Our New/Old ‘Rock With You’ Video

June 30th, 2009 by Alec McNayr

We teamed up with our old friend Kenny Stevenson (of MRTC, Yahoo!, and Kingsford Charcoal fame), and made this sterling dance video. Hope you enjoy it.

It’s the first in a series, and, yes, we made it before the Michael Jackson news broke last week…

ROCK WITH YOU (Old Dance Video from 1980)

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My Roommate the Cylon named to NATPE Finals!!

June 24th, 2009 by Alec McNayr

NATPE NEXT TVWe’re honored to announce that My Roommate the Cylon was chosen as a finalist in the NATPE NEXT TV Competition.

But the work isn’t over:
Log in and vote (it just takes a second) at Stickam.com.

Episode 1.4 “The Escape” was named one of the TOP 10 COMEDY submissions. Category winners and the grand prize winner will be announced at the LA TV Fest July 8 & 9, 2009.

View Episodes 1.1 through 1.6 at: MyRoommateTheCylon.com!

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Space Shank Update: Cylons, Streamys, Islands, and Yogis

April 1st, 2009 by Alec McNayr

In the four weeks since we last posted, we’ve been pretty busy, and have some great news to share:

My Roommate the Cylon

We’ve launched episodes 1.1 through 1.5 of our Battlestar Galactica-themed web series, with the sixth and final episode coming up Friday. With BSG now over, and Caprica still months away, get your Cylon quick-fix at MyRoommateTheCylon.com!

Streamy Awards 2009

As a voting member of the IAWTV, Alec and the team got tickets to the biggest event of the year: The Streamy Awards. Our biggest takeaway? Beyond the excitement, energy, and great show put on by our friends at Tubefilter, Tilzy, and NewTeeVee, the big winners that night were all tied to TV in some way. Dr. Horrible? Written by a prominent TV writer and starring TV stars. Face of the Enemy? Spun-off from BSG and written by a TV writer. Finally, The Guild, is certainly the most indie of all the winning web series that night, but it was initially hyped by leveraging creator Felicia Day’s following from her days on Buffy. Being backed by TV fame-slash-money doesn’t take anything away from the winners — it just signifies the continuingly-closing door for truly independent fare to shine against studio-backed programming. More on that later.

Blah, enough naysaying. Great night!

Robert Gustafson, Alec McNayr, Katie McNayr, & Brady Brim-DeForest. Courtesy Wm. Marc Salsberry.

Harper’s Island

Alec was invited to attend a special screening of Harper’s Globe, the EQAL-produced companion online series to CBS’ new Harper’s Island.

Read his write-up at ScriptMag.com: CBS Crosses Over With Harper’s Globe

The Inappropriate Yoga Guy

Last, we have to share our friend Avi Rothman’s web series with you. Based on a YouTube hit character, Ogden The Inappropriate Yoga Guy is a series backed by (and featuring) Yoga Journal. It’s really, really well done!

Posted in Comedy, Community, Our Work | 1 Comment »

Alec McNayr named to Academy of Web Television

March 4th, 2009 by Alec McNayr

streamy awards

Today, Space Shank’s own Alec McNayr (that’s me!) was named to the International Academy of Web Television.

[view blogged press release here]

The IAWTV is the voting body for the Streamy Awards, coming up on March 28, 2009, and is backed by Tubefilter.tv, Tilzy.tv, and NewTeeVee, three blogs that I read like a man possessed.

In related news, Tubefilter and Tilzy also just gave great reviews to our new web series, My Roommate the Cylon.

I’m honored to have been asked and named. Looking forward to the Streamys festivities!

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My Roommate the Cylon

February 28th, 2009 by Alec McNayr

Sorry for the lack of communication or posts recently. We’ve been focusing on our newest web series, a comedy spinoff of one of favorite TV shows, Battlestar Galactica.

It’s called My Roommate The Cylon.

It just launched tonight with Episode 1, entitled “The Test.” Embed, link, follow, and subscribe at: MyRoommateTheCylon.com!

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Video Game Writers Sound Off

February 2nd, 2009 by Alec McNayr

Script Magazine

Video Game Writers Sound Off

The billion-dollar industry is providing new opportunities for writers, but don’t expect your traditional writing skills to translate: video gaming is a brand new medium.

By Robert Gustafson and Alec McNayr

As teenagers of the 1980’s, we spent hours every day poised in front of our televisions, but we weren’t watching cartoons or catching the latest after-school special. We were playing Nintendo. Our cultural experience featured Super Mario Bros., Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, and The Legend of Zelda.

Twenty years later, the average age of video game consumers is creeping into the mid-thirties, and the “just for kids” world of video games has matured into a strong entertainment industry segment that, on any given week, can out-gross the movie box office.

god of war 2

With increased technological capacity and more sophisticated tastes, video game consumers are demanding better gameplay experiences, and are committing hundreds of hours to complete an individual game. Game producers are taking notice, and employing better and better resources to keep and maintain the gamers’ engagement: including storytelling.

Today’s pioneering video game writers are navigating a nebulous and ever-changing job market. Unlike traditional media, there are no standard titles or roles for video game writers. A writing credit can represent a spectrum of duties: the writer as the driving story force for the game, brought in at the beginning of a project, or the writer filling a last-minute need for scripting cinematics (film-like scenes that appear in-between levels) or barks (automated in-game dialogue between characters) just before the game goes to press.

Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ve seen enough. Jimmy Fallon will do well.

January 31st, 2009 by Alec McNayr

Jimmy Fallon, though I initially had my doubts, will do well.*

I now see his place among the three generations of comedians (Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon) hosting their own late night show on NBC. Each one is reaching a different generation of viewer.

What tipped me over the edge? Two videos. His playful and self-shaming interview with Felicia Day of The Guild (he’s clearly going after active online viewers/comments/bloggers. smart.), and deciding which chair to use in his show (embedded below). In the second one, he gets his writing staff to name the two chair choices… and they make websites of each chair’s strange name. Not a lot of content, but I appreciate the effort. Check out CaptainJohnMesh.com and MermanWoodtimes.com.

* caveat – IF he can continue to deliver on this level of interactivity (questions from fans, etc.) and not fall into the set “TV talkshow” pattern that will, undoubtedly, be forced on him. And by “him,” I mean everyone that works on that show.

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Positioning Your Content As a Revenue Generator

January 27th, 2009 by Alec McNayr

Web Video SecretsSomeone said to me the other day, “2009 is a great year for online content… if you don’t have to make any money from it.”

It’s true. More focus, more shifting away from cable to mobile and online, and more interesting content finding its way into the radars of non-technical, average folk, who don’t know how to connect a laptop to a TV.

But no money. Or at least, not a lot of money. The amount of online content is too vast to stand out with a simple, well-produced web series. You need distribution. No money, no distribution, no production, no experience.

NewTeeVee reports on RedLever’s shift from artistic creator of content (term used lightly after seeing a video starring a bikini-clad hottie dropping raw eggs into a “contestant’s” mouth) into strategic brand enhancer. I think that’s a smart play for this economy. Well done.

RedLever shows cost anywhere from $100,000 to $1.5 million each, including distribution. “If they want 100 million uniques to see it, not a problem, we can do that,” he said, adding that 10 million seems to be the number most people are looking for. With a combination of original shows and distribution deals like the one it has with Vuguru’s Back on Topps, RedLever hopes to launch 10 shows this year.

Now, the “content as ad” model looks nice, but only a precious few who have the ears of ad agencies can play that game, as the case for original video content leading to concrete customer conversions is weak at best…

My knock is that without a pre-existing brand relationship (or at least a spokesperson/lifestyle-type relationship fit), branded entertainment will feel like an ad. And Tivo knows that people fast-forward through those.

Or you could just visit this guy.

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Street Fighter: Stop-Motion and Options

January 24th, 2009 by Alec McNayr

Animator and stop-motion artist Patrick Boivin has made a brilliant series of “choose-your-own-adventure” style videos where you can battle through a Street Fighter fight using YouTube’s “clickable area” tools. It’s a great use of the tools available… and the high-touch level of interaction encourages repeat views/plays. I played four times. No wonder the kickoff video (pun intended) has over 3 million views.

I suspect that this was backed by Sota Toys, who makes the Street Fighter figures… what a great example of a brand/company reaching out to an artist to do something truly unique.

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All Hail TV! (But Not For Long)

January 2nd, 2009 by Alec McNayr

The World Wide Web has been getting all this buzz over the last decade and a half… I thought it was more important than it was… it still doesn’t match up to the #1 medium of all time: television!

Now that the internet has surpassed paper for importance, the big bad TV has got to be going down soon… and this year will be an important swing year. More people this year will:

  • Cancel their cable/DirecTV
  • Watch video content on their phones/PDAs
  • Buy a set-top box (or video game system as video player)
  • Find a reliable way to move video from their laptop screen to their TV screen (cables, AppleTV, etc.)
  • Just watch less mindless TV

All this, and a crazy bad economy to boot! It’s going to be a wild year, so buckle up and try to change the world!!

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