reelectionCongrats to Re-Election: A Web Series for meeting their $25,000 Goal!

Mid-level campaign staffer Jamie must figure out how to undo an election day defeat in order to escape reliving the day over and over.

UPDATE: I had technical issues and could not broadcast today. I will post their answers soon.

How did they do it? How can you prep a Kickstarter campaign for success? Hear live today at 11am PT.

We’ll also have special guests Diani & Devine, who are currently releasing 1-2 videos a day during their Kickstarter.

Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse

Is it harder for two comedians to survive an apocalypse or Hollywood? Diani & Devine spent five months making their initial video (below) & release 1 or 3 new ones every day. You also may just see a familiar face in #Apocatips #14 .





 for more!

Indie Arts Events

Don’t miss a segment

Lots of Arts Musings

Theatre Trailers: what do you think?

To research Saturday’s workshop, I asked for videos created to promote a live performance. Thanks for all your submissions!

Matthew Hill shooting Tony Duran for "Walking the Tightrope" at 24th ST Theatre.
Matthew Hill filming for “Walking the Tightrope”

Please take a look at these and respond in the comments:

1. How would you describe the show in one sentence?

2. Do you want to see this show after watching the video (assuming you’re in their city)?

Thanks so much. It will help contribute to our conversation on Saturday.

Feel free to link to your videos in the comments as well or via twitter. -CMJ

The Vagrancy Theatre Co. presents Down in the Face of God official trailer.

From Director Holly Derr: This was actually made by the playwright and goes with the show, not the theater, but it’s brilliant. It’s a faux-documentary that exists within the world of the play:

Beto O’Byrne sent from Twitter: The Movement Theatre Company Promo Video for Look Upon Their Lowliness:

From Nancy Dobbs Owen We found that the trailer for War Bride worked really well. We created it as a stand alone short film in a way….:

From Adela Kuehn Admittedly I’m biased. I know these guys and have wanted to see this show for years. Two very different trailers (for different stagings) of the same show.


Beowulf Trailer from Banana Bag & Bodice on Vimeo.

Workshop: Promote your Play w/ Video

Should plays make a trailer or teaser like the movies? 

How does a live experience translate to a short video? 

How can videos translate to butts in seats?

Promote your Play with Video

Saturday, April 20th (10am-1pm)

 UPDATE 7:11pm : This workshop is postponed until a later date. Please email smb@combinedartform.com for more info.

Upcoming Workshops

Talk through your own ideas for video promotion, and how to prepare to talk to your team. 

Theatre Asylum 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

Register for workshop: $40 individual, $60 to bring a team member

Basic tips for a Kickstarter video from Diani & Devine below

I asked our special guest Victor Solis more: 

CMJ: What are some key guidelines for creating a trailer for a  live show?
VS: First, discard any preconceived notions you have about trailers and don’t study any movie or series trailers.  Think in the medium of live performance because your ultimate goal is to attract people to see your live show.  In your trailer, show the viewer the most powerful elements of your stage: live performance, human emotion, and the magic of a world created in a contained space.  Give the viewer an incredible taste of what they can expect from your show and leave ’em wanting more.  Nothing is so strong as the temptation of mystique.
CMJ:  That’s a great goal, now how should we start the creative process for the trailer?
VS: The fundamental approach to conceiving an engaging trailer employs the same key considerations you would use in designing any promotional piece of content such as a poster, postcard, mailer, or social media post.  Start by identifying the strongest emotions and human themes evoked by your show.  Suppose those are nostalgia and wonder.  We want the trailer to ultimately evoke those feelings and identify them with specific characters or performers.  If your show has a narrative line, show us a sliver of the key emotional beats in the narrative.  Your trailer is just a few nibbles to whet the appetite.  Think like an audience member: what would you want to see?  Performers’ faces full of emotion; movement in space; light, color, set dressing; a taste of the sound design.

CMJ:  How about the mechanics of actually shooting and editing the trailer?

VS: From a technical standpoint, you’ll need a seasoned editor who clearly understands your show and will craft the trailer to meet your goals.

Ask filmmakers you know for references to creative editors and commit that person to your trailer before you start shooting.  Your second key collaborator will be a thoughtful cinematographer who will capture as many useful clips as possible from your rehearsals. This small, tight-knit team of yours is necessary to create an effective trailer in an efficient span of time.
Could you do this yourself?  Sure, but do you realistically have the time to take on a new project concurrently with your live show?  Be pragmatic and enlist a couple of eager people who want the experience and will bring their comparative advantages to your project.  You can cultivate two great new collaborators with unique skill sets who may even promote your trailer to their circles.
CMJ: What are items people will need for a quality video project that they might not anticipate if they don’t work in film?

VS: If you’re recruiting a couple of good creative film craftspeople like your editor and cinematographer, they will ideally answer your technical questions about the video process.  If they’re skilled, then you can focus on the creative decisions and let them deal with the technical filmmaking decisions.  Anticipate enough time to talk with your team to carefully plan your shooting day (ideally just one) and post-production.  Aim to shoot when you have your show’s tech running so your footage looks as similar as possible to the actual show.  Make time for clear communication, ask plenty of questions, and always plan in advance.


Victor is a writer-producer at Hachitan Entertainment, Inc. in Southern California.  He co-created the 10-episode award-winning series “Generic Girl” and is currently developing feature films and original online series.  An experienced educator, he jointly produced the 22-episode course “How to Plan Your Series Production” on CreatorUp.com.  Watch his recent work at:



MAY 1 – Twitter: how to build audiences!


MAY 8 – Pitching Your Show (reprise due to popularity in March)


MAY 11 – Marketing Strategy in the Thick of Production


2013 Web Series Watch Update

After hibernating up in Oregon for a week at a beautiful beach, I made this short video. Hope you’ll watch and subscribe to Web Series Watch!

Shakespeare Puppets & Geek Crash Course [Funding Fridays]

FRI 11/30 – 11am-12pm PT

Funding Friday



This song and music video aims to introduce kids to Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” through the world of live-action puppetry.




Michael from Geek Crash Course Kickstarter

A weekly educational webseries covering topics in geek culture needs funding for a second year of content.


See the full schedule

Subscribe to YouTube


Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

Web Series Watch Ep3: Elections & American History


WED 12pm –  w/ Cindy Marie Jenkins & Patty J. Robinson

A new bi-monthly series: the Web Series

Today we focus on Election & American History themes!

Ground Game, Body Politic, Drunk History

WATCH the 1st episode – 2nd episode (Halloween themed)

Follow along at #webserieswatch or tweet to @cindymariej & @pattyrobinson


See the full schedule

Subscribe to YouTube

Behind the scenes on Facebook.com/theCMJstories

Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

Halloween Lit & Pic

Want some scary times tonight (but avoid politics)? My choices for having an entertaining and scary Halloween!


See the full schedule

Subscribe to YouTube

Behind the scenes on Facebook.com/theCMJstories

Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

Web Series Watch Ep2 : Vampires, Zombies & Werewolves!


WED 12pm –  w/ Cindy Marie Jenkins & Patty J. Robinson

A new monthly series to bring you the best in that wild west of entertainment: the Web Series!

Today we’re Halloween themed: Vampire Mob, The Hunted, Vampirism Sucks, Vampire Zombie Werewolf & Zurvived!

WATCH the 1st episode

2nd episode:


See the full schedule

Subscribe to YouTube

Behind the scenes on Facebook.com/theCMJstories

Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

Web Series Watch: Ep1


WED 10am –  w/ Cindy Marie Jenkins & Patty J. Robinson

A new monthly series to bring you the best in that wild west of entertainment: the Web Series!

Here’s who we suggest!

BAMF Club (& Comediva in general)

Nerdist Celebrity Bowling – Neil deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye

Geek & Sundry – The Flog, Tabletop, Written by a Kid

The Stan Lee World of Heroes – Bonnie’s DIY

minute physics

Jedi Camp

Fresh Hell

The Unwritten Rules

My Gimpy Life


Give Me Grace

EPISODE 2:  WED 10/24


See the full schedule

Subscribe to YouTube

Behind the scenes on Facebook.com/theCMJstories

Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

Bechdel Test Talks

These began last June with 2 separate discoveries:

1. the Bechdel Test

2. my lack of enthusiasm for female characters during the 40+ shows I saw at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Here’s a good explanation of the Bechdel Test:

Ever since, I got together with Etta Devine & Caroline Sharp to host Bechdel Test Talks every month. We choose a topic on the topic and discuss.

Next: Wednesday, Oct. 3rd at 4pm PST

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Follow the CMJ stories on Facebook & Twitter

Watch the latest Bechdel Test Talk on Children’s Stories

Go Beyond the Blurb on Mondays

Arts Outreach is a huge part of The CMJ Stories. Every Monday I go Beyond the Blurb of an indie artist’s work, non profit or cause to cultivate more of their audience. Wednesday is Wild Card Day, and usually includes live streams with great speakers!

Here is a clip of the theme song, composed by Adam Emperor Southard.

The playlist of interviews conducted so far:

YouTube channel


Remember your 1st time?

24th Street Theatre hired me to handle their Outreach/Marketing for the 15th Anniversary Season, now in full swing.

There are many reasons why this work excites me, not the least of which is the fact that my job is to tell the stories coming out of this amazing theatre every single day.

One highlight, though, is the 1st time campaign. We want people to feel welcome bringing their kids to 24th ST for their first experience of theatre, and so our friends & staff are telling me about their 1st times.

Remember yours? Share it!

Subscribe for more !

ARTmageddon Outreach Tips

As Artists sign up for ARTMageddon LA, I email them Outreach Tips. Diana Wyenn and I thought for some, it might be easier to access through a short video tutorial.

We also show how you can help even if you don’t have an event. Participate as an audience member!