Digital Series, Mental Health, Crowdfunding and Going Viral


(Bri Castellini) #61

How have you guys dealt with the balance of acknowledging BINGE is triggering while also promoting it honestly and viscerally? Are there things you haven’t done/ won’t do?


(Yuri Baranovsky) #62

I am very luck in that I’m fully supported by HLG Studios, yes. That means insurance and so on. But I’m not going to lie to you – some years are TIGHT and rough. Right now, we’re having a good string of gigs, but, sometimes it gets real quiet and we’re like, are we ever going to work again?

It’s not easy, but we’re making it work.


(Yuri Baranovsky) #63

We’re in LA!

My wife lived in Northern Alberta and then in Calgary from 12-29-ish! Her parents are still there. I love Canada.


(Angela Gulner) #64

Yuri is killing it being a full time creative. I work a variety of day jobs that seem to rotate way more often than I would like them to… oh, the joys of the hustle!


(Amen J.) #65

So things move slow in LA too? Gah…:frowning:


(Anna Bateman) #66

So re: a good reel… when you don’t have a lot of resources at first, what do you suggest we all focus on to get the most bang for our buck? Camera? Writing? Obviously making a 100% amazing thing with no money and few resources is impossible, so what has been the biggest thing brands/ audiences have responded to when you’ve had to prioritize?


(Yuri Baranovsky) #67

Lots of questions, so sorry if I’m answering this wrong – but I think you’re asking how people found Binge, right?

I think, honestly, it was a mix of luck and crazy hard work on Angela’s part. She contacted a ton of press and we got lucky that many of them liked it and agreed to write about it the day it would launch (we set that up a few weeks beforehand). Also, it launched at a time (after Thanksgiving) when people with eating disorders apparently tend to try and search for comforting content. We meant to do that only in that we wanted to provide comfort for people as Angela knew how difficult of a time it would be, we didn’t really consider that it would bring in a large audience.

So, exposure from press + it being posted all over ED message boards + people searching for ED-related content + and this is the big one… people liking it so passionately that they commented and liked immediately = the YouTube algorithm got triggered and it started being featured all over the place, which lead to the massive audience influx.

Boy, do I hope we can repeat that with the season…


(Hailey Harper) #68

Whoops someone else already asked this! New question… directing! I’m a new director but I’m still shaky with the technical stuff like lighting and camera angles that are more ambitious than over/over. How do I make a stylistic splash without much knowledge in that area? I don’t want to just do basic scenes and I love working with actors but I think I’m coming at it from a theater perspective more than a film one


(Bri Castellini) #69

I’ll also add… what makes a good reel? Like, on a reel level- lots of fast clips edited to music, several short scenes from different projects, a mix?


(Ollie R) #70

Do you guys have any advice about getting through the boring parts of producing? Paperwork, monotonous outreach to locations and catering and press and whatnot? How do you manage that workload and still be creative?


(Angela Gulner) #71

We just have kind of agreed to go where the story needs to go, and not worry about the triggering part… which isn’t to say that certain things are off limits. I will never glorify an emaciated body – I think that is NEVER necessary. But we do show purging. I think because bulimia is so rarely talked about – and it’s so violent – we can get away with a bit more. Society glamorizes anorexia and thin bodies – but no one loves to watch someone vomit. The violence – the self half – is key to authentically telling that story. But we’re striving for a particular feeling – the feeling of falling, of chaos, of rock bottom…


(Yuri Baranovsky) #72

It sort of depends on what you think your prime skill is. For us, writing was often the thing people liked about us (and we could shoot the comedy and the script well enough to match) – so, our reel would often showcase snappy dialogue and funny moments.

If your skill is more visual, then it’s… make a few pretty things. They don’t have to be long. Shoot some spec commercial ideas.

Honestly, your best bet might be to find a few bigger YouTube infuencers who might be interested in creating some fun content and go out and make some with them. Brands go to them a lot but are sometimes scared of what those influencers can bring, content-wise. If you can be an influencer-whisperer and show that you can make great stuff with them in it, that might be one way to rise above the rest.

My feeling though is that you should focus on making something really good.Don’t worry about brands yet, just… do you have a show idea? A film idea? Make something that showcases what you bring that other people don’t and go from there.


(Bri Castellini) #73

What about when you’re tweeting about it/ adding it to forums/ choosing promo photos? Do you ever hold back on a promo wording or photo that you wouldn’t within the show itself?


(Bri Castellini) #74

Think this might have gotten lost in the shuffle and I’m sure people are curious :slight_smile:


(Yuri Baranovsky) #75

Get a line producer.

Seriously, that stuff gives me anxiety too. Find a partner who LOVES IT. That’s the thing, you can’t do everything yourself, all of us have areas we excel at and areas we’re terrible in. I’m REALLY bad at the paperwork side of things so I had to come to terms with that and find someone who can help me.


(Angela Gulner) #76

This is one of the hardest parts! Finding a good line producer is key. But you can’t always afford one – we didn’t have one for the pilot, so it was basically all of us dividing up tasks and trying not to fall apart. Ask for help, if you can. It’s a LOT to take on, and burn out is a very real thing. Take breaks. Take walks. Take shots. Just kidding. But dividing up the work and pacing yourself is important.


(Bri Castellini) #77

Another lost question signal boost :slight_smile:


(Yuri Baranovsky) #78

You can see our reel at www.hlgstudios.com – it’s tough to say what’s a good reel is. For me it’s something that clearly brands you as a company. What do you make? What’s your style? What’s your voice? And oh by the way, here are some bad ass things we made…


(Bri Castellini) #79

This was a more recent one but might have been missed as well.


(Meg Carroway) #80

Signal boosting myself!