I have to say that I love this show, MERRIme.com. It fits into my Sex and the City sensibility. While Carrie and Samantha have moved on to the big screen, Merri comes along and fills in that chick TV mold. Kaily Smith and David Weidoff have done an incredible job with this web series. It was filmed under their production company umbrella,Red Ladders Entertainment, "dedicated to developing and producing new works for Film, TV, Theatre, and the Web." As a viewer and a fan of Web TV, what stands out to me is their high production value. Kaily and David have openly discussed acquiring financing for MERRIme.com and they worked with a budget of under $50,000. It may sound like a huge budget, but Kaily reminded me that each episode cost around $2500. When you phrase it like that, it really demonstrates the quality of work that can be done on a smaller budget.
Overall, it is a well-produced series too. The writing is tight, they hired a publicist to get the word out to higher profile publications, they entered both iTVFest and NY Television Festival, and they called in some favors to a few name actors. I am not saying these are the right steps for every web series, but I am seeing benefits to the festival circuit after talking with Nick Carlton of Oz Girl, Jeremy Redleaf of Odd Jobs, and Kaily and David. I think the festivals are really putting web series producers on the map.
My favorite photo from the shoot: Makeup Artist, Melissa Anchondo, applying makeup to David Weidoff as a bus passes by on Ventura. Hollywood is so glamorous!
Some of the fun footage that wound up on the editing room floor includes Kaily and I singing a bit of musical theatre. Maybe it is better it wound up there? No way! We both attended the famed musical theatre summer camp, Stagedoor Manor. If you listen to the two of us talk, it truly was some of the best summers of our lives. It is hard to explain if you didn't attend, but talk to any of Stagedoor alumni....Jon Cryer, Zach Braff, Mandy Moore, Natalie Portman, Josh Charles, and they will tell you the same thing. We are all musical theatre geeks at heart.
This episode was shot at Vivian's Millenium Cafe in Studio City in their backyard patio. We had to battle the noise from a furniture construction shop on the other side. They did not want to stop working while we shot the episode, but I think we won in the end. It was also our first episode with e.l.f. Cosmetics as our official sponsors, so we appreciate them joining The Web Files fold. Finally, check out our 20th episode with MERRIme.com. Thanks for watching!