Sublets

Moving out. Moving in. Never moving forward.

Sublets: Three Rooms, Two Roommates, One Big Problem.

The World is a Terrible Place, Please Watch Our Web Series

by Sean Murphy

This is an appeal to silliness. 

I've always liked making people laugh. From a narcissistic stand point, I can't ignore a lot of that comes from my need for attention. The great existential itch that is scratched by the positive feedback of laughter. It is my nicotine. (By that logic, I assume Chuckles are my nicotine gum, and a Curt Smile and a Nod is my vaping.)

But there is more to it than that. It's how I reach out. It's how I connect. I believe that's true for most of us. Becoming friends with someone, especially in a post-recess era, is difficult and hard to define. Are we friends, or just friendly co-workers? Are we drinking buddies now, or just two independent alcoholics enabling one another? Are we lovers about to spend an incredibly intimate night together, or did you bring me back to your apartment to murder me and hang my body in your walk in freezer? It's hard to say. But. When you laugh at a joke with someone, there is a little magic that happens. It happens a lot, so maybe you don't notice it quite as much anymore. But next time you laugh at a joke with someone, especially someone you are just getting to know, try to listen for it. The magic is this: you feel closer to that person. Instantly. It's as if there is loose rope around you both, and each laugh gives it a quick pull tighter. You can feel it, I promise. 

Why does this happen? To laugh is to be vulnerable. It's to be open. You can't genuinely laugh while hiding your true self. It's impossible. You are 100% genuinely you when you laugh. That's why when your heart is broken, or you're grieving, it's not just hard to laugh -- it's downright scary. Because it opens you right up. It's why laughter leads to crying. Why crying leads to laughter. They open you up.

It becomes harder and harder to open up as we get older. And that's why making friends can be such a struggle. When you're a little kid, things are a bit more direct. You want to eat sand, you eat sand. You want to cry really loudly because you thought you were going to Chili's and you wanted that thick ass chocolate milk-shake with the sprinkles on it, but now you're just going to have salmon at home instead -- cry away. Want to play tag? Play tag. Dig in the ground for no reason? Dig to China, my wayward son. It takes roughly an hour to get a good read on a kid, and whether your personality matches up. With adults, this is much harder. 

Dating is proof of this. Mainly it's harder because we've learned how to lie. We learn to lie because we are sitting in the playground eating sand when a girl with nice hair, cute smile, and rich parents with a pool in their backyard, walks up to you. She says, "Eating sand is gross. You are gross for eating sand." This lights up heretofore dormant chemical processes in your heart and brain, and you feel shame. Next time a new girl walks up to you, someone with a cool scooter, cute freckles, and a romantically extensive knowledge of the secret areas in Super Mario World, and says -- "Hey, are you the boy that likes sand?" You say: "No." And your life as a liar for social gains has begun. 

    -- QUICK Q&A --

“Q: Did you eat a lot of sand as a kid?
A: Yes
Q: Have you already forgotten this piece was supposed to be an advertisement for your web series, Sublets?
A: No.
Q: OK. I only ask because you’ve written five paragraphs and you have not mentioned it once. 
A: I know. We’re getting there. I think.”

-- END OF Q&A --

So we lie more as we grow older. We build up walls, and then we go outside looking for connection, only to be surprised that we can't find anyone. We say things like, "I think I'm actually getting to know him". We say that like it's not a strange thing to say. "I'm getting to know who she really is.", "Sure he seems nice, but I know what he's like deep down.".  None of these seem strange, because we take it for granted that the people we meet are not who they say they are. We know the people that we meet are not implicitly who they say they are. When we first meet them, they are a projection of themselves. They are a construct built from blueprints designed by years of judgement and criticism. The person you met is not the real them, and you both know it. 

But then something silly happens. And then you laugh. And then you're you. 

"But Sean!", you cry, "Surely there are more intimate things. You're talking of laughter like it's the closest two people can be. What about a kiss, or sex, or trauma, or being in marching band together?"

Yes. You're right. If you have sex with someone, you're probably closer to them than the person you made a joke with earlier that day. And if you were both in the color guard together, yes, you are like siblings and would be expected to avenge the other's death, if it came down to it. But here is the thing about laughter. You can do it with everyone. It's not reserved for any special few. 

You laugh with people you're not attracted to. With people that frustrate you. With people that hurt you. With people you have never met, and will never see again. You sit in a theater, all strangers, all silent, laughing together. That is important. It is so goddamn important. If we were to stop telling jokes and put an end to all silliness, we would be locking one of the few doors that still links us to the world outside our walls. It'd be harder to be human with someone else. 

And that's why I tell jokes. It's because I want to be with you. I want you to see who I am, I want to know who you are. I want to be honest with you. And while sometimes that means very serious conversations, complete with shouting or tears, sometimes it's the opposite. We do a serious detriment to our psyche if we view our honest true self, ones exposed nature, as only our wounds and damages. Your true self is also you at play. It is you with a silly voice, or stupid costume. You trying to make others laugh, is just as open and beautiful and honest as any emotional or physical scar you can share. Never forget that part of being honest. It'll make the world seem tighter, as we pull that rope closer around us all. 

Now. Eleven or so paragraphs in. For the few of you that remain. The pitch. I wrote something with some friends of mine. I'm very fortunate to have worked on this project for the past two years, and I want to share it with you. I want to make you laugh. If you can, watch it with someone. Laugh with them. The world will be a little better when you're done. 

Thank you, and much love to you all. 

Sean.

Acting=Nothing

Being a theatre actor results in nothing.

Now, that's not to say there is no worth, no value, in choosing this fraught path. I mean, quite simply, being a stage actor results in no thing. If you're going to get right down to it, the reward for years of hard work, years of checking off certain boxes--pricey conservatory training, unctuous agent, brutal auditions, effortlessly perfect-looking headshots--, years of seeing plays and reading plays and doing plays, is a fleeting one.


In school, if you complete your geometry homework and put enough time into studying, you will get back a piece of paper with an A on it. At your marketing job, hard work is directly related to tangible gain--if not a new home on the Cape, at least your name etched prettily under a new title like Director of something or Senior something or--best of all--President. The more you go to Crossfit, the less-sausagey you will look in those new LuluLemon yoga pants. 


Not in this field, friends. The fact of the matter is that, in this field, decades of work and uncomfortable audition shoes leave you with only a stack of misshapen programs, a couple (hopefully not too destructive) reviews from local papers, and a handful of haphazardly scrawled, congratulatory notes--but no product, no physical proof that you've done anything of worth. 


Even if you're so lucky as to walk away with a shaky tape of your ephemeral triumph (inevitably shot by your grandmother or boyfriend from the mezzanine on a camcorder, tracking you eagerly across the stage whether or not you're the key player in the scene), there is an unarguable loss in the transference. Upon first view, that precious VHS or DVD or Google Drive link reveals itself to be no more than an artifact, a vague, flat limbeck of your (god-willing) lauded moment. 


So as I sit here at this computer, into which I feel I have been staring for millennia, as I sit here feeling that the to-do list unfurling before me is unconquerable, as I sit here rapt with anxiety and fear of insufficiency, I must take comfort in this small truth: 

There are tangible fruits of this labor. 



Producing a web series is far from easy. It takes a great deal of personal and creative sacrifice. It is frustrating, daunting, draining, expensive. It requires resolve and bullheadedness and more than a few sleepless nights. It might necessitate an anti-anxiety med or two.
BUT when all is said and exported, in one short week, I will be able to step back and say, 
 

"That. 
I did that. 
I willed that into being. 
I surrounded myself with the most meticulous, exceptional, skilled people and
we made this thing.


Here. 
Sit down, clear the next 90 minutes of your life, and
click that link. 
I did that."

Cool, right?

Tune in Saturday, July 23rd for the release of Sublets, Season 1.

@SubletsSeries

"Art is a lie..."

"Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.” Pablo Picasso

Dolan was lucky enough to stumble upon the work of Andre Mauro somewhat accidentally. During a night of post-dinner-shift, employee bonding Dolan found himself at the pad of his co-workers and friends, Tania and Andre. While working with Tania, he had always heard that her boyfriend Andre was an artist. Little did he know, the answer to one of the biggest questions of the upcoming series: "What kind of artist is Tess, and how are we going to create her art?" would become clear the instant he stepped inside their place. First he noticed several bright abstracts on the walls, then a stack of canvases leaning against one wall, then another stack hiding behind a closet door!  "We have a whole storage container of Andre's art," Tania explained as Dolan gaped.  There were faces, nudes, sketches, works-in-progress and an easel covered in layers upon layers of paint. The cache of art was colorful, spontaneous, and so immense he felt like Aladdin walking into the cave of wonders, surrounded by riches he could not have imagined. In a flash it hit him: the ability to fill the Sublets set with a real collection of works from a singular artist would provide an honesty and an identity for Tess--her work reflecting the real artistic struggle to find inspiration and challenge oneself on a regular basis. Additionally it would be an honor and a privilege to help share such awesome work with the world. Dolan knew that Andre could be the master behind Tess' brush and the next day Dolan frantically called Caitlin and explained that THEY HAD TO CONVINCE ANDRE TO BE THE ARTIST BEHIND SUBLETS.

Luckily for Sublets Andre is a diamond in the rough and a super nice guy who was thrilled to collaborate!  After a celebratory drink to future mutual success we got to work determining what we needed from Andre and he got to work. We had notions of what we wanted the end result to be for the big gala episode, and sent him a list of specific ideas and stipulations, however, when it came down to it, we realized that putting limitations on an artist, especially one as interpretive and creative as Andre, was serving no one. Ultimately we released him from the constraints of our "idea" and allowed him to provide us with the painting that he felt represented him as an artist. The result was amazing. This brilliant guy was responsible for virtually every piece of art you see in Will & Tess' apartment, not to mention the very paint-splattered, authentic easel and brushes. We have no doubt that Andre is going places. His singular and emotive style is unapologetic, vibrant and honest. We cannot wait to ogle his work in museums someday. But 'til then, check him out at www.andre-mauro.com!

My worst apartment situation was when I lived in Cincinnati, OH. It was a 3-story house, my first apartment, as I was about to start community college. Most of the people who lived there were recovering drug addicts and it was just a depressing part of town, but the rent was dirt cheap. No one ever stayed for too long and I’m pretty sure I only endured a year—it’s one of those places I never think about.

The one upside was this guy on the first floor though, who had his whole room decked out, and was heavily into Buddhism. I’m glad I got to meet him. He used to travel to impoverished places in the world, and help them through whatever means as a freelancer or something. He was awesome.

In my last NYC apartment, I also dealt with giant cockroaches. One landed on me while I was asleep... and I don’t think i’ll ever be okay with that.
— AM

Andre Mauro moved to New York about 5 years ago to pursue an acting career, working in restaurants to make ends meet. Originally born in New York City, he had always known that he would come back. He soon grew tired of struggling to become an actor and put it on hold. About 3 years ago his former co-worker, and future wife, Tania, who had seen some sketches he had done and really liked them, helped him find his place in art. Tania has been his main source of feedback and inspiration since, along with his mother who is an artist and painter herself who inspired Andre at an early age. 

Makin' Tracks

Caitlin met Paul while working on a film for the NYC 48 Hour Film Project last summer. Somehow, amidst the mad rush to the finish line that exhausting weekend, the conversation of Sublets came upMonths later, we reached out to Paul about lending a hand with music for the series, and it was clear from that first official meeting that Paul was our man. He is whip smart, as musically adept as they come, and the kindest, most enthusiastic guy on earth. Paul works at lightning speed, literally adjusting and perfecting original compositions mid-meeting; he straddles the oft-unmanageable fence of confidence and humility with ease; he comes with ideas (lots of them), opinions and encouragement every time we meet; he is prolific, hilarious & way cooler than we could ever hope to be. Did we forget to mention he is also a Muay Thai fighter?? We are so much better off having Paul on our team...and so much more likely to be thought of as hip... SCOPE PAUL'S GROUP Punskription HERE AND HERE!  They are, as Paul would say, "SO DOPE!!"

Paul Payabyab-Cruz is a musician native to Queens, New York. He learned music on the drums but has since changed mediums and now uses a QWERTY keyboard. He has replaced nine keyboards to date due to his inability to mentally separate the drums and his computer. In between that transition, Paul established himself as a conscious hip-hop MC. As 1/3 of the group Negative Death, he promotes topics that range from internal struggles to societal madness. 

Growing up Paul listened to a wide range of music, but Paul hasn't listened to the The War On Drugs because it reminds him too much of Ronald Reagan. Paul does, however, thoroughly enjoy the Killer Mike song "Reagan."

Outside of music Paul enjoys hanging out with his life-partner, the art of Muay Thai, taking digital photos, collecting notebooks, buying headphones, reading comics, eating (yes, eating) bubble tea, and a jazz band that plays every morning at the Grand Central 42nd street stop. He does not eat meat because cows remind him of inkblot tests, eggs are unnaturally smooth, and he cries anytime he sees an octopus being eaten alive.

Mr. Write

The day that Dolan, in a move of utter genius and inspiration, contacted Sean Murphy about helping us write our series was indeed a game changing day. Suddenly, with Sean onboard, everything felt more possible (and more ridiculously fun) than we could have imagined. This brilliant dude absorbed the world of Sublets instantaneously, diving into the wacky, wonderful idiosyncrasies of the characters with verve and motivation. Sean's voice quickly became the anchor for our project and is doubtlessly the reason that our Pilot garnered the kind of praise and interest that it did. Throughout the process, time and time again, we found that the strength of the script was what hooked the heavyweights, and Sean is to thank for that. To say this guy has a gift would be a gross trivialization. He works at the speed of lightning. He fabricates the rhythm of a scene with a percussionist's precision. He has seemingly endless reserves of gut-busting dialogue just waiting to be tapped into. (We would have marathon writing meetings where Sean generated enough jokes to carry a sitcom through a 22-episode season.) He is a virtuoso. Honestly, we're just grateful that we get to work with him now, before he gets hella famous and way too expensive:)

So I lived in a small nice place in Washington Heights when I first moved to the city. As is common, we would still get a bit of the old tenants mail, so I knew her name to be Erica. One night, Erica showed up with a fella, and the two of them were pleasantly wasted, and she started banging on our door. Our conversation through the peephole went like this:
’Let us in!’
’Who is this?’
’It’s Erica. I live here.’
’Um, no. No I live here. Which is why I’m inside the apartment and you are not.’
This continued on for a indecent amount of time until the drunk fella finally chimed in with:
’Erica. Maybe...maybe you don’t live here.’
And with that. They left. She showed up 3 more times after that.
— SM

Sean Murphy is New York based Actor/Writer, originally from Dallas, TX. His play, The Starterwon the FringeFavorite award at the 2015 New York Fringe Festival. Sean is a graduate of Otterbein University, where he received his B.F.A. in Acting. Alongside Sublets, Sean is workshopping The Philmore, to be premiered early next year. He could not be more excited to be working on this hilarious project. www.sean-murphy.org

Make it Werq!

To say that Sarah Maiorino works quickly would be a massive understatement. She is one of the most efficient, decisive and self-motivated people on earth. When we hired Sarah to costume Sublets, a huge burden was lifted, for she immediately sprung into action, single-handedly creating looks and personally dressing each character in our wacky world. We realized very quickly that landing someone who self-governs and organizes the way she does, was, in the words of our producer, Sam, a "big win." This costume maven is smart, speedy, self-sufficient and somehow always still has time for a good laugh. But even more impressive--a brief read-thru of the scripts was all it took for her to seamlessly jump onto our creative wavelength. Characters we had been dreaming about for a year were analyzed, understood, and clothed by Sarah in a matter of a few days. Costuming this series was no easy task--at one point, during our shoot for Episode 2, Sarah and Kathy (our Wardrobe Supervisor) orchestrated about 80 costume changes in a 3 hour period at the end of our longest day of shooting--but Sarah handled every curveball with grace and a snappy witticism. 

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Sarah Maiorino began designing for theatre, finding her way into film and television via a stint touring the world with the Blue Man Group. She designed costumes for It Felt Like Love (Sundance 2013), about which Variety said "Spot-on costume and accessory design by Sarah Maiorino telegraphs reams of information about the characters while feeling completely natural." Other credits include The Saints Tour (NYC River to River Festival 2012) ; The Confines (LA Film Festival 2015) ; Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior (Sundance 2014) ; My First Kiss and the People Involved; Black Mountain Songs (BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival); A Woman a Part ; ABC Live! with Kelly & Michael’s Annual Halloween Specials 2013- 2015; and commercial work for clients including Samsung, Comcast, Western Union, Hilton and Tiffany & Co. She is currently shooting the feature film Easy Living starring Caroline Dhavernas.

From the Cutting Room...

Cory has been with us from the very beginning. He carefully and brilliantly spliced together our initial pilot for the show from reams of scattered footage. Although we were new to the process and had given him very little to work with, somehow he managed to cut and paste his way to a delightful and seamless pilot. Watching this man work is an absolute joy. Fingers flying across the keyboard ocean of shortcuts, dragging and dropping takes faster than we can even articulate what we envision, syncing our wild gesticulations to match from one shot to the next, his mastery of editing is a sight to behold. And beyond his vast wealth of knowledge and expertise, Cory is endlessly patient. He allows us to be curious filmmakers, questioning each moment, pondering alternatives, going down one road for hours and then abruptly deciding it was better the way it was. Cory has managed to make post-production feel as collaborative and thrilling as being on set.

My freshman year at Keene State, I’m in a double with another guy, named Cory. Even spelled the same way, and most spell it with the E. Right away he and I are on different planes. He comes from a very quiet, reserved family in Vermont. Two of the first things he tells me is that he never had a TV until he was a teenager and his sister likes to connect knives (ok!). But we’re both film production majors and we at least have that in common.

He developed (or always had, not sure) this habit of not turning his alarm off went it would sound in the morning. He would simply roll over and try to ignore it. WTF! Seriously, he would put his pillow over his head and try to pretend that it’s not going off. And there I am, on the bottom bunk, just staring up like, dude, shut it off. Now this didn’t happen every day, but it did happen a number of times. Most of the time I was getting up around the same time anyway, I’m an only child, this is my first roommate in my life ever, so I’m trying to be cool and not start a conflict. But the last time it happened is when it caught me in a bad way one morning. It went off and as soon as he rolled over I just shouted up, “Dude TURN THAT FUCKING THING OFF NOW!”. A grumble, it went off, and it never happened again.

Then my buddies and I took that story, and wrote it into our short film Losers that we made our senior year as our ode to life and times at college. The moment and memory live forever, for better or worse!
— CS

Cory is an editor, as well as producer, writer and director, residing in New York City. Originally from New Hampshire and a graduate of Keene State College, Cory has worked on a range of different projects, including features, shorts, web series and any random skit a buddy of his wants to shoot. Just out of college he directed a feature film, Mother's Day and most recently can be seen starring(!) in Jef Needs Ice Cream, a short created with some of his closest friends and collaborators (and fellow KSC grads).

Can You Hear Me Now?

Gene is a dream. He is patient, smart and so very kind. This hard-working dude was a one-man department, 100% in charge of the sound quality of our series. Amidst the insanity of shooting he would calmly tape and re-tape our mic-cords, apologize for ripping off Dolan's modest chest hair (despite Dol's insistence the red mark was a 'badge of honor'), hide behind doors, stand on chairs, practically levitate above a scene to get his boom out of the shot. On episode 2, in particular, you will witness the brilliance and determination required from this man to mic the sublet Kevin. Kevin, played by the delightful Dustin Clodfelter, wears very little at times but our perseverant Eugene always found a way to capture whatever came out of his mouth regardless of costume (or lack thereof).  Gene was always focused and task oriented on set so it was great fun to whisper sweet nothings into our mics, only audible to Gene, and catch him grinning across the room. Talk about an inside joke! 

My main man Mike is my hero today, but he lived like a wild animal when we were roommates. I caught him using the toilet as a mop bucket. When his brother lived with us, I’d quite often find a perfect, hershey kiss droplet of poo on the bathroom floor. While drawing a bath, he got distracted and flooded the half the apartment.
— EK

Eugene Kim says:

I love breakfast burritos. 

I'm from the Bay Area. 

I wish for courtesy police on the subway. 

I record and edit sound.

All hail our ART DIRECTOR!

We had some LONG days on the Sublets shoot, but our days were nothing in comparison to Marianne's. She was on set before we got there in the morning and after we left at night. If she got more than three hours of sleep a night, I'll eat my hat. She was responsible for maintaining design consistency from episode to episode, which is made much more difficult when you are jumping back and forth. The big discovery here is that although in life it seems like a clean apartment is the most difficult upkeep, in film a messy apartment is a far more difficult task. From sublet to sublet, the mess would vary slightly and Marianne would keep track of every pair of chopsticks, every empty beer can, every strategically strewn item of clothing. This gal worked like a maniac. She was always on her feet and always had a smile on her face.  

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Marianne Abbott is a Guatemalan filmmaker, writer and photographer. Marianne is a recent graduate of Brown University where she studied in the Department of Modern Culture and Media, graduating with honors, a Weston Award for excellence in filmmaking and a Kenneth Baker Memorial Prize for an outstanding thesis project. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. 

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! (...a month ago)

A little over a month ago, Dolan and I were in the trenches. We were sleeping very little, trying to juggle approx. 70,000 balls, putting out myriad fires, cramming words into our heads, consuming tons of caffeine, calling in ALL of our favors, and praying we would make our days. It is truly hard to believe in hindsight that we were able to accomplish what we set out to accomplish in the time frame that we had decided we would accomplish said accomplishments. There were moments of sheer panic, moments of elation, and many, many moments of compromise.

Over the past few weeks, I've been asked by friends and family how filming went? And how did I feel about everything? And WHEN will we be able to see it??! I haltingly reply, "Great!" and, "It went well!" and, "That's a good question!" The process of post-production is long and arduous. From editing, to mixing, to color-correction, to scoring, this is a multi-step endeavor that takes a great deal of meticulousness and patience. But rest assured that it is very much underway, and you will be the first to know when we are ready for the big release!

When I attempt to describe filming, I find myself unable to adequately articulate what the experience was like. My memories of those 9 days are shrouded in a dream-like haze (possibly because I was incredibly sleep-deprived), where people and characters and victories and crises blur together into a psychedelic wash of color. Never in my life (excluding perhaps my summer at Williamstown) has so much been required of me with such urgency and import in the name of art. For those of you who know me, it is no great revelation that I am incredibly indecisive, but during the shoot, where every hour of work over the past 2 years, every dollar painstakingly earned, every professional devoting their energy and expertise culminated to these 9 precious days, I was making decisions with such assurance and determination I could have been confused with Jed Bartlett.

Somehow the universe managed to send the right combination of people and personalities our way. Our tigress of a director, Tricia Brouk, taught me what it means to fervently fight for what you believe while graciously welcoming the opinions of others. Our cool-as-a-cucumber DP, Patrick Ginnetty, who, despite the crazy demands being placed on him, did his work with absolute tranquility and composure. Our tireless Wardrobe and Art Department who stayed after the rest of us went home and arrived before the rest of us came in every single day. Our on-set Associate Producer and our UPM who ran the tightest ship imaginable and somehow made an impractical shoot feasible. 

In a mere two weeks, I feel like I digested a year's worth of film school curriculum (ala Kobayashi) and aged 10 years. I was challenged to assert and redefine myself. I was made to kill my darlings. I was told, "There's no way we're going to be able to film all this," and yet somehow we did. And now I'm hooked. There's no going back for me. I have dined at the table of autonomy, and nothing else will ever taste as good. 

I truly cannot wait to show you all the delightfully delicious fruits of our labor. #YURM #otterbein

BIG NEWS!

Alert the media! This just in from our esteemed friends and now...CO-PRODUCERS:

"Badmouth Films is excited to announce that it will be teaming up with Caitlin Morris and Dolan Bloom to produce a brand new webseries called Sublets.  Badmouth is a new NY-based company that develops, produces and sells independent feature films, documentaries, as well as network and reality television shows.  Badmouth Films is owned and managed by CEO, Patrick Gibbons, CFO, Jason Stant, and COO, Samuel Froeschle.  Gibbons, Stant & Froeschle collectively have over 45 years of professional experience in the film and television industry and have worked closely with such industry leaders as HBO, Sony, Lionsgate, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Showtime. Badmouth Films has established an impressive track record working on several successful projects including: The Sopranos, White Collar, Spider Man II, Supertroopers, Stoker, Our Idiot Brother, The Woodsman, Silent House, Jack Goes Boating, The Squid and the Whale, Daredevil, Bonnie and Clyde, The Americans, 86th Annual Academy Awards, The Sound of Music Live, and Girls.

 

Badmouth Films will be co-producing the Sublets webseries shoot in May 2015, and are looking forward to having a successful premiere late-summer 2015. Badmouth is looking forward to collaborating with the series producers/creators/stars Caitlin and Dolan, and hope to relieve some of the stress that is inherent with producing and starring in your own show. Both teams are excited to begin work on Sublets, and hope to bring their audience a new, funny and innovative way to look at subletters in New York City."

Oh, "excited" is an UNDERSTATEMENT!! These guys are rockstars and we are thrilled beyond words to have them on our team.  And please still donate to our Kickstarter, these guys will really raise Sublets to another level but we need to fund the process still! 

 Let the good times roll!  

 

Caitlin & Dolan 

Feeling all the feelings

The last week has been an intense one.  Truly, I have been feeling all the feelings. I have run the gamut from fear to bliss, from trepidation to excitement.  I have gone from moments of complete confidence to silently talking myself down from the cliff as I sit on a crowded subway. Wearing too many layers. Drinking hot coffee. Sweating. 

And, as the our pilot premiere/Kickstarter Launch party loomed closer and closer and it was finally time to press play in front of an audience and reveal all we have been working on, my pulse was racing.  I thought silently "Here we go..." as my finger moved the mouse over that teeny-tiny triangle button.  I do not usually get nervous, but in that moment I felt vulnerable.  Negative thoughts popped into my head.  What if people don't laugh?  What if people are unimpressed?  What if my acting is ACTUALLY TERRIBLE?  ...What if I am in over my head?  

...What if no one wants to donate to our Kickstarter after seeing this?

In hindsight, I'll admit all of these were silly fears; unproductive and unhelpful. But it is easy to let your mind get carried away.  If you listen to fear and give it command, it will bring you to your knees.

But by silencing my fear I learned confidence.  And it became even clearer to me that people are not born with confidence.  No one intrinsically  has it.  Confidence, especially in yourself, grows from a few things: conquering fear, pushing the envelope, and stepping outside your comfort zone. It's a powerful and important lesson because once you learn it, it makes fear a powerful tool rather than a hindrance. If I feel my pulse quicken, and my inner monologue says, "Here we go..." I know from experience that I am doing the right thing; that I am on the correct path.  

I felt my pulse on Sunday night.  I am indeed, on the right path.

For those of you who could not attend the party just know it was a joyous and happy night.  Over 100 people turned out and watched the pilot of Sublets.  The climax of my anxiety gave way to cheers and whoops of people excited to support our endeavor...and as I stood in the back of the theatre with my arm around my girlfriend and listened to the laughter as the jokes DID land, as my acting WAS  okay, as people WERE impressed, and looked to Caitlin and knew we were NOT in over our heads, I knew I had found a feeling so wonderful that there are very few times in my life that could compare.

As I write this five days later we have passed 25% funded -a huge benchmark and a huge accomplishment! It is overwhelming in itself that in less than 100 hours we have come so much closer to solidifying my dream.  The thought that if I can do this three more times in the next 25 days my dream WILL happen gives me giddy excitement.  It will no longer be in question.  I have a lot of work ahead of me and I'm trying not to let the excitement of a great start leave me sitting pretty, waiting.  There are literally hundreds of people to ask for support, not one of which I can take for granted! It takes a large group of people to raise this kind of money and I am feeling lucky in that I have a network of people to reach out to. 

My feelings have changed in the last week; the generosity of others has astounded me.  I had not felt the gravitas of experiencing people give selflessly to support me in such a tangible way.  People are coming out of the woodwork who I would have never thought to even approach for a donation and sending notes of hope and enthusiasm for what we are trying to accomplish!  After all of these events, benchmarks, conversations, moments, and challenges in the last week--after the ups and downs, the fears and the thrills-- the feeling that resounds loudest within me is thankfulness.  

So I guess that's what I want to say. Thank you. 

Ghost Tiger!

If you have watched our trailer, then you have experienced the brilliance that is Ghost Tiger! (Their catchy tune "Science Camp" provides the underscoring.) Finding this musical gem was a totally serendipitous, New York City moment: Dolan met one of the band members, Kevin Evans, at his day job and they struck up a conversation about their respective pursuits. Dolan exchanged info with Kevin and decided to listen to their tunes to see if they would be right for Sublets. Lo and behold...the perfect song. Here's some backstory on this amazing group:

Hailing from Santa Barbara, Ca., Ghost Tiger was formed in 2011 out of songstress Alixandra Macmillan-Fiedel’s quest to expand her sound. The Santa Barbara Independent named the group the Best New Area Band in 2011 and 2012. After releasing their 7” Birdfeeder in 2013, the band kept busy honing their live set sharing the stage with acts such as White Buffalo, Gardens & Villa, SISU, Pickwick, and Radiation City, to name a few. 

Some Friends Feel Like Family, released in January of 2015, marks the band's first EP, which centers around Macmillan-Fiedel’s heartfelt songwriting and guitarist Chris Norlinger’s lush guitar soundscapes. The two have been racking up long hours in the studio working on new material for their debut full 
length album.


"It’s the sort of music that alternates between moving you and getting you moving within the first 10 seconds. Accessible & repetitive bass and drum mixes with top-brained treble that comes at you quick and doesn’t let go. Add to it crystal clear vocals and instantly identifiable lyrics and Ghost Tiger will have you humming along by the second refrain." 
-Andy Strong, I Heart SF Bands

I asked Alixandra what it is that she seeks to create and she responded, “I want to make the kind of music that comes from an honest place and that excites me. I feel as though I’m constantly learning and growing as a writer, and at the heart of it all I hope to make music that moves and touches people." AMEN, sista! These guys are top notch and deserve a listen outside the realm of Sublets. Check out their website:  www.ghost-tiger.com and give their EP a listen!

-Caitlin

It's all coming together

What a journey it has been!  Our trailer for the pilot is up as of last night, and the share-fest begins NOW!  Please give our trailer a share, on twitter, facebook, your blog, through an email to a friend, or in case of emergency write "www.watchsublets.com" on the nearest persons hand! (In sharpie, preferably.)  

That being said, with all the work that went into this episode it would be easy to take a moment, breathe, and relax.  Instead I find myself in the starting blocks, cued up for the marathon that begins essentially in this very moment.  Next up comes planning a Pilot Premier party/Kickstarter launch party.  Raising the money to film our first season, and filming it all before I move out of the apartment seen in the pilot come June!  IT'S A MARATHON, PEOPLE. But it's going to be a fun one! Let me remind you as I remind myself:

  • Building a website was not my goal.
  • A trailer was not my goal.
  • Even a pilot episode was not my goal. 

Putting together the first season of Sublets remains my goal. 

That being said, just because we have not achieved our long goal does not mean I refuse to acknowledge our accomplishments.  Building a website is an accomplishment. A trailer is an accomplishment. A pilot is a HUGE accomplishment.  With each I get closer and closer to completing what I set out to do.  And I find myself overflowing with thanks to so many people. I have only been able to get this far because of the work of others along the way. I have to recognize all the hard work DONATED by everyone involved with Sublets.  -I'm a poor broke actor, people, and had no monetary means to pay anyone to make this happen. And yet, it did. So to everyone involved, THANK YOU SO MUCH.  I'm so excited to keep this ball rolling, cause this is the tip of the iceberg.  

The course is set: time to run the race. 

 

I. Am. No. Better.

Somehow, the other day, a conversation with a brilliant friend transformed into a debate about artistic integrity. We were bantering about what things excited us in today's theatre scene, what things gravely upset us and how it was our job to promote the good and rectify the bad. In no time, Yours Truly was harping on the predictability of storytelling these days; the dreadfully formulaic way that art seems to be generated. Yet as I launched into this tirade, I found myself hit with another thought (or fear, if you will): That my own pursuits are perpetrators of this very crime.

Every Saturday morning I spent watching the hubristic, conniving coyote failing to complete the simple task of taking down the quietly clever roadrunner, every book I read that carefully built to a great battle involving the death of a character I had grown to love, every glimmering musical that ended Act I with a belter screaming a high note with a delicious chorus casking a net of harmony behind her, all of these moments have informed my own brand of storytelling in major, yet insidious ways. These influences have been working on me over time and have undoubtedly shaped me with a white-female-American-child-of-the-80's mold. 

And so there I am, poised over my coffee, ready to tear into every millennial making their mark, and suddenly struck silent by my thunderous fear that I. Am. No. Better. 

After approximately three days of self-flagellation and dismay, I asked my vicious self-doubt voice to please, "Shut the hell up for a moment." I stepped back and pulled out my wide-angle lens and allowed myself to consider the alternative. Perhaps, I considered, this story that Dolan and I so badly wish to tell is inherently UN-predictable and UN-clichéd because it is OUR story. It is the product of a 7+year long friendship, complete with tomes of mistakes and triumphs, constructed and reflected on through our own undeniably unique perspective. It is a story that will ring incredibly true to our artistic-minded cohorts living in this crazy city and one that will most likely cause our career&family-minded friends from Florida and Michigan, respectively, to squint their eyes and tilt their heads in inquisitive disbelief. This story is raw and ludicrous and heartfelt and giddy and it is OUR story. And, you know, I cannot WAIT to tell it. Millennials on coffee dates with friends, have at me.

Excitement and Anticipation Abounding in Astoria, 

C

...And off we go!

Hello! 

Welcome to the weekly blog for Sublets the web series!

First of all, thank you for checking out the website (which is still being polished) and thank you for clicking around!  I want to extend the offer to send Caitlin and I a lil' note via the "CONTACT" tab if something is working or not working or confusing or brilliant or puzzling or whateveritisyoufeel. Since we started down the road of producing our own webseries there have been many firsts, but the biggest lesson so far is that this whole thing is a PROCESS. A long one. But a fun one. So please bear with us as ideas continue to become reality. 

Speaking of reality, the reality is we are having so much fun putting Sublets together!  From conceiving the idea, to a first draft, to rewrites, to shoot planning, to running a  REAL shoot, to now overseeing post-production, this has been the most eyeopening and incredibly fulfilling experience. I am living the dream rather than just dreaming it. I am so eager to share with you all the hard work that Caitlin, myself, and everyone in our cast and on our crew have put into the set-up for a complete first season.  There is a smile on my face every time I work on Sublets and can't wait to keep this ball rolling.

So much is continuing to happen and this blog is going to be where Caitlin and I highlight to anyone who will listen what we have done, what we are planning on doing, and what we need help with.  So please check in every week for updates and "The Latest" developments with Sublets.

So what's next? Well let me begin by telling you what we have done.

In a nutshell, we have a pilot. It has been written.  It has been filmed. It is near the end of post-production.  And, it is great! It is already better than I could have ever imagined 'two-actors-who-have-never-produced-a-thing-in-their-lives' could put together with no budget and no director, relying solely on the generosity and talents of their friends!  We have an outline for a ten episode first season written. And, we have more enthusiasm than ever before for a project so close to being given breath. 

What's next?

Well, honestly, a lot.  This week Caitlin and I are in talks with a composer to have original scoring for the pilot and first season of the show, and are working with a graphics designer out of Portland, OR to help with our branding and logo.  We have to put all that together into a final-cut of the pilot and then cut a teaser to be released on this website shortly. Additionally, I have been working like mad for the last week-plus on our website and all the social media we have attached to it..banner pics still need to be updated, tweets/posts need to be scheduled, and our next blog entry still has to be conceived! 

Basically, we have hours of work still to do before we show you what so many hours have been put into already. But! We. Are. Doing it.  It's a PROCESS. And, the process my friends, is something worth coming along for. Can't wait to share it with you.

- Dolan

Did I mention I am also learning how to blog in this very moment?  No?!? Well, I am. (Literally the last time I did this was my live journal in high school and that was a disaster, don't go looking, it's all private now.)

 

thank you for being here. thank you for the support. thank you for sharing.