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

(Bri Castellini) #21

For me, personally, success is completing a project that I’m proud of. If I’m proud of my final project, I feel successful. Next level up is getting at least one person I have no connection to to see it and enjoy it and tell me so in a comment or private message on Tumblr. Next level after that is a film festival win. But at its core, completing a cool thing is the ultimate success.

(Bri Castellini) #22


  1. Anxiety and a color-coordinated organizational system. Also lots of phone/calendar alerts. Mostly anxiety.
  2. Depending on your team isn’t a weakness but your greatest strength as a filmmaker.
  3. Making cool stuff isn’t complicated if everyone involved is equally passionate about making cool stuff.
  4. Networking online and in person with people who make similar stuff to myself and finding ways to collaborate in increasingly complex ways. Harassing people on Twitter and asking for work also sometimes pans out. :smiley:
  5. I cannot properly put into words how dreamy Chris Cherry is.

(Kyla) #23

hey bri!!! couple questions for ya:

  1. how did you learn to direct/what tips and tricks did you use as a first time director?
  2. how’d you end up producing for stray?
  3. how do you handle acting in what you write? do you think it affects what you write more or how you act more?
  4. how are you so cool?
  5. did you do film school/what schooling did you do?
  6. who is this chris cherry dude everyone talks about???

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #24


I have many questions! Let’s start with

1.) how do you keep from comparing yourself to others?

2.) how do you stay motivated when you’re tired?

3.) how do you prioritize tasks?

Much love!

(Pablo Andreu) #25

I envy your purity.

(Kallum Weyman) #26

Great answer. I have a few more questions but I will just put them here rather than pacing them.

  1. Speaking of starting with Brains, where did you get the kit in able to film it from, was it something you had brought or did you borrow it from friends or elsewhere? And what kind of kit did you use?
  2. As you were a director, actor, writer and producer on Brains was there anything you found that you didn’t realize you had an interest in during the process and was there anything you learned that you would rather get someone else to do?
  3. Finally Fallout 4 survival mode? ( I saw your tweet and was amused)
    Actual Question 3. Do you have some dream projects that you are working towards or do you let projects come and go.
    If you want to answer any of them or none of them that would be great. Thanks for taking you time to manage this mess and answer our questions.

(Katie Adele Nazim Hunter) #27

Is your job at Stareable your full time job, or do you have a “day job”? Bunch of freelance stuff? How do you pay your bills lol?

(Bri Castellini) #28

You being on the forum is all I’ve wanted all year, other than for @frecklysoprano1 to drink her coffee BEFORE brushing her teeth.

  1. I am a magnet for adorable men. They flock to me like I’m the indie film pied piper.
  2. I can do some pretty dang awesome latte art! Remind me to tweet you some examples because I can’t do it right now and still answer questions. It’s all about where you hold the frothing wand in the milk- milk consistency is EVERYTHING. As for appreciating it, you must pick a single sip origin point and stick to it so you don’t ruin it right away. Also, you should Instagram it before doing anything else.
  3. I want to be known for making thoughtful, weird, funny content. And to be known for not letting my head get too big after my inevitable jump to fame. I want to be known as someone who embraces and contributes to the conversation rather than just talking and promoting my work and then leaving

(Bri Castellini) #29

We can’t both be each others’ heros and I called dibs one full minute before you did so YOU ARE MY HERO AND THAT’S THE END OF THIS CONVERSATION.

We should chat after this chat about me helping you with social media. :smiley:

(Pablo Andreu) #30

I’ve endured a single crowdfunding round, and I barely had enough to survive that. You’ve successfully completed several.I guess my question is, how many more do you have in you?

(Monica Quinn) #31

Good morning Bri!!!
West Coaster over here! I still agent had coffee! Ugh. :smile:
Can you talk about your experience in placing your shows on distribution platforms.
If one doesn’t have any contacts to these platforms what are some steps they can take to get their content seen?
Thank you

(Katie Adele Nazim Hunter) #32

Do you think your MFA was “worth it?” Would you do it again if given the chance, or was a lot of what you learned stuff that you could pick up outside of a formal educational system?

(Chris Hadley) #33

Hey Bri! Sorry I’m late. Technology problems…

Anyway, what tips do you have on directing - especially for those who have little to no experience in that part of filmmaking?

I’ve always been a writer, but on 1-2 episodes of my show, I’ve had to apply what little amount of directing skill I have to elicit the type of performance I want to get out of my actor.

I ended up doing that by trying to tell him the exact way I wanted him to read the lines, but I’d like to do better if I find myself having to do this again. Any suggestions?

(Bri Castellini) #34


  1. I read a book called “Notes on Directing” that was super helpful and I also just watched my friend @Andrewdwilliams1989 direct ME on Brains. Watching Andrew really influenced the way I evaluated my own leadership strengths and what needed to be done on a film set for it to end successfully.
  2. I met @Pablo on Twitter during #WebSeriesChat, no joke. I consoled him about his painful edit progress, we met at the first Stareable NYC happy hour I ever went to (before I worked for Stareable!) and we realized we thought the other person was cool and I loved his show so we just kinda went from there!
  3. Badly? It helps I largely just write characters who are very similar to me. I think it affects how I act more than I write because basically nothing influences how I write but I am very malleable as an actor because I don’t like acting as much and am not as confident in it haha. I always make sure to have a different director if I’m acting AND writing because I know that giving myself too much control will make me a monster.
  4. Practice and good genes.
  5. I got an MFA in Writing and Producing for TV which didn’t really talk about producing much, and a BA in Creative Writing, so I have a lot of writing schooling but everything I learned about cameras and sound and editing came from YouTube vlogging for 10 years and being thrown into the deep end.
  6. My dear dear friend who is my Sam and Pat co-star ( and my former roommate. He also wrote/directed the series Relativity (linked in my original post in this thread- check it out!! It’s amazing!)

(Pablo Andreu) #35

Hindsight is 20-20, of course, but if I could do it over, I would create just the pilot of my series STRAY and then launch into a crowdfunding campaign. How do you feel about that approach?

(Andrew Williams) #36

Hi Bri!

Is Chris Cherry as awesome to work with in person as he seems? :wink:

Also, what media are you watching/following right now that you think is a good example of where storytelling is heading?

(Bri Castellini) #37
  1. I remind myself that usually, I don’t actually want to be doing what other people are doing, I want to be doing my own thing, so comparing myself is an exercise in futility.
  2. Anxiety and constant fear of failure that won’t let me sleep anyways (also- to do lists that break down big projects into actionable steps)
  3. By what I can do while doing something else and what can be done at any time during my day/week. Then I just make sure I have the tasks listed/handy for those circumstances I’ve matched said tasks with.

Much love right back!

(Bri Castellini) #38


(Chris Hadley) #39

Do you work on one project at a time, or do you “stack” multiple projects? If so, what tips do you have on managing those, while finding time to focus on them?

(Herman Wang) #40

Out of all the web series work you’ve done, what are you most proud of?