Jonathan Robbins (Clutch, Asset, Out With Dad)


(Jaime Lancaster) #21

Is there a standard bartering script or system? Like, what should I offer in return, especially because we won’t have huge Twitter of FB followings before we make our show?


(Jonathan Robbins) #22

I’ve always loved Los Angeles, and I had an opportunity to move this year so I did. I’m an American citizen, so that part wasn’t hard.


(Meg Carroway) #23

So basically, you’d rather do the other stuff? What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your non-acting roles as an indie creator?


(Jonathan Robbins) #24

I would say that they are well composed visually. This work is going to be shown on a giant movie screen.
I think also, ones that do something very differently than has been seen before do well. Like a creative workaround to not having money. You could argue that Lizzie Bennet was like that - it worked within it’s financial limitations by limiting locations and using that for the style of the show.


(Bri Castellini) #25

On this topic, for creators just starting out, what advice would you give them to stay within their tiny budgets yet still make an impact with their projects? What actionable things can they be looking to do?


(Jonathan Robbins) #26

I think you just need to sell your vision.


(Blair Hunter) #27

Hi Jonathan! Any advice for making web series and indie film a sustainable career? Or at least MORE sustainable?


(Jaime Lancaster) #28

I shouldn’t offer anything in return? Maybe I’m overthinking it, but that seems crazy! :slight_smile:


(sam lockie-waring) #29

you mentioned distribution… help? just like in general, please help us with distribution.


(Jonathan Robbins) #30

Mistakes I’ve made is forcing something in because I liked the idea of it, but not recognizing that it didn’t quite work. Episode 2x01 of Clutch is a good example with the light bulb in the mouth. The CG wasn’t quite there enough, so I should have cut it and found another way to depict that.

So I’d say find what you DO have, and then be creative with how to use that.


(Chris Hadley) #31

Hey Jonathan! waves Great to see you here, and to have you join us for this chat!


(Amen J.) #32

Hi Jonathan! What do you think makes HollyWeb distinctive in its programming approach - your personal take on it?


(Jonathan Robbins) #35

The ever-changing medium. All the platforms I’ve done well on don’t exist anymore for various reasons (Koldcast, blip, JTS). I think you have to decide what your goal is - as much recognition as possible, or a calling card to a larger show. If the latter, you may want to consider only doing festival runs for a year - that has worked for some.
Other than that, I’ve learned it’s better to brand yourself than your show. That way when you are moving onto the new show, you don’t have to cart your audience, as I did once I was done Clutch.


(Hailey Harper) #36

Hi!! So I’m a new director (or… I will be, soon!). I’m comfortable with acting and the story but not so much with technical stuff like camera angles and lighting and whathaveyou. Any tips??


(Jonathan Robbins) #37

The judges watch the entire series. That’s a big one, for me.

Also, I think they recognize growth while doing that, and appreciate persistence and evident hard work.


(sam lockie-waring) #38

people do festival exclusive runs for web series? doesn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of it being a web series? didn’t realize that was a thing.

let’s say for arguments sake i want recognition. distribution tips for that? places i should/shouldn’t upload or reach out to?


(Jonathan Robbins) #39

It’s kind of an adage, but I’d say “surround yourself with people who know more than you do”. And do it early - start with a coffee with another producer and find out what kinds of things you need to consider.


(Jaime Lancaster) #40

What about other creative ways to stretch teensy budgets? Are there maybe hacks that you’ve discovered to make something small seem much bigger?


(Jonathan Robbins) #41

It’s not as common, but I’ve seen shows do that, so that when they eventually release they do so with all the laurels, just like a traditional movie can do at a film fest.


(Hailey Harper) #42

Thanks! More specific question… how do I make the classic conversation scene more interesting? Usually people do a wide and two over the shoulders, and that was kind of what I was planning, but it seems so blah. Is that true? Or is it just a necessary evil?