG HOOKUP ( CALL IN THE BIG FAVORS ) i.e., sound man, lighting, camera operators, wardrobe/costumes, etc. RE: editing, damn, 3 weeks for one episode?! Yeah, and just think about that. We are not talking about a full length feature film. Well Pete, my hat is tipped in your direction. Keep up the good work and keep the posts coming. ~ Carey

  • CareyCarey | November 14, 2011 12:21 PMReply

    Hello Pete, I’ve viewed all of your clips and I’ve read all of your posts...so now it’s time to say your effort is very much appreciated. On that note, could you expound on this---------> “It should be noted that this here webseries game is a wild, wild west, and keeping your guns blazing with content is the modus operandi”. In particular (because I love the educational part of your posts) could you give us a look into the following aspects of the overall process.

    1.) The time and effort it takes to edit one single episode. 2.) I saw Tower Heist last night which I believe had a budget over 70 million (I don’t know where in the hell that money went) but could you share an average budget for a webseries like yours, and which area consumes the most of the money. 3.) When goals and expectation are not met, how do you keep the team inspired and/or who’s job is that? 4.) How much time does it take to rehearse? I can safely assume that many in your cast and crew are juggling many hats (you included) so can you speak on the effort it takes to gather and manage the whole cast and crew at one place and for several days. How does that process work? 5.) You mentioned a few mistakes along the way. Could you share some of them and what you would do differently? 6.) How about giving us some promotional tips. 7.) Finally, what do you believe happens when one does not keep their guns blazing? Are you speaking to the mindset of the average Internet viewer and the world as a whole, in that our attention span is so short that we are always looking for the next best thing? Is the name of the game “keep it poppin and keep it moving” or Buster, Leon and Cookie will find someone else to love?

  • Pete Chatmon | November 14, 2011 10:47 AMReply

    Donnie, you should definitely share some of the experiences of marketing Osiris. It's a great by-product of the process. How are things going?

  • Donnie Leapheart | November 14, 2011 10:34 AMReply

    I was going to share some experiences we've had with marketing our Osiris web series but this space may be a little too "public" for them. But you're very right, the web series world is very different from film/tv.

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