Why Elevator deserves a nomination in the 2010 Streamy Awards
Dear IAWTV member, fans, friends, haters, and Mom,
Every year I’m wowed by the new media community and the content we create. Innovation, storytelling, casting, cinematography, the strides we’ve taken are truly remarkable.
The 2nd annual Streamy Awards are just another example of new media’s continued advancement; the show is fantastically produced by newteevee and tubefilter, who give all of us web creators a goal to work towards.
The series and people honored in the Streamys are new media’s cream of the crop; and I’m telling you, friends, lovers, and thieves, that my web series Elevator completely deserves a nomination in the Best Comedy Web Series category.
To break it down for you, I’ll briefly highlight our achievements in concept (the web’s first video comic strip), the huge audience (over 58 million served) that loves our concept, and the incredible talent (TV, commercial, and film stars) that brings all of this to life.
I created Elevator in 2007 after my boss at HBO said, “Make something simple to produce.” Unlike some series that are basically just attempts to make television pilots, Elevator is made for the web.
Our episodes are locked-frame, one take, and rarely over a minute long. We’re the web’s first video comic strip, more Far Side than Calvin and Hobbes. All of our episodes live and die by the writing and the actors we throw inside a glorified box. We get it right, we make it funny, or we start over. The concept and shooting style allows us to mass-produce, often shooting twelve Elevator episodes in a single shoot day.
This simple concept has allowed us to produce and upload over TWO HUNDRED Elevator episodes. That’s quantity you can’t ignore, born from an innovative, original concept. This concept has resonated with a dedicated audience that has followed Elevator for over three years, and our numbers grow by leaps and bounds.
Web series face a daunting obstacle once they’re live on the net: most of them lose audience through the season, partly due to the fact that folks just don’t follow a serial through all of its episodes.
I have written broad character arcs and occasionally crafted some special mini-series, but Elevator thrives on its ability to bring in first time watchers while giving long-time fans great characters that they know, love, and follow on Twitter.
This formula has caused Elevator’s audience to actually grow every year, despite being forced from one channel to another and having to build our base back every time.
Indeed, 2009 was our strongest year yet. Our youtube channel passed 83,000 subscribers before the end of 2009. In November 2009 Mashable recognized Elevator as the #4 most viewed web series IN THE WORLD, higher than all of College Humor’s programming, Auto Tune the News, and The Guild.
Our total episode views by the end of 2009 were over 58,000,000.
An original concept and the views to back it up; driven by terrific fans who spread word of our little series that could. Of course, Elevator wouldn’t get anywhere without a little help from our friends.
Well-Known Guest Stars
These days it’s a boon to your series when you’re able to bring in great talent from either traditional or new media. Elevator is no exception, bringing in immensely talented performers from television, film, and the web that recognize our series’ quality. We’ve been lucky enough to work with:
Melora Hardin (Jan, “The Office”)
Jack Coleman (Noah Bennett, “Heroes”)
Comedian Daniel Tosh (Tosh.0 on comedy central, etc)
Jason Earles (Jackson, “Hannah Montana”)
Dave Hill (HBO, The King of Miami, The Dave Hill Explosion)
Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew Van De Kamp, “Desperate Housewives”)
Joey Manderino & David Young (Joeyanddavid.com, Hardly Working)
Laura Silverman (Dr. Katz, The Sarah Silverman Program)
Senator Mike Gravel (2008 Presidential candidate)
Comedian Dan Mintz (Human Giant, Saturday Night Live)
Jennie Finch (legendary Olympic gold medal winner)
Jessica Rose (Sorority Forever, Lonelygirl15, Greek)
Mike Polk (Man in the Box)
Ryan Higa (Nigahiga, all time most subscribed youtuber)
Jodie Rivera (Venetian Princess, youtube star)
Dave Days (youtube star)
Nadine Sykora (youtube star)
Shay Carl (youtube star)
It’s been crowded. In a good way.
In mid-2009 I sat down with Brett Register and Craig Frank and asked them to be part of our hard-working Elevator cast. Since then they’ve helped bring our game up, working inside a dedicated corps of actors who have given vibrant life to their characters and inspired cult followings of their most minute activities (most recently, Harold the Janitor’s stuffed dog, Rufus Ruff Ruff).
Ben Pace plays one of the web’s most diabolically hilarious characters of all time, combining fantastic hair and genius intellect into Harold the Janitor. As Elevator’s main character, Ben has built up a hardcore following that spans across Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and beyond. Without Ben’s amazing talent we would not have a show. His peerless performances should rank him amongst the best actors in a comedy web series this year. When Ben Pace hits his stride with Harold’s confident swagger and desire for mischief, there is none better.
Our most recent breakout star is Kate Micucci, who quickly became a fan favorite with her character Lily the IT girl. Kate’s comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates broke onto the scene this year and they only get bigger. Since her first appearance on Elevator, Kate has landed a recurring role on Scrubs and recently starred in the 2010 comedy When in Rome alongside Kristen Bell.
Genevieve Jones, Andrew Zilch, Paul Gulyas, Katy Stoll, Angie Cole, Brett Register, and Craig Frank round out an astounding ensemble cast that constantly bring fresh comedy and hilarious content to our millions of viewers every Thursday.
Three years. 200+ episodes. Over 83,000 youtube subscribers. More than 58,000,000 views. The 4th, then 3rd, most watched web series in the world in the last months of 2009. Thousands of followers on Twitter.
These aren’t numbers from a Joss Whedon series. They’re symbols of hard work and dedication from a handful of people who built a series from the ground up and a set created from the dead end of a hallway and some stolen scrap metal.
They’re testaments to the talent of a cast that only has three walls, a two page script, and a single camera.
They’re definitive proof that an original, never before seen concept designed exclusively for new media can succeed immediately and only get better over time.
They’re milestones of work that’s turned to very dear friendships.
They’re humbling and proof that I have the greatest job in the world.
With the help of the International Academy of Web Television, they’re the final statement that we deserve a nomination for Best Comedy Web Series.
The cast and I are huge admirers of everything this community has accomplished so far, it would be an honor to be named among the best new media has to offer.
Man, all of that sounds desperate.
PS: Well, writing all of that was a waste of time.
Filed under: comedy, Elevator | Tagged: 2010 Streamys, andrew zilch, angie cole, ben pace, Best comedy web series, best ensemble cast, brett register, craig frank, daniel tosh, Elevator, elevatorshow, genevieve jones, HBO, IAWTV, jason earles, jennie finch, jessica rose, kate micucci, melora hardin, mike polk, Newteevee, paul gulyas, runawaybox, streamy awards, Tubefilter, woody tondorf |