“The Guild” is my baby, I’ll say it shamelessly. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I created the idea for this web show, wrote down the words, wonderful people gathered together to make it, and now strangers quote the lines back at me. It sometimes hits me as surreal. Certainly no one could have predicted that a life-long addiction to role-playing games could provide the material to sustain a show that has, to this date, garnered over 12 million hits on the internet. The mantra “write what you know” is truer than anyone gives it credit for, so if you are looking to create a web show of your own, please don’t make it about a bunch of funny and attractive white people who trade quips in an urban coffee shop. You know you have a more original story to tell. (Watch someone make a web show about just that and get 13 million hits just to spite me. Whatever.)
The thing that makes me most grateful is that so many incredibly talented people have contributed their skills and vision to make it something I never could have imagined in the beginning: My producer Kim Evey had the idea to make “The Guild” a web show, not a TV pilot; all the actors worked for free over a year, no complaints; Donors gave money through Paypal to continue season 1 because we couldn’t afford to fund shooting ourselves; A fan named Andrew Gleason donated an apartment complex to make season 2 happen because we lost Codex’s location; I drafted an artist (Matthew Brackney) who randomly made a piece of fan art of the characters, to reanimate the opening credits for season 2; Dani Figueiredo from Brazil made Portuguese and English subtitles and helped open our videos to the world….the list could be a mile longer. That’s why I love film making, it’s a truly collaborative art form. Well, web video is even MORE collaborative, which I couldn’t be happier about.
Also, the deal I made with Xbox / Microsoft to fund and distribute Season 2 of “The Guild” is also something that I’m very proud of. We held out over a year, turning down dozens of offers for the show, because I was adamant that I keep the rights to the show (definitely not the norm in Hollywood). After my experience with “Dr. Horrible” and seeing Joss stay independent and outside the system and then make it a web phenomenon, I was even more determined to stick to my guns. I got nervous a few times when I turned down a deal, I admit, and we actually started shooting Season 2 out of our pockets on the proceeds from the Season 1 DVD, but Xbox came in at exactly the right moment, with exactly the right vision and support to make the rest of Season 2 a reality. Not many corporations think outside the box like that, especially of that size. I’d say it was fate, but I’m not superstitious like that. Well, maybe a little.
If you haven’t watched “The Guild”, please check out the official website, where you can read information on the cast and crew, watch the episodes, and connect with other fans of the show on the community site.