James Brent Isaacs and Omar Najam- Making That Web Series


(James Brent Isaacs) #1

Hey guys, James Brent Isaacs and Omar Najam here. We are the creators of the new web series Fictional Fares, currently crowdfunding to exist! Omar and I have worked with Geek & Sundry, Machinima, Pemberley Digital, both in front of an behind the camera. Fire away your questions on writing, creating, acting, work ethic, work habits, anxiety, books, James knows a lot about martial arts, is that okay? Is this a place to ask questions about that? And also our show which we promise will be really good and funny. Check out the campaign and support it here: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/fictionalfares#story


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

Welcome, both of you! First question- when did you both get into film, and specifically, when did you get into web series?


(Sunny Larkson) #3

Omg I recognize your name from Emma Approved! How did you get involved with Pemberley at first??


(Meg Carroway) #4

Welcome! Do you have a link you can post to Fictional Fares? What’s it about?


(omar najam) #5

I was given a video camera in 6th grade to shoot a project for a reading our class was doing of Bridge to Terabithia and I turned a corner of our garden into a forest thanks to framing and instantly I fell in love.

Later, when I graduated college, my video camera at the time died on me so I had to shoot content with my iMac isight which threw me into the crazy wonderful world of vlogging! So I just sat in my kitchen in Santa Barbara making top ten lists for YouTube aaaaaand the rest is history.


(Bri Castellini) #6

@alwaysafilmgeek @ghettonerdgirl @OSTSG @barbaramcthomas @afbarbag @dj_tilney @ronVceo @movieguyjon @mintypineapple @SnobbyRobot @filmwritr4 @idgafwebseries @ZackMorrison18 @mkatiehunter @DarekKowal @Brad_Riddell @RDRICCI @Offbeat @whoisjonporter @jonathankyall @JonSosis @shrutesnladders @Ian_David_Diaz @mdec24 @RobbieRuviews @OddLantern @floorthirteen @solostinlost @w-e-spear @olga_markovic @cec263 @Halen_Williamson @spectatorspork @avincie @Marina_Tait


(Bri Castellini) #7

Ah I remember the days of recording vlogs with the macbook webcame… What web series have you worked on, to date, and how did you get involved with each?


(James Brent Isaacs) #8

Hi Bri!

My Dad used to take me to the movies every weekend when I was a kid. It was our thing. By the time I was a teenager most kids had pictures of athletes or their favorite bands on their walls but mine was covered in movie posters and all of my CD’s were movie soundtracks. Film has just always been a very present and integral part of my life. I’ll save my web series answer for Sunny :slight_smile:


(Blair Hunter) #9

Is this the first show you guys have created (rather than written on or acted in) or have you created a series before?


(Joseph Steven Heath) #10

Re: Anxiety. Any advice for socially anxious people and how they can do that incredibly awful and terrifying thing known as networking?


(Jaime Lancaster) #11

Welcome to Stareable, both of you!! How did you approach your crowdfunding campaign- what did you prepare beforehand and how did you portion out how you were going to run it?


(Jonathan Hardesty) #12

Thanks for joining us today and taking the time to share your experiences and insight!

I’m curious, how was it working for places like Geek & Sundry and Machinima, and what did you learn from working with companies like that? Anything we can apply to ourselves as content creators in terms of strategy, marketing, audience-building, even getting the attention of companies like that with content of ours that may be within their wheelhouse?


(Kernen Wing ) #13

Which of the Fictional Characters are you most excited to see and which are you most excited to work with?


(James Brent Isaacs) #14

Hey Sunny!

Man I miss Emma Approved. What a great time. I actually got involved with Pemberley during the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I had auditioned for Wickham, and they brought me back for every show until I nabbed Martin in Emma. It’s actually how I got into the whole web series, youtube world in general. Jenni Powell, our producer of Fictional Fares, was also producing/casting Lizzie, and we really got along during the audition process. She got me my job at Geek & Sundry too, which is where I met Omar!


(omar najam) #15

In terms of narrative content, the two biggest project I’ve been so lucky to work on have been:

THE RED SHIRT DIARIES run by the incredibly geeky Ashley V Robinson and Jason Inman. We became friends through random YouTubage and since we’re all huge Star Trek nerds, when they came up with an idea for a show about a red shirt, I was elated to jump into the writer’s room.

SOCIAL MEDIUM which is the insane brain baby of so many Buffy geeks, lead by Tara Jayn. I got brought in the writer’s room for that because Tara knew how much I loved Buffy and other paranormal quasi-comedies.

So all in all, I guess I’ve gotten involved in projects thanks to unabashed nerdiness? Haha


(Sunny Larkson) #16

I miss Emma toooo!!! How long of a production process was Emma?


(omar najam) #17

I think this is the first show I’ve been involved with from day one! If you don’t count any of the ongoing segments on 2 Broke Geeks back in the Geek&Sundry vlogs days, yeah I think this is my first time creating a show from zed! Woah, I hadn’t realized that. That’s exciting!!


(James Brent Isaacs) #18

Absolutely: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/fictionalfares#story

It’s about a rideshare driver (like Uber/Lyft), and all of his passengers are characters from classic literature, fairy tales, and theater. He listens to them tell their stories (some have just ended, others are right in the middle of it all), makes some observations, and tries to help if he can… which doesn’t always work out.


(Meg Carroway) #19

That’s so cool! Where does the director sit in the car?? How do you do takes?


(Jane) #20

Hi!! How has that changed things for you, being there from day one? What have you learned you can impart on us? :slight_smile: