Cargo 3120 ‘Ties that Bind: Part 2’ is on Smashwords!

EDITOR’S NOTE: What is Cargo 3120? Getting down to the nitty gritty, it’s a science fiction (ooh, outer space) adventure that began life as a series of original, scripted episodes in our Beloved Leader LB’s Master Class, then transformed into a web comic strip, and now is a prose serial novel that writer/co-creator (with Daymond Roman) Aaron Walker Sr. and Crew are doing their best to get it the way to your favorite TV-watching media ASAP.

We’ve written about this project many times over the past couple of years, but the best place to go to understand what Aaron Walker Sr. and his crew are up to is HERE.

And now that that’s settled:

by Aaron Walker Sr.

CLICK on the pic above to see CARGO 3120 on Smashwords!

You heard it right. The 2nd installment of our ongoing Sci-Fi Novella series: Cargo 3120 Ties that Bind is now available on Smashwords for only .99 cents!

Why Smashwords?

You’ll recall in our previous post during our free giveaway for book two, we talked about the benefits of distributing through Smashwords. There are two main benefits of making this move:

Read on more devices than just the Kindle: Through Smashwords, you have access to more formats than just MOBI (the ebook format used by Kindle). In fact, you have access to formats such as EPUB, PDP, PDF and more! In the end, more formats mean more devices. If your e-reader supports one of the formats available through Smashwords, then you can use whatever e-reader you want!

More places to find our book:  Because our book is part Smashword’s Premium Catalog, you can get the book through the following distributors: Barnes & Noble (which means you can read on the Nook!), Kobo, Apple (iBooks), Baker & Taylor Blio, Baker-Taylor Axis360, OverDrive, Scribd and more!

What’s up with Book 3?

Glad you asked. Here’s the sitrep:

Cargo 3120 Ties that Bind: Part 3 is set to release on November 1st, 2017!

The book is finished, and all that remains is the ebook formatting and cover art!

We are so proud of how Part 3 came out and can’t wait to share the latest installment of our exciting Sci-Fi Novella series!

Book 4 (which will conclude the Ties that Bind story arc) is in production as we speak. Writing has begun, and I’m shooting for a December 2017 release (January 2018 at the latest). I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates.

Laura Conway: How & Why to Make a Web Series – Part 1

EDITOR’S NOTE: Toldja TVWriter™ would have more from Laura Conway. Welcome to the first in Laura’s series on the making of her very, very, very popular interweb series hit.

Choosing the Script to Get Your Web Series Rolling
by Laura Conway

I’m not a professional writer. I never went to film school. And I write and produce my own web series, The Vamps Next Door. Guess you could say I’m a perpetual amateur running amok with a camera. It’s my strange kind of hobby and, for a raving writer like myself, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. If you’re a new writer and it’s your first time producing your own script, all these words are for you.

I’ve been writing stories ever since I could write and I write comedy because I love making people laugh. But seven pilots and six screenplays later, sure all that writing was fun, but something was always missing. There was no audience laughing. If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Every new writer should make a web series. Even if no one watches it. Even if no one likes it. Even if it sucks so bad that your only viewer is your mom and she says, “good job, honey.” Why? For me, because it makes me a better writer. Because it teaches me about filmmaking. Because there’s nothing like the thrill of seeing my words on paper come to life. Or the pain of my words’ death. It happens. A lot. So don’t let the fear of fucking up stop you from fucking up… and learning something great in the process.

You’re not gonna believe this, but when you make a low budget web episode, your script becomes three different stories. What you wrote, what you shot and what you edit. It’s just shocking that they are not the same things. So pucker up and kiss your vision goodbye. Now put away the tissues and get over it because, although the finished episode won’t quite match your vision, the good news is that in a collaboration, talented actors and a good director can make that vision even better. Everything else is a lesson learned.

The first step is writing a script to produce. All of my TV pilot scripts are written in 1/2 hour format or one hour format, but a low budget web series is just for the web, which means shorter episodes that cost less to make. Before I knew better, I shot 1/2 hour “TV” scripts. Then I split the video into four parts after I already shot it.

I learned the hard way that my half hour scripts with eight characters, an A Story, a B story, and maybe even a C story, don’t split well, it makes the pace slow and hard to follow. Try either converting one of your half hour scripts into something shorter or write new, shorter scripts just for your web series.

I’m a DIY kind of girl who learns things the hard way so here’s my…

Hard Way Lesson #1: Keep your first web episode down to a 5 minute script because it’s your first web episode. You’re going to make mistakes and be better the next time. Save your money and make those mistakes on a one day shoot instead of a 2 or 3 day shoot. Don’t believe me? Check out Season 1 of The Vamps Next Door. I wish I had re-written that half hour script down to 5 minutes.

On the bright side, here’s an example of a 7 page, 7 minute, single spaced script for a web episode I wrote and produced called Vampire Virgin. I took two of my best characters and wrote them just an A story that was 7 minutes long with a beginning, middle and end so that it could stand on its own.

It took me and a small crew 8 hours to shoot it and the total cost for this episode was $1500. It would have cost less, but I absolutely had to rent the bloody, dead body props, and as you can see, they were totally worth it. Here’s the episode:

Or you can watch it HERE

Stay tuned for the next installment about how I make my budgets (and how I blow them) and how I finance my projects.

Laura Conway is the writer and producer of The Vamps Next Door web series, directed by Phil Ramuno. Subscribe to the Vamps’ YouTube channel to get notifications about new episodes.

Networking With Web Series Buyers – @stareable

Our favorite web series site, Stareable, scores again with this very informative column by Alex LeMay. Presented as a homage to the ever-present showbiz reality known as “No mater what your job title, you’re a salesperson!” >sigh<

by Alex LeMay

A lot of you ask me how you get in the room with buyers, so I’ve created a sort of checklist for you to follow. These are things I do every day and it has become a matter-of-course whenever I want to to get my work in front of a busy studio exec or acquisition & development person (the person in a studio who looks for and buys content)

So why reach out to these people? Yes, you want them to screen and buy your work, but it can’t just be that. People in Hollywood (short for the world of commercial media) who only form transactional relationships quickly get named ‘mooch” and before you know it, the phone goes silent and your inbox will only have spam emails for Russian nutritional supplements. Be sure you are bringing value to them and their studio. In many cases, it’s about developing relationships that make you better as a person by surrounding yourself with people who are great at what they do. These kinds of two-way relationships usually culminate in doing business together, but the best and most profitable relationships I have are about exchanging ideas. Money is a byproduct.

A couple things to note before you start your outreach. You are attempting to contact SUPER busy people who have email inboxes that are full of other people asking them for things. In addition, reaching out and immediately asking them to do something for you, especially asking them to look at your work, in the first email is a big no-no. Unless it is coupled with an offer to do something for them with no expectation of them reciprocating.

So, here we go. This is how I have met the head of Spotify, the Executive Producer on THE OFFICE, a bunch of execs at YouTube Red and Maker and so on. This requires that you do research and send out a ton of emails. Remember, it’s a numbers game.

  1. Everyone’s email is on the internet somewhere:: You’ll need to dig, but they’re out there, there is also a digital tool that will create every version of that person’s email in the most commonly used email address conventions, but you’re on your own there. I prefer the old fashion way. Also- look to your contacts. Can anyone you know make an intro?
  2. Know what distinguishes you from other creators: Successful people don’t have time to meet everyone so they tend to interact with interesting people. Know what you’re good at, know what you have to offer. What obstacles have you overcome that would be interesting to that person?
  3. Look to see if they have a blog or have written articles: Have they commented on blogs? This will let you know what they are interested in. Also, one of my favorite hacks to find out how they think is to check if they have a metafilter1 or newsvine account. These are social bookmarking sites that are popular with media people. They allow the user to bookmark news stories or links they find interesting (a gentler Reddit). This is a powerful tool to get inside their head. Mentioning these things in your intro email is a huge way to get in with them.
  4. Start a blog and ask to interview them: Now, don’t just start a blog to meet people. Try to add value to the world with what you write, but, this is such a non-threatening way to meet busy buyers. Do a Skype call, an email interview, or see if you can meet for coffee.
  5. Follow-up if you haven’t heard from them: These are busy people (did I mention that?), so don’t expect them to get back to you right away. Give it a couple weeks and then shoot them another email.

Here are a couple email scripts that should get you going….

Read it all at Stareable

Alex LeMay’s latest project, DARK JOEY. DARK JOEY is a collaboration between LeMay and writer Jim Uhls, who wrote the major motion picture, FIGHT CLUB, as well as his writing partner Ric Krause. This article was first published on Stareable’s Creator Community Blog, which any reasonable web series devotee would be visiting daily!

Another Web Series is Heading For TV

The biggest news we’ve heard from CBS in quite awhile (yes, even bigger than that Star Trek thing they’re streaming in terms of what it means to new writers) is that I Mom So Hard, a web series presided over by Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedly has been picked up as a multi camera comedy series on real CBS TV. The big Eye itself.

The web series is about a couple of moms – Hensley and Smedly – learning the hard way about what being a mother entails. Here’s a sample:

We’re excited as all hell to see any web series go from YouTube to what used to be called the Boob Tube until “boob” became a politically charged word. The only negative here is that – yeah, you guessed it – some actual CBS TV type people will be involved. Talking about you, Michelle Nader and Rob Thomas. Don’t screw this up!

TVWriter™ sends Big Congrats to the Moms!

Web places to learn more about this show include:



And of course:


NOTE FROM LB: I honestly believe that you can do this to. Web series are a great way to turn pro. Which is why TVWriter™’s PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest has a special. low entry fee for web series pilots this year. Check it out!

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:

Web Series: Ruth’s Alternative Caring

Not a real web series but a mighty fine facsimile thereof, Ruth’s Alternative Caring is the show within a show – specifically a series of 10 commercials for various strains of the green – on Munchman’s favorite TV series of all time, Disjointed.

Somehow, yesterday, when he reviewed the series, which has the distinction of being the absolutely worst reviewed show of the summer, and maybe of TVWriter™’s lifetime, the munchmeister forgot to mention that the stoned out commercials have been ported to YouTube for whatever nefarious reasons a major producer like Chuck Lorre, co-creator of the TV series with, might have.


Or not.

But remember, if you don’t enjoy Ruth’s Alternative Caring the day will come, amigos and amigas, when you’re going to have to answer to munchadildo…and all this TVWriter™ minion can say is, “Watch your step.”

Web Series: ‘The Show About The Show’

This video is from BRIC TV— the first 24/7 television channel created by, for, and about Brooklyn. It is the borough’s source for local news, Brooklyn culture, civic affairs, music, arts, sports, and technology. BRIC TV features programming produced and curated by BRIC, an arts and media nonprofit located in Downtown Brooklyn, NYC

BK Live: Straight Up: #BHeard: B-Side: Check out more from BRIC: Connect with us:

We’re going to go with LB here:

“I love Caveh Zehadi. I love this show he does and how meta it gets. If you sons of bitches guys don’t feature it on the site you’re all fired!

So here’s the most beloved web series of the moment here at TVWriter™. And, truth to tell, even if The Show About The Show wasn’t our Beloved Leader’s fave, we’d love it too. This thing is real.

Oh look, another episode. Wow!

And HERE is where you can watch them all. Which is our way of saying you really should. In fact, if you don’t, we – well, this particular TVWriter™ minion for sure – will totally stop respecting or even liking you.

So there ya go.