Jonathan Robbins (Clutch, Asset, Out With Dad)

(Jonathan Robbins) #1

Hi everyone!

I have been working in the digital format since the early 2000’s, then creating shorts for ifilm. My short placed as a finalist at the inaugural Triggerstreet Online Festival. My first digital series or “web series” was Clutch ( which was named a Webby Honoree, was nominated for Best Action/Sci Fi Series at the Streamys and won me the Indie Series Award for Best Director. In season 3 of Out With Dad (, I took over the co-lead role of Nathan aka Dad, and have been nominated for both IAWTV and ISA Awards for that. And I am the co-EP, director and editor of Asset ( which had funding from the IPF in Canada.
Finally, new this year, I am the Festival Coordinator for HollyWeb.

Ask me about anything to do with production, acting, distribution, or web festivals, or anything else you’d like to know!

We've got an AMA for that!
Shameless Self Promo Thread- February 2nd, 2018
(Bri Castellini) #2

Hey Jonathan! Awesome to have you! First question: How did you get into film/filmmaking?

(Rayne M) #3

I love Out With Dad! How did you get involved with that??

(Jonathan Robbins) #4

I actually started as an actor! It was one of those “the roles aren’t coming, so I’ll create my own” moments. And then I fell in love with the other side of the camera as well and stopped acting in my own projects.

(Bri Castellini) #5

@Ayelette @samlockie @JasonRyan @hermdelica @ghettonerdgirl @DarekKowal @Alex_LeMay @mintypineapple @HackettKate @hailstorm @kmd @avincie @OSTSG @movieguyjon @SnobbyRobot @filmwritr4 @Thomas_Tulak @JukeBlue @JimiJimi @jonathankyall @mkatiehunter @poolwebseries @whoisjonporter @hailstorm @SecretLivesPS

(Bri Castellini) #6

How did you get into web series specifically? Or was that just a natural extension of creating your own things?

(Jonathan Robbins) #7

Thanks Rayne! I love it too :smiley:
The short version of that answer is that Jason and I met as fellow web series creators while doing festivals. When it came up that Will Conlon was leaving the show, he said “it’s too bad you’re not an actor, because you’d be perfect”. And I said well actually…
I had an audition with Kate and the rest is history.

(Jaime Lancaster) #8

Thanks for being here, Jonathan! Do you have any advice for securing funding, like you did for Asset? I’m outside of Canada but I figure a lot of the same rules apply here in the USA!

(Rayne M) #9

Cool! Was it weird to take over for another actor after how long he was involved? What was that process like?

(Joseph Steven Heath) #10

What does your job as a Festival Coordinator entail?

(Jonathan Robbins) #11

That is a very big discussion, and not an easy one, I’ll be honest. I think the best options outside of crowdfunding right now, particularly in the USA (where I live now), is brand sponsorship. Which is a whole animal on its own, but I think if you approach small indie companies, you could at least get free stuff which can be like cash to a budget

(Meg Carroway) #12

How did you get involved with HollyWeb? Also: any advice can you give web series creators hoping for festival wins?

(Jonathan Robbins) #13

It was very strange. I had to make the role my own while capturing the essence of what people knew about the role already. The fans were tip toey at first but luckily they went with it

(Jaime Lancaster) #14

Ooo that’s interesting! Any tips on finding and securing those kinds of relationships? I’m a newbie producer :slight_smile:

(Bri Castellini) #15

You just moved to the states from Canada- what went into that decision? And how’s America so far? (sorry about… well, America)

(Jonathan Robbins) #16

That’s a great one! I can address the previous HollyWeb question at the same time.
I attended Hollyweb as a creator for several years. Three years ago I was asked to moderate Q&As and then this year, stepped into the role of F.C., which means I’ll be organizing Industry Day, the parties, the awards show and the general execution of the fest. I do not have anything to do with programming selections, however, I can say that the best way to make festival-worthy content is to tell a good story, effectively. Is that too dodgy an answer?

(Meg Carroway) #17

Why did you stop acting in your own projects?

(Jonathan Robbins) #18

You don’t have a no until you’ve asked someone. Newbies can sometimes make the best because you don’t know what you’re “not supposed to do”, so just be bold but polite :slight_smile:

(Meg Carroway) #19

Haha maybe a little bit dodgy. What about general trends you notice about submissions that tend to have better luck? Maybe on the craft side of things? (aside from sound- we all know about sound)

(Jonathan Robbins) #20

Too many hats. As indie creators, we wear so many already, why add a big one like directing yourself into it?