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BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL WEB SERIES: The Most Productive Day

Apr 10, 2015 10:01AM



Follow along as we see how Jake Jarvi engages the nearly 40,000 fans of his web series, PLATOON OF POWER SQUADRONYou can see all of Jake's work at: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms


JAKE JARVI SPEAKS: THE MOST PRODUCTIVE DAY
 

The video update below features me getting outside on one of the nicest days of the year so far and talking about what we like to do when left to our own devices.

 


 

I finally did it. Yesterday I achieved the ultimate dream. I accomplished everything I meant to do all in one day. I transcribed over 3,500 words of interviews during my work day; read several chapters of Patton Oswald’s new book Silver Screen Fiend; worked for a half hour on a VFX shot for episode 9; went to the gym and ran 4.6 miles on the treadmill while watching some of Scream 2; had dinner with my lovely wife; spent another half hour finishing that VFX shot, thereby completing my daily one-hour quota for PoPS weekday work time; and watched a whole movie, She’s All That, before going to bed.

 

The really nice thing is that none of it felt particularly like I was overextending myself. I felt a little dazed at the end of all the transcription, but that’s just par for the course. Nothing makes my brain feel as overheated and mushy as a long, full day of working with words. Punching the keys for hours and hours is a different kind of tiring. It never feels better to sit in silence for a few minutes than after closing the laptop on one of those sessions.

 

I did a lot, it was a nice balance of have-to-do and want-to-do, and at the end of it I really felt justified in laying down.

 

I’ve also finally realized that in order to be productive I have to spend less time on all social media platforms. And it’s not a simple 1:1 transfer of the time I spend on Twitter could be spent on making something. It’s the fact that the more I look at all of the things being accomplished by everybody else, the less motivated I am to do anything myself. The fact that anything I make will immediately get lost in the social media shuffle makes me feel like nothing is worth doing. So, by not looking at it while trying to work, my mind is on the things I find interesting about this singular part of this particular project, not how what I’m doing is just another tiny drop in the vast onslaught of creative content being uploaded to the internet every day. Process, not product. Exploration, not output.

 

That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake



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GOTTA FIGHT FOR THAT HOUR - Building a Successful Web Series

Apr 2, 2015 4:48PM



Follow along as we see how Jake Jarvi engages the nearly 40,000 fans of his web series, PLATOON OF POWER SQUADRONYou can see all of Jake's work at: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms


JAKE JARVI SPEAKS: GOTTA FIGHT FOR THAT HOUR

 

This video update is straight up the most unfocused, ramble’y update I’ve ever done. Get ready to get down with the ramble.

 


 

My earnest goal every day is to put in at least one hour of working on the show. Whether it’s the edit, VFX, scheduling, shotlisting, donation gift fulfillment, paperwork, whatever it is. If I’m at least getting an hour in, progress is being made. Although, if it’s an hour of paperwork or running to get some props or something like that, I don’t feel as if I’ve done enough. Only if I’m writing, shooting, editing, doing VFX, color correcting, or doing sound work do I feel like I’ve legitimately worked on the show. Only then do I feel like I’m one step closer to a completed episode.

 

Some weeks though, it’s really hard to get that hour in. If people are coming over, it’s hard to get the hour in. I used to sit in the office and work while Eliza hung out with people in the other room, but that has started to seem supremely inhospitable to me. I’m not sure how I ever really thought it was a great thing to do. Since Eliza and I have taken it upon ourselves to get in better shape, it can be hard to get that hour in. Another goal I try to make is to exercise at least 3 times a week. If we head to the gym right after work, then we’re making dinner around 8:30 or 9, and then it can be hard to break through the mental impulse to simply decompress until bed. That’s a battle I win about 50 percent of the time. Half the time I’ll get my dishes to the sink and work on the show until 10:30 or 11 before I slump back onto the couch to watch Modern Family or whatever we’re in the middle of. Other nights it’s a hard enough battle just getting the dishes to the sink, let alone working on anything.

 

Then there are nights like tonight. Right after work I have band practice—I play bass with the contemporary band at church once a month alongside my parents. Then, I need to pick up some tax paperwork from this never-ending debacle our 2013/2014 tax seasons have become. When I get home, it’ll take me about a half an hour to cobble together some dinner and eat. Then I’ll jump into working on PoPS VFX until about 9 or 9:30, when I’m heading down to the city to go to a friends record release show. However much time is between dinner and the record release show is what I have for PoPS tonight.

 

Last night it came down to the period of time between exercising and going out to dinner with Eliza to celebrate her finishing her application to graduate school. That was about 10 or 15 minutes. I got about 8 frames of rotoscoping done last night.

 

Still, the battle to land that hour every weeknight is ongoing and being fought valiantly every day.  

 

Incidentally, writing to the It Follows soundtrack is really motivating. It adds a propulsive sense of 80s synth urgency and foreboding to the process. And how cool of a composer name is Disasterpeace. That is the ultimate in “I don’t care, I do what I want” nicknaming yourself I’ve ever heard of.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake



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BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL WEB SERIES: The Make-Watch Chasm

Mar 26, 2015 2:42PM



Follow along as we see how Jake Jarvi engages the nearly 40,000 fans of his web series, PLATOON OF POWER SQUADRONYou can see all of Jake's work at: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms


JAKE JARVI SPEAKS: THE MAKE-WATCH CHASM
 

The video update below is about the competitions I’ve participated in over the last year and about how nice it is to have a weekend where you can stay in and knock out some serious work on your video project.

 


 

I don’t know about you guys, but I got into all of this because of how much I loved watching movies. Well, I am facing the same conundrum that everyone who starts making content runs up against: Doing can put a big dent in watching. Of course, watching can also put a pretty big dent in doing. Obviously.

 

Unfortunately, I’ve recently discovered the glory of the Chicago film screening scene. I’ve been traveling downtown far more often these days, and two theaters are mainly responsible.

 

The Logan Theater in the Logan’s Square neighborhood of Chicago has a selection of recent movies, but then they have a monthly themed revival screening series. This is where I saw Chinatown and Fire Walk With Me on the big screen. This is where, during the month of October, I saw Poltergeist and Trick ‘r Treat on the big screen for the first time. October is horror movies, of course, February is romance movies, but then they also come up with their own insane themes. The month of March has been Anderson vs. Anderson vs. Anderson: screening works by Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, and Paul W.S. Anderson. I’ve spent the last couple of Thursday nights seeing Resident Evil and Event Horizon. Tonight, I get to once again revel in the magnificent and hypnotically depressing Magnolia. It’s awesome.  And Thursday screenings are $5. Unbelievable.

 

The Music Box Theater is a glorious old movie house. Huge, old school, vaulted ceiling auditorium of a movie house with as tiny dollhouse-feeling second screen for the smaller titles. They do midnight screenings of classics using old beat-up 35 millimeter prints and are the main destination for the limited release flicks that come through Chicago. This is where I saw an awesomely gritty print of Aliens and heard Ripley’s voice echoing off of antique movie palace walls that have been around long before theater walls were heavily padded for sound dampening for optimal listening. It’s where I finally saw the theatrical cut of Donnie Darko at a midnight screening and heard a crowd of people cheer after the line, “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.”

 

So going to these screenings obviously cuts back on the time that I spend at the computer building the show or my shorts or any creative video output. And sitting at my computer hammering away at the next link in my videography is time that I’m not consuming the things that keep me excited. I think I’ve found a pretty good balance, though. Just enough theater visits to keep me excited and motivated, and enough desk time to keep me working on output.

 

I just wanted to tell you all about two of my favorite spots, I guess. Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake



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CAMPAIGN: BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL WEB SERIES

Mar 19, 2015 2:26PM



Follow along as we see how Jake Jarvi engages the nearly 40,000 fans of his web series, PLATOON OF POWER SQUADRONYou can see all of Jake's work at: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms


JAKE JARVI SPEAKS: CAMPAIGNING

The video below concerns my recent re-edit of a video we made last autumn. Since I was sending it out to fests, thought I’d give it the once over. I changed a couple things and give my reasons for doing so.

 


 

The modern filmmaker isn’t really a filmmaker if their content goes online. They’re a content creator. I’ve spoken before about the carnival barking nature of being an online content creator, but here we go again, because I’m currently campaigning.

 

Content creators need three main things from people:

1.  Their attention.

2.  Their money.

3.  Their votes.

 

I’m lucky enough to have gotten a good group of people who are interested in the stuff we’re doing, so there’s 1. Every time we fundraise for an episode, I’m so amazed and grateful that there are people who put their money into PoPS, so there’s 2.

 

And then there’s 3. A lot of online competitions have a voting element to them. The theory must be that if someone can generate enough votes, their content must be at least a certain quality. Theoretically, the better content and more ambitious creators will automatically rise to the top. It’s a solid idea and I’ve seen it work really well. I’ve also seen voting systems get thoroughly hacked. Once I was in a competition against a dude who had the good will backing of a 4chan board. They wrangled that guy’s numbers like nobody’s business with some kind of hacked cyber voting system. There’s no beating 4chan, you guys. But we put up a pretty good fight and raised an impressive number of legitimate votes. Plus, the guy they were backing is a really good YouTuber. I’m still subscribed to him.

 

This week I’m campaigning for votes to get into the top ten of another competition. It’s for the 30-second horror short we did that won the Studio360 #scaryshorts competition, …Jack. In order to vote, people have to click the thumbs up icon that comes with the official entry video. I wish they could use the one that’s been up for a year; I’ve got a lot of good views and thumbs ups on that one. But here’s the link to the video to thumbs up:

 

 

And since I feel like I’m always asking people to vote for me in competitions, I thought I’d at least make a fun video for the campaign this time:

 


 

Eliza and I shot that ourselves a couple nights ago and it took me two evenings of editing to get the crank effect rotoscoped out and everything color corrected. I had so much fun making that thing.

 

I hope you’ll vote for me if you have a minute to do so, I love horror competitions and this time I could even win a little money if I end up in the top three.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake



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Quarter-Finalists of the NexTV Writing & Pitch Competition (2014-2015)

Mar 7, 2015 1:35PM




CONGRATULATIONS to the QUARTER-FINALISTS for the 2014-2015 NexTV Writing & Pitch Competition.

Note: This represents the top 30% of our field of submitters

QUARTER-FINALISTS
Nino       Abate
Michael       Acosta
Talya       Adams
Lior       Aiden Elharar
Byron       Anderson
Brian       Anderson
Margherita Arco
Michael       Baley
George       Barnett
James       Bauer
Andrew     Beguin
David       Beshears
Mark       Bethea
Jason       Bing
Jean       Blasiar
Laura       Bloechl
Rose       Bochner
Noella       Borie
Russ       Brandon
Michelle   Brezinski
Tracy       Britton
Edwin       Brochin
Alex       Brodsky
Joneia       Brown
DarmeLL       Brown
Derek       Brown
Nicolas       Caicoya
Elodie       Cammarata
Angelina    Carkic
Derek       Carlton
Clint       Carmichael
Tom       Cavanaugh
Salvator   Cesarano
Matt       Clifford
Travon       Clinton
Katie       Cocquyt
Luis        Colon
Terry       Connell
Dwayne       Conyers
Sidney       Cooper
David       Cooper
Megan       Cordero
Skylar       Craig
Stuart       Creque
Thomas       Crowel
Gavin       Cutter
Jennifer   D'Angelo Kircher
Cynthia       Dallas
Cecil        Davis
Allison       Dean
Darrell       Dennis
James       Di Giacomo
Darren       Dillman
Freya       Doney
Denice       Duff
Tara       Easley
Vickery       Eckhoff
Lauren       Elaine
Imeh       Esen
David       Eskridge
Anne       Eston
John       Everett
Sakina       Fakhri
David        Fein
Kevin       Fintland
Brooke       Forbes
Kevin       Garcia
Eliza        Gardner
Christopher Glennon
Veronica   Gonzales
Rob       Gorden
Gene       Gordon
Shelli Jean Grant
Linda       Grasso
Shaine       Greenwood
Kevin        Gregory
Jeff       Haber
J.M.       Hall
Joanna       Hall
Kevin       Hanna
Marcus       Harmon
Ryan       Hawkins
Sarah       Hesch
David       Hill
Bill       Hill
Hollie       Himmelman
Dan       Holden
Heather       Holmberg
Olga       Holtz
Bradd       Hopkins
Jonathan   Houston
Ruth Ann   Howard
Gary       Hubb
Tim       Hurley
Jon-Barrett Ingels
Wyatt       Irmen
Heather       Jacks
Sundae       Jahant-Osborn
Yatouze       Jalloh
Edgardo       Jimenez
Axel       Johansson
Tierra       Johnson
Simon       Johnston
Sam       Juergens
Theresa       Julian
Terry       Jun
Jordan       Kalms
Marvin       Kaplan
Piotr       Kaszuba
Chandler   Kauffman
Joseph       Kausch
Rachel       Kempf
Keisha       King
Paul       Kleiman
Carolyn       Kras
Rathan       Krueger
scott       Kushman
Steve       LaMontagne
Alex       Lane
Elizabeth  Langenberg
Lynda       Lemberg
Bill       Levinson
David       Levy
Stephanie  Little
Sara       Lohman
Marc       Lott
Will       Lowell
Lynne       Lueders
Deanna       Markoff
Howard Simon Marks
Chris Courtney Martin
Tracey       Maye
Coleman       McClary
Tristan       McIntosh
Lynne       McMahon
Ronald       McQueen
Brad       Miller
Mike       Mitchell Jr
W. Reed       Moran
Timmy       Morgan
Michael       Mowder, Jr.
Rosie       Nakamura
Jason       Neely
Scott       Newell
Tom       Nguyen
Kelsey       Nicolle Scott
Katia       Nizic
Rachel       Noll
Garrett       Oakley
Mitch       Olson
Travis       Opgenorth
John       OToole
Elizabeth  Padilla
Adam       Palcher
Renee       Palleggi
Keith       Paradise
Luisa       Parnes
Emily       Paul
Andrew        Pemberton-Fowler
Gordon       Phipps
Lamont       Pierré
Adnerson   Pierre-Gilles
Noah       Pohl
Robert       Potter
Viveka       Praba
Rohan       Price
Ross       Raffin
Shiva       Ramanathan
Jon       Ramsey
Joe       Ranoia
Lukas       Raphael
Charles       Reeves
Lee       Reinhold
Manny       Rey
Malcolm       Rhame
Sal        Richards
camille       Righi-Policieux
Liz       Rivera
M.G.       Robinson
Natalie       Rodriguez
Chris       Rodriguez
Jerell       Rosales
Orgena       Rose
Joanne       Rose
George       Rubino
Leigh       Rudd
Daniel       Ruebesam
Hal       Russek
Justin       Schoenfelder
Tim-Doug   Scowden-Warren
Jim       Sea
Kevin       Seefried
Tim       Sexton
Allen       Shadow
Steve       Sharon
Jonathan   Siebel
Luke       Silver
Colin       Simpson
R. Ian       Simpson
David       Skeele
Veronica   Slattery
Bob       Slusarczyk
Adam       Slutsky
Corey       Snowden
Theodore   Soderberg
Matthew       Songer
Joseph       Spadaro
Richard       Spencer
Samuel       Spitale
Adam       Stangeby
E. Andre   Stanley
Jennifer   Stukin
Christian  Thomas
Alan       Thornburg
Ian       Todary
Chris       Tolley
Kimberly   Tompkins
Vartanoush Torossian
Jennifer   Toto
William       Tovey
Kelvin       Tran
Konstantinos Tsokalis
Kaleb       Tuttle
Mati­as       Valenzuela
Arthur       Vincie
Jaye       Viner
Edward       Viverette
Annaliese Ciel    Walker
David       Warfield
Greg       Wayne
Gary       White
Christopher Whitfield, Jr.
Martha       Williams
Johnny       Winningham
Julien       Wojtasinski
Keaton       Wooden
Wenona       Wynn
Luke       Yankee
Mitch       Yapko
Frank       Zanca
Bernard       Zeiger


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