The Hotlist: August 2014
A Guide to the Web’s Most Cutting Edge New Media Content

Compiled by Elliot Feldman

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The Hotspot 
The Hotspot highlights Web content created by writers working under a WGA contract. 

Samurai! Daycare

Samurai! Daycare is an animated series by Pipsqueak Films for Alloy Digital. Aimed at 13-17-year-old boys, the series was developed for YouTube. The main character, a samurai sword-wielding day care instructor, is played by Matthew Lillard (The Descendants). Samurai Daycare is the first animated Web series to win a Writers Guild Award.

Video Game High School
Video Game High School is an online comedy series from Rocket Jump Studios. Written by Matthew Arnold, Will Campos, and Brian Firenzi, the series is self-described as "a show about best friends, first love, and landing that perfect head shot." The comedy portrays life in high school as a video game where students achieve grade levels through gameplay.

Pants On Fire is a Web comedy series about a psychiatrist (played by Jim McCaffree) who is a pathological liar. The four episodes are about his shaky involvement in the personal lives of his eccentric patients. The series was written by Laura McLaughlin.


HelloRun is an interactive 3D game for the Web and mobile devices. This unique HTML5-coded game was created by Brighton UK-based developers Carlos Ulloa and Libertad Aguilera. Ulloa has developed game apps for the likes of Disney and Sony.

DEVICE 6 | Simogo
Simigo is a Malmo, Swedish company that develops games for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. DEVICE 6 is a text-based adventure story game. They describe the game as "part novella" and part puzzle.


Perfect Storms Interactive
Perfect Storms Interactive is a companion Web site to the History Channel TV series Perfect Storms. This multimedia experience is part of The History Channel Canada site. It uses 3D animation that allows visitors to re-create historic storm disasters such as the 1900 Galveston Storm.

A Short History of the Highrise
Co-sponsored by The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada, A Short History of the Highrise is a Peabody Award-winning interactive documentary celebrating 2500 years of "vertical living" starting with the Tower of Babel to luxury skyscrapers in Shanghai. The experience includes three short narrated documentaries titled "Mud, Concrete, Glass." The site also allows visitors to submit their own high rise photos.


Bombay Sapphire: The Imagination Series
Bombay Sapphire: The Imagination Series is a competition among young filmmakers co-sponsored by The Tribeca Film Festival and The Bombay Sapphire Company. Five finalists offer interactive short films, all based on the same script. One year's competition script was written by Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious).


Gemma Correll - Illustration
Gemma Correll is a UK-based illustrator specializing in hand drawn comics featuring cats and dogs. Her Web site/resume is whimsical and a masterpiece in simple navigation. The site includes a portfolio, sketchbook, as well as her daily diaries.

Robby Leonardi
New York-based multimedia designer Robby Leonardi animated his very unique interactive resume to resemble a Super Mario Brothers video game. The resume scrolls horizontally and reads like a story. It even has game monsters.


Monocle is the online companion to London-based Monocle print magazine. The Web site focus is on "broadcast." For example, Monocle24 is their 24-hour radio station. Their podcast can be accessed from the Web site or iTunes. describes itself as a "global briefing on international affairs, business, culture, and design."

uncube magazine
uncube magazine is a Berlin-based "digital magazine about architecture and beyond." This attractive English language zine has a unique navigation mode via arrow keys.

Refinery29 is an American fashion, style, and beauty Web site following a newsletter format. It can best be described as fashion focused city guides, highlighting five U.S. cities and expanding to London as of 2012.

NOWNESS describes itself as a "global culture platform for digital storytelling." It consists of nine content channels including fashion, music, gastronomy, art, design, and original series. Celebrity participants in the site's original content include actress Chloe Sevigny, and directors David Lynch, Spike Jonze, and Pedro Almodovar.


Wattpad is a global writing community where users (published and unpublished writers) post articles, stories, and poems about any subject. Created by Toronto developers Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen, this social network is accessed as a multi-platform app. They have 25 million registered users. Most of the content is fan fiction and short fiction for young women.

Muck Rack Daily
Muck Rack Daily is a news service that reveals how mainstream journalists use Twitter to enhance their stories. This free email news service "delivers a glimpse of tomorrow's newspapers to you today." It was started by Steve McGookin, a veteran journalist (Financial Times) as a "cultural tool to watch the news get made in real time."

The WGAW encourages New Media projects to respect content creators through Guild contracts. If you’re working in New Media and would like information on getting your project covered, contact Shelagh Wagener or call (323) 782-4511.

Elliot Feldman's novel, Sitting Shiva, was published in 2003 -- ISBN: 0964374064. And check out his comics at Scene4 Magazine - WARNING: Not for the easily offended.