This was the most difficult year to pick winners yet. My ‘short list’ of deserving winners is at least three times the number of names you see here. Some were so close that it could’ve gone either way. For those of you who don’t manage to snag a robot here, there is always next year! And now for the winners…
Music & Sound
Winner: Last Fall of Ashes
Music & Sound is a broad category encompassing every component of the auditory half of a production. Last Fall of Ashes sticks out for it’s well roundedness and professionalism. The original score, performed by composer Ted Reedy is rich with heavy strings and an ever present subtlety. A great score can create a strong urge to overpower a scene, but here we see restraint – listen closely, it’s there. The mix is great, giving room for all the other aspects of the audio to fit in.
Winner: Danny Bresnik – Wallflowers Season 2
Wallflowers is such an excellent series. You’d be hard pressed to find a more engaging character oriented web series, and a lot of credit for that goes to editor Danny Bresnik. This is not a slick, stylish video series that one might expect from this award, rather this is a great example of the art form that is cutting together a film.
Winner: Aaron Garcia – We Are Angels
I was looking, really looking for someone who could compete with Aaron’s amazingly beautiful series ‘We Are Angels.’ In the end though, it’s just not out there. This is definitely a fine list of photography but ‘We Are Angels’ is not to be beating. Absolute proof that one doesn’t need a huge budget, bulky equipment, or anything other than time and talent to make something that looks amazing.
Winner: Mythos Sea & Sky
The costumes, the locations, I probably don’t need to say more. Productions that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars have been nominated for this award in the past but here we have a group that did it all on shoe string budgets. Partially a period piece, Mythos sells the time period well, all while being arguably the most visually interesting show of the year.
Eric Bilitch – Professional Friend
Helen Krieger, Joseph Meissner, Tami Nelson, Chris Trew, Cyrus Cooper, Maurice Ruffin – Least Favorite Love Songs Season 2
Andrew Dahl and Jordan McArthur – The Digressions Season 2
Amani Starnes – The United Colors of Amani
Jon Verrall – LARPS
Winner: Andrew Dahl, Jordan McArthur – The Digressions Season 2
You simply cannot write better comedy than this. The Digressions second season is everything I could’ve hoped for. Great comedic timing, well written characters and a relatable story. I should also say that this is one of the strongest categories this year, with 7 or 8 shows that had a reasonable chance at winning.
Winner: Kieran Turner – Wallflowers
It’s amazing to think back at the first season of what was then a distinctly over the top comedy series. By the end of it I commented that the show had transitioned from a sitcom to something more character oriented. Season two takes that a step further, to the point that the show wins best best dramatic screenplay. The series still has it’s fair share of comedy, but ultimately it will be remembered most for it’s characters.
Another really difficult choice. LARPS doesn’t have a standout lead performance, but what it does have is a lot of excellent ones from an entire cast that seems to interact so well together. I’m pretty sure that this is just a documentary and these people are all just real life LARPing friends. I did hesitate on pulling the trigger on LARPS here because the writing is so good, but I came to the conclusion that I would never know how good the writing actually was if it wasn’t for the actors that breathed life into it.
Winner: Patch Darragh – Wallflowers
It might have taken three tries to find the right fit, but the third time was the charm. Patch Darragh’s portrayal of ‘Byrce’ is every bit as narcissistic and socially repugnant as the others but gosh do we really root for him this time. There were some excellent performances this year, but out of the 2014 class there was never much debate over who was the winner.
Winner: Liz Days – Plant
This was the single toughest category this year, with my ‘short-list’ being 16 names long. Having to choose between the top three on here made putting together this list take an awful lot longer than you’d think. Liz Days’ portrayal of a pastors wife at a ‘start-up’ church was memorable, as she flat out steals the show. Her banning of pencils, missiles, baguettes and other ‘phallic symbols’ was perhaps my favorite moment in #WebSeriesWednesday 2014.
Eric Bilitch – Professional Friend
Amy Kersten – Hot Mess
Kieran Turner – Wallflowers Season 2
Joe Flanders – Average Joe Season 2
Abby Rosebrock, Layla Khoshnoudi & and Control Top Productions – My Ex Is Trending
Winner: Eric Bilitch – Professional Friend
I love the best director category because it allows every show to compete on an even playing field. Here I’m looking at the creative decisions and how they worked out. Professional Friend just might be the most well rounded series in play in 2014, but what set’s it apart in the directors category is the attention to detail. While the main cast is all excellent, the real stand outs were just about every single guest appearance. From there it’s other little things like great use of music, a great title sequence, and excellent camera work. The result is a series that makes a great calling card for director Eric Bilitch.
Winner: The Digressions Season 2
I tend to get asked about web series a lot – it’s no surprise really, since I run a blog about them. I noticed recently that I always tend to bring up ‘The Digressions’ in these conversations. I’ve also noticed that Tim Keaty over at The Surfing Aliens has the same problem. We can’t both be crazy right? This show can do no wrong – I even called it’s recent crowdfunding pitch video ‘the definitive web series crowdfunding pitch video.’ Season 2 of the Digressions floored me with it’s quality, and from the moment I watched it the question became, ‘will there be another contender for best web series 2014?’ Clearly the answer was no.
Congratulations to all the winners! For those nominated I’ll be adding laurels below. Thank you all for taking the time to chat with me about your series this year – it’s great seeing the amazing work you guys come up with.
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