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Building a Successful Web Series: Getting Ready to go Again

Oct 29, 2014 12:46PM



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

Regular DEADLINE is on FRIDAY, for our Writing & Pitch Competition - www.mynextv.com/writers


JAKE JARVI SPEAKS

The video update below contains some of the advice I’ve collected about scheduling productions over the 5 years of making PoPS. It’s geared toward people setting out to schedule for the first time. First, though, I announce our episode 9 fundraiser raffle and referral winners.

 

 

I think that last blog post was just the kick I needed to stop procrastinating and kick this thing into gear. I went home that night, printed off all my tagged script breakdowns, calculated my eighths page count, and created some shooting blocks. A couple nights later, Eliza and I sat down and dropped them onto the calendar. I’ve sent that noise off to the actors and so far got back a couple of conflicts that need to be dealt with, which I will reschedule around soon.

 

I also got in touch with a weapons property master I used a couple years ago to set up the weapons for this episode.

 

Then Eliza and I talked about a couple of specialty props we need to move to the front burner and started discussing some locations we need to line up.

 

The last two nights we’ve met with actors who weren’t able to make it to the cast read through to work through the dialogue and make sure we’re all on the same page before we get to set. That’s a huge deal and outside of a read through, it’s something I haven’t given enough attention in the past. Luckily, we’ve had actors who are good at processing notes and adapting on set, but frontloading a little performance groundwork into preproduction is a really solid idea. Just from these last two nights, I could see the difference. We got to have some really productive conversations without slowing down the pace of a shoot night.

 

So the wheels are in motion. I’m sure I’ll talk about it in an upcoming update, but there is a certain crazy energy that comes with being in production. My normal indecisiveness about what to have for dinner or watch after work goes straight out the window and I drop into solutions/work around/results mode. Sure, sometimes I still feel a little more like playing video games than making shotlists or trading emails about schedules, locations, and gear, but in the words of MC Hammer on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) soundtrack, “This is what we do.”

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake


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BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL WEB SERIES: INTERNET FISHING

Oct 29, 2014 12:43PM



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

Regular DEADLINE is on FRIDAY, for our Writing & Pitch Competition - www.mynextv.com/writers


JAKE JARVI SPEAKS: INTERNET FISHING

 

The video update below involves a lot of talking about the Indiegogo campaign for episode 9, which ends tomorrow. It also chronicles how the production of the show has run a parallel path to mine and Eliza’s marriage.

 

 

Our fundraising campaign has gone really well, and whether we hit the goal or not, the amount of support I’ve felt coming our way has been amazing. Here are a few of the campaign videos that have gone up over the last week:

 

And speaking of support, every once in a while I think to google “platoon of power squadron” and I find a bunch of great things that are just inspiration boosters on tumblr. Like gifs people make:

 

 “Donald being a badass in episode 8.” – lunar-alienism

 

I especially love it when they grab screencaps of the show and add words to them. It’s like a clue into what parts of the show are really connecting with people. And the things they write to accompany the images are SO NICE!

 

 

“I have yet to introduce someone to PoPS who hasn’t fell in love with the show (OK, not true, one guy just thoroughly enjoyed it), but even if it is not your jam, I implore you to at least check these guys out and consider supporting them on the grounds that they are a bunch of hardworking, insanely creative, good people that are helping to lead a revolution in how we share our stories.” – thelynchieconjecture

 

 

“Platoon of Power Squadron is really great webseries I’ve been watching for the last four or five years.  It’s inspired the webseries I’ve been working on for the last year or two, and it has just been getting better and better with every episode.  Jake Jarvi, the guy who writes, produces, and stars in it, is kind of my favorite non-famous famous person in the history of ever.” – songofsarcasm

 

Like…right? When you go internet fishing, sometimes you find stuff that makes your day.

 

And here’s a link to the Indiegogo campaign for the final hours:

 

Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake


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FINALISTS - 2014 AGENT CHALLENGE (NexTV's Acting & Directing Talent Search)

Oct 2, 2014 12:00PM



CONGRATULATIONS to the FINALISTS of the 2014 AGENT CHALLENGE: NexTV's Acting & Directing Talent Search.

An extraordinary group of artists to choose from.

DIRECTORS
Jared Bentley   COVETOUS
Sean Bloch      SWEET 13
Alex Weinress A FIRST DATE
Dianne Namm VIVIENNE
Julian Doan NO BEERS FOR BRADLEY
Julio Hallivis SHIFTER


ACTORS  
Fulvio Cecere
John Michael Herndon
Pernille Trojgard
Evelyn Lorena
Cody Vaughn


SHORTCUT TO THE FINALS WINNERS
Jason Satterlund
Jake Jarvi


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BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL WEB SERIES: Why CROWDFUNDING is a Kick in the Bits

Sep 25, 2014 2:14PM



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

Check out our Writing & Pitch Competition at www.mynextv.com/writers


JAKE JARVI SPEAKSWhy CROWDFUNDING is a Kick in the Bits

The video update below has me detailing how you can never tell where you’re going to find the people who can make a difference for your project. Overall lesson? I suppose it’s maximum participation and casting as wide a net as possible.

 

 

Crowdfunding has been a game changer for the independent content creator. No doubt about it. A person with an idea, a clear and inspiring presentation, and a lot of luck has a better avenue than ever for getting the cash to make their project happen. Our audience has been very generous to us over the years and it always floors me that they’re willing to put their personal money into our project. We’re currently in the tail end of our fifth fundraising campaign for the show, raising money for our second-to-last episode. At this point, it’s not looking like we’re going to make our goal. That doesn’t mean we won’t make the show. As always, what it means is that it’s going to be a lot harder to make the show. It also means we’ll be relying on the cast and crew to be generous with their time more than usual since they’ll be getting paid WAAAAAAAY less for their participation this time around.

 

I remember the feeling of getting that first donation on the first day of the first campaign. My stomach dropped and I felt a whole new level of responsibility to the audience. Now they weren’t only giving us their time in watching our show. They were putting their money on the line in the belief that we would give them their money’s worth. It changed everything for me. That’s when episodes went from taking seven months to make to taking 11 months to make. I wanted to make sure to get everything just right. I also upped the scope of the show to make sure to get the audience’s money on the screen.

 

But here’s why crowdfunding has always been a struggle for me:

 

1)  I feel an intrinsic sense of failure asking for people’s money. Like I can’t provide for myself. Like I’m begging. It doesn’t matter that I can provide for myself, and Eliza and I have jobs that keep us in rent, food, and entertainment money. It doesn’t matter that this is for a side project. All I know is there are many videos of me online asking for people to give us money and every one of them has been a battle against my very nature.

2)  Cast and crew morale is tied into the outcome. If we make our goal, everyone is bolstered by it. If we don’t make our goal, we still sally forth, but there is a little underlying current of—Well, maybe this show isn’t as good as we thought it was. Logic be damned. The fact that people put ANY money into the show obviously means we’re doing something right. But if we only get half our goal there’s that little voice that says—You’re only half as good as you thought you were.

3)  In order to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you have to constantly keep bugging people. Keep tweeting, Facebook’ing, uploading campaign videos, spreading the word, bugging other people to spread the word. It feels like I’m being a nuisance. I don’t like being an irritant or making people feel guilty if they enjoy the show but they can’t afford to contribute.

4)  It’s completely out of my control. With every other aspect of the show, if something doesn’t work out I can figure out a workaround or pick up where someone else left off. This is one aspect that I have completely no control over. All I can do is say, here’s what we do with your money, here’s what you get for your money, please help us continue to produce this show at a high level. And wait. And wait. And feel a warm sense of gratitude with each donation that comes in. And an uneasy sense of failure as the campaign end date approaches and the donations slow.

 

The silver lining is that there are quite a few people who still think PoPS is worth their money. And making the campaign videos is a lot of fun. Here are a few of them.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

--Jake


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Building a Successful Web Series: Retreat, Recalibrate

Sep 19, 2014 2:10AM



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: RETREAT, RECALIBRATE 

The video below talks about the disappointment of not achieving goals and I play the bio video I made for Project Greenlight, which apparently sealed my fate. 



It has been a week of ups and downs, you guys. Serious ups and downs. After the disappointment on Friday of not advancing in Project Greenlight, I was deep in planning mode trying to get ready for the upcoming shoots on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. I was having a hard time getting my hands on fake guns that look legit, but I had my shot-listing done for the 16 pages we were going to shoot and was starting to call the actors for brief one-on-ones about their characters.


Then I got the call. Like I said in the above update video I got a call about a catastrophic location debacle. Not a we-need-to-schedule-this-for-another-time call, a it-would-be-great-if-we-never-dealt-with-this-location-owner-ever-again call. I spent the day trying to figure out how to keep the scenes essentially the same in a new location, but was having a really rough time. Luckily, my wife is a super story editor as well as a producer and she helped me come up with some interesting alternative ideas. So I started rewriting. And I will continue to keep rewriting tonight. One of the main storylines of the episode needs to be re-worked about 30 to 40 percent and a lot of location justification needs to be threaded in. But I’ll figure it out. It was just a tough pill to swallow on top of everything else. 


Luckily, it’s also been an amazing week. My friends Craig and Chyna got enganged! And he proposed to her in his 1,000th YouTube video where he revealed he’d been working on the proposal for weeks. Then the video went viral. His first real viral video. As I type this it’s got 1.3 million views and it keeps collecting more as sites like huffingtonpost do more “YouTuber Proposes in 1,000th Video” posts. So amazing. Here’s the proposal:

 

 

So amazing.

 

--Jake



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