Can you give me the background behind the relaunch?
We were excited to preview the show as soon as it was ready, but we look at the January 15th launch as our wide release.
When did you shoot? How large was your crew? What was your budget?
Patrick: We shot over a number of months, part-time and on weekends. We had a tiny crew– it was me, a camera assistant, a sound guy, and our makeup artist on most days. Our budget… well, our hard costs were pretty low but we all put in an enormous amount of sweat equity in the show.
Kathi: Yeah, and it helps keep the costs down if you have a one-man shop on your team! Patrick did everything from shooting to editing to special effects. We didn’t need to outsource to a production house.
Did you work with any unions or guilds on this, like SAG?
Do you have a “financial model” that you can speak to? That is, how is/will the show make money?
We’re in discussions with companies interested in product placement and/or sponsorship. We have a vision for where the show is going, and we want to hold onto the rights as long as possible. We’ve already turned down an offer to sell the show because the buyer just didn’t get our vision.
It seems from your blog that you used the Red One camera. How did you make the decision to do that? What was the experience like?
Patrick: The RED One is amazing. I’m looking forward to using it a lot more in the future. I purchased the camera for my company, Genius Monkeys. See, I have this day job where I do TV commercials….
How did you guys come to work together?
We didn’t intend to write a show together; it just sort of happened. We were hanging out one day having a beer, and we started to throw some ideas around. That morphed into character and story ideas centering around a neurotic therapist and her patients. Could potentially be some funny stuff there. Two months later, we had an entire season written. At that point we thought, “How can we not shoot this?” The whole process was very organic.
As I was watching the episodes, I immediately thought of “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” so it didn’t surprise me to see you compare the show to that on your YouTube page. What other influences would you say inspired you while making this show?
Patrick: We’re huge sitcom fans. And we wanted to write something that fit in with smart, funny shows you’d see on TV. We also wanted to create something that looked good, something cinematic like Sex & The City. We aimed high.
Kathi: Ah, Christine is a good one! Thank you for the compliment. I grew up watching mostly sitcoms, so my writing and acting were definitely influenced by some of the great shows like Friends and Gilmore Girls.
What are your hopes/goals for this show? Did you make it with an eye toward crossing over to TV? Or is this a strictly web-only project?
Oh, the things we could do with the $50,000 per minute budget of a typical network sitcom! That said, we look at our show as a micro-version of a TV show, but developed specifically for the Web, with characters and story arcs that develop over the course of the season. By the end, we want you to be hooked!
The Web gave us the opportunity to create something outside of the Hollywood system that’s creative, fun, culturally relevant, and we hope… profitable.
I noticed you have a poll on your web page about who Amy should date. Will the votes in that poll influence the story? Do you have other interactive elements planned?
We would absolutely be open to letting our fans influence our story lines. And we have all sorts of ideas about how to engage our audience beyond the episodes themselves. Stay tuned!
For Kathi, tell me about starring in the show and also producing. How did you juggle those jobs during the shoot?
Kathi: I must admit it was hard to stay in character between takes because there were a million things going through my head during the shoot. But I placed my trust in Patrick as my producing partner and the director to guide us through, which he did. I had a blast performing in front of the camera, and I equally enjoyed post production. We had a chance to be producers and writers again during the editing process, which I found to be very fun! I’m really happy with the finished product. I truly feel that it’s a nice blend of Patrick’s and my creative vision.
Also for Kathi – what is it with Texas and actors?? Half the actors I know in this town (including 3 of the 5 cast members in my own show) are from Texas.
Kathi: We’re people people. We can’t help it. We love to entertain. Ain’t nothing else I can say about that. Hey, y’all!
For Patrick – how about the directing/producing split? Did you produce until the shoot day, then put it in someone else’s hands so you could direct, or did you wear both hats at once?
Patrick: I never really thought about it that way. There were a lot of things that needed to be done, and I’d delegate where I could; otherwise I’d just do it myself. I’ve always felt that a director should have some expertise in every facet of filmmaking, so wearing lots of hats comes naturally to me, I guess.
Also for Patrick – I see you were responsible for the “Deliverance Pizza” mobisodes. Can you speak to the aesthetic differences, if any, in making a show for cell phones as opposed to for web viewing?
Patrick: It’s all storytelling, but of course we had a lot of technical limitations with the mobisodes due to the medium. What’s exciting to me now is seeing the evolution of video on the Web. We can create stories that are much more cinematic and visually interesting and deliver them to people whether they’re at their computer, on their iPhone, or sitting in front of their television. Technology is finally getting to where it can almost keep up with one’s imagination, and that’s pretty cool.
Back to both of you – What are your favorite shows on TV? How about on the web?
Kathi: I have so many shows that I love, I thank the inventor of the DVR every day. Some of my current faves are 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, The Starter Wife, Brothers & Sisters, and House. I’m definitely into scripted comedies and dramedies with a lot of funny included. Life without laughter isn’t worth living! On the Web, I’ve been gravitating towards comedic news vlogs lately.
Patrick: I agree– I also have a soft spot in my heart for “Brit-coms” like Father Ted, Little Britain, and League of Gentlemen. And I watch everything Sci-Fi that I can find online. One of my all-time favorites is Star Trek: Phase II. And of course, The Onion has some funny stuff online.
What’s your vision of the future of web TV?
It seems to us that the future of Web TV is also the future of TV in general. Whatever it is, we hope to be there!
(Thanks again to the gang at Tubefilter for the interview)