Last Sunday Epic Fu was honored with a Streamy Award for Best Web Series Host. It was the first award of the night, and Zadi and I were obviously thrilled and rather surprised given the calibur of people who were nominated in the same category. Kevin Pollak, Michael Buckley, Alex Albrecht, and Kristyn Burtt are all people who either have well-established followings or are in the process of building them. So that was an honor. We did not expect to be nominated, so the win was truly unexpected and immensely appreciated.
Since that eventful night, the Streamy Awards themselves have been the subjectofmuchdiscussion. Suffice it to say there were technical problems and tonal problems and length problems and other problems that left much of the online video world confused and dismayed. This blog post isn't about that night. This is about last Thursday at an event called the Streamy Winners Celebration, a.k.a. Celebrate the Web, organized by Kim Evey and Jenni Powell, and sponsored by Blip.tv and Jinx. Celebrate the Web was designed to wash away some of the bad taste left in the mouths of attendees and viewers of the Streamys by getting a community of content creators together in an intimate atmosphere to enjoy the things that got us here, with no distractions of pageantry, awards-style comedy bits, or pretension.
A little belated on our blog post for it, but this was a very nice surprise! Epic Fu's Zadi Diaz has been nominated for Best Host at the 2010 Streamy Awards! That's two years in a row for the host category. Last year Epic Fu won the Streamy for Best Hosted Web Series, but we didn't win for Best Host.
Since we put out so few shows in 2009, we didn't actively campaign for a nomination for the Streamys. But there's a lot of momentum, at least in Los Angeles, around the Streamys this year, so it's nice to be a part of it again. For one thing, it's the first time there's a second year of any web video awards ceremony. You have to hand it to the guys who founded the Streamys and the IAWTV, the voting body that selects nominees and winners for the Streamys. It's definitely not easy to sustain a large awards event in this economic environment.
Congratulations to all the nominees, including tons of friends! See you on April 11th!
Once again we were lucky and privileged to shoot for two days at the Television Critic's Association winter tour for PBS in Pasadena. When it was all over, we delivered almost 30 interviews with Olympic gold medalists, world renown astrophysicists, Harvard professors, a Knight of the British Empire, and Academy-Award winners and nominees.
We chatted with Patrick Stewart, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jonathan Demme, Tavis Smiley, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Jamie Lee Curtis, among other amazing and interesting people. The videos have been posted across a number of PBS's YouTube channels, and the footage has been used on television for short-form content and promotion.
About a month ago we delivered our third 30-second television spot for J!NX, the awesome clothing company for geeks and gamers of all flavors. We wrote about the first two spots and how we came to work with J!NX in this blog post from back in August.
This spot stars The Frag Dolls, a group of pro gamers with nearly 1.5 million Twitter followers sponsored by Ubisoft. Ubisoft flew in nearly the entire group of Frag Dolls for our shoot, and they were a pleasure to work with. We had a great back and forth with J!NX to alter the style of this spot to something with more edge and energy. I like all three of the commercials, but this one feels particularly close to the mark for me. And, I might add, this was Zadi's tv commercial directing debut! She did a terrific job.
Hello out there in Internetvision land! I'm really happy to be writing this blog post, because I get to let the world know that we're launching a new season of Epic Fu on January 21, 2010!
To celebrate we're going to drink a lot, and you're invited. But before we drink, the great folks at Tubefilter will feature Zadi and me in an onstage discussion as part of their monthly Web Television Meetup to talk about the show and our experiences creating and iterating it over the years. Our deals with Next New Networks and Revision3, our almost-multi-year cable television deal, assembling a team, building a brand, dealing with the ups and downs of new media -- it's all up for grabs.
From the Tubefilter announcement:
For the January edition of the Hollywood Web Television Meetup, we are proud to present a very special evening with popular internet culture show EPIC FU as they launch the new EPIC FU network. Join us as we screen the premiere of one of the web’s most revered and award-winning series, followed by an intimate discussion with its creators, Zadi Diaz and Steve Woolf. The evening is sponsored by HP and Intel, who will be onhand to give away a free HP Envy laptop and a free HP DreamScreen for Meetup attendees. This is definitely a night not to be missed!
A Special Evening with EPIC FU
Thursday, January 21, 2010
7:30 pm – Panel / 8:45 pm – Mixer
Zadi and I met Ray Doustdar a few months ago when he got in touch with us to ask Zadi to be a part of the "Get Into It" brand campaign he was directing for J!NX, a clothing company that's been on our radar for many years. J!NX is one of the companies that has smartly used the web to build a loyal community, starting from a 10' x 10' room in an apartment to the expansive warehouse they currently occupy. They make extremely cool gear for men and women in case you were unaware! Check out Zadi's page on the J!NX site, alongside awesome people and friends of ours like Felicia Day, Alex Albrecht, and Veronica Belmont to name a just a few prominent J!NX supporters.
Years ago I had a VHS tape in my possession about the history of the New York Knicks (NBA basketball team for anyone unaware). I watched this tape dozens of times, as I was an absolute die-hard Knicks fan (until they abandoned Patrick Ewing and the owners ran the team into the ground, but that's a story for another time). On this tape was an interview with Bill Bradley, who played the position of small forward and was a core member of two championship Knicks teams in the early 1970's. Bradley was discussing the two championships in 1970 and 1973 and remarked about something that always stuck with me: what he was most proud about was being a member of a special team for a period.
Someone up there is smiling on us, because last Tuesday we woke up to discover that we were nominated for the Webby Awards on Online Film/Video for the third year in a row for EPIC FU. Not only that, we received two nominations, one for Best Reality/Variety Host, and one for Best Variety series.
In case you're not familiar with the Webby Awards, this is the 13th year of the event. The gala will be hosted by Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live for the second straight year. Here's a snippet from their website:
Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile web sites. Established in 1996, the 13th Annual Webby Awards received over 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
On March 28, 2009 at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles, new media changed. At the first annual Streamy Awards, over 1300 people came out looking their best and took part in an event that moved online video -- or at least a part of it -- into the realm of Hollywood-style entertainment.
There was a red carpet, lots of press coverage, and a ceremony that looked very much like something you might see for the Emmy Awards. There were celebrities, new content creators, and familiar faces from our travels that looked energized, surprised, and in some cases, not entirely sure what to make of the whole thing. In fact, it's taken me a couple of days just to process everything and get a perspective on the evening.
We came, we interviewed, we edited! During the three days of PBS's SXSW online video studio, we shot 31 interviews, featuring an all-star assortment of filmmakers, online video creators, and social media visionaries. They're all handily embedded above in the YouTube playlist player (click the control button to the right of the "play" button to bring up a menu). Our interview with Felicia Day has nearly 70,000 views alone!