Category Archives: Web

Web criticism, news and views at Sketchy Details

Why Shakespeare Is Important

Watch: Kiriosity: Why is Shakespeare Important? That Is the Question

In my day to day life, I don’t need to do a lot to justify my obsession with Shakespeare. I music direct/teach educational theater year round. There’s always an excuse to preach the good word of the Bard.

But, theatrical criticism has started to take a turn, at least in NYC. A great production of a safer Shakespeare–a Macbeth or a Twelfth Night–will easily get raves. A great production of a more problematic play–a Richard III or A Midsummer Night’s Dream–will receive far more mixed reviews. Context is important, and it’s becoming more common now to force 21st Century readings onto 16th/17th Century plays.

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Watch RuPaul Drives…John Waters

Three more nights of performances then I’m back to writing. More curated content.

I’m big on RuPaul Drives as a web series. It’s a more twisted slant on the same formula as Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The John Waters (NSFW, obviously) episode is the best in the series so far. Two subversive pop culture geniuses talking shop on the road. Genius.

Black and White (The Haunting Ground 2.01)

Black and White (The Haunting Ground 2.01)

Today marks the beginning of Season 2 of The Haunting Ground. A Halloween show in February, you ask? Think of it this way: you have just over eight months to get everything ready for the best night of the year.

The first few episodes this season are all going to be about inspiration and theme. I already know what I’m doing (kind of) for 2014: a fully black and white haunt. Here’s why it’s a great theme for you Halloween decorations.

Like, comment, share, and subscribe to Sketchy Details @YouTube for more great video content.

I’m a Fullscreen Partner Now

FullscreenLast night, while I was editing the upcoming episode of The Haunting Ground, I received confirmation that I’m a Fullscreen partner now.

What’s Fullscreen? Fullscreen is the largest independent multi-channel YouTube network. They provide support to YouTube content creators like me with tools and resources I’d never be able to negotiate on this scale by myself. They also help connect content creators for collaborative projects and sponsorship that increase visibility and revenue.

In other words, now that I have the support of the Fullscreen network, I’m going to be able to dedicate a little more time to video creation. First, I want to establish the routine of eight videos a month with the existing line-up (Sketchy Details @Home, Slipstream, Play It, and The Haunting Ground). Then, I can start branching out with one-off videos, new series concepts, and collaborations. I’m also going to finally be able to open an official Sketchy Details merchandise store.

So how can you help with this partnership? Subscribe to Sketchy Details @YouTube. Like and share the videos you enjoy. Comment on the videos letting me know what you like or what you want me to do.

Best Web Series of 2013

This is the final medium-specific category of The Sketchys. Tomorrow, I have something very special planned to commemorate the year in media.

For today, we’re looking at the best new web shows started in 2013. You might be able to predict a few of the entries based on shows I’ve written about this year. There are a couple surprises in this unranked list. I also include my favorite episode with each honoree. Let’s get to it.

The 2013 Sketchys: Best Web Series

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CentUp Offering 100 Free Credits for Signing Up

I explained what the CentUp button is when I first uploaded it to Sketchy Details over the summer. Basically, it’s a way for you, the reader, to support content you like directly. You upload money to your CentUp account and can drop in a few pennies here and there wherever you see participating sites you want to support. Simple as that.

The CentUp team has really been working hard to improve and grow the service. They’re running a promotion right now where you get 100 free credits to use however you want just for signing up. It’s that simple. Just sign up and you have a free dollar you can break up however you want on sites participating in CentUp.

You might not think a couple pennies makes a difference, but it really does. Banner ads, video ads, sales on debut ebooks (ahem), and all the other monetization options available to a website rarely pay more than that on any given day. The difference here is you. Crowdsourcing is here to stay thanks to sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Musicians like Amanda Palmer and Radiohead are continually demonstrating the commercial viability of pay what you want releases of their content. All the CentUp participants are asking for is some spare change if you really enjoy what you’re reading.

Explore: Film School Thesis Statement Generator

I think I’m being put out of a job. The Film School Thesis Statement Generator is a cheeky look at academic film criticism. It pulls very broad critical concepts pulled from title keywords and randomly pairs them with basic film elements. Add in academic doublespeak and you wind up with profound looking statements that boil down to really simple things.

For example,

Through the fluid identification of the viewer, Otto; Or, Up with Dead People conforms to pre-Oedipal guilt.

actually means

Since someone watching the film can connect to some changing aspect of the story, Otto; Or, Up with Dead People falls in line with an ambiguous sense of guilt created by general society.

Test it out for yourself. It’s fun.