Luke: NaNoWriMo – A Real Thing

It’s come to my attention over the last little while that NaNoWriMo is real.

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Blythe: I’ve Been Nano’d!

Hard to believe that a month and a half of work can be summed up in such short episodes! But what a month and a half it was…(fade to blurry with harp string notes)

Imagine if you will the middle of August. Remember how hot that was? Good. Now imagine me at my cottage, relaxing in the sun, roasting marshmellows at a bon fire….got that? Now imagine one night my phone getting an email that went like this:

“Okay, so here’s the deal. We’ve written a musical called Nanowrimo the Musical (national novel writing month if you haven’t heard of it). Basically, we’re going to shoot it as a six-part web series. Fair warning, it’s a pretty rag tag operation. l’ve roped Kelsey Goldberg into being our DP and have booked Gill’s space for one of the party scenes, but a lot of the filming will be done in our apartments and we’re working on a budget of love and shoestring…I realize this is pretty short notice. Rehearsal time is very short/non-existant and many people are on vacations right now :). Take a look at the script, let me know if you’re still interested, and I can send you music as well. Again, don’t feel any pressure, we’re thinking up contingency plans and you were the first person I thought of when thinking of people good for this part :). If you decide you’re still interested, we’ll have a sit down read through and some rehearsal time hopefully to get you acquainted.”

In that idyllic state I thought “This’ll be fun! And I’m so flattered they asked me!” So I said yes. (Zip forward with montage music to pan over the month and a half)

I get the script – slight pause in heart rate. “Huh, I’m in every single episode. When do we start shooting? Oh…next week.”
I get the music – minor freak out. “I have FIVE songs I have to learn and start recording in two weeks?!?!?!”
I get the rest of the schedule – whimper. “I HAVE NO LIFE!!”

But really I was thrilled to have been asked – and I still am!

My first inclination that I was about to be inducted into geek culture (a little bit) was when I had to ask “What is NanoWrimo?” My second inclination was when Errol asked me to randomly yell “Yubnub!” into the camera. If you don’t know what that is, no worries, I’m still not sure either.

I’m also pretty sure the word rehearsal was used in that email – but really it was just a word we liked to use, as in “Um, aren’t we going to rehearse that?” and “Can we please rehearse that?” and “We aren’t going to rehearse that, are we.”

Late-ish nights (thanks to Kelsey for getting us out by 10pm!), shooting three or four times a week and lots of outtakes later we have a web series that I’m super proud to have been a part of. I learned so much shooting this – not the least about recording! I don’t know how many hours I spent with Errol, in front of a mic singing and singing and singing…. but I have a new found appreciation for Disney Princesses. Working with such a madcap group of people was invigorating, fun and inspiring. (fades back into me writing at my computer in rainy fall. Thanks Sandy.)

So here’s hoping that our labour of love and laughter (and a shoestring) entertains and enlightens!


Blythe aka Jill

Kelsey: A Word From The Director!

In about 10 hours the first episode of NaNoWrimo The Musical will be available for viewing by the whole interweb on Youtube. I can’t even put into words how unbelievably excited I am. This project is my behind-camera directorial debut and was an absolutely idyllic first experience. Sure we had no money, no time (one month for 6 episodes with MUSICAL numbers…not stressful, not stressful at all), and no crane (I really wanted a crane), but the whole experience was so much fun.

As you will all see in a few hours, we have an EXCEPTIONAL cast who were so willing to go above and beyond their acting duties and help out whenever necessary. I am so proud of all their performances and I hope they are too. I was also fortunate enough to have a dream team in terms of my A.D. and camera ops.

I don’t mean to gush too much, or sound too over-joyed, so just trust me when I say this is me tuning down the level of pride and gush. In reality I’m in full mode. I hope that you enjoy the series as much as I enjoyed making it. Projects like this are often referred to as labors of love, and while we all worked extroadinarily hard, the love certainly outweighed the labor. I’m rambling now, my point is enjoy! And for those of our viewers who are also partaking in NaNoWrimo- happy writing!

Manda: Lessons Learned

In just over twelve hours, we will be launching Episode 1 of NaNoMusical.  It feels a little unreal.  I’ve started about ten blog posts, but almost all of them end up sounding overly sentimental and I can’t seem to really express just how insane and awesome this whole process has been.  Did we give ourselves enough time?  Nope.  Do we have a polished product?  Hardly.  Am I proud of what we’ve accomplished?  More than words can say.  So I’ve decided to save the mushy emotions for another time, and for today list the top ten things I learned doing NaNoMusical, in no particular order:

  1.  Extension cords are everyone’s friend, except when someone trips over one and breaks a light.  Then they’re an enemy.
  2. If you decide to shoot outside, it’s almost always going to rain.  And if it doesn’t rain, somebody will start a lawn mower.
  3. As it turns out, four hours is not an ideal time to shoot two musical numbers involving large numbers of people.
  4. Sound equipment is always optional, but probably a good investment.
  5. Scheduling six people with full time jobs is just as hard as it looks.  Harder, even.
  6. Using your apartment as a set is always a cheaper option, but prepare to have it destroyed, especially by energetic Asian creative partners named Errol.
  7. As good as it is to have friends who will support you through your crazy stressful times, it’s also good to have friends who are brave enough to say “you’re such a freak”.
  8. Having a creative partner who is not only willing to sit through late night Skype writing sessions but who also never stops forcing you to try new things is incredibly valuable.
  9. It’s probably a good idea to know how a camera works before you turn it on.
  10. Finding talented people to be involved is important.  Finding talented people who will work for chips is absolutely essential.

I have no idea how anyone will react to our NaNoMusical.  But I do know that it was a lot of fun to do :D.  See you guys in twelve hours!

Manda aka Val

Luke: It’s Almost Here!

It’s just about that time.

The finishing touches were being put on Episode 1 on Sunday night, and Monday was spent rendering the massive file to make it YouTube friendly – it’s almost time for the NaNoMusical to be launched! It’s been a crazy three months. As an actor, I really only had to worry during the month of September, when I lived for recording, whether inside various houses that were doubling as sets, or outside at a park, trying desperately to finish shooting outdoor scenes before the rain started pouring down on us some days. All that doesn’t seem to matter anymore… it’s almost time!

I can’t wait to see how many views we get for the first episode. I had a scary realization on Sunday night that over 200,000 people take part in NaNoWriMo every year, and that if only 1% of the NaNoCrowd watch the video… THAT’S TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE! Errol had a good laugh at me when he saw my face when I realized that. Imagine if 2% of the people watch.

It’s almost here, and I’m nervous, but excited, but nervous, but I can’t wait. It feels like Christmas, two days before Hallowe’en.