All Five Web Series Finalists Now Live

Overcoming hurricanes, floods, location cancels, equipment malfunctions and more (although, admittedly, some projects did a better job of overcoming than others), all five TV Reset Project web series finalists’ pilots have now arrived on ZoomTilt TV.

The five finalist pilot episodes are presented below in alphabetical order. Remember, all five shows are competing in our first web TV competition, so go check them all out and, most importantly, share the shows you like with your friends and social media followers. Your share is your vote!
 

“Cool Justice” by Todd Rulapaugh and Brian Groh


 

“Not So Super” by Christophor Rick


 

“The Pickup Chicks” by Stacie Capone and Small Media Extra Large


 

“Shining City” by Douglas Stark


 

“Spycology” by Tenth Gate Productions


 

Thanks again to all of our entrants, semi-finalists and finalists for all their hard work and dedication through the entire competition. Now everybody go view, vote and share!

New ZoomTilt Web TV Pilots Showcase the Rising Quality and Influence of Webseries

Web series aren’t just a guy/gal with a camera, a couch and a vlog talk show anymore, and audiences and advertisers are taking notice.  With brands like Ford, Ikea, Target, Yahoo and Intel spending millions annually creating original web entertainment on top of YouTube’s own premium content buys from Hollywood and networks like Machinima, demand for compelling, original entertainment is rising rapidly, and content creators are rising to the occasion.

This week, ZoomTilt debuts three new made-for-web TV comedy pilots: “The Pickup Chicks”“Spycology”, and “Cool Justice”.  Although the three comedies are starkly different shows – with backdrops ranging from Brooklyn bars to a top-secret Spy Academy to a 1970′s L.A. drug bust – they all have several qualities in common: memorable, unique characters, top-quality professional cinematography and studio-caliber story arc development.  Following on the tradition established by recent web series standouts like “The Beauty Inside,” Warner Premiere’s “H+: The Digital Series” and “Dating Rules for My Future Self,” ZoomTilt’s first three shows coming out of the TV Reset Project webseries competition demonstrate that creative, compelling storytelling and community-building trumps big budgets in generating earned media and audience engagement.

The first new ZoomTilt pilot is romantic comedy “The Pickup Chicks” by Stacie Capone, which follows a trio of Brooklyn roomates-turned-entrepreneurs dealing with the unexpected success of their dating service for hopeless single guys:

The second show is “Cool Justice” by Todd Rulapaugh and Brian Groh, who play two larger-than-life 1970′s cops transported to modern day Los Angeles to help a beautiful heiress recover her missing inheritance:

The third show is “Spycology” by Tenth Gate Productions, where slacker spy Jack gets jolted by the threat of expulsion from Spy College and the arrival of an enigmatic new female transfer student.  Can Jack harness his inner Bond before time runs out on his diploma hopes or his best buddy Tim’s hostage situation?

As both production equipment and video hosting costs continue to drop, knowledge transfer of production and editing expertise is accelerated through lightning fast internet data transfer and digital video demand continues to grow rapidly, traditional TV and “digital TV” will continue to converge and overlap, creating exciting new opportunities and avenues for content creators, advertisers, audiences and digital networks alike.

TV Reset Project Web Series Finalists Race to the Finish

With the Thanksgiving holiday almost upon us, the filmmaker finalists in ZoomTilt’s first TV Reset Project web series competition are racing to complete final edits on their pilots.  With some submissions already in and some completing the final phases of post-production, ZoomTilt is looking forward to an exciting and diverse set of new web TV releases.

Series creators Brian Groh and Todd Rulapaugh play two larger-than-life 1970′s cops transported to modern-day Los Angeles in new comedy “Cool Justice”

ZoomTilt’s Amy DePaola recently sat down with one of the TV Reset Project’s finalist production teams – James Poirier and Travis Tyler of Boston’s Tenth Gate productions – about the inspiration and excitement around their show, action-comedy “Spycology,” a story about a group of students attending a top secret Spy Academy:

YouTube’s “TrueView” video ad revenue ties TV

YouTube reports that TrueView ads now make as much revenue per hour in the US as television/cable ads.

You didn’t think that watching less TV on TV would leave you with less ads, did you?  The average American sees 3,000 ads a day. Just like every other side of a bus or white wall, the web is the new and ultimate blank space for advertising.

But YouTube’s latest announcement provides a further proof-point that the economics of digital television is fundamentally starting to change.  Although typical accessible RPM rates in the $2.00 to $7.00 range still dramatically favor low cost-per-minute user-generated content creators and Maker Studios-style skits and digital talk shows, ad spend allocation to digital video rising much faster than allocation to tradition TV, topping $3 billion globally in 2012 and on pace to reach $5 billion in only a few years.  At a viewer run-rate of 1,000,000 per video, lower budget digital series and webisodes start to look economically-viable, one of the reasons why two critical factors will decide the fate of content creators not subsidized by YouTube: (1) audience-building and (2) network economics.  By identifying and engaging a core audience, then scaling co-marketing/co-branding, cross-promotion and content library building, the next generation of digital TV creator networks will not only survive but thrive even at current YouTube economics, even if that means a whole host of TrueView inventory to click through to get to the content.

Outlined by YouTube’s TrueView page, brands want engaged viewers. They say, “Engage your viewers by giving them choice.”

Ultimately, as the traditional television network model breaks down, digital content is clearly stepping up. According to a 2012 Nielson study, the percent of people worldwide who have watched a video on their computer in the last month (84%) has recently surpassed the percent of people who have watched television in the last month (83%).

In particular, ZoomTilt is really stepping up its content game this Thanksgiving with five fresh-off-the-press premiere digital episodes from our five TV Reset Project finalists, just in time for Cyber Monday.  Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube Channel to catch all the great new entertainment coming to ZoomTilt!

TV Reset Project Semi-Finalist Feature: Not So Super

Christophor Rick is a well-accomplished individual. He holds a B.S. degree in molecular science, he served in the U.S. Navy, he’s taught in Europe and he’s interned with NASA (whoa), but what he is most known for is his career as a freelance writer. With his third book launching this December, Christophor Rick has made a career out of analyzing and reporting on online video content. It’s no surprise to us that he is the brains behind one of our finalist pilots for the TV Reset Project with his original concept and story: “Not So Super.”

In development since 2007, “Not So Super” is the story of Vince, a superhero currently undergoing a mid-life crisis who must set aside his insecurities and fight off the new super villain, Scandal, who threatens his home, Prime City.

“I have been a fan of comics for a long time and the thing that often struck me was that they were all overblown, artificial, larger-than-life personas and personalities, hard to relate to at times,’ says Rick. ‘Many common human issues were not addressed a lot of the time, so I wanted to make a more human hero who has real world problems that makes him easy to relate to and somewhat of an underdog at this point in his career.”

Since he is no stranger to the online video community we also asked Rick what he’s paying attention to out there in the webisode world and his picks are “Leap Year” from Geek & Sundry and Hulu’s “Battleground”, which takes place in Rick’s home state of Wisconsin.

Although this will be Rick’s first major video production he’s assembled a team of skilled, veteran entertainment professionals that will help guide the production while Rick concentrates on directing and seeing his story vision through.

“Having been around online video for the last five years, I know what I like and what I want, [less exactly] how to get there,” Rick admits.

We over here at ZoomTilt think that Christophor Rick has quite a future ahead of him as a creator and director. He is already well on his way and has an arsenal of other projects outside of “Not So Super” on the horizons.

Find Chistophor Rick on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/christophor.rick and follow him on Twitter, @ChristophorRick to keep up with “Not So Super.”

And while you’re at it give a big LIKE to “Not So Super” on Facebook — we are thinking that you don’t want to miss this pilot.

http://www.facebook.com/NotSoSuperTV

TV Reset Project Semi-Finalist Feature: The Others

Thriller web series The Others is the brainchild of Douglas Stark.  That his writing made it to ZoomTilt’s finals is no surprise given his background — Doug has written for Law & Order, Falcone (CBS), NBC/Universal and Bruckheimer, as well as written screenplays for hire.  He’s been writing for about 25 years now, sometimes for Hollywood and sometimes for independent projects.

But writing is not his only work in the film world — he also worked as a producer for shows like E! and True Hollywood, as well as a director for his own shorts.  He wrote and directed the short “Do Not Disturb” (a psychological thriller), which was named 2005′s best short by Fade In magazine.

“I feel like I’m working full-time as a writer and part-time as everything else,” Doug says.  “I have the ability to create my own schedule, so my day is a revolving schedule of textbook business, writing work, and family (I have two kids).  If you want to know ‘when do you find time to write’,  the real answer is I don’t sleep (certainly not enough).”

Doug recommends that other writers “write what you must”, but also focus on finding ways to get those scripts produced.  “Even if it’s DIY. At the end of the day, you’ll learn a lot more about what works and what doesn’t and you’ll have something to show.”

Editor’s note: The Others is a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Each episode is a page turner.  I’ve read the whole first season and am dying to know what happens after that!  We can’t wait to see the pilot.

TV Reset Project Semi-Finalist Feature: SPYCOLOGY

With a seamless script-to-screen production cycle, Travis Tyler and James Poirier joke, “People want to see our content and we can’t produce it fast enough!” Still, even in a post-production haze after their recently-premiered short film, The End of December, the mantra of the independent filmmaker persists: “We enjoy it.  Otherwise we wouldn’t do it.”

Comedy is a new venture for this team, though, and it comes in the form of a web series about students in spy training school. Spycology, they say, is perfect for the next big thing: web entertainment.

Spycology is James Bond meets Harry Potter meets Scrubs, states James with a grin. They describe script writing as a scattered, creative asset. “The trick is pulling it all together.” Tenth Gate Production’s smooth-functioning production manager Nancy Pratheepmanowong explains that the appeal of a web series is that they are ongoing and allow for a true story arc. “From a writing standpoint,” says James, “it’s watching a character evolve naturally. You can’t achieve that the same way with short films. “  While James is more writing and detail-oriented, Travis is the big picture guy, drawn to the re-watchability factor, which is exclusive to web series.

Tenth Gate Productions was set in motion when Travis and James decided on a name for their future production company in 4th grade. “Growing up in rural Maine, there aren’t too many draws on your time.  We’d film something nearly every day,” James explains. James and Travis butt heads, and they say it’s better and more constructive that way, especially with new addition Nancy, who balances out the team. Travis explains, “a long standing friendship is hard to emulate, but we have this keen understanding.”

They define themselves as storytellers, rather than filmmakers, sharing the mentality, “I need to tell your story and I need to tell it right.” James points to the rarity of seeing “Written, produced, and edited by:” in credits.  “This really maintains artistic integrity efficiently from script to screen.”

But even though they’ve been in the business for 15 years, they still learn something every day. “You can’t be in this industry if you thought you knew it all,” explains James, who sees editing as the new art form. “If you stop learning, you become complacent,” Travis expands, noting the challenge of finding the best solutions for each new creative endeavor. While they feel Hollywood has reached a wall in terms of originality, the independent film community evolves in ways unmatched by major film studios, and they’re taking the web by storm.

Be sure to follow Tenth Gate on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TenthGate for the latest updates on Spycology and their other projects.

TV Reset Project Semi-Finalist Feature: COOL JUSTICE

Actors and filmmakers Todd Rulapaugh and Brian Groh are in the runnings with their webseries pitch, Cool Justice, inspired by stylized cop shows of the 70′s. Todd, who created the premise, points to characters like Detective Mick Belker in Hill Street Blues – “This guy would actually growl at the bad guys!” The soil is fertile for this action-packed comedy webseries. Picture Starsky and Hutch meets Comedy Central’s Reno 911, where anything can and does happen.

In Cool Justice, two cryogenically frozen undercover cops from the 70’s are thawed out in present day Los Angeles to help a hottie heiress claim her missing millions.  Together the unlikely threesome bust up bad guys old-school-style while following cryptic-clues left by her eccentric billionaire-scientist-grandfather, in a perfect world, played by Will Ferrell.

The team had a field day dreaming up what these comedic cops could get caught up in after being dormant for 40 years. Todd and Brian draw from their own adventures in “the mean streets of L.A.”  With the space shuttle Endeavor landing at LAX a couple of weeks ago to be driven through the streets to the California Science Center, they imagined a scene with the confused cops. They pictured them waiting out on the streets like everyone else, only they brought their binoculars and a telescope pointed up into the sky, eventually having a revelation: “Oh my God, they drive it to the moon now!”


When Brian isn’t improvising with Upright Citizens Brigade and when Todd takes a break from L.A. standup at The Comedy Store and Flappers Comedy Club, the two hash out ideas for their new ventures. The script for their action feature, “Hell Divers Rodeo,” is currently optioned by “Cinema Revival,” and they are looking ahead to the world of webseries.

The team is excited by opportunities to take their talent to the web, and Brian explains that “a lot of these projects, once you start them, they don’t die.” Especially not when your clip receives the highest rating of “immortal” on Funny or Die. Check out Brian’s clip, First Date Blow Job, for a taste of what kind of humor to expect from Cool Justice!

With Jeff Hodsden on board as director, Todd and Brian say they are stoked to take Cool Justice to the small screen, anticipating the freedom and control that comes into play when working on a webseries. Todd and Brian are firm believers in the power of comedy to trump short attention spans. “The idea for Cool Justice is that anyone can drop in on any episode and still be entertained,” they explain, noting the charisma of the over-the-top cops.


Todd Rulapaugh
– Writing and Acting
An actor living in Los Angles where he has worked on pilots as a series regular for Brillstein-Grey, ABC, independent television, lead guest spots for CBS and feature films including the Grand Jury indie hit “In Memory of My Father”. Most recently he has been performing stand up at various comedy clubs in L.A.

Brian Groh – Writing and Acting
A writer/performer from the famed Upright Citizens Brigade. His sketches have achieved the highest rating on Funny-or-Die and have appeared on TV. He is also a frequent contributor to well-known Hollywood sketch and scene nights including UCB’s Not Too Shabby, Slap and Tickle, Saturn and Vine, Serial Killers and Tongue and Groove.

Jeff Hodsden – Directing
An Emmy nominated writer who has written over thirty episodes for hit shows on the Disney Channel, including The Suit Life of Zack and Cody and currently The A.N.T. Farm. Prior to that, he wrote for the hit WB comedy, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. He continues to write and direct for all types of media, commercial and independents.