Producing Juliet: The Latest from Tina Cesa Ward

Ok, we don’t really write much anymore, but when something worthwhile crosses our monitors, we still like to post for the three of you who still get our twitter or RSS feeds.

Award winning writer and director, Tina Cesa Ward, who has almost single-handedly driven the online video drama space forward, has released the pilot episodes of her newest series, Producing Juliet.

As I wrote on facebook: Don’t be dumb. Watch it.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with TCW by name, she is the creator of the breakout hit series Anyone But Me and Good People in Love. The cast also reunites Ward with award winning actress Rachael Hip-Flores, who also starred in ABM and GPiL. Producing Juliet premiered internationally at the inaugural Raindance London Web Festival earlier this year and is now available for your viewing pleasure on (via Blip) or at Tina’s Ward Picture Company channel on YouTube.

My Damn Channel to Produce Four Original Comedy Series for Blip

Two pioneers in the online video space have come together to create and distribute four new comedy series. Who knew these guys weren’t already partners?

My Damn Channel will produce four original comedy series for Blip, including new seasons of My Damn Channel hits Wainy Days and Daddy Knows Best, and two others currently in development. These series will premiere simultaneously on Blip and My Damn Channel in exclusive 30-day windows, before being made available on other outlets.

“My Damn Channel is creating some of the best content online and we are working with them to develop new series and share their existing series with the widest audience possible,” said Blip CEO Kelly Day. “We want people who love comedy to discover great new shows and share them with their friends, and this partnership helps us do that.”

“Blip has a large, loyal audience plus a great management and sales team. Our new partnership brings the best of our original comedy series to more fans and brands,” said My Damn Channel Founder/CEO, Rob Barnett. “The past 12 months have been groundbreaking for premium original programming and we love that more majors like YouTube, MSN Entertainment and Blip are backing us to produce original comedy with great talent.”

Check out the new content at their Digital Content NewFronts lunch presentation, taking place Wednesday, May 1, in NYC.

Sorenson Releases Squeeze 9

Perennial video encoding champions Sorenson Media released their latest version of the popular Squeeze platform, Squeeze 9.

You can even take it for a free test drive.

I’ve yet to give it a full workout, and won’t personally benefit from the HTML5 optimization, but Sorenson promises speed and quality improvements and a new user interface. Some of us stodgy old guys were perfectly fine with the old interface, which was more than adequate for my purposes, but we’ll see just how intuitive the new workflow is for this old dog. Also curious to see just how much time it can knock out of my encodes. Their new parallel processing breaks decoded video files into “chunks” and partitions them across multiple CPUs, and claims to be twice as fast as Squeeze 8. I just need a few hours to sit and do nothing but watch the clock before I can make my own conclusions.

Personally, I’ve been encoding my movie collection to MP4 for streaming (using Plex Media Server) to my phones and tablets using open source solutions, and am eager to see if Squeeze 9 takes some of the hassle out of my cobbled together workflow, and, more importantly, how it handles multi-channel audio. But I’m tired of doing three encodes to get a small (MP4/stereo), medium (MP4/Dolby PLII) and large (h264 DTS/AC-3 in MKV containers) version of the same content and am pretty confident that Squeeze 9 is going to replace Handbrake in my personal life.

I’ve always enjoyed using Squeeze and am pretty confident their latest offering will be more than satisfactory for my encoding needs.

Ultra Music Festival Live This Weekend

Gotta hand it to YouTube live and Ultra, the production quality on this is pretty spectacular.

Phish Summer Tour 2013 Video

Phish announces their 2013 summer tour dates with this homage to Apocalypse Now.

And here’s the original for those of you who are (gasp!) unfamiliar with the scene.