Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do You Want To Date My Avatar? The Guild Triumphs at Comic-Con!

The Guild dressed for success for "Do You Want To Date My Avatar?"

This time last week I was glued to Twitter
Comic-Con was on and the 'Left-Behind' Guildies were desperate to hear anything and everything about what 'the lucky ones' were up to. Comic-Con ended on Sunday but it's taken that long to get around to blogging about it. (Plus we're having the hottest weather in 200 years here at the moment so I had to spend the day by a friend's pool yesterday up near Indian Arm. It's a hard job but someone has to do it!)

Where were you when The Guild Panel was on?
Last Friday at 10:30 The Guild took the stage to rapturous applause, decked out in full Avatar Costumes including weaponry! The Left-Behind were scanning Twitter for information and during the Panel Twitter went into overload. It was a real event for us Left-Behind and we couldn't believe what we were reading: a music video, cos-play, a Dark Horse comic penned by Felicia for The Guild.....? Wowowow! And there was another thing...what was it now...? Oh yes! WIL WHEATON IS IN SEASON 3!!!!! Tubefilter was first off the mark with their coverage that included pictures, links to interviews and a chance to win download codes for the "Date My Avatar" video!

The Panel (without the music video or Season 3, Ep 1) has been uploaded by magicinthenumbers on YouTube:

And luckily my fears about @seanbecker and @feliciaday having a big bust-up on stage were unfounded! Plus for an insider's view of Comic-Con, Felicia has blogged about the whole, wonderful experience. i09 rates Felicia as a "Top 10 Buzz" of Comic-Con (and they're not wrong!).

Secrets and lies
How had they managed to keep all that under wraps? Obviously Felicia's fearsome reputation (the threats, the kidnapping, the violence...) must have been enough to ensure everyone toed the line because no-one blabbed at all. @WilW was given very firm instructions by Felicia. So @WilW even lied to everyone on Twitter about why he was going to Comic-Con:

Today Wil has blogged about his experiences on the set of The Guild and he didn't even apologise for his web of lies. But he did say he was going to talk about each episode after it had been released. So....I guess we're even. (That 'Deadbeat' thing? All forgotten. I never thought he was a deadbeat, anyway).

And that video?
As soon as I heard about the "Do You Want To Date My Avatar" I wanted to see it. I mean, I really, REALLY wanted to see it. And thanks to a very kind friend I got a code, downloaded the video onto my Xbox and....OMG! You are going to freak when you see it! It has everything: a great song, a hook that you'll keep singing, lyrics that'll make you LOL and then....the video. All the cast are there (plus Mo Tancharoen, who choreographed, as a backing dancer) and they look amazing in their outfits. Felicia, as you would expect, looks sexy, playful and stunningly beautiful. Jeff Lewis (Vork) wields his massive weapon with all the grace and precision you would expect from a man so at-ease in his own skin.

Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), in a very fetching outfit that puts me in mind of the good ole Union Flag (no, not *that* union - the British one), even does some acrobatics. I'm sure Felicia didn't make him do it to get back for all the pain she went through as the naughty fairy on Legend of Neil! Amy Okuda (Tink) struts her stuff in a most stimulating way that will undoubtably bring more calls for her to do more. Robin Thorsen (Clara) plays her part with conviction and is having far too much fun! And poor Vince....! I wonder if Vince Caso (Bladezz) has recovered yet? It must have been really gruelling for him, poor lad...

Yeah, rub it in why don't you?
But fear not if you haven't seen it yet because "Do You Want To Date My Avatar" will be available on general release soon. It'll be on Xbox Live (without needing a code) on 10th August and a week later it will be on MSN Video and elsewhere. Plans are that it will be available to buy from various sources. As soon as more details are revealed I will let you know.

Have YOU seen it yet?
If you have, my good friends Kenny and Jenni from the "Knights of the Guild" podcast would like to hear from you! Just email them at with a comment - and if you can do an audio one that would be even better. I'm going to record mine tonight. If I can. Because this week has been a bit of a FAIL where audio is concerned

"Turning Left at Albuquerque" not updated this week
We've had a few technical issues this week, not helped by the massively excessive heat (40 degrees C is *not* compatible with my English constitution. England, in typical summer style, has had non-stop rain and flooding. I miss that). The next episode is done but we'll release it next Monday because there's not time now to do another one before then. I tweeted this news earlier and asked people to @reply to me if they were angry about it. Thanks to everyone who took the time to register their dissatisfaction :)

The good news is that it gives you time to catch up on any episodes you've missed! And if you're enjoying it so far please leave a comment here or on the podcast website to let us know. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Who is Sean Becker? Is The Guild Panel Safe...

...or is it going to be the scene of a terrible battle?
Recently we've witnessed the stunning sight of a man being sacked right in front of our Twittering eyes - or did we? Was Sean Becker really sacked or was it an elaborate scam wrought by some sort of evil genius? Or blundering idiot? The Guild Panel at CC is on this morning (Friday) at 10:30 in room 5AB so before that, let's examine the evidence.

Firstly - who IS Sean Becker?
As I've mentioned before, it is not entirely clear who Sean Becker is. Is he the 2008 Civil War Series sprint car champion?

Is he one of these people?

(borrowed from @maxsummers' Flickr account)

If so, what is he up to and can he be trusted with The Guild?
Friends - we have all suffered the ravages of Guild Deficiency Syndrome, all lost loved ones with our constant use of Vorkisms and insistence in raising squab, all suffered the crushing realisation that there are still some people in the world who have not even heard of Felicia Day. You would therefore assume that if you were actually a part of creating that special magic that is The Guild and then you were sacked, you'd be pretty upset about it. Perhaps you would lock yourself in your room and play Seasons 1 and 2 back-to-back while creating SIMS versions of the characters (oh - someone has already done that! Haven't you, Edgar?). You probably wouldn't happily go down to the shops and treat yourself to a new copy of 'Barbie Horse Adventures' - unlike this guy:

Note the maniacal laughter, the look on the assistants face and the clever use of The Guild tee-shirt. Is this the face of a man crushed?

What's going on?
To have any hope of understanding this we need to look into his past for clues. Using the vast array of information about Mr Becker on the Internet (I did a search on YouTube) I have pieced together his life in the last couple of years.

March 2007
Sean is sent off to war and makes a heart-warming video to his yet unborn child. How sensitive he is!

June 2007
It appears he returned from Iraq early and, perhaps not surprisingly, finds himself in need of friends. Here we see his impassioned attempt to connect with someone in real life. It's sad, really....

But luckily for him he seems to have hooked up with an old friend of his, Payman Benz, that you may remember from such awesome webseries as 'Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show' where he starred as Unicow (all hail Unicow!). They go on to set up 'Awkward Pictures' and create the hilarious and well-received webseries 'Comedy Gumbo' and many other funny videos.

Groomed by The Guild
Following these successes, news of Sean reaches Felicia Day who sets about luring him into directing and editing Season 2 of The Guild. With promises of unlimited jelly beans Sean signed up readily, unaware that his contract stipulated that he was now effectively Felicia's slave. We've all seen the video of Felicia laughing about tying him to the chair until he's finished editing. He never did get his Thanksgiving dinner...This is hardly the point, though, because The Guild Season 2 was a masterpiece of editing so good, you couldn't even tell it was there.

Escape in 2009?
But it seems that Sean, perhaps on a day when he was less hyped-up on jelly beans than usual, was planning his escape. Here we see him heavily made-up trying to get into college:

Perhaps the strain of working on The Guild had made him forget that he has already been to college. That's where he met Payman Benz (all hail Unicow!) .

What to think?
So was Sean Becker fired? If he was does he now harbour a deep resentment along with an unhealthy obsession with jelly beans? Or was it all a ploy by him to allow him freedom to join forces with Jared Hoy and set up ConQuest guide to report from Comic-Con?

Or perhaps to get more time off so he could finish shooting Comedy Gumbo Season 2?

Only Sean can tell!
The Guild Panel at CC happens in a few short hours. The Guildies are all up and chomping at the bit, anxious to see their idols answer some simple questions. If someone asks whether he was sacked or not, what will happen? We can only hope that it isn't going to become a battleground between the lovely Felicia Day and this pretender Becker. And the good news is that there's no shortage of people wanting the job such as Shelley:

Good luck at the Panel today, everyone, and please, Sean, for the love of the Guildies, don't hijack it for your own nefarious purposes.

Now all we need to worry about is Delicia Fay....

The Guild At SD Comic Con - hunting for glory!

The hunt is on!
All those Guildies lucky enough to be in San Diego for Comic Con 2009 are scurrying around looking unusually focussed today because THE GUILD SCAVENGER HUNT is now on! @theguild had hinted that there would be something big being announced today and then tweeted this morning:

Lucky people!
There have already been some winners but apparently there are plenty of prizes so if you are at SDCC get to booth #4417 and get cracking. And while you're there see if you can catch sight of Felicia's rad laces (comfy shoes ftw - but how did she tie them?!?):

Tomorrow is The Guild Panel
And this will be a packed event. Get there early to get a good seat and then post all your pics and vid online asap afterwards! It's in Room 5AB 10:30 - 11:30 AM (yes, it's in the morning so make sure you get up!). Now I'm a little concerned about the panel. For one thing, a certain @deliciafay has tweeted this:

She hasn't tweeted since, and that's usually a sign that she's up to something. Time will tell...

But there's more reason to worry!
Remember all the unpleasantness a couple of weeks ago when Sean Becker was allegedly fired from The Guild, and all the fallout from that? Well, I have more news on that and I'm here to tell you - there be shenanigans! I'm waiting for a couple of snippets to come back to me then I'm going to blow the lid on the whole thing. You have been warned! I only hope I can get the word out in time...

Monday, July 20, 2009

SD Comic Con - The Guild, Dr Horrible and Shenanigans!

San Diego Comic Con is on this week!
And once again I will be attending via the Internet. Sure, some people might say that stalking all the people I know who are going is a poor substitute for actually being there, but at least this way I don't have many scheduling nightmares and the kids get to eat this month! Last year I blogged on Whedonage about all the people I would queue up to see if I were there Part 1 and Part 2. The list hasn't changed that much, with a few additions, perhaps.

For all us unfortunates not able to be there here are some resources that might help:

Tubefilter: a guide to all the webseries at SDCC including The Guild and Dr Horrible
Whedonage: all the Whedon-related happenings this year
The Guild: their guide to everything Guild-related
Guildies: Comic-Con'd!: Set up by Dani (@maxsummers), a collection of Guildies will be posting their reports from SDCC (I'm really excited about this!)

@Crixlee Cricket Lee: co-presenter of A Fangirl's Guide podcast, girl gamer and Guild extra will be at CC, collecting interviews and giving away stickers
@egspoony Edgar Garcia: The Guild and Felicia's webmaster extraordinaire
@maxsummers Dani will be posting on the Guildies' site (can't wait for her to meet with Felicia!) and tweeting (I hope!)
@seanbecker some dude
@jaredhoy Chief Lighting Technician on The Guild and co-presenter of A Fangirl's Guide podcast will be interviewing and video blogging
@nathantamayo Guildie who will also be blogging on the Guildies' site
@FannishInc: Interviewer extraordinaire will be there
@danregal: expect more pics than you can wave a stick at!
@RobinInSeoul: a Whedonite of distinction!
@CapricaSeven: Jane Espenson, who will be there for the BSG panel
EDIT: @theguild: They will have a very special announcement for Guildies at CC on Thursday AM, so be sure you're following them (yes, even those of us not there want to know what's going on!)
@jul_weiss: Julianna Weiss, Editor of Pink Raygun is at CC and will be getting scoop on lots of geektastical wonders!

Video reporting
The lovely Jared Hoy has started a video blog about SDCC. Despite some misgivings about his co-host (and you'll understand why when you see who that is) I have high hopes for this:

If you know of anyone else or other sites that have SDCC information on them please let me know and I'll add them.

Jessica Stover (@JSto) will be representing Artemis Eternal at SDCC but in a different form to last year. All the details are on the Artemis Eternal website.

So what's all that about, then? Well, I have discovered some shocking news. News so shocking that it could set the Internet alight like hasn't been seen since the news of Guild Deficiency Syndrome broke or that loser Sean Becker was apparently sacked by the wonderful Felicia Day. It's so potentially devastating that I can barely bring myself to blog about it. But I know my duty. Stay tuned - the truth is out there!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Guild on YouTube (get Digging!) and Dr Horrible's birthday

They're back!
Yes - The Guild Season 2 is now starting on YouTube with Episode One "Link the Loot" already up there:

It's great to see the gang back on YouTube - and to read all the comments from fans! And yes - lots of new fans are seeing The Guild for the first time. Crazy as it seems, there are some people on the Interwebz who have not seen The Guild yet. There is an influx of new people on and it's really great to hear from people who had no idea about the series and are now gleefully rattling through the episodes. This is great news and you can Digg it up to show your appreciation!

YouTube versus MSN
Now this is a false battle. The bottom line is that MSN are the sponsor of The Guild and without them Season 2, and for certain, Season 3 just would not be happening on the same scale, if at all. Felicia Day (creator/writer/actor) battled long and hard for a deal that let her keep control of her show and this was the best deal on a full table of offers. That said, there are differences between the two, and for me there are three main ones:

Streaming quality:
MSN is the clear winner here. Season 2 was filmed in HD and the MSN video player does do this more justice (although watching on Xbox Live on a HD TV is better still!):

Ease of commenting
YouTube wins here hands down. On the MSN site it's hard to even find where you are supposed to comment, you have to log in and it seems very clunky. By comparison commenting and reading the comments in YouTube are a breeze. You still have to log on but YouTube keeps you logged in as a rule (unless your settings don't allow this) and so once you've commented on one video you can keep going. Of course that also means that many of the comments on YouTube in general (but not really on The Guild videos) can be spammy, offensive or just plain nasty, but they can be moderated.

Sharing the videos
You can Digg both with one click. MSN allows you to 'blog to spaces', while YouTube gives you the option to share on Facebook and MySpace. Both also allow you to copy the links (with or without embedding).

Why The Guild being on YouTube is important
The Guild started on YouTube and has a massive following over there. But there are still so many people who haven't heard of The Guild that making available in as many places as possible makes sound sense. As they put on

The one thing we’ve missed from out awesome Xbox/Microsoft distribution is comments, so we’d love to hear what you think of the season! Also, if you could Rate and Favorite the video it will help new people discover the show. We appreciate those extra clicks!

Thank you so much for supporting our independent web series :) We’re excited to be launching a new season just around the corner, more information will be released next week. Also we will be posting our full Comicon Schedule later today or tomorrow, so be sure to check back so you can fit us in your busy schedule!

The Guild Management

So even if you've seen it on MSN, bought the DVD (use this link to support The Guild if you've not already purchased it) and have told all your friends (repeatedly!) you can still help by heading over to YouTube.

Our favourite Doctor had a birthday!
It's hard to believe but it's a year since Dr Horrible stormed the Intertubes on the 15th July 2008, taking out servers and breaking websites willy nilly. There was a surprising lack of posts about it, but WoWBlog did summarise the excitement and heady anticipation of those days. Really, I should now do Future Entertainment: Part 3 and bring together everything we've learned about how ground-breaking Dr Horrible was and is. And will do that. Just not yet :)

Two Birthdays?
In fact, Dr Horrible had two birthdays this week because it was Jed Whedon's yesterday, as immortalised in this tweet from Mo Tanchoroen (his wife and co-writer-in-crime):

Happy birthday, Dr Horrible!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Felicia Day: Evil warder or troubled genius?

Sean Becker (l) in happier times at The Streamy Awards (more pics)

Fears are growing for Sean Becker today
I returned from my self-imposed exile in England yesterday. After breaking the story about Sean Becker's shock firing from The Guild and the shocking follow-up, pressure became too much and I needed to get away from the constant media attention. Plus I wanted to make sure Felicia couldn't send one of her hired goons around (she knows where I live). It was great to meet up with family and friends and we all had a wonderful time and I even managed to put Ominbus 6 of "Turning Left at Albuquerque", my audiobook podcast, up. But while I was gone matters have moved on and I can stay silent no longer!

Sean Becker - still fired?
In a desperate bid to find out whether he still had a job, Sean published another video. This contains scenes that might not be suitable for viewers of a sensitive disposition:

Ms Day was not impressed with the first video he did so one can only imagine how this one was received!

The Guild Season 3 is wrapped
Joyous news for all fans of The Guild, of course - a real cause for celebration. Ms Day blogged about the wondrous event:

"....Now…post production. Ack! Director Sean Becker will be rushing to get a cut of Episode 1 ready for our Comicon Panel (July 24th from 10:30am-11:30am in room 5AB!) and the whole cast will be there. It’s going to be an amazing panel, I assure you....Ok, off to punch [redacted] in the face"

Felicia has a habit of keeping Sean under house arrest while he is editing The Guild. She shockingly confessed this to me during an interview I did with her last year:

A quick check on Sean's Twitter stream confirms the worst:

3 months?!? Sounds like Felicia is planning to keep Sean under wraps until Season 3 has been released!!!

What can be done?
It's unclear what, if anything, can be done for Sean. His Facebook picture has been updated:

It shows him forced to interact with a TV screen in a desperate attempt to simulate real-life contact. Whether this is a result of being in captivity or his crippling lack of social graces, we might never know. For now, we can only pray Felicia is not force-feeding him jellybeans again...

More news as it happens!