• 100 Deaths of Mort Grimley

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

THE HOTSPOT

100 Deaths of Mort Grimley
100 Deaths of Mort Grimley is an Amazon Studios online animated series in development. It was created by writer, actor, and standup comic Angel Castillo. The plotline: Main character Mort Grimley makes a deal with the Devil by acting as Satan's agent on Earth. The deal: Grimley recruits new inhabitants to bring up the population of Hell, thus doing the Devil a valuable service. Even though the series hasn't launched, Amazon's 100 Deaths of Mort Grimley Web site offers an educational look at the development process for an online animated series. The Web site includes a short animation preview of the pilot, as well as the series "bible" and full pilot script in PDF format.


FILM CRITICISM BLOGS

Cinephilia & Beyond
Cinephilia & Beyond is a Tumblr blog and Web site with a focus on intelligent film criticism articles. Most articles include comprehensive resource materials related to each film examined. For example, an article on Goodfellas also includes the original screenplay, a documentary on the making of the film, as well as a documentary on Henry Hill, the movie's real-life subject.

Self-Styled Siren
Self-Styled Siren" is New York Post film reviewer Farran Smith Nehme's well-written blog. Her film criticism is about classic films, particularly "cinema's golden age" from the 1930s to the ‘60s. Ms. Smith has also written for The New York Times and Barron's magazine.

Diagonal Thoughts
Diagonal Thoughts is Belgium-based critic Stoffel Debuysere's blog. It's a dynamic mix of serious film criticisms slanted toward unlikely topics that include philosophy, sociology, computer science, and neuroscience.

Acidemic
Acidimic is Erich Kuersten's Web site that is both film criticism blog and an online Journal of Film and Media. Kueren is an academic with that is part of NYC leading art school Pratt's Humanities and Media program. His blog is subtitled "psychedelic film criticism for the already deranged." Topics of examination include films from "the subversive pre-code 30s to the psychedelic 60s, the sex apocalypse 70s" and beyond. Kuersten's writings have also appeared in Popmatters, McSweeney's and Slant well respected online zines.

KINO SLANG
KINO SLANG is Andy Rector's Los Angeles-based blog focusing primarily on "radical cinema" because the critiques are as much about politics as film. Rector particularly favors the moments where real-life history becomes part of a movie. The blog also includes stunning photography from each film examined.

Some Came Running
Glenn Kenny is a veteran film critic for the lifespan of Premiere magazine (1998 to 2007). In recent years, he has been chief film critic for MSN. Some Came Running, his film criticism blog, is self-described as "enthusiasms and expostulations by glenn kenny." The blog title is also the movie title of the Frank Sinatra-starring film that Old Blue Eyes allegedly hated the most. The Brooklyn-based Kenny currently also reviews new film releases at RogerEbert.com.


WEB SERIES

Swipe Click Bang
Swipe Click Bang is a Web sitcom about casual sex. It is also a spoof of the dating app Tinder. The series offers six different vignettes of atypical casual sex hookups. It was created by writer-director Michael Sasso. Mike Vitale is co-writer. Veteran indie film producer Brendan Kenney is producer of Swipe Click Bang.

Little Horribles
Little Horribles is a Web sitcom created and written by Upright Citizens Brigade member Amy York Rubin. In 2013, Variety listed Little Horribles as one of the year's top 10 Web series. Little Horribles is self-described as "a darkly comedic web series following the poor decisions of a self-indulgent lesbian" in L.A. Series guests have included Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl), and Sue Galloway (30 Rock).

Jeff 1000 Video Series
Jeff 1000 is an online mockumentary series co-sponsored by Wired Magazine and Conde Nast Entertainment. The series was created by Michael Karnow, producer of SyFy Network series Alphas. Jeff 1000 is a robot who wants to become a Hollywood actor. The series co-stars Summer Glau, a Joss Whedon TV sci-fi series regular (Firefly, Angel, and Serendipity). Jeff 1000 has high-end production values. It can also be streamed on Wired's YouTube channel, and on Conde Nast's The Scene video hub.

Breakups: The Series on Vimeo
Vimeo is a longstanding video sharing platform. Breakups: The Series on Vimeo was created by Chicago-based Second City improv comedy veteran Ted Tremper. In 2010, Breakups won Best Original Series at the Vimeo Global Film Festival. Each webisode's story examines a different couple's relationship breakup.

Ted & Gracie
Ted & Gracie is a Web sitcom that's standup comic Jena Friedman's brainchild. Friedman is also a veteran television writer (Late Show with David Letterman, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). She stars as Gracie with Ben Kranberg as Ted. The six-part series is a parody of The New York Times' wedding videos Web site.

The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks
The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks is the first production of an original series from AMC Digital Studios. The series was created by Peter Glanz, and stars veteran comedic actor Adam Goldberg as playwright Arthur Banks. Jeffrey Tambor co-stars as his shrink. In each webisode, Banks reveals a different recent sexual encounter to his shrink. The three 42-minute webisodes are also available for streaming on Hulu.

I'm Too Fragile for This
I'm Too Fragile for This is a series created by improv group Upright Citizens Brigade members Connor Ratliff and Cathryn Mudon, and director Tom Levin. Each webisode consists of 3-5 minute two-person improv sketches reminiscent of the film My Dinner with Andre.

Pursuit of Sexiness
Pursuit of Sexiness is the Girls-inspired adventures of two broke women in pursuit of a "good guy." The twosome is played by SNL's Sasheer Zamata and Upright Citizens Brigade member Nicole Byer. The series streams on Above Average, a multichannel online entertainment content platform, part of Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video.

DIBS – Soren & Jolles
Jessie Jolles and Tracy Soren are Upright Citizens Brigade members and real-life best friends. DIBS is their Web comedy series about female friendships. It's written, created, and starring Soren and Jolles.


CANADIAN WEB SERIES

Bill & Sons Towing
Bill & Sons Towing is a Canadian online sitcom in a similar blue collar humor vein as hit Canadian TV sitcom Trailer Park Boys. Mark De Angelis and Bill Ketchabaw, members of Toronto-based improv group The Imponderables, created Bill & Sons. The 22 webisodes take place in working class Hamilton, Ontario, where four sons take over their ailing father's truck business. The award-winning cast includes Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci's Inquest).

Space Janitors
Space Janitors is another Toronto-based Web series. It was created by veteran Web and TV producers Davin Lengyel and Geoff La Paire. Brendan Halloran and Pat Thornton star as the two main characters, janitors who interact with a flight crew onboard an international space station. Two seasons are available online long with a third Kickstarter-funded season. It won a Canadian Screen Award for Digital Media Original Series.

Just Passing Through
Just Passing Through is yet another Toronto-based Web sitcom series. It was created by Jeremy Larter and Geoff Read. The central characters are a dysfunctional family who live on Prince Edward Island (PEI), a small town islander environment. The two seasons include12 full length webisodes spanning two seasons. The first season was funded by Canada's Independent Production Fund (IPF). The second season was funded by fans on Kickstarter. The series has also been compared with Trailer Park Boys.