The Hayley Project at Streamy Awards
The 1st Annual Streamy Awards was held this past Saturday at the Wadsworth Theater in LA. It was a fun, exciting, and rewarding experience. The Streamys is really a celebration of web television in 2008, and coincidentally provided the perfect cap to our Season 1 run of The Hayley Project (last episode came out Thursday).
In the end, we didn’t win in our two nominated categories as Rosario Dawson beat Rachel Risen for best dramatic actress, and Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog deservedly beat out The Hayley Project and 8 other great series for Audience Choice Award.
We, of course, never expected to win. For us, having a chance to meet and celebrate web video with like-minded people was the purpose of our trip to LA. I should note that it’s a shame that Jato Smith (co-creator) was unable to attend, since he was shooting a documentary in Ethiopia. Paolo (producer) was also unable to attend.
The entire results of the Award Show can be found on Tubefilter, Tilzy TV, and NewTeeVee. Dr. Horrible and The Guild were the 2 big winners of the night. Both Joss Whedon and Felicia Day had inspiring speeches that summed up the spirit of the ceremony (see NewTeeVee’s post). Battlestar Gallactica (BSG) was also a big winner.
As an aside, I haven’t seen the web series version of the BSG, but I’m not sure if it really fits in with the spirit of the awards like the other nominees. That said, everything at this point helps legitimize the medium. I just hope that we don’t have a trend of BSG, Lost, Chuck, The Office, etc starting to play in the “best” web series categories in the future.
Below is a run down of the THP gang’s experience at the awards. I suppose the right way to have done this was to blog or tweet throughout the trip, but I’m too lazy to do that. You can also find more pictures on our facebook fan page and the other publications’ websites.
Before the show, Phil, Rachel, and her friend Melissa (an actress who was on 30 Rock recently) came by Hotel Palomar for some pre-Streamy drinks. We wanted to take a moment to celebrate our series by ourselves before we hit the red carpet. Kasia, our music composer, was running late, so we were going to meet her at the Wadsworth (note: I had never actually met Kasia in person until tonight as Jato worked with her more on a daily basis).
Phil stopped by first, and it had been over a year since I last saw him. He’s been staying quite busy. He has a role in the new Adam Sandler movie Funny People, which comes out during the summer (got to plug him).
Anyway, Phil is a crazy character and having him come with us definitely livened the atmosphere wherever we went. The kid was born for the red carpet. While we waited for Rachel and Melissa, we met Darren Elwood of Jenn 2.0, who was also in town for the Streamys. I’ve only seen a bit of this series, but it seems relevant and quite clever. It’s worth checking out.
After Rachel and Melissa arrived, we had another drink, celebrated THP, and then got in our rental car (Prius – hybrid, baby) to head over.
When we got to the Wadsworth, we were surprised to see how much media there was (Big kudos to the organizers for a great job in promoting and marketing the event). To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether traditional TV and Film stars would come to a new media focused event like this, but sure enough, Joss Whedon, Neal Patrick Harris, Rosario Dawson, and Lisa Kudrow were among a few of many that attended.
The first thing we did was shoot a quick promo video with Rachel and Phil (always running ‘n gunning!). We wanted them to thank the fans with the Streamys in the background, and also wanted them to promote a short survey and Q&A session we want to conduct with Rachel in a few weeks. The survey gives us feedback for Season 2 (assuming financing comes through) and the Q&A gives the fans a chance to interact with Rachel.
Once that business was done, we made our way to the red carpet, which was an absolute zoo. We had to fight our way through the pack. During the chaos, we did get to meet some of the other stars in attendance (Felicia Day, Jessica Rose, Rosario Dawson, Amber Lee Ettinger aka Obama Girl).
Upon reflection, I probably came off as a “fan boy” when I met Felicia and Jessica. Both have done so much for the web space that it was really cool to meet them in person. They were both really great and had some nice things to say about The Hayley Project.
We had Rachel take the lead through the crowd, as she was a nominee (and more recognizable than any of us). We wanted to get her as much exposure as possible. Phil (did I already mention he was born for the Red Carpet?) also stayed by her side. The two of them did pretty well getting interviews, including Access Hollywood. Dave and I supported where we needed to, but the red carpet was really Rachel’s show.
Once we finally got inside the theater, the place was pretty packed. Rachel had assigned seating, and the rest of the tickets were general admission. Yes, this was a big sign that we weren’t going to win Audience Choice, as the only seats we could find four together were actually up in the balcony area. The awards ceremony itself was entertaining and thankfully, not too long. As mentioned earlier, Dr. Horrible and The Guild were the big winners (and rightfully so). I’m especially happy for Felicia who built her success through her hard work and perseverance.
After the ceremony, the THP gang headed to In-and-Out burger for a post-loss, pre-after-party meal. It was actually funny for us to walk into In-and-Out in our formal dress attire. For some reason, it felt like prom (although I swear I never took my date to a fast food joint). By the way, am I the only one that thinks In-and-Out is over-rated? I mean, it’s better than McDonald’s but I don’t get why people love it so much.
(note: not sure where Phil got the idea about the comb…..)
Anyway, after dinner, Kasia had to bail because she had a migraine. Since we stopped off for dinner, we got to the after-party later than everybody else. But I heard that this was a good thing as people complained that the valet line was ridiculous early on.
The After-Party was a lot of fun. I had a chance to meet a bunch of filmmakers/actors from the Crew, Break A Leg, The Guild, and a couple of the Streamy co-founders from Tubefilter and Tilzy I hadn’t met before. It was really fun hearing what everybody was working on and getting to meet these people in person.
We also met a former-paparazzi who helped Dave fix his camera on-the-fly when it stopped working. That was actually a little bit surreal. I mean, Dave’s camera breaks but a paparazzi guy is standing next to him to fix it? Only in LA. (Unfortunately, I don’t have the details on who this guy used to photo hunt).
The party closed down at 2AM (I didn’t realize that everything shuts down at 2 in LA). Anyway, this was perhaps when the most surreal moment of the evening occurred. Phil, in an intoxicated state, made a confident claim that the valet working at our hotel was an adult film star. He swears that “his roommate who edits porn” worked on one of her films. Right, Phil. That’s how you recognize her.
Frankly, Dave and I wasn’t sure whether to believe him but the next morning, Phil calls excitedly and gives us the name “Aria”. You make the call:
The next morning, we spent time recovering by adding friends to facebook and uploading some pics. Yeah, pretty geeky, we know.
Overall, the trip was a blast. Neither Dave nor I work in the web TV space fulltime. We make movies for fun, and we both have demanding day jobs. But for this one weekend, we got to fully embrace the producer roles and celebrate our team’s accomplishments over the last two years. THP cost us about $200-250 per episode and we’re incredibly proud with how far we stretched the dollar. I really wished Jato and Paolo could have joined in on the fun, as well as more of our cast members. But it’s hard to coordinate trips out to the west coast. Hopefully, if we’re lucky, we’ll be back another year.