Meet the Mayfarers

Mayfarers Reloaded

This week we are rereleasing “Meet the Mayfarers” in a longer, sitcom length fashion.

I did this for a lot of reasons. The number one reason is that the Internet has changed considerably since I was first conceiving and shooting the show in 2007. The rule was “short form ruled.” I decided to do something told entirely in short form bite sized pieces. But in recent years, as people have grown accustomed to watching shows online, it seems as if some audiences actually prefer the longer content. With Apple TV, Google TV, and the Roku box – it seems like everyone wants a “lean back” online experience.  Also, I’ve heard complaints from some people who want to watch the entire run of the show – that they have to wade through dozens of pre-roll ads to actually watch the show.

So I thought – why create this barrier to entry? Why not serve up the show in a totally new way than it was before, and hopefully gain some viewers while we’re at it.

In looking at the old episodes I thought – “well, really, they weren’t designed as long form, but I could easily put them into sitcom length format. I mean, that’s what the show is, really.” I knew it has been so long, in Internet time, since we had our last new episode, that really people need to start from the beginning to latch onto the show.

So starting today and for the next few weeks, we’ll have the “Mayfarers Mega Show” released. They’ll be six episodes total, comprising of the longer story arcs of the show. It doesn’t include the stand alone episodes, the “Chronicles” about solo characters, nor does it include our very bizarre holiday episodes. These are simply the show episodes – redone in way that hopefully makes you want to watch more.

So, now, sit back…lean back, grab a bottle of your favorite beverage and see how it all started. Thanks for watching! And please stick around for the launch of our brand new season on Feb. 23rd!

Last updated on January 26th, 2011.
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A Mayfarers New Year

And….we’re back! After many sketches, some involving Baristas, animal mascots, and raw meat — the family is back with a real-honest-to-god New Episode.

It wasn’t supposed to take this long. As I mentioned before, the original goal was for the show to launch and new episodes would come every week for a full year. We almost made it. But filming new episodes, and just life in general got in the way. But we’re going to make up for it.

So – what does the New Year look like for the Mayfarers? We’ll have a special sneak peek episode of Season 3 – starting this week with “A Very Mayfarers New Year.”

January will consist of a few more sketches as well as a re-release of some of Season 1 & 2.

Season 3 will launch on Wednesday, February 2nd – On Groundhog Day. Sadly, This will not be a Groundhog Day episode. My apologies for that.

Once the show is relaunched we will have new episodes – every week for the rest of the year. (Perhaps taking the month of August off – if the Europeans can do it – so can the Mayfarers)

Thank you everyone for your patience and I’m looking forward to sharing these new episodes with you in the New Year!

We’re Back!

Today – after many months on hiatus, the Mayfarers are back!

But this isn’t the new season. For the next few months we’ll have sketches, behind the scenes, and general tomfoolery every week, for the rest of the year.

I’ve written many times before how making this show brought back my love of filming. How we all feel like kids in the sandbox making this.

As someone who had been use to the rigorous world of independent film making – creating a webseries was a revelation. When we started doing this we found ourselves finishing early. We not only “made the day” but we’d find that we had hours and hours of daylight still available. I was used to 20 hour film shooting marathons, so this was a welcome surprise.

So – knowing this – I started writing small sketches. Just little goofy pieces that have nothing to do with the show. And so, as we shot the show over the year – when we finished early, and had an extra hour or two, we’d all just do these little shorts. Fake commercials. Parodies. As long as it was fun, we tried it. There are no rhyme or reason to these. Nor do they tie into the plot of the show at all. They’re just for fun. Same actors, different material.

For me I find it special watching these, in particular – as I can see, on screen, me falling in love with filming once again.

So – with that in mind – take them for what they are. Goofy little behind the scenes vignettes of what we do to have fun – on a shoot where we’re already having the time of our lives.

Last updated on October 19th, 2010. Tags: , , , ,
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Where are the Mayfarers?

After a long time – much longer than anyone thought – the Mayfarers are coming back.

Starting this week, we will begin to release new material online. It won’t be new episodes of Season 3 – not just yet – but sketches, behind the scenes, and much more, every week – for the rest of the year.

But then the question: What took so long?

A lot of things.

The plan all along was to release a year’s worth of episodes. “One family. One year.” But along the way, we were all pretty excited about what was going on with the show online so we jumped back into filming last fall – expanding the show far, far beyond the original one year. Throughout fall and spring, we shot many more episodes, more than what’s even online now. My plan was to edit them this summer – and continue the release pattern, barely stopping for a break.

Then, we lost our star, and matriarch of the show – Candace Hopkins, as the summer began.

For me – I had to stop editing. Having her loss be so close to the freshly shot footage was difficult. There were hours and hours and hours of footage to go through. I just couldn’t edit it at the time.

So we all went off to other projects.

Now – months have passed, the show has been dormant. As fall started I slowly started to assemble the footage again. And I found the experience to be far from a sad one.

I found it joyful.

Joyful because there are hours and hours, episodes and episodes of discoveries. There’s still so much of Candace out there – so much for her to still be a part of the show. I found myself laughing during her scenes, and smiling at the good times we all had.

Every editor knows the feeling of knowing an actor even if they don’t see them over a long time. Months can pass, editing a film, but an editor sees the actor on a daily basis on the screen, so much so that they feel they are with them every day. The same holds true in this case. There have been moments when, while editing footage, I think of something I want to email Candace, and switch over to my email, to compose a message. Reality sets in, as it always does.

But it is a testament to how much Candace is still part of the show. How much of her is still left on the screen, to share with her friends, family, and audience at large.

I’ve found the past month or so of editing the new footage to be filled with warm memories. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Last updated on October 17th, 2010. Tags: , ,
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The Light of our Show

Candace Hopkins, who played Maggie in the show, has passed away. It seems so unreal, as we were just shooting episodes with her six weeks ago. She has been fighting her battle with cancer for years. I’ve been amazed at her strength and perseverance over her ordeal. But, even more amazing – her enthusiastic embracing of life. The days with her on the set echoed with her infectious laughter and upbeat spirit.

What many people didn’t know was that she has been going through chemo the past few years, and was in such pain. I kept saying to her – “Candace, you don’t have to come to the shoot, seriously! I can write around you.” But she wouldn’t have it. In fact, as the show progressed, she was in the show just as much as before she was sick. Most times, because of her upbeat attitude, it was easy to forget the hell she had been going through. Only brief moments, small signs and hints of pain would show themselves, after a particularly long take standing up for instance. It was at these times I tried to get her to sit down. She said, “I want to be here.” She was enjoying herself so.

Candace said the most amazing part of watching the show as they were released, was seeing her physical transformation as the show progressed. To see her weight loss, and then see her as she battled cancer. It’s easy to forgot how much time as passed. A running joke with all of the cast members over the years has been the duration of the shoot. (On and off, for two and a half years) I kept saying to everyone, “We’re almost done, we’re almost done! Keep at it!” I think Candace was glad that she was able to finish out shooting the series. I am proud to have had those moments working with her.

I am saddened today. I feel privileged to have worked with her these past few years on the show. And I am inspired by her strength.

She will be missed.

Last updated on June 2nd, 2010. Tags: , ,
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The Mayfarers will Return

img_1055It’s been a few weeks now since we wrapped up Season 2. Strange to have a Wednesday go by not releasing episodes. But not to worry, “Meet the Mayfarers” will return. Season 3 will be double sized, bigger than season 1 & 2 combined. My initial goal was to release the show every week for a full year, uninterrupted, but in thinking it over, I eventually decided to take a step back, spend time editing all of season 3, and then come back in the fall with another full batch of episodes.

That’s not to say the show, or our site will be taking a break. Starting next month, we’ll have sketches, shorts, and bloopers released on a regular basis. They won’t be episodes, but hopefully they’ll be able to have little bites of the Mayfarers Madness, to hold you over until the full course this fall.

I’ll be posting more details about the summer schedule as the weeks go back. Thanks so much for watching the show!

Last updated on May 26th, 2010. Tags: , , ,
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More Mayfarers Madness

We’re shooting new episodes of “Meet the Mayfarers” all weekend.

It’s great being back on set – with all the actors and crew. Everyone knows their characters, and is already “in the groove.” Also – we’re having a few new additional characters as well. So far its been a lot of fun.

The nature of our show’s release pattern is strange. We’ve been laughing about the fact that the episodes we’re shooting today won’t “air” for another year – and that the episode that’s up this week we shot a year and a half ago.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

I’ve been saying for a while now that this weekend is the “final Mayfarers” shoot – and, for the most part, it probably will be. Once you see how the show ends – you’ll see there’s a lot of possibilities for spin offs about individual characters – so, who knows what the future will bring.

But one thing is certain, this will be the last time the family will be back together, shooting our shows in a cottage by the sea…

If there is one certainty…

…it’s that keeping up a blog on a constant basis is tough!

I’ve been focusing a lot of time recently on Twitter. Its a little easier updating 140 characters instead of 1500.

However, I’ll try to be a little more diligent and upload here more often.

As an update on the show- things have been going well. We’re in the middle of Season 2. We’re editing Season 3 right now. We’ve got a lot of surprises in store for that season, including a mini-series set in LA. We’re also gearing up to shoot our last Mayfarers shoot next month.

Lots of exciting things going on.

More info to come!

Last updated on March 30th, 2010. Tags:
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Top 12 Tips for Making Films & Web Shows

1. Be honest and open: If actors have to take their clothes off – do it on the first day!

2. Just like in a restaurant, atmosphere trumps all:  If you’re not able to pay top dollar, then pay in set atmosphere – good food, good people, lots of fun. Its like hosting a party. If you make sure everyone is happy and having fun – good results will happen. (however, unlike a party, imbibing a great deal of alcohol does not help)

3. Don’t sweat it. You can’t control if someone likes your work, just if you enjoy it.  Everyone has an opinion. Form your own. One man’s “Best Picture” is another man’s “Pretentious Picture.” Likewise, one man’s “Quotable comedy” is an other’s “Snooze Fest.” Make the project you want to make. You can only please yourself.

4. Get rest. If you have to choose between an extra hour planning shots late at night or extra sleep – choose the sleep – the more sleep you can get the better you can make those decisions, even if they are at the last minute.

5. Focus on what matters. If people are paying attention to the color of the wall in the background, or that the background light doesn’t match, they’re not paying attention to the story or characters, and you’re screwed anyway.

6. Be in the Moment. If you’re thinking about Stanislavsky, Method, or Motivation while you’re acting, then you’re not “being” the character.  The same with writing – if you’re thinking of structure while writing dialogue it won’t feel real. Just get the characters to talk.  When you’re rehearsing, or outlining the story, then use all your learning, but when you’re actually doing it – go with your gut.

7. Embrace failure. The more tripping, stumbling, and outright fall off the cliff crashes you have, the more you’ll learn, and the better you’ll be.

8.Be open.  Editing the film is actually the final draft of your script. Be open to changing everything.

9. Be prolific. The more you write and film, the more times you have to fail, to learn – the more you don’t fall in love with anything, the easier it will be to ruthlessly look at and edit your work.

10. Be a kid. Remember the moment you wanted to be a filmmaker? An actor? A writer? The first time you picked up the camera? Got up on stage? Whatever it is, remember that moment, and always think of it. It’ll get you through the hard parts.

11. Don’t be an asshole. There is no such thing as competition with other filmmakers. Help everyone.  The only person you can be in competition with is yourself. As long as you win that competitive battle, you’ll always get better.

12. Be yourself. If you don’t know who that is – find out. Without knowing that, you’ll never be able to make anything.

Last updated on January 18th, 2010. Tags: , , , , , ,
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What is a Webshow Season?

So Season 2 of “Meet the Mayfarers” launches today.

Of course, this being on the web, there’s really no pressing need for “Seasons.” The only time it really matters is if say, a show is launched for a few episodes, then they stop for a long period of time, get new funding or ad sponsorships, and then come back.  But this being the web – there can be all sorts of different approaches.

I set out to show “a year in the life of the family” and I shot a year’s worth of content. So then really, why did break I it up? Shouldn’t Season 2 be “Year 2″ of the family – after they do, or don’t, get the money?

To be honest I’m just trying to test this out.

For my part, I know that I always feel I miss something if I jump into a show late into the game. Even if I know the characters and plot, when I see the number 16 or 20 it always makes me think I should start from episode 1. And then there’s never enough time to watch all the episodes, they keep piling up and soon you find yourself never watching that show. So some web shows I never get around to watching simply because they have episode numbers in the hundreds. I feel as if I will never catch up.

I don’t want this to happen to Mayfarers, so I decided to reboot – and start episode 1 of season 2. My thinking is that it would be easier for new people to jump on seeing “Episode 1″ in the title rather than “Episode 24.” But I could be wrong. This whole online releasing shows thing is overall an experiment.

The other thing I’m trying this season are smaller story arcs. So by the end of the season instead of being on episode 16 again, they will be smaller arcs – it will only go to episode 8 or so, with the rest being three or four part stories.  Again – this is all experimenting. What methods do you like?

In anycase, however you watch it, I hope you check out season 2 of “Meet the Mayfarers.”

And really, if you are totally crammed for time – you don’t need to watch season one. The plot’s simple really. If you haven’t seen the show, all you need to know is that the family is forced to be together for a year to get an inheritance – and my character, the son, had a one night stand with his dead grandfather’s fiancee, on the day he died – which she uses to blackmail him……..

hmmm………

On second thought…that does sound fairly wrong. Maybe you should just watch the Recap.

Last updated on January 13th, 2010. Tags: ,
Posted in blog, Mayfarers | 4 Comments

Mayfarers Trailer

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