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Watch Episode 1 Of New Web Series 'Heartbreak' From S&A Contributor Masha Dowell

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 3, 2013 11:41 AM
77 Comments
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Filmmaker, actress, and S&A contributor Masha Dowell has created rom-com webseries titled Heartbreak-The Series - her 2nd new media project. 

Her first webseries Telecommuters was an official selection at the 2012 New Media Festival in Los Angeles.

Heartbreak-The Series stars Masha Dowell, Roger Payano, Monique Nicole and Marjuan Canady.

The project was executive produced by Masha Dowell for Global Culture Films, and co-produced by Nicolle M. Whalen for Nhizwill Productions, and Rosalind Jackson, for Wordy Girl Entertainment.  

The projects synopsis reads:

Sasha McDougal is in love, with her life. The thing is, she doesn’t know it yet. You see, first she has to go through a terrible heartbreak, and then meet up with the love of her life; herself.

The webseries premiered on May 1st via the series site at www.heartbreakbliss.com.

You can learn more about the series, and follow its preogress at https://www.facebook.com/HeartbreakTheSeries.

Watch episode 1 below:


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77 Comments

  • Rosie | May 25, 2013 7:19 PMReply

    I watched what I thought was episode one but was really episode two. Not good. :(

  • CC | May 7, 2013 7:58 AMReply

    Congratulations Marsha, is there anything you'd like to say to the crowd?

    Masha: "WOW!... Just freakin' WOW! First I am so HAPPY that you guys are even commenting on my webseries. Yeah, it's great, the beginning of any journey is NOT easy. But who would have thought I'd topple Scandal and Tyler Perry's Haves Nots posts? Just freakin' WOW.

    If I can, I'd like to thank some of my fans. I wouldn't be here without the help of Nadia, Akimbo, The Brainer, Mawon, Turner, Truth, Adam "it's too hot up in here" Thompson and LOVESFILMNMUSIC. Without them by my side I could not have won this Up In The Club Award. But I have to admit I do need some work, help, or whatever --- but I'm making it happen! And just think, there's not many people who can say they received more votes than Usher, Mike Tyson, TLC and the whole cast of "Peeples" so I'm freaking loving my journey. Have an awesome May guys!!!!!"

  • Lulz | May 8, 2013 1:52 AM

    So then let people state their opinions without telling to chill or leave. You're the one who needs to relax. The only mad people here are the ones who "liked" the web series.

  • Dudes or Dudettes? | May 7, 2013 7:47 PM

    @ Dudettes (HMMM & LULZ) chill... relax, it's not that serious. Now take a deep breathe and look around, this is not a doctorate program, it's a comment section; a place folks go to throw mud on the wall. Look at it as a place of acceptable guilty pleasures.

    So move along so grown folks can have a little fun in their spare time.

  • Lulz | May 7, 2013 4:45 PM

    If her real fans don't exist, does that mean your comment doesn't either?

  • MASHA'S REAL FANS | May 7, 2013 1:57 PM

    @ HMMM, thanks for that glowing review.

    Btw, congrats on getting the gig. It's no small feat beating out Chucky Whucky. Not everyone can say they're the host of S&A's Up In The Club Awards.

  • Hmmm | May 7, 2013 12:31 PM

    Looks like you're more a stalker of those commenters than they are fans of Masha. You're pathetic. The shit barely got 300 views. More comments here doesnt drum up more interest for that trash. You're making both of you look bad. Idiot.

  • Kara | May 6, 2013 8:06 PMReply

    I liked it! Cute!

  • ska-triumph | May 6, 2013 4:44 PMReply

    While I commend Ms. Dowell on getting her own webseries going - in the meta tradition that's running hard right now - I must admit that I'm concerned with this first episode.

    The title poster wasn't my worry so much as the running time. 12 minutes-plus is a stretch if the storytelling isn't solid. That first impression was confirmed with the actual setup: I found it wandered/plateaued too soon with each "scene," without the beats or tone (right now) that defines this specific story.

    While the chemistry between the cast seems good, their natural conversation didn't necessarily translate into great, sharp dialogue. The standard 2-shot composition choices (right now) kind of demand it.

    Plus I just don't get the/her stakes on screen even told they're told to me in extensive voiceover. I'll give the series more time as well. Meanwhile I'll get in deep with my fellow commenters' thoughts. Thanks again for sharing - and doing.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 6, 2013 7:09 PM

    They say somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 min for a webseries is the sweet spot. People don't feel like it's cutting too much into their break/lunch/wait at the doctor's office or whatever.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 6, 2013 1:08 PMReply

    *Samuel L. Jackson voice* CHILL!!! It's too hot up in here. lol

  • Scary Hilton | May 6, 2013 11:56 PM

    And adults don't need you tell them to chill whil they're talking. Either participate or shut up.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 6, 2013 7:07 PM

    We're in a kitchen now? I thought this was a comment section. For adults.

  • Scary Hilton | May 6, 2013 1:59 PM

    Then get out the kitchen.

  • Turner | May 6, 2013 1:21 AMReply

    @NoBrainer... the truth hurts! As Lauren put it: "Sometimes the poster says it all" That shot screams poor production value! Viewer Beware! And you're correct in saying encouraging mediocrity stunts growth. Tambay even suggested in another post that perhaps black filmmakers here should adopt the Nollywood paradigm! Is he kidding? That's like taking singing lessons from Niki Minaj! Their movies suck! Yup, it's great to be supportive to genuine talent and it's another to hand out a black pass. That's as bad as promoting kids year after year who can't read. Who does that help?

  • CareyCarey | May 5, 2013 2:06 PMReply

    Akimbo, be careful following NOBRAINER, you might end up meeting The Mad Hatter. You do know (don't you) the Queen of Hearts at her celebration, she sentenced him to death for "murdering the time".

    Now let that sink in but check this out. When you said "@No Brainer, EXACTLY", what exactly where you championing? Surely you know Mr. No Brainer made my point, right? Well, let me go back. Read it here and you will find it fair--> "this forum is not the place for a detailed, step by step, critical analysis of a 12 minute web-series." That process requires an in-depth conversation WITH the director/writer. Furthermore... " there's over 10 minutes of dialog in this episode so what LINE(or LINES) needs to be tighter?... and what exactly does "tighter" mean? The same goes for the words "focused" and "less repetitive"... exactly WHAT, exactly WHEN, EXACTLY WHERE... and how?"

    Now listen Akimbo, I believe you made you move too soon because NOBRAINER used over 300 words to explain his interpretation of the word "tighter". THREE HUNDRED WORDS on the word "tighter", alone. Okay, for argument sake, lets say we swallowed all of his mentor's suggestions. But now, where do we apply those film-school 101 theories?

    STOP!!! I've already laid that on the floor--> "there's over TEN MINUTES of dialog in this episode so what LINE (OR LINES) needs to be "tighter"?

    Now surely Ms. Akimbo, you can't run from the truth? The truth being, you and No Brainer's blanket suggestions were so ambiguous they're worthless. I am saying.... ONE MO' TIME... that process of giving an in-depth critique/feedback/criticism which is designed to help the artist, would be the most productive if given in an in-depth conversation WITH the director/writer.

    I believe the people behind the "favorable" comments knows that's true. Consequently, we feel words of encouragement is apropos for this forum. But you know what, it's all good because Masha already said what many have apparently missed--> "I do need some work, help, or whatever, the beginning of any journey is NOT easy --- but I'm making it happen! And I'm freaking loving my journey. Have an awesome May guys!!!!! xoxo ~ MASHA DOWELL

  • NO BRAINER | May 10, 2013 4:53 PM

    You're right about one thing, CC. People should be careful of following anyone on this blog, if that's what they're doing. That includes you. You can be the MadHatter. Or you can be one of the many film people proudly on this blog. That goes for me too. So, you got that.

  • CC | May 7, 2013 9:40 AM

    "As for CARECAREY, I actually thought highly of you and your apparent individuality on this blog. But I'm beginning to see that it's a lonely world you're living, and you want or need others to share in your individualistic views. Not cool." ~ The Brainer

    Say it ain't so, Mr. No Brainer! I mean, you don't have to kiss me in the morning but I remember a time. Not too long ago when you first arrived at S&A, there were some folks who didn't speak highly of you. So in the voice of Angie Stone:

    "Before you got your ins here at S&A and your brand new Benz and your exclusive friends I was your baby. I was your ride and die and yes your one supply. Oh yes and everything you needed. There was never room for either to assume there would be leavin'. And now that you're brand new and gettin' on through, it's something to take with you. I was your baby, baby, baby, baby, baby and you needed huggin'. I was your baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
    and you needed lovin'. I was your baby, baby, baby, baby, baby when you needed strokin'.

    Yes Mr Brainer, now that we've had a disagreement of sorts, you wanna talk about me as if I'm a dirty dishrag? Well, I understand. When one has individualistic views and thus does not kowtow to popular opinion, they can be perceived as an island. When the storms blow and the sheep run, the one still standing -- in spite of the torrential rains -- can be viewed as a loner. But I am here to tell you this place I now sit, it's a GOOD place. When I stopped doing the goofy and wondering what other folks thought about me, I became alive!

    Consequently, if your opinion of me is my biggest concern, I am in a nice place. So until we meet again, you have a good day.

  • CC | May 6, 2013 1:33 PM

    " It would take some time to do what you're saying" ~ Mr. Brainer

    HELLO!!! Bingo Baby, now you're waking up. I know it was hard for you to tap the mat, but I'm pleased that you've finally admitted this is not the time nor place for your ambiguous, mean-spirited "criticism". But lets continue down your path of fence straddling.

    "So, if Masha is a serious storyteller with some basic knowledge of story, she already gets it. I don't have to do what you're saying." ~ The No Brainer

    WHAT!? OMG.! Apparently, based on your many teaching tools that you've felt compelled to submit over the last 2 days, Marsha must be missing something - huh? But maybe you've been to busy talking and not listening? Anyway, while you walking in quicksand, here's my final answer:

    I don't judge any of you --- b/c I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE [Mr. NO Brainer]. But as long as my name talked about... I LOVE IT. The beginning of any journey is NOT easy. I do need some work, help, or whatever [Mr. No Brainer] --- but I'm making it happen! (what about YOU?) And I'm freaking loving my journey. Have an awesome May guys!!!!! xoxo - MASHA DOWELL

    GO MASHA!!!

  • NO BRAINER | May 6, 2013 11:16 AM

    "However, now that information has to incorporated in every single line, scene, act, etc." -- CAREYCAREY

    Really? I have a life, that's one. It would take some time to do what you're saying and not at the actual request of the content creator. Two, every single person who came my way for feedback and called themselves storytellers, knew exactly how to incorporate the "tighter" explanation into their work when their work required it. EVERY SINGLE ONE. So, if Masha is a serious storyteller with some basic knowledge of story, she already gets it. I don't have to do what you're saying. If she doesn't have that basic knowledge and needs me to incorporate my explanation with her work then I will. But I will not because YOU say I should. It's not your film/video we're critiquing here.

    But I will say this. Since there isn't a single scene in this video, because an actual SCENE has to be an event that moves the story along, I cannot actually say where it can be "tightened" effectively. Nothing is happening. Each, how should I say this, interaction needs to be rewritten to actually be a scene. Then, I could say how to get in late and out early. Until then, my hands are tied. So, the best thing I can say is write clear-cut scenes in the next episode and let's take it from there. Workshop your material with experienced writers. Workshopping can be your friend.

    It's funny how it seems you CAREY are more offended by the feedback here than the actual creator. Really? Anyway, like AKIMBO said, you can be mad all you want, it's still not going to improve the quality of this video.

  • CC | May 6, 2013 9:36 AM

    @ Blutopaz... think Chicken & Waffles... YUM YUM YUMMY!

    I know, there's no whipped butter or grandma's home made syrup, but an improvised American soul food tradition, nevertheless. In fact, since I'm a po' black man and my cupboards were low (syrup & butter) I had to settle for sugary Wheaties... and they did hit the spot. :-).

  • CareyCarey | May 6, 2013 8:53 AM

    Is that right Akimbo? I don't think so. However, I understand your bitterness. You and No Brainer dropped what you thought were pearls of wisdom, Yet, I thought it was insufficient. For instance (although I believe No Brainer missed this point) it took Mr Brainer 300 words to outline the word "tighter" and how it can be used in a script. Now don't get me wrong, he did a great job. However, now that information has to incorporated in every single line, scene, act, etc. So my point was, this is not the place for the type of detailed feedback the writer/director can use to tighten their script. Seriously, as I said in another comment, what line, what sentence, what scene should be "tightened"? And then, one has to go over the particulars of how to tighten said lines. What word or words should be deleted? Hell, anyone can sit back and say "you need to tighten your script" DUH... but the questions remain... how, when, where and why? Again, this is not the place.

    And think about this ol' confused one. We haven't even talked about Masha's goals. And, I don't know who's in her target audience or if she even understands her target audience? Heck, I don't know if she's a part of her target audience, leading her to believe she knows what moves them? So-so-so many questions are still on the table and this is not the place to resolve those issues.

    As you can clearly understand Akimbo, this advice/feedback/criticism thing is a multi-layered event, each requiring detailed conversation. Think about it, we haven't even talked about tone, music, camera angles, etc, and most importantly, Masha's desires/goals.

    In short, although you may have had good intentions (I'm sure you did), in this forum/comment section, I'll take the encouraging brand of "feedback" over porous, nondescript, superficial, mean spirited ego trippin' - any day.

    Honestly Akimbo, I feel your pain but I have to stand on my position.

    GO MASHA!

  • Akimbo | May 6, 2013 2:48 AM

    Honestly, CareyCarey, you have ceased to make sense and clearly don't know what you're talking about. Be mad if you want to; it won't improve the quality of this web series.

  • BluTopaz | May 5, 2013 10:09 PM

    Word.

    btw your cereal and fried chicken meal sounds...interesting-lol.

  • CareyCarey | May 5, 2013 5:45 PM

    No Brainer, although I wouldn't necessarily call you a "silly" snotty nose brat, but in the words of BLUTOPAZ, I am about through with you. Listen partner, I DID NOT say nor imply that your "criticism" was too wordy (where the hell did you get that). I also DID NOT say this isn't a place for vague criticism. The devil is in the details, my man.

    Side bar: Damn BLUTOPAZ, we must have put something on the kids, cus they done lost their minds. I know the truth hurts, but we could get arrested for hitting midgets with bricks. You know, when the little fellow starts talking about Russia and "you don't know me" I know i'st time to ease off the peddle.

    Now Mr No Brainer, when you use the words "hypocrite" & flip-flopper in describing BLUTOPAZ and I, let me tell you a few things you apparently don't understand or fail to accept. Listen, on several occasions Blutopaz and I have admitted we can show our ass with the best of them. Yes sir, we've been known to make off-the-cuff comments that we were not proud of. But we understand that two wrongs don't make a "right". So when it behoove us to take a stand against a perceived injustice, regardless whether or not we've committed that which we are now protesting against, we do so without regret or shame. That's not a journey for the weak or insecure, so you may not understand.

    All that to say, No Brainer my man, you will never make your lunch here at my doorstep. So easy greasy, you have a long way to slide. And you know what? Do you know what I am having for dinner? Well, I am watching basketball and eating Wheaties and Kentucky fried chicken. I'm serious, I'm watching the New York Knicks vs the Indiana Pacers. My PC is off to the right of my dinner. Yep, today it consist of the breakfast of champions and every black man's favorite - fried chicken. :-) But I'm done with you.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 4:44 PM

    "Some of the folks here remind me of those two old dudes in the balcony from The Muppet Show, and they chose to overlook that honest comment from her because it's easier for them to throw peanuts from the gallery." -- BLUTOPAZ

    I'm ignoring her statement, as positive and favorable as it may seem, because this isn't about her. This is about people like you and CAREYCAREY, who believes this post isn't for criticism. Saying such things is code for, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all, or "either you're with us or against us"--Welcome to communist Russia. Give me a break.

    Funny thing is, I have frequented this board enough to recall comments made by the likes of BLUTOPAZ criticizing other people's work in the past, which leads some here to believe such positive feedback you give is insincere. I don't think it is. In fact, I think you and the others are being very genuine because you don't know any better. I get it. But others think you do know better and you're being phony.

    As for CARECAREY, I actually thought highly of you and your apparent individuality on this blog. But I'm beginning to see that it's a lonely world you're living, and you want or need others to share in your individualistic views. Not cool. I'm also seeing that you're either a flip-flopper or painfully confused. How can you say this blog isn't the place for vague criticism but complain when an expansion of one's criticism is too wordy? Huh? What the hell is that, oxymoronic terms and conditions created by you?

    And don't tell AKIMBO anything about me that is not true. You don't know me. She is only agreeing with my expansion on what she said. It's really up to her to say, "That's what I'm saying exactly," or "You don't get what I'm talking about." See? This isn't Russia. Be easy.

  • CareyCarey | May 5, 2013 4:27 PM

    OH LORD Akimbo, there you go again, misrepresenting the facts. It's not about whether or not "creators" knew what you were talking about! NO-NO-NO, a thousand times NO, I'd rather die than say yes. In the context of this discussion -- on Masha's webseries, your feedback (as BLUTOPAZ said) was akin to that of... can I say it :-) Waldorf and Statler of The Muppet Show fame. Certainly you know that's true, right? I mean, who doesn't know the definition of "tighter?". But as I outlined above, the word is porous at best, if it is not attached to a specific task. So continue to throw peanuts from the balcony and believe they're genuine words of wisdom.

    And speaking of ambiguity and moot points, I simply asked you what were you agreeing with 'cause No Brainer spoke on much more than the word "tighter". So again, you continue to miss the point, or you're participating is a paper thin act of feigning ignorance. But do your thang... but be mindful that all closed eyes (i.e, writers, creators, movie enthusiast, etc) are not asleep and we're not tryin' to stroke you into believing you're "right". There's no crying in baseball and no coddling in S&A's comment arena.

  • Akimbo | May 5, 2013 3:26 PM

    I'm not following anyone. No Brainer explained "tighter" and I agreed. It's not your place to decide what this forum is or isn't for, so your "point" is moot, especially since you're simultaneously asking for specifics.

    If you feel my feedback was too ambiguous to be useful, that's either really unfortunate for you or yet another display of willful ignorance. Either way, that's fine; creators will know what I'm talking about.

  • BluTopaz | May 5, 2013 2:42 PM

    "But you know what, it's all good because Masha already said what many have apparently missed--> "I do need some work, help, or whatever, the beginning of any journey is NOT easy --- but I'm making it happen! And I'm freaking loving my journey. Have an awesome May guys!!!!"

    She has the right attitude, and appears to be more about understanding this whole thing is a process. Some of the folks here remind me of those two old dudes in the balcony from The Muppet Show, and they chose to overlook that honest comment from her because it's easier for them to throw peanuts from the gallery.

    But aside from all the nonsense, I know what it's like to be supported when it was really needed. I completed some motion graphics for a doc filmmaker earlier this year, and the more we got into the process they asked me to do more complex stuff on a very tight deadline. I hadn't tried some of the 3d techniques they requested , and I tripped and thought, I CAN'T DO THIS!!! I sent a few drafts, and with each one they liked what they saw and showed me how to improve until finally, everyone loved the end results. Yeah that's a different scenario than having a bunch of strangers view your work. These people had money and time invested in in depth reviews of my work for obvious reasons. However it's not the same on a film website blog as you have noted.

  • BluTopaz | May 5, 2013 8:52 AMReply

    @NO BRAINER:

    "In fact, most of the indie films discussed on this blog are pretty lame to me."

    That tells me all I need to know about where you're coming from.

    "I can't. I can't read anymore of the people's encouragements, exposing their infantile taste in movies. " "Film further complicates things for us when you have to consider cinematography, acting, editing, sound design, music, etc. We just don't get it.

    So you are Roger Ebert now, and want to wax poetic about the finer points of cinema that all Black people apparently don't get because not everyone is trashing a 10 minute video. Under the guise of how Black people need to do better.

    Go sit your silly behind down, through with you.

    @MAWON: You sound p'od that folks have a different opinion than yours cuz your 12 minutes out of your life was so precious. You have spent more of your invaluable time in this thread then it took for you to watch the video.

    "And you can't get mad at people for commenting more on bad shit." Who is "mad" about you showing your propensity for crudeness? The issue appears that "mad' is the default emotion for some of you on here and you get even more p'od when others don't share your sentiments and join the bitchfest.

    Through with you also, because this is turning more into a peanut gallery exhibit re: you, et al and less about Masha's video. Twelve minutes out of my life is invaluable and precious to me as well.

  • truth | May 5, 2013 1:23 PM

    Please sit your ass down somewhere! You're going to blow a blood vessel you angry witch! lol

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 11:45 AM

    @BLUTOPAZ, you're an idiot. Get your film I.Q. up. And that's not happening while you're on S&A. Talk about silly? It's plain silly to think encouraging poor quality is encouraging. It's actually enabling poor quality while stunting growth.

    And, yes, I said those things about black people. It may be debatable but you can't prove I'm wrong either. Just look at this blog and the works they intend on promoting to people like you, the films they praise. I have not read a sound review on this blog once. I'm not Roger Ebert but I know what a film review must include. And it should never be biased, which this blog is guilty of. But you morons eat it all up, like it's the end all. And you wonder why we don't have a clue.

    I'll gladly sit down while I pity people like you. Shaking My Damn Head.

  • mawon | May 5, 2013 10:06 AM

    You're always funny to argue with because you never actually respond to what was said. I'm not p'od or whatever that means that people like this web series. Like I said to CC, I really never post on here about shit I don't like cause I just don't care that much. What does annoy me is encouraging mediocrity. I'm sorry you're "p'od" at that opinion. And I'm sorry that I don't see anything wrong with what y'all call "hating." When you put your shit our there that's what happens. You want constructive criticism? Find a mentor or a friend with taste. Don't expect an audience to intellectualize why they don't like your work. That's childish and shows ignorance of the art world.

    And I'm also sorry that you consider saying "shit" crude but then go on to categorize what I said as a "bitchfest." Or that crudeness to you is cuss words and not calling people a "unwashed ghetto masses." That's real classy. Or that you accuse others' rebuttal as just "being mad when others don't share your sentiments" when y'all are the ones who started it when y'all jumped on Nadia when she she expressed her sentiment that this shit is weak. Like others have pointed out, you're the queen of hypocrites.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 1:56 AMReply

    I can't. I can't read anymore of the people's encouragements, exposing their infantile taste in movies.

    I agree with AKIMBO. I'm betting all the scenes were improvised. I hope so. Even though it was poorly improvised scenes, I would hate to think someone actually sat down and wrote this gibberish. So, being poorly executed improvisation is a compliment to the filmmaker, my only one. I also agree that nothing seemed to happen, my biggest problem with this piece or anything like it. I could allow the flat, uninteresting cinematography. I could live with the bad sound quality. But I will not tolerate uneventful scenes, at which point it's not a scene anymore but part of a sequence that SHOULD end contrary to the beginning. Let's say the episode was one whole sequence. That could work. But even if that were true for this piece, still, nothing happen in the end.

    Now why should I want to tune in for the next episode? There is the set-up for why the protagonist went to jail, but no set-up remotely indicating to us how or why. So, the experience for me was a snooze-fest. I was ready to sleep on it, literally. And oh yeah, the sound was bad.

    The performances were okay. Her sister is kinda hot. But the performances were not good enough. Better writing could've taken it up to the next level.

    Oh, and I lied, I suppose. I do have another compliment. The music. Your composer is your strongest link.

    Someone on this blog asked, are black people thirsty for anything with black people in it? I replied that we are thirsty. But then one can argue that black people are not cultivated enough when it comes to story, whether it's in books, TV, movies, etc. Film further complicates things for us when you have to consider cinematography, acting, editing, sound design, music, etc. We just don't get it.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 12:05 PM

    @MAWON. And that's the difference between people like you and me. I see that the comments ARE GENUINE. They just don't know any better. Not everyone thinks like you. But this is all subjective. I may think it sucks, you may think it's whatever, but they seriously think it doesn't. Then I can list a billion reasons why it doesn't work, and if my list is taken seriously I could be giving folks their own "Ah hah" moments. But we like what we like, and it's just my opinion coming from a background that specializes in this sort of stuff. A Big Mac may taste good but it doesn't mean it's good for you.

  • mawon | May 5, 2013 10:46 AM

    Whoa, slow down there buddy. Story telling is embedded in our culture from the griots to spoken word to Hip Hop to our literature and films-- we know how to tell stories. That's not what I meant. I don't think the people who commented on this saying "what a great start" were genuine. I think they were just trying to be supportive. That's not evidence of our inferiority.

  • truth | May 5, 2013 1:04 AMReply

    I'm laughing at two-faced ass Blutopaz lecturing folk about being " negative and ugly". Bitch please! Pot calling kettle like a MF! LOL!!

  • truth | May 5, 2013 2:27 PM

    And yet you keep responding all mighty mature one. Please go sit down! lol

  • BluTopaz | May 5, 2013 2:03 PM

    If you are not going to be creative with your juvenile bs, at least acknowledge that it is no one's fault but your own that you make up different screen names and attempt throwing ghetto shade at folks who wouldn't spit on you if your miserable behind was on fire. You and your ilk here have shown your monkey behinds all through this thread, and you are supposed to be insulting somebody? Ok.

    So have a great Sunday; and will see you next Tuesday, silly blood clot.

  • truth | May 5, 2013 1:22 PM

    Yep, no "negative and ugly" there! lol Keep proving us right bitch! lol

  • BluTopaz | May 5, 2013 8:25 AM

    I guess tmz.com and bossip.com closed down their sites, now all the unwashed ghetto masses who used to post there need someplace to hang out.

  • Katie | May 4, 2013 6:49 PMReply

    You need to fire whoever did the sound. It was pretty bad and it distracted me most of the time. Maybe put in some music or sound effects or anything because one of my pet peeve is when there just static and dialogue. I can actually hear static cut off during the whip cream scene when it's someone else turn to speak (I think I even heard a pop somewhere in the video). It's so distracting. And the pointless scene where the two women are stretching? Yeah, I'mma need you to get that background noise under control. It competes with the dialogue. Put the city noise in manually or something. Sound to me it one of the most important aspects and I if it's off, the whole film looks (and sounds) unrealistic.

  • Lauren | May 4, 2013 1:26 PMReply

    Sometimes the poster says it all...

  • mawon | May 4, 2013 9:41 AMReply

    Damn, man. Are our standards really that low that we're happy just cause one of us made something? This ain't the worst web series I've seen, but y'all know this ain't good. Are we really that thirsty as a people?

    I will say the dialogue and acting shows potential- writing wise. Everything else like plot and production, and basic concept.. c'mon, man. Seriously, why are y'all defending this so hard? It's patronizing. Anybody with a cheap HD camera and movie maker can make something if y'all haven't noticed. There's nothing special about that. But not everyone can make art our of it. We are a talented people. We don't need to be coddled.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 11:28 AM

    CAREYCAREY says, "I also watched and enjoyed EVERY film (in the last 30 years) nominated for an Oscar in major catagories (not including foreign films)."

    Damn. I didn't. I'm still upset about Crash winning Best Picture. But what do I know... :)

  • CareyCarey | May 5, 2013 3:29 AM

    "because your affection toward Tyler Perry movies renders your critiques pretty worthless in my opinion."

    Oh noyoudidn't? *LOL*

    Listen, I put Tyler Perry's movies where they belong. I don't believe they are wrecking our youth, nor the stairway to heaven. I laugh when something makes ME laugh and I sing along when a song hits MY heart. However, unlike some folks I know, I don't get off on attacking the man or blaming his films for the deplorable condition of the "black" film world. In essence I, like the majority of black americans can find pleasure in some aspects of Tyler's films. I also watched and enjoyed EVERY film (in the last 30 years) nominated for an Oscar in major catagories (not including foreign films). Also, as I said the other day, I watch over 300 movies a year, taking the good from each and leaving the "bad" behind. Consequently, saying I have an "affection" for Tyler's movies - is misrepresenting the facts. Now, on the other hand, my lady loves-loves-LOOOOOVES Tyler's movies. And btw, between me and you (don't tell nobody) I wouldn't (and don't) ask my lady to recommend a "good" movie. Nope, her blues ain't like mine :-)

    And, okay, I'll take back the "hater" reference. I did go a little low.

    And, it's still my opinion that Masha did a good job.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 1:31 AM

    Oh, and BLUTOPAZ, and didn't praise Terrence Nance's film. In fact, most of the indie films discussed on this blog are pretty lame to me. So, there...

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 1:28 AM

    *sigh* We're that thirsty, to answer question.

  • mawon | May 5, 2013 1:05 AM

    And you can't get mad at people for commenting more on bad shit. These people asked for 12 minutes of our time. That's an invaluable worth. So when you come at us with out-of-focus shots and long-ass pointless scenes, you don't be mad when it invokes a visceral, "negative" response. Make better shit. Good work gets rewarded. Blutopaz mentions "Until the Quiet Comes," how many views does that have? How many shares? Awards? That's its reward. And I'm sure Khalil Joseph will get hit up for jobs before Ms. Masha here. That's more valuable than "Congrats, girl!"

  • mawon | May 5, 2013 12:57 AM

    Y'all are funny. If you haven't noticed, CC, I rarely make so-called negative comments on web series or shorts unless they offend me politically. I really only posted to point out y'all's blatant patronizing remarks. So please, show me the receipts before you accuse me of being a "hater." I ain't even going to address your accusation of me not being able to appreciate the "Last Tango in Paris" reference or whatever else you think is evidence of high art because your affection toward Tyler Perry movies renders your critiques pretty worthless in my opinion.

    I'm sorry, but this ain't film school. Masha ain't paying me to dissect her work. On the internets, I'm an audience member, and if you think me saying I wasn't feeling her work in a pretty mild way is fucked up, then y'all must not be aware of how the film game works. I get it though. A lot of you commenting aren't artists so you don't know how it is in the art world. Harsh words. Brutal honesty. That's how you grow. Not this fucking "congrats, girl!" shit. Expect that from your close friends and family. But strangers? Hell, nah.

  • Akimbo | May 4, 2013 3:04 PM

    Where's the constructive feedback, though? No one is saying that the dialogue needs to be tighter, focused, and less repetitive. The lines don't sound like they were actually written at all; im willing to bet it the scenes were improvised. Each scene meanders, doesn't seem to have a point, and doesn't drive the story. No one is saying that the voice over quality was off or offered advice on how to make it sound better. No one is saying that this was too long and that, if you want to get people to watch, you should start with shorter episodes. No one is talking basics of storytelling. Where was the big inciting incident? Was it her VO informing us that she moved to LA? In that case, no one discussed the dangers of relying too heavily on voice over. Where was the conflict? Who is this character? What drives her? She wants to be an actor I guess? Why didnt we see her busting her ass to achieve it? Standing around and talking about exercising does not an active character make. She wants to tell her ex that she loves him? What's stopping her? Why did they break up? What's their issue? That she's not sexually adventurous? This episode shed no light on their relationship and we wouldn't know they were broken up if not for the VO. What was the climax of this episode? The call to action? Why did no one remind her to SHOW not tell?

    You can decry negative comments all you want, but there's absolutely nothing constructive about telling a filmmaker how proud you are of them and showering them with compliments without pointing out the flaws and areas in need of improvement. I'm shocked that so many feel compelled to treat Masha with kid gloves. If she is going to grow at all as a creator and find success she needs to be told what she's doing is not yet up to snuff. Were she not an S&A contributor, the comments here would be more negative and there would be significantly less pushback about it.

    Masha, if you're reading, your series is not ready to compete in this crowded market. You need to sit down, think about the story you want to tell, define your characters, make sure that each scene has a purpose other than introducing a new character, and familiarize yourself with the foundation of storytelling. As it stands, you're going to have a very hard time finding an audience. You need to make your story compelling - with interesting characters, high stakes, humor, a relatable plot, exciting moments, SOMETHING. For your next episode, plan to write a full script. Plot and beat out your story. Think about who each character is and give them distinct dialogue. make sure every scene moves the story forward. When you're done, share it with writer friends and/or people who enjoy film/TV/web series. Figure out what feedback makes sense and use it. Lather rinse repeat until you have something solid. Something you would be excited to watch.

  • CareyCarey | May 4, 2013 1:51 PM

    Mawon, plan and simple it's YOU. I suggesting that your blues may not be like mine, but you can't speak for me. I mean, this web series was good for all the reasons I posted (below). So maybe YOU need to pick-up your understanding of subtle interesting entertainment. Hell, it's highly possible you need T&A, car crash scenes and baby-momma-drama in YOUR entertainment? But there is NO WAY this should be classified as "low standard".

    I don't know, maybe you didn't catch the "in her closet"/"in her church" reference. Maybe it's you who hasn't seen Marlon Brando's "Last Tango In Paris", so it didn't engage YOU. For all we know (since you seldom say anything good about most of the issues (films, actors, directors, etc) on this site, maybe you get your thrill from slinging shade every-chance-you-get.

    Coddling... ? Damn, as Blutopaz and others have implied, it's more about constructive positive feedback. I mean, think about it. If we're really concerned with helping another artist ( I think that's why you commented, right?) which comments do you believe are the most helpful? I'd bet 10 dollars to a loaf of moldy bread that yours would be near the bottom.

    Now of course your knees may jerk compelling you to feign innocence, so check out the following before you expose all your less-than desirable qualities. Read this-->"One of the first things I learned in design school during critiques is either back up your opinions with observations that reference technique, or you're blowing hot air"

    May favorite motto: What About A Time Called NOW!

  • The Question | May 4, 2013 1:15 PM

    What's the value in encouraging something that's not good?

  • BluTopaz | May 4, 2013 11:36 AM

    It's called encouragement, not coddling. Some of you don't seem to know the difference and are more engaged in being negative and ugly.

    No one said it's at the highest production level it should be, hell even Masha said she needs work and help and is happy to hear suggestions. And this is the thing I don't get about our people: when an indie project is featured on this site that shows ingenuity and creativity (like Terrance Nance's work, or Until The Quiet Comes), it gets a handful of comments, all glowing praise and deservedly so. But something that needs work is guaranteed to get more comments from folks bitching about how they could do better (meanwhile they haven't posted links to shit), what's this bs, and "are we really that thirsty as a people". No, but we are really that griping and sniping as a people. The last episode of Awkward Black Girl had some people on here tripping like Issa Rae owed them money: "ABG jumped the shark with that one", "where's all that Kickstarter money she got", etc. Almost like they were happy that episode was not up to the same standards as the previous ones who have brought her success.

    Sure I have seen a few truly ratchet stuff posted on here, and the comments often crack me up and yeah, i've commented myself sometimes. No one has to like EVERY project a Black person does, that is one of my media pet peeves as well. It's obvious this is a very personal project for someone where they are documenting their growth as an artist. If you possess any critical thinking skills, you might want to put them to use instead of being condescending yourself.

  • LegenDeri | May 4, 2013 8:21 AMReply

    I watched this yesterday and like all webseries/tv shows, I, and I am suggesting that 'you' do the same, have to watch a couple more webisodes before there can be an honest critique.

    I need to see the building of the characters and story. I get the plot. So I will not give a critique... I will say, "Masha, great start."

  • Ashunda | May 4, 2013 1:27 AMReply

    Congrats Masha!!!!!

  • BluTopaz | May 3, 2013 7:26 PMReply

    I enjoyed this, the dialogue is very natural and the acting is good. I would have edited the whipped cream scene though, made it shorter.

    It takes major courage to put yourself out there like this, a lot of people don't have the cojones to do that. One of the first things I learned in design school during critiques is either back up your opinions with observations that reference technique, or you're blowing hot air. Great that you seem thick skinned and are keeping it moving!

    Also looking forward to see how wack it gets with Eric.

  • Gmedia | May 3, 2013 7:04 PMReply

    Congrats Masha... Keep pushing. I support your movement. The key is building and bettering your last efforts!

  • Akimbo | May 3, 2013 6:50 PMReply

    This was like a letter to grandma laid over a series of poorly improvised scenes. There's no story and the opportunity to tell an interesting one (how she got arrested) was completely glossed over. No reason for this to be so long when nothing happens.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 4:14 PM

    I'm grinning from her to Dubai...

  • Akimbo | May 5, 2013 12:25 PM

    Hahaha, you can rest easy: I'm a woman.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 1:25 AM

    I want a poster of AKIMBO to hang on my wall, no homo. Lol.

  • Masha Dowell | May 3, 2013 5:56 PMReply

    WOW! First I am so HAPPY that you guys are even commenting on my webseries. I am reading all comments. I don't judge any of you --- b/c I don't even know who you are. But as long as my name talked about... I LOVE IT. The beginning of any journey is NOT easy. I do need some work, help, or whatever --- but I'm making it happen! And I'm freaking loving my journey. Have an awesome May guys!!!!! xoxo - MASHA DOWELL

  • Mark & Darla | May 3, 2013 4:57 PMReply

    Love, love, love this, so charming. Only thing missing in the whip cream scene are strawberries, good job Masha.

  • CareyCarey | May 3, 2013 2:58 PMReply

    I have to totally disagree with Nadia's comment.

    Since Masha's arrival here at S&A I've watched her grow as an interviewer. In respect to her film-making career (and as an actress), I now can say the same. I watched her first webseries "Telecommuters", although it held promise, this one trumped that project in every area of the film-making process.

    Let me count the ways:

    1. The narration was witty and apropos. And Masha's voice was "easy" (pleasant to listen to).

    2. The opening credits & music were engaging (well done)... Shasha opens: "That me meditating. Don't judge me, this is my church"... I got that line. Some folks say they are in their closet. It's speaking to a church reference of a place where one goes to reflect and do a little soul searching. Her words and the accompanying music set a nice tone.

    3. All the actors were convincing. In particular, Masha (imo) has come a long way. She stayed in character and she didn't over act. Since she is the writer and director, that's an enviable task. Frequently the writer/director is ahead of a scene, so they can't settle into the role of the actor (just be the actor for that moment in time).

    4. This film may not be for the Tyler Perry crowd nor the Jump The Broom folks, but I caught the subtle references. Well, maybe they were not subtle, but reference a Marlon Brando movies takes many off the table. And speaking of that movie, it gets a little deeper. The Last Tango In Paris received an X-Rating for sexual violence and emotional turmoil. But when Shasha and Eric were "considering" getting all nasty and thangs, I was all in. I mean, I have to be honest, I thought Shasha was about to breakout a little skin :-). Nawl, I'm just kidding but they did peak my interest.

    5. I respect Masha's courage to post her "Mugshot" without makeup. I also applaud the message in the words of Kenya. Shasha was complaining about not being a size 2. Kenya said "Look at me, I'm not a size 2 but I still got it going on. Screw what everyone else thinks"

    So Masha, that's my message to you. I think you got it going on (in this webseries), so screw what someone else thinks. Keep on coming and don't look back.

  • Akimbo | May 5, 2013 12:28 PM

    @No Brainer, EXACTLY.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 11:16 AM

    CAREYCAREY says, "And btw, it's obvious you're not a film-maker." That is probably the compliment of my life. Thank you, brother. I truly appreciate it. :)

    The blog is a place for the list of praise you're giving this video production, but it's no place for constructive criticism? Huh? That doesn't make much sense. It's all part of the critique, the praise and the criticism. This place is just fine for both.

    I could easily break down what they're saying about "tighter." At least I'll take a shot at making sense of the term as I am obviously not a film-maker (snicker, snicker). One of my many mentors over the years explained it to me best: with a scene, you must get in as LATE as possible and leave as EARLY as possible. Get in late, leave early. In other words, start a scene as close to the core of the moment, the event, what is going on, then get out once the event has occurred. No need for excess. In late, out early. This video had all sorts of excess fat that could be trimmed. But what I'm saying means nothing if the scene doesn't have purpose, if it's not about anything.

    A scene is just a miniature story and all stories have to be an event, or else you're wasting our time. So, a scene should be an event that moves the story along. The smallest part of a story is a beat, which makes up a scene and even that small bit of scene has to be as eventful as possible. The smallest is a beat, then a scene, then a sequence, which is a group of scenes leading to a bigger event, then there is the act, which is made up of a group of sequences leading to an even bigger event, a turning in the story. Then the acts make up a story, usually three acts. And that's it. Real simple. The same for television. It's just broken up into episodes.

    This creator of this video tried but she has way too much to learn. What I just explained is the basics of story. It's only the beginning. it piles on after a while. And unfortunately, in this business, effort isn't enough.

  • CareyCarey, You Said Yourself | May 5, 2013 3:14 AM

    "Coddling... ? Damn, as Blutopaz and others have implied, it's more about CONSTRUCTIVE positive FEEDBACK. I mean, think about it. If we're really concerned with helping another artist ( I think that's why you commented, right?) which comments do you believe are the most helpful? I'd bet 10 dollars to a loaf of moldy bread that yours would be near the bottom.
    .....

    Now of course your knees may jerk compelling you to feign innocence, so check out the following before you expose all your less-than desirable qualities. Read this-->"One of the first things I learned in design school during critiques is either back up your opinions with observations that reference technique, or you're blowing hot air"

    you the one who said it was about constructive positive feedback, but didn't ever say anything constructive. forget you said that? riding dick so hard you done lost your head. Masha ain't ask you to praise her shit either, but you went ahead and did THAT. who you no save unsolicited comments for email?

    it's real obvious that you're not a filmmaker or even a person with any taste. keep eating garbage. you'll be dead soon enough.

  • CareyCarey | May 5, 2013 2:43 AM

    No Brainer, who said I didn't recognize "flaws"? Listen, if Masha asked for my "advice"/feedback, I would hit her email or talk with her on the phone. This forum is not the place for a detailed analysis (Q&A). For instance, check this--> "Where's the constructive feedback, though? No one is saying that the dialogue needs to be tighter, focused, and less repetitive" <---What exactly does that mean? Do you understand what I am suggesting/implying? Look, there's over 10 minutes of dialog in this episode so what line (or lines) needs to be "tighter"?... and what exactly does "tighter" mean? The same goes for the words "focused" and "less repetitive"... what, when, where... and how?

    Again, this forum is not the place for a detailed, step by step, critical analysis of a 12 minute web-series. That process requires an in-depth conversation WITH the director/writer.

    And btw, it's obvious you're not a film-maker. And based on your comments, I wouldn't ask you to recommend a film to me.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 1:22 AM

    @CAREYCAREY, after reading your "review," I have come to realized that I personally cannot trust your feedback on anything dealing with the visual arts. You seem like a smart person. I find it hard to believe you do not recognize the list of flaws with this video.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 3, 2013 3:59 PM

    +1. And congrats for doing what many will either judge or say "I could do that, but that better," but will never actually do themselves.

  • Lovesfilmnmusic | May 3, 2013 1:42 PMReply

    Sorry but this was really boring. I checked out after 2 minutes.

  • Nadia | May 3, 2013 12:46 PMReply

    I guess one of the perks of contributing to S&A is that your work gets coverage even if it's weak as hell! Masha, honey, back to the drawing board. You've got to up your game to compete.

  • NO BRAINER | May 5, 2013 1:12 AM

    I HATE COMMENTS LIKE MIKE'S. Since when having your work published on some blog had become the end all? This isn't NBC. You sound like a buffoon.

  • Mike | May 3, 2013 6:18 PM

    Great comment Nadia. When was your show published on a blog again?

  • Adam Scott Thompson | May 3, 2013 4:08 PM

    S&A shows many web series by and/or about black people or the black experience. They may not feature every episode but they do present the first episode to see if it will catch on with readers who may not have known about it otherwise. Being a contributor never hurts, but I don't think it's a non-negotiable prerequisite.

    And the only person with whom Masha needs to compete is herself. If she can hone her skills, grow as an artist and thug her way through the negative criticism then she will be successful.

  • Ed Lee | May 3, 2013 1:39 PM

    Damn, Nadia, did she steal something? Why beat her like that?

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