Annie Takes Off is an exciting new webseries by some pretty fabulous people. I think many of us will be able to relate to the show just from the description provided on their Kickstarter page:
When Annie Smalls’ life falls apart — with men, her job and just about everything else — she has had enough and decides if she wants her life to get better, a whole lot better, she better make some big changes! So, she writes a list of the “50 MISTAKES I AM NO LONGER GOING TO MAKE FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR” so that after the year, she’ll be in a much better place…she hopes! And because her new career, discovering new design talent throughout the globe, involves constant air-travel, each of the mistakes she has vowed to herself that she can no longer make, must be dealt with one at a time on each flight she takes. And now that she’s on an airplane and has nowhere to run, it’s that much more challenging for her — and a lot funnier for us.
If you are a fan of webseries, a fan of great entertainment, or perhaps a fan of both, I think you will be impressed with the list of names involved in the project. Personally, my interest in projects such as this has been growing since the typical television networks started to rely so heavily on reality shows and it has become so difficult for traditional television series to find a lasting place on our schedules. I have come to know Mark Gantt’s work in particular through Twitter, which led me to being able to conduct a short interview with him about Annie Takes Off.
The Kickstarter campaign has been very successful and only has a few days left but you can still head over to the page if you would like to be a part of this experience. I think you will find there are some great rewards being offered and there is a nice feeling of satisfaction that comes along with being involved, even in a small way.
Q: I know that you are very involved in Indie Entertainment. Why do you feel these projects are important for artists as well as fans of entertainment?
Well, to be honest it comes more out of necessity over an altruistic belief that indie is better than mainstream or ‘studio’ productions. I’m sure if I was getting daily invites to come and join the Hollywood Studio party I wouldn’t turn it down. So it really comes out of the need to want to create and not wait for an invitation. When I first came to LA I had a very warped idea of how I thought it would go, fame and fortune would come quickly. As time went on and that didn’t happen, I was forced to look at the real reason I wanted that kind of success; I want to be liked, no sorry… loved, adored and part of the cool crowd. There I said it, I wanted it for all the wrong reasons. So when that realization hit home, I had to find it in myself to push past any fears I had about just going out and doing what I truly love doing – telling stories. I think the web over the last few years is having a similar transitional phase like Sundance did in the 80′s and 90′s. There, you saw the breakout of the indie filmmakers. I’ve been a big fan of auteurs like Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley, Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh. I think they all have very distinct voices and found ways to tell stories that they wanted to see themselves. That’s where we are now on the web. People are getting the opportunity to make things that they actually want to watch, not what an advertiser or stock holder thinks will sell soap or make money.
63 Los Angeles Entrepreneurs To Be Proud Of
We are about to head on a four-month, 48-state road trip to help people across America bring their ideas to life and shine the light on some of the amazing entrepreneurs and communities. We believe there are awesome entrepreneurs everywhere, not just in the places constantly covered by the media. We want to help them, and will.
And you know, one of the communities that has some super remarkable entrepreneurs that doesn’t get enough credit is Los Angeles. There are hundreds of entrepreneurs here in Los Angeles who are building awesome companies, writing awesome books, making awesome movies and are trying to solve important problems to help make this world a better place.
63 Los Angeles entrepreneurs we can be proud of. If you or someone you know should be on this list, feel free to comment below.
Mark Gantt – Executive Producer of The Bannen Way
Mark Gantt is the Executive Producer, and Star of Sony Pictures Television’s web series, The Bannen Way, created by Jesse Warren & Mark Gantt. He plays a character named Neal Bannen who is a womanizing, con man and small-time thief who wants to start his life over. All he has to do is pull off one more job to pay off his debts.
Also mentioned are Bannen's ZACK ARNOLD and friend CHAD KUKAHIKO
Nearly one hundred talented Latino actors and actresses armed with headshots, demo reels and business cards brought their friendly faces and interesting personalities to the Actor Summit on Thursday, April 12, 2012. The National Association of Latino Independent Producers(NALIP) hosted the summit to kick off their annual conference-NALIP: Diverse Voices, Universal Content. It was an opportunity for performers to meet and network with professional filmmakers, producers and casting directors. The Actor Summit took place at the Wizards Theatre on CityWalk at Universal City.
One of the popular panels was on how to use New media to keep careers from stalling. "I suggested to NALIP that we bring in actors who have successfully used the new media to get seen by Directors, Entertainment Executives, and Producers," he said. The workshop entitled 'How to create, produce and star in your own webisodes!' featured Ruth Livier, Mark Gantt and Julia Ahumada Grob. All started as actors but took their careers to new levels by creating their own content to showcase their talents. "These actors grew beyond the "normal" actor roles and became producers, writers, and even executive producers of their product. Hollywood is beating down the doors to get to these resourceful actors," Fairbanks added.
Gantt co-created the award-winning The Bannen Way, an American crime drama. Gantt, who stars as Neal Bannen, the main character, stated, "I couldn't even get co-star roles. I had an acting teacher who said create your own stuff, build your own door and walk through it." Gantt followed that advice and has not looked back since. He shared, "I wrote something that was me. After 19 days of shooting, I have confidence that I'm an actor and I'm a filmmaker."
April 12, 2012
Marc Scott Zicree breaks down essential steps for creating your own projects. Uses Mark Gantt and The Bannen Way as an example of not waiting around for your career.
Hunger Games fan series “Star Squad” gears up for production
Wildly successful veterans from the web series world are making a new series in the Hunger Games universe, and they need your help to make “Star Squad” happen.
Woody Tondorf has well over 48 million views on YouTube for his show “Elevator.” He also happens to be a huge fan of The Hunger Games. When he teamed up with Caroline Framke, who writes for the Hulu show “The Morning After,” they ended up expanding on the world of the Hunger Games and creating their own series. Now they’re ready to make it a reality.
“Star Squad” is 3 episodes, but think of them more as “acts” instead of episodes. Act One sits at about 14 pages, and that’s the shorter one. We can probably expect the run-time for the whole series to be around an hour. That’s a lot of Hunger Games and could definitely hold fans over between the Hunger Games feature film (not related) and the sequel, Catching Fire, set to be released in November, 2013.
They’ve already lined up some amazing cast that they’ll be rolling out over the next few days. The first cast member they released is Cressida played by Tonya Kay . I don’t know about you but their propos picture of Cressida is exactly the way I had her pictured in my head.
But Tonya Kay is just the tip of the iceberg. They have done some brilliant casting and the announcements they’ll be making over the next few days will definitely make you even more excited to see the show. I’m really excited about … well I can’t really tell you until they release the names. But I’ll post more info here as it comes out.
Brendan Bradley pairs with Youtube’s “Mystery Guitar Man” for new original series
YouTube’s famed Mystery Guitar Man, Joe Penna, and multi-award winning producer Brendan Bradley (Squatters) have joined forces to present a groundbreaking, original sci-fi series, ONCE UPON. Premiering Nov 22nd on MGM’s channel with new episodes every Tuesday, this serialized fairy tale explores the origin of Joe Penna’s “little guy” with enviable performances from Taryn O’Neill (ElfQuest Fan Imagining, After judgement), Mark Gantt (The Bannen Way) and America Young (Goodnight Burbank, Comediva).
YouTube’s beloved “Princesstard” from ShayCarl’s Shaytards makes her scripted, serial debut while Penna (who also directs) stars as 3 diverse characters.
Over the past year a lot of debate and controversy has surrounded the rivalry of YouTube and Webseries artists, but Penna and Bradley’s partnership brings the best of both worlds to the digital space. Subscribe to Mystery Guitar Man on YouTube for new episodes and bonus videos every week.
THE BANNEN WAY is a sexy crime series with elements of action, comedy and a bit of thriller thrown in for good measure. Most importantly the series has fun with itself, as it chronicles Neal Bannen (Mark Gantt), a con man attempting reform. He guides himself with a series of rules--“The Bannen Way”--which are weaved throughout the story when they apply to the often tumultuous situations he finds himself in. Neal is caught in a bit of a conundrum with a father who is a cop and an uncle who holds onto his grandfather’s mob legacy both pulling him in different paths. Neal is confident and always looks for the angle; the trick is to see him navigate an ever-increasingly complicated landscape where options disappear as quickly as they appear. The cast is amazing with Michael Ironside as the father and Robert Forrester as the uncle, and let’s not forget Vanessa Marcil as the sexy pickpocket with suspect motivations. Neal is set on a mission to procure an object that will clear his debts and allow him a way out of the life he leads.
My hat is off to Mark Gantt and Jesse Warren for creating something interesting and fun to watch. Like most people, I like to be surprised and I found this be well-written without the obvious “I saw that coming a mile away” moments that hamper so may stories today. Not surprisingly with something based on a con man seeking reform or more importantly a way out of the life, this series was full of twists and turns. I got a bit of a Guy Richie vibe with the rules he lives by and the way the story unfolds without all of the spastic editing that sends parts of the population into epileptic fits. The series was smart and very sexy, as Neal Bannen is a bit of a ladies’ man. Seeing what content creators can do with a bit of money always makes me wonder how Hollywood produces so much crap when this kind of talent is available.
The writing in the series was tight, as any good web content has to have; otherwise we’re bound to click on onto the next thing. The plot entwines the different pieces of Neal’s life nicely as the pressure is amplified episode to episode, making it ideal for the web. The cast ismarvelous and I found it a real treat to see actors I liked so much turn up in such good roles. The whole series is a real gem and I encourage anyone who likes this genre to tune in.
On The Comedy Rich Web, An Elite Group Of Dramas Break Through, These Are Their Stories
The creators of web series "Anyone But Me," "The Bannen Way," and "Robert Townsend's Diary of a Single Mom"--and the web sites that host them--talk about the challenges facing online shows that aren't all about laughs LOLCats.
Dina Kaplan, a co-founder of blip.tv, says she thinks it may take one to two years for drama to really make a splash online. She offered her perspective on four keys to making online drama click.
Unlike television, it’s hard to promise or predict the amount of eyeballs necessary to recoup production costs from shooting a drama. “It's been harder for scripted dramas to succeed because their costs are higher making the margins for profit slimmer,” Kaplan says. “The successful series are riding the margins. We need a little more time for more money to flow into the market.”
Many original series post on sites like Kaplan’s blip.tv, which acts much like a television network and shares revenue made from online ads with producers. But there’s also the rare show that takes its content straight to the big boys for a deal. Take the creators of the hit Crackle.com action-packed crime drama The Bannen Way. They produced a high-quality pilot to shop around before landing a deal with Sony, which eventually led to 13 million streams of the show on Sony's Crackle site.While it’s unclear whether or not there will be a second season, the first season is available on DVD and there are murmurs of developing it into a television series.
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Shooting Top-Of-Show Guest-star on TNT's MAJOR CRIMES
Shooting begins on LIFELINE opposite Kathleen Gati(General Hospital)
Begin filming THE NIGHT VISITOR 2: HEATHER'S STORY starring Mark Gantt, Jennifer Blanc, Caitlin Carmichael, Brianne Davis, Gary Cairns, Hudson Pischer and Chip Coffey. The film will be directed by Brianne Davis.
THE NIGHT VISITOR screens as part of the ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD FESTIVAL in San Francisco.
Shooting Los Angeles portion of THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT
Mark begins shooting lead role in THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT, written and directed by Antoni Sole. Shooting in Barcelona, Spain.
Begin shooting HIDDEN IN THE WOODS in Houston, Texas opposite William Forsythe.
On panel for SAG-AFTRA's Liferaft with Yuri Baravovsky, Ian Moffit, Helena Santos and Zadi Diaz.
Shooting Pilot D-TEC, a series for new second screen technology Samsung.
Begin shooting THE NIGHT VISITOR. Produced by Mark Gantt, Directed by Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and starring Brianne Davis, Gary Cairns, Tara Buck, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Mark Gantt.
Booked new feature film HIDDEN IN THE WOODS. They are shooting the English Language version with Michael Biehn.
Final day of shooting on WHOA! with Taryn Southern, Linda Blair and Leslie Jordan.
First season of new digital series THE INN launches. Created by Steve Silvmeran and stars Crystal Chappell and myself. I come towards the end of this season.
Shooting great film with Joe Penna again. Very excited about this project!
JANUARY 19 - 20
Shooting pilot presentation for new digital series WHOA! Created by Scott Richter, starring Linda Blair and myself!
Shooting scenes from new feature film FINDING CALI
Alexis Boozer wins Best Overall Actress
Begin shooting new digital series THE INN opposite Crystal Chappell (Days of Our Lives, Guiding Light, Venice the series)
Created by Steven Silverman (Pretty The Series)
First Glance Film Festival - Philadelphia
I won BEST DIRECTOR for DONOR!
Speaking at the 2nd Annual
Shooting new TV Series BLUFF in Calgary, Alberta created by Jewelle Colwell
Shooting new series MERIDIAN by Joe Penna (MysteryGuitarMan) with Orlando Jones. Yeah I'm playing that douchy office manager.
Producing new online series
Created and Executive Produced by Sybil Temtchine & Steve Peros
Directed by Perry Andelin Blake
Executive Produced by Mark Gantt
Starring: Sybil Temtchine, Dennis Dugan, Frank Coraci, Eric Avari, Gwendolyn Yeo, Mark Gantt, Brianne Davis and Michael Lerner
Completed shooting Pilot Presentation THE PROGRAM that I produced and starred in.
Created by Matt Lutz, Directed by Dylan Mulick
With Robert Forster, Kate Siegel and Brett Fliesher
Attending AMONG FRIENDS screening at Universal City
Shannen Doherty honored for Best Individual Performance from the 2012 Webby Awards in the SUITE 7 episode "Company" that Mark directed. Episode was written by Yuri Baranovsky and stars Shannen and Wilson Cleveland.
SECRET PROJECT REVEALED - I'm shooting HUNGER GAMES fan film STAR SQUAD playing Dr. Aurelius.
Shooting a few episodes of new digital series.