Bri Castellini AMA- producing, writing, directing, having no money


(Bri Castellini) #1

Hey guys! You probably know who I am, but if you don’t, this is the bio I give when people need one:

Bri Castellini has an MFA in Writing and Producing for Television and a BA in Creative Writing, studying in New York and Oregon, respectively. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her partner and works as the Community Director for Stareable.com. She is the creator, writer, producer, and star (among other things) of the award-winning comedic zombie web series Brains, the creator, writer, producer, and star (among other things) of the web series Sam And Pat Are Depressed, the executive producer and assistant director (among other things) for the award-winning web series Relativity, and the producer and assistant director for the web series Stray.

I’ve also got an award-winning short film called Ace and Anxious, but that’s not as relevant to Stareable so shhhh.

Things I’m qualified to give advice on/ talk about:

  • Brains
  • Any of my projects: past, present, or future
  • Acting when you’re not really an actor
  • Producing, both up close and personal AND long-distance
  • Directing as a newb
  • Looooow low budget filmmaking
  • Dealing with on-set fighting and arguing
  • Building a production from nothing
  • To-do lists
  • Press releases/kits/strategy
  • Social media strategies
  • Asexual representation/ female representation in media
  • Crocheting
  • Latte art
  • Brains

POST AMA EDIT: This topic will remain open even if you weren’t able to make it to the event itself, so keep asking questions as long as you like and I’ll keep answering!


We've got an AMA for that!
(Ajay) #2

Hi Bri, long-time listener, first time poster.

Quick question - on a scale from “absolute joy” to “something I will breathlessly tell my grandbabies about,” how much of a treat is it to get to work with Ajay every day?


(Bri Castellini) #3

Welcome to the show, first time poster. I would have to say I land closer to “making up songs about his legendary status on my fantasy lyre”


(Amen J.) #4

What drives you to work on multiple web series? I believe you sometimes juggle more than one at a time, yes?


(sam lockie-waring) #5

what makes you think web series are worth investing time in?


(jimbo35) #6

Is there a common thread between all your projects? The subject matter seems to vary pretty widely


(Kallum Weyman) #7

Hello Bri I would usually thank the guest for taking the time to talk to us but since this is like your job or something I guess that’s a little redundant.
So a question as someone who is a fan of you’re work, after you were unable to get Brains Season 3 off the ground did you make a conscious effort to make smaller projects? If so why? Was it so you could build up to the point where a bigger project would be able to be more sustainable?


(Bri Castellini) #8

Hah I definitely do a lot of juggling. The honest answer is “anxiety” because when I’m not busy I feel lazy and when I feel lazy I feel guilty that I’m letting life pass me by and then I feel like a failure. The other answer is that I love being a part of making something and I want to do as much as possible, and if things get scheduled for the same time, so be it. I guess I’ll just sleep less!


(Sarah Hawkins) #9

Hiiiii Bri! What’s your favorite social media hack for filmmakers?


(Amen J.) #10

how much of what you learned in Producing for Television would you say currently applies to you currently being a working producer?


(Pablo Andreu) #11

How do you define success?


(Bri Castellini) #12

I think any kind of indie filmmaking project is worth investing time in if you have a story you want to tell. They’re ways for people without a voice in “traditional media” to have one and to share their perspective with the world and tell complicated stories about really niche topics and I think that’s the coolest damn thing in the world.


(Amen J.) #13

Hah, gotta love anxiety and FOMO…that’s what also drives me!


(Joseph Steven Heath) #14

I have a few questions.

  1. How do you manage to juggle so many things so effortlessly?
  2. What is one of the best things you learned making Brains?
  3. Same question but about Sam & Pat.
  4. How do you go about amassing a crew?
  5. How dreamy is Chris Cherry?

(Amanda Taylor) #15

HEY BRI! Happy Holidays, here’s my gift to you (I joined Stareable). 1. How do you manage to keep casting super crushable actors? 2. Talk to me about latte art. Do you do it? Appreciate it? More info needed. 3. What do you want to be known for? This question has been driving me as I, like yourself, do many/all parts of producing my own web-based content. I feel I have been slacking in areas I would like to develop, while trying to do it all. So that is my new battle cry: how do I want to be recognized, and for what TYPES of work.


(Bri Castellini) #16

I tend to write characters with wildly skewed priorities. In Brains, that was a character at the center of an extinction-level apocalyptic event who spent all her energy thinking about boys. I find that type of targeted, ambitious delusion to be fun and interesting to explore.


(Bri Castellini) #17

Haha thanks for the welcome, Kallum! Glad to be here today.

I definitely made a conscious effort to make smaller projects after Brains- really after Brains season 1, which was the first time I’d ever made a film project and realized “holy crap- this is really hard.” So with experience comes downscaling due to resource lack. Really I’m just trying to make as many things as possible in as many varied forms as possible, because at some point, something’s gotta stick, right? Also I have lots of things in my head I want to see in the real world so on a less career-focused level, it’s just fun to make more stuff.


(Bri Castellini) #18

Hiiiiiii! I would say forming sustainable habits that fit into your regular browsing/life schedule. Social media has always come easy to me because I’m always online, but for some it’s less aligned with their usual habits. So if you can pick one platform and make it part of your usual routine to check and post to, it’ll feel much less crushing of a responsibility and it might even start to be kind of fun!


(Bri Castellini) #19

I assume you’re referring to my MFA, and in all honestly, not much. My program was much more writing-focused than anything else, so all of my producing know-how comes from literally, personally producing stuff and figuring out where I go wrong/what’s working.


(Joseph Steven Heath) #20

How do I hire you to just do social media for me? Is that an option? WHAT IS YOUR FRIEND RATE? (Also, because I forgot to mention it before, you are awesome and my hero.)