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Guild Episode #9

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Episode 9 of The Guild has been posted today! Please watch it streaming on MSN Video, download it off of the Xbox Live Marketplace or the Zune Marketplace.

Some people have trouble streaming on MSN Video (Safari WILL work no matter what the warning says, just click through), so if you have trouble, watch Episodes 1-5 on our center player on The Guild site.

I was VERY sick for this episode as well as the next one, but thanks to Jared and John (Gaffer and DP) I don’t look as hellish as I did in reality on the day, haha. I actually had to take a nap during these episodes, which means I was VERY sick because I am kinda am a control freak and like to be there for every shot. Sean Becker is a fantastic director/editor, and my producing partner Kim Evey had my spot behind the monitor covered, so the episode is great.
We attempted to really build into the ending of the season from this point on, it’s (yet again) a different style for the show, and our actors are really fantastic and work together so well seeing them in person together is so fun.

It’s very interesting what works and what doesn’t in webisode-length episodes. Do people enjoy the cliffhangers? Do they prefer standalone episodes? Do they like a simple storyline or several woven together? How much can you pack in without it being too confusing? Lots of questions and no answers because it’s still evolving. That’s the great thing though, the freedom to do what you believe in and see if it hits.
Hope you enjoy!

  • The Guild gets better and better. I laughed so hard all through episode 9. Next Tuesday is way too far away!
    Felicia, I thought perhaps you were sick during the shooting of this one, as your voice had a slight edge to it (I’m sick now so it sounds so familiar -ick), but you did fabulously! Kudos!

  • Josh

    If I didn’t need another reason to look forward to getting home after work…

  • Graham Hakala

    I have enjoyed everything you have done with your show. Im sure no matter what you do, people will love it. The Guild is so professional in every aspect. I mean you guys really set the bar high up there. You have inspired me. You make more things seem possible in life. So for that I must thank you.

  • Del

    Evolution has no answers. Only continous trials and triumphs. OK, sometimes errors, too, but those get worked out. It’s the mix that keeps it interesting. Thanks for sharing your experiments.

  • The cliffhangers are definitely working. If there’s only 5 minutes to work with, you need to leave the audience hanging to keep them coming back. Keep in mind the production values might be skewing your viewership so that *anything* you try looks good, but you’ll never know for sure until you start getting some real competition in the webisode sitcom genre. In short, keep doing what you’re doing. You are creating the market right now. It’s probably not a good idea to underestimate your audience at this point anyway.

  • Jann McKenzie

    Loved the new episode! Verrry funny! I love the cliffhangers and think they are always clever and add a lot. As do the Codex talking to the camera scenes. I have been having trouble with the MSN video streaming – it tends to hang up for a few seconds every once and a while. Glad it is not just me. Seems like you are doing a good job of pacing, story lines, etc. And I couldn’t tell you were sick at all! I LOVE The Guild!!

  • Mike

    Another great episode! I find myself looking forward to new episodes of The Guild more than new episodes of stuff I watch on TV. Somehow if feels more personal… Keep up the GREAT work!
    Also, the gag reel is excellent, I could watch hours of that stuff… not that there are hours of it 🙂
    My only regret is I didn’t discover The Guild earlier

  • Ben

    The show is still wonderful.

    What works? What do we prefer? Stand alones are fun. Cliff hangers are fun. It’s really ALL fun Felicia. I’d suggest that you use this experience to do what YOU want to try, not what people are asking for…if people are asking. Are people asking for stuff? Most of what I’ve seen has just been heaps of praise. (And multiple requests for a musical episode and a live streaming episode. Shit. I’m one of those “askers”, aren’t I? Shit.)

    I predict, in like 20 years when you are a world famous DIRECTOR (yeah, I went there!), you’ll be able to give interviews and say, “well back in The Guild days, I remember trying _____ but it didn’t work as I had anticipated so instead I used…”

  • Hellen

    The Guild is really well written Felicia, I find it keeps me going from week to week with my own writing. I totally get what you mean from your previous post about ‘the fear’. I still have it frequently and I love how you write the show. It has some seriously funny lines (and I’m not even a gamer!) I see what you are doing and wish I could do the same (I’m writing a book). Keep going with the cliffhangers as well. Each episode has its diamond lines but the way the characters develop really is great.

    Hellen O

  • Of course I’m a huge fan, so my opinion is a naturally a little biased, but I think the balance of storylines is very solid this season. Everyone is doing something and has their own story, but it’s not confusing or convoluted in anyway. And everyone seems to be getting the proper amount of face time. [thumbsup!]
    The cliffhangers are great! Especially since we get to see Codex’s reaction to the cliffhanger right off the bat in the next episode. The webcam intro is a perfect anchor. It reminds people what happened before without the cheesy “last time on The Guild…” device. Plus we always get a hilarious Codex facial expression out of it [call block’d reaction face = CLASSIC]. 😀
    I noticed the sick voice too, but if it makes you feel better I DID actually think “But she doesn’t look sick…” 😉

  • Episode 8 still my favorite so far, but this one was very cool too!
    Too bad you were sick, but you still looked good! =]

    Cliffhangers works for me! Especially now that it’s one episode per week…

    Oh, and the Gag Reel was great!!!

  • Bel-Rand

    Cliffhangers are great. A bit frustrating, but great:P

  • Kelly

    Very excited to see the new episode. And I’m a little afraid to mention this here, but this episode did feel different to me for some reason. Maybe it was too sitcomish?

  • Cliffhangers are always good for any long work, be it The Guild or a novel, and this one worked like the rest. Might be worth stretching yourself as a writer to try a stand-alone episode or two, just to see if you can. Whatever we write, we writers should try new things every so often when the muse hits. What’s too lose? Either it works or it don’t.

  • Majikthyz

    I noticed that your voice seemed quite strange in this episode. Your being sick explains this. Did you consider trying to fix it with ADR or was it not that much of an issue?

  • Hey,
    re: Kelly, well, I guess The Guild really is a single camera sitcom in a sense, so I could see how you’d say that. Having the characters together in a more casual setting is definitely a new step, but since the server is down there couldn’t be as much game stuff 🙂

    RE: ADR, well, we don’t really have the budget to do ADR. That requires lots of equipment, and a sound studio etc. 🙂 Maybe one day!

  • Just watching this while doing dishes and I laughed a bunch, Felicia! I’m glad you got such a great deal going with Microsoft – also, is this season also going to be 10 episodes or will it be longer?

    I don’t mind the cliffhangers, but I watch Lost so I’m REALLY used to it.

  • I really liked this episode. While all the plot changes are small they are sitll notable enough to make a large impact on the storyline. Keep at it, have a few storylines woven together in each episode, leave a couple of cliffhangers, and keep it fun!

    I have to say though, my favourite part is Vork yelling at Bladezz 😀

  • There’s nothing wrong with cliffhangers. It’s important though how you follow up on them up in the next episode. You don’t want to duck the cliffhanger too often, which is kind of what you did here. The reveal of the girlfriend left us expecting a confrontation, but instead we just got an after-the-fact recap (you’re excused though for using the great turn of phrase “loomed at by stupid tall hot girl”).

    A cliffhanger is like a promise to the audience for a payoff, in exchange for their patience. If you don’t pay off when the story resumes, then the cliffhangers just become annoyances. With your format of always opening with a blog entry, this can be an easy trap to fall into. You handled it really well for example with the “Zaboo hanging himself” cliffhanger in Season 1.

    (You probably know all this, but I thought it worth pointing out.)

  • I like the cliffhangers and I like shows that don’t feel obligated to finish the story entirely in one episode (not really applicable to webisodes). But multiple storylines are fine with me and I find that when they’re all wrapped up at the end that much more satisfaction with the story overall.

    Keep up the good work.
    /cheer

  • Wow, can’t tell that you’re sick at all, great job! I hate and love cliffhangers. I hate them because I want to know what’s going to happen NOW. But I love them because when the next show comes out I’m all excited and can’t wait to watch it. 🙂

    Great job so far on this season, I’m really enjoying it!

  • YourNameHere

    Preface : I have no tv at the moment.

    I’ve been getting the guild from the XBLV… thing. Overall, nice time filler/thing to watch before sleepytime. (i usually watch things before I sleep, before this it was futurama). I started getting roped in, but the short episode format makes it weird when you watch them back to back. Major cliffhangers tend to be irritating, as just when you’ve gotten into an episode, it takes you out of it. then, when you move to the next epsiode, it gets re-iterated.

    On the tail end of a season, it could be interesting. After having resolved the previous cliffhanger, then 3 minutes later, another one comes along, it’s not too fun.

    Overall, I’m suprised I have enjoyed it. I read about it in penny arcade, but didn’t pay it too much mind. But, free seems to be a good reason as any to get into it.

    I am casually waiting for the next episode. keep up the good work.

  • Re: browser problems on MSN,

    In case there are any other Linux users out there frustrated that in Firefox the animated ads remain superimposed over the flash video, almost completely blocking it (I had the same thing happen with Legend of Neil)…

    Try Kazehakase. It’s a nice little fast browser from Japan that uses the same rendering engine as Firefox, but doesn’t have the same problem. It’s the default browser in ubuntulite. And you don’t have to learn Japanese.

  • Haven’t gotten to see the episode yet, but I’m sure it rules. My girlfriend and I are just getting over the plague, so I feel for you. This eastern monster storm has taken its toll. On topic, though, I’m a big fan of the continuous plot throughout the season. It worked really well in the first season. Either way, I’ll keep watching.

  • A. Chen

    The Guild is a great show, just started watching and it’s very funny and clever. – respect

    Although I do have to admit that one thing that kind of bothers me is the incredibly short web-length episodes. I often find myself wishing they were a bit longer.

    I like having a single storyline connecting an entire season when I watch a tv show. Shows like House where each episode is virtually independent of the others is fun to watch, but never quite as engaging as one with a plot. I always thought that interwoven plots are good – so long as they aren’t too convoluted and like… all over the place. And they can provide interesting twists when separate plots impact each other in unforeseen ways (whatever that means 🙂

    Again, great work!! Well written, engaging, and some very endearing characters. Thank you so much for writing it!

  • Eddie

    The Guild is so awesome! Nice job with it!… After downloading and watching both seasons on my xbox, I literally became a fan overnight O_O. It made me giggle an extra bit when Codex said the party was working, up until now. Anyway great job (again) and I can’t wait for more episodes to download!!!

  • Well, now I have to go to the store and get some ramen.

    Thank you SO MUCH Felicia Day.

    The sodium is going to kill me.

    (I loved that gag reel)

  • Mike

    When I downloaded episode 9 off of Xbox live the title came up “Sex Parties”. When I watched it on MSN its entitled “Grouping up”. Just checked back on Xbox live and its now “Grouping Up” as well. Just a title mix up or do I have the legendary rare unrated version??

  • HAha that’s funny. Sex Parties was the original name, but they made me change it (too racy I guess). Funny someone messed up, lol.

  • Jim

    I really loved you in Dr. Horrible, the Guild, and you were great in the House episode too. (Saw you on Dr. Horrible first.)

    I hope you realize you have 90 million nerds crushing on you heavily. (word gets around with us nerds) I hope Whedon has you do more work with him.

  • Oi there, big fan of The Guild and you of course. I remember seeing it a few times then kinda forgetting about it. After awhile I stumbled back upon it and was able to watch it all the way through. Had I been watching it over the span of week I probably would have died… I love a good cliffhanger but it drives me nuts until I can see the next part. However, the fantastic thing about watching The Guild is knowing that unless something really major happens, it won’t just go away. Too many times I’ve fallen in love with tv series that have done just this… Tru Calling, Journeyman, Moonlight, Angel, etc. The entire webisode concept excludes ignorant studios who would otherwise dump a great show. Anywho like i said great show I absolutely love it, you were smashing in Dr. Horrible, and now I’ll stop boring you with hero worship. Can’t wait to see how this season ends and I’m very much looking forward to future seasons if/when they occur.

    –Aaron

  • Daria

    I watched seasons one and two today via XBox Marketplace. I even got my boyfriend (who is NOT a gamer) into it! I could not stop laughing – it was so much like playing with my group! (although I never had a gnome left on my doorstep.. ::shrug:: )

    I am very much looking forward to what The Guild has in store for the future!

    … As long as there are no more commercials with Vork in a speedo… Thanks…

    ::looks for the eye wash::

  • Please write a blog post about your exercise habits.

    I am about to puke from too many yogas so I would find this to be extremely topical.

    For me.

    Because your blog is all about me.

    Thank you.

  • I like Kiala’s idea. Except I think you should write about your ninja and/or assassin habits.

    • Oh, or your Death Knight shenanigans.

  • How about your Death Knight Ninja’s exercise habits?

    They have those right? Like, if you roll a twelve or something then the Death Knight Ninja has to do a Sun Salutation Vinyasa with a plus 4 of flexibility using their chatarunga shield?

    I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

  • JimG

    There is one thing I don’t like about the Guild.
    The Episodes are too short.
    Everytime I finish watching an episode I feel a little sad inside knowing I have to wait for the next one.

    Honestly I could deffinately watch 30-40min episodes.

  • Did I hear that old question causing epic fights of almost religious nature? Ongoing story or single episodes? Well, I guess the traditional argument is that ongoing stories will cause people to get Lost if they don’t watch it religiously and soon stop watching it at all. But that doesn’t really apply here, seeing how you can watch any episode anytime you like and they aren’t exactly so long and boring that it takes some serious effort to catch up on the last few eps.

    As for the cliffhangers. Strangely enough I never looked at them as cliffhangers, but as the best moment to fade out storywise. I don’t remember any particular “oh my good, how is this going to turn out”-endings, but some “this changes everything”-moments.

    The number of storylines. On one hand, with more storylines you increase the chances that everybody gets hooked on some of them, but with too many it gets confusing and 5min isn’t really enough to continue all of them. You might pick up a plot after some episodes and some people don’t even remember it.

    But theory aside: just do it the way you do it and how it feels right to you. You can spend all day guessing and theorizing and end up squeezing it into the wrong shape, just because you conclude that statistically that is what the majority wants. You’re on the internet, available worldwide and in every single time slot. Even the minority is still frigging huge.

  • Ben

    Just a quick comment on the new front page layout, its really slick with the latest blogpost at the bottom. Very cool!

    Now to be completely honest, it wasn’t the layout that motivated me to write a post this afternoon. Your front page signature is what did it. I’m a full grown man and I’m not ashamed to admit…I love Gossip Girl! (thankfully, these types of admissions are much easier when they are random, anonymous, internet posts)

    Now, anytime I see XOXO, I have to say, Gossip Girl, in my head.

    Is this some sort of subtle way of saying you are shooting on GG now??? Did I just start a rumor? 🙂

  • Kelly

    Just watched episode 10! Awww, poor Codex, she breaks my heart!

  • I really loved you in Dr. Horrible, the Guild, and you were great in the House episode too. (Saw you on Dr. Horrible first.)

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