Web Series: ‘The Vamps Next Door’

NOTE FROM LB: Want to see what a web series episode with a million and a half views looks like? Click “play” on the video below.

by Larry Brody

There I was, on the back deck of the Brody home that isn’t Cloud Creek Ranch, having a fine old end of summer convo with my wife, Gwen the Beautiful, and two old friends, and suddenly the Missus of the friends, Laura Conway, casually mentions, “I’ve been making a couple of web series. They’re a lot of fun.”

And without missing a beat, the Mistah of the couple, Gerry Conway (yes, this Gerry Conway), equally casually says, “Laura’s shows have over three million views.”

“Three million views?” was all I could say.

“Yep,” Gerry said.

“And you never told me before?”

“I haven’t told very many people at all about the shows,” Laura said.

“Why not?” I said.

“She’s shy,” Gerry said.

Laura nodded. “I am. I’m shy.”

So, because I’m not so shy, let me repeat the most cogent fact here, because, well, because how can I not?

Three million views.

Fucking three fucking million fucking views!

And not only had I never known that Laura was doing this, I’d neither heard about nor seen any of her shows anywhere before.

Those of you who know me know where this is going. I have now watched Laura Conway’s absolutely mind-blowingly professional top scoring in every aspect series, The Vamps Next Door, and I’m absolutely blown away.

The episode above, “Hurt So Good,” is the most popular in the series, but the others are all just as good. Scripts, direction, acting, production values, we’re talking stuff that puts the original Dark Shadows to shame. Oh, and in case you haven’t watched the embed yet, I gotta tell you: The Vamps Next Door is funny.

To me, one of the most interesting thing about The Vamps Next Door is that Laura was a total noob when she started it, seven years ago. If you watch the earlier episodes, they’re rough, unpolished, fraught with the errors all new filmmakers make.  But she learned, and is still learning, the way a true creator does.

You can find out more about the show HERE, and you definitely should.

Thank you, Laura, for finally coming out of the closet!

Oh hell, here’s an episode of Laura’s other show, Ageless. It left me speechless when I first saw it, but I’m sure we’ll talk more about this later:

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘2 Short Takes’

“Poetry in motion…woo hoo….”

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

A couple of short poems. Or at least they feel like poems to me. Notice that I said “poems” – a couple of times – instead of “poetry.” As what follows should tell you, that’s just my false modesty.


Spring Break

Life demands.

Life teaches.

The eternal semester!

With tuition constantly on the rise.

No scholarships are given,

And no student loans.

My last professor was a demon,

And the final was straight from hell,

But there’s no dropping out of the program,

As we all learn too well.

###

Having Answers Is Embarrassing

After years of searching, of believing only in the quest,

Having answers is embarrassing.

My unexpected knowledge seems infinite,

Perfect, wondrous in its wisdom,

And I hem, haw, and stutter with pride.

When this happens, the Navajo Dog

Laughs and rephrases the old questions

In ways I cannot understand,

So the hunt can begin anew!

###


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

LB: A Few Words from One of My TV Gods: Herbert F. Solow

by Larry Brody

One of the kindest, toughest, gentlest, strongest, sweetest human beings I’ve ever known is my friend Herb Solow, probably better known to most people reading this as:

In case you’re from another planet, this is Herb’s Star Trek title card!

Herb and I first met in the mid 1970s, and we’ve worked and hung out together for over 40 years. Best known as one of the key figures who brought ST:TOS to TV when he was head of production at ye olde Desilu Studios, Herb also ran MGM when it still was a studio to be reckoned with back in the ’60s, and he was also Executive in Charge of Production, Executive Producer, or just plain “Producer” on TV shows and feature films whose names are bound to ring some bells:

  • The Courtship of Eddie’s Father
  • Medical Center
  • Then Came Bronson
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Mannix
  • The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.
  • Saving Grace
  • Brimstone & Treacle
  • Man from Atlantis
  • Killdozer
  • Elvis: That’s the Way It Is

And a zillion more that I don’t remember, although IMDB has a pretty fine list. Oh, while I’m at it I probably should mention his fine book – pretty damn controversial among Trekkies Trekkers – Inside Star Trek: the Real Story.

No one knows the ins and outs of showbiz politics as well as Herb, and very few people know as much as he does about development and production. Or, for that matter, about art. Herb’s the man who introduced me to the idea that you could and should live surrounded by beautiful things and gets the credit – or blame – for the crowd of antiques and art treasures I’ve been living amid ever since I saw his collection and started my own unending buying spree.

Why am I talking about all this? Primarily because I’ve just been reminded that, living treasure that he is, Herb can be found at the Emmy TV Legends where he’s featured in a 4 part video interview that’s so filled with helpful information that I insist ya’ll go visit.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to go too far. All you have to do is click on the video links below:

Hi Herb! All my best to Harrison and the rest of the fam!

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Sitting Shivah’

Not my ex (found on the interwebs)

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

A true story about a visit – a long time ago! – that never should have been made, built upon a premise that first appeared here just a few weeks ago. When I’m being deliberately poetic (and, maybe, obtuse) I think of this as “An Ode to Divorce.”


Sitting Shivah

The other day I saw a woman I once loved.

She was Kid Hollywood’s second wife,

The one I never liked.

I waited for the rage that had always

Shaken the Kid’s gut when he was with her,

Even during the best of times.

Where was that quickening of my heartbeat,

The good old fight or flight?

Where was the wild helplessness,

That sense of being caged?

Ah, I was someone else now,

Even though she still seemed the same,

And my pulse stayed steady, my stomach

As empty as my heart. Without fury

I didn’t know what to do.

Kid Hollywood was the one with the bitterness,

With contempt that made way only for hate.

All I felt was sorrow for the two of them.

Him then,

Her now,

Because Kid Hollywood has shuffled off to Buffalo,

But she still is the same.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Another Day, On The Pueblo’

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

The Navajo Dog revisits! I knew she loved us far too much to stay away!


Another Day, On The Pueblo

For a time, I lived on the Santa Clara Pueblo,

About halfway between Taos and Santa Fe.

The house was in the shadow of sacred

Black Mesa, and directly in front of the door

Was a ceremonial kiva, a relic of the old ways.

Cattle grazed freely on the land, and among them

Roamed Boomer the Golden Retriever and,

When it suited her whim, the little red-and-white
Navajo dog.

At night, when it was warm enough, my love

And I would sit by the kiva and eat dinner, while

Gazing up at the dancing stars. The heavens

Seemed afire with gyring dervishes,

Spinning and careening from North to South,

And often Gwen would ask, “But what are they?

Why do they dance? Who sent them? Where

Are they from?” I would deal with this as I

Dealt with all such questions, and shake my

Head and say, “Wait…” and “Watch…”

As not so long before had been said to me,

For I knew that like me, someday

She would find the answer herself.

I remember one Spring afternoon, before Gwen

Came to join the dogs and me, I went outside to

Bask in the warm sun. I spread a towel

On the ground and lay on my back. Above me,

The sky was a deep New Mexico blue,

And in it a single cloud floated, so low

I thought it was awaiting my touch.

Suddenly, I felt a chill, and realized

It came from the kiva, which had not been used

In almost a hundred years. I felt a panic, a

Sense of loss that seized me so tightly I scarcely

Could breathe, and I called out for the Navajo dog.

When I got no answer, I called again, and again,

And still several times more. At last, Boomer

Appeared to be petted, but there was no sign of

The Navajo dog. Then I heard her voice,

Coming from the kiva, like the voice of a god.

“I travel,” sang the voice of the Navajo dog. “I journey.

I fly with my brother the wind.

I am off,” sang the voice, “with a rush and a whisper,

With a whoop and a roar.”

“But I need you!” I said. “You can’t go. What would

I do? How would I live?”

“Like yourself,” came the voice of the Navajo dog.

“You would live as you must.”

“I must live with you!”

“Cowardly boy,” sang the voice from the kiva,

“Don’t you know what you don’t need?

You are healed! All is over, yet all begins!”

I moved to the edge of the kiva, peered

Down at the darkness within. “I’m not

Ready!” I cried, and I heard the laugh of

The Navajo dog. “You think to fool she

Who loves you, who created you, with

Such a weak lie? Tell yourself false

Stories, if you must, craven son, but you

Know far more than you believe!

Now stand straight,” sang her voice.

“Walk in beauty. Go on, take the step. You

Have set yourself free.” Beside me, Boomer

Whined—and so did I: “Will I see you again?

Will you ever return?” But no answer came.

I heard the end of the song, the last striking

Of Mother Earth’s drum, then another laugh,

And Boomer cried. I shivered, and started back

To the house, reached down to stroke him, but

Now he too was gone. I turned, and saw him running

To the far end of the field, and just as suddenly

As the panic had struck I felt it go.

The golden retriever was running to the

Navajo dog!

She was coming down the road that led

To the highway, striding as only she can.

Boomer nosed her, and she snapped him

Away, trotted to the kiva, where she sat

Down and scratched. “That towel looks

More comfortable than dirt,” said the Navajo

Dog. “You want to sit on it?” I said.

Her tongue lolled. “What I want is to see the

Fruit of my womb,” said the dog. “What I want

Is to watch you, and let myself swell with pride.

It’s my due! I’ve earned it! I deserve my reward.

Then,” she said, “then, ah, just watch my soul fly!”

With a yip, the Navajo dog bounded off, and Boomer

Followed. I watched them go, then lay down on my

Towel, stretched out my arm toward the cloud.

It felt soft, like the fleece it resembled,

And I moved it away easily,

So I could enjoy the sun.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest Fee Update

Yeah, these 2 guys won more in their competition than you will in the PP. But let’s face it – what M & M did the other night is a whole lot harder than breaking a story!

LB’S NOTE: This originally went out as an email to those on our e-newsletter list. On the very, very, very off chance that doesn’t include you, this should help you stay caught up:


As we’ve said a time or two before, the PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 is up and running and wants your entry!

But here’s something we haven’t talked about before. Another brand new expansion of everybody’s favorite TV writing contest. (And film writing too because you know your film script would be a terrific pilot, right?)

Not only do we at TVWriter™ and the PEOPLE’S PILOT believe that electronic media are the future of entertainment, we also believe that creating your own web series is hands down the best way to enter that future.

First, having your own web series gives you absolute creative control over the project, ensuring that your work and creativity are at their absolute best.

Second, more and more major broadcast, cable, and satellite networks and channels are aggressively competing to sign series deals with creators they’ve discovered on YouTube, Vimeo, and other web video and personal web pages.

Because of this, PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 now offers a new Web Series Pilot Discount Entry Fee so that you can enter the opening episode of your intended web series for only $35, a 30% discount off the standard $50 fee.

‘Web Series’ isn’t a new PEOPLE’S PILOT category. Those remain ‘Scripted Comedy Series’ and ‘Scripted Drama/Action Series.’

In other words, Web series will be competing on the same playing field as their longer siblings. Which we believe is proper because let’s face it. Nobody becomes a writing star unless they’re absolutely the best of all comers.

Is there a catch? Sort of. To qualify for the discount, your script must be no longer than 15 pages. Because a 15 minute teleplay pretty much serves notice of its web series intention.

PEOPLE’S PILOT Prizes and entry bonuses total over $20,000 and include free feedback from industry pros for all entries as well as $$$, free writing classes, free script consults, InkTip.Com listings, an international script development deal with DreamSaga Group of China, and much more.

In recent years, over 2 dozen Winners, Finalists and Semi-Finalists of TVWriter™ contests have gotten gigs on the staffs of some of your favorite electronic media shows. The last day on which to enter this year’s contest is November 1, 2017

Complete PEOPLE’S PILOT info is HERE

The ‘Enter’ Page, where all entry fee options are spelled out, is HERE

Email us with your questions HERE

Thanks for listening!

Larry Brody & Team TVWriter™
[https://tvwriter.net](https://tvwriter.net)
[http://tvwriter.com](http://tvwriter.com)

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Sing Of The Human Spirit’

The secret to becoming Big Larry – or Big Gracie, et al – is to keep dreaming. And singing – that’s a big part of #win

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

This one is for all of us, the #creatives actively and lovingly and totally engaged in the #writinglife with all its ups and downs and joys and pains. The most important part of the dream is the #dreaming. The #standingtall. As long as you keep going, know what? You #win.


I Sing Of The Human Spirit

I sing of the human spirit.

My song explodes with a cymbal crash from my soul.

Nothing can stand against my song. My arpeggios

Pierce walls. My major chords shatter windows.

My minors topple fences, while gates swing open

To the rhythm of my heart.

My high notes soar past the atmosphere,

And my bass line moves the planet,

Swinging us ‘round and round.

But it is the spirit that embraces the universe,

And the spirit the cosmos applauds.

 

I dream of the human spirit.

My dream takes me to heights and depths

Far beyond Ego, Superego, or Id. My dream

Raises me and I fly, dashes me down to a fall.

It incites me to attack, and compels my retreat.

In my dream I can win and I can lose, but never

Is there a draw.

My dream frightens me as much as it excites me,

And I quiver and quail more than I

Brandish my powerful arms,

But without it there would be no song.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.