Patrick will be starring in the Last Cyclist at the West End Theater this May - June. Click here for info

Friday, August 7, 2009

Samantha Mason in Backstage

So my dear dear friends ha, Samantha Mason, has been featured in an article on Backstage. Yes, you read that right, FEATURED! A general congrats is in oder, I think. We can all use press and exposure and I'm just insanely proud of all the work she has done. Not to mention that one of the main points of her piece is the webseries that I was fortunate to be a part of.

So here is Sam's part of the article:

Game On!

Samantha Mason turned to the Internet for her five-episode series, "A World of Her Pwn," which premiered on the gaming site The Escapist ( last November. ("Pwn" is gamespeak for a humiliating defeat.) Mason played the semiautobiographical role of a game-site transcriber who is drawn into the worlds of various games.

The Escapist had sponsored a contest seeking original content, so Mason and director Douglas MacKrell conceived the idea and storyboarded the pilot one day in a New York diner. Their idea won, and the show soon went into production.

The site paid for the series on a per-episode basis, which was unnerving for Mason, who put her career as a classical actor largely on the back burner to work on the show. The production values fluctuated from episode to episode, Mason says, depending on "how my bank account was looking that month and how much time we had."

Each episode was supposed to be five- to eight-minutes long, though at times Mason and MacKrell went as long as 10. "Advertisers on the site don't want series to be too long," Mason says, "because they think people will turn it off and won't see their ads come on afterwards."

Whether the series will continue beyond the first five episodes is unsettled. But Mason has been approached to create a new series for another company. "It's really opened a new realm that I hadn't experimented in a lot before," she says.

Simultaneously wearing actor and producer hats proved challenging. Though she knew the scripts intimately, having participated in the development process, she would sometimes turn up at shoots realizing she hadn't fully memorized her lines.

Filming in New York certainly provided an embarrassment of talent and other riches. For one episode, Mason posted a call for background performers on "Ghostbusters" fan sites, seeking aficionados who owned their own costumes. Nine people showed up. In full regalia. "I thought, 'Only in New York City could you put out such a specific call and get such an overwhelming response,' " she says. "I had to turn people down—I had too many Ghostbusters!"

Many of the city's best filmmaking resources, it turns out, come without gigantic dollar signs attached. Perhaps the discouraged Woody Allen could learn something from New York's shoestring auteurs.