You may have noticed that the site was down for a few months. Sorry about that! Basically what happens is that when you leave a WordPress site largely unattended for a few years, it tends to get hacked EVEN IF you keep the install up-to-date. Those hackers are wily!
In any case, we started having trouble with both GamerSushi and Smooth Few Films getting filled with malicious spam, so I decided to take down this site for a while under the assumption I would take the time to create a streamlined non-Wordpress version without much trouble.
Several months passed, and I realized that I wasn’t going to get off my ass and make a whole new site from the ground up any time soon, so I’ve gone ahead and reactivated the WordPress site with a new theme and some minor changes here and there.
Now, before you get excited, this post doesn’t mean the guys are working on any new stuff. Don’t take this as an opportunity to ask if they’ll be making season three of The Leet World, because it’s not going to happen. We know you guys loved The Leet World, but it came to a natural end more than four years ago!
Man, I’m terrible. I’ve waited since August to answer some of your questions. Hopefully you don’t all hate me for that, but I think I’ve given you plenty of other reasons to loathe me before this oversight.
Because it’s Christmas and I’m feeling charitable, I figured it was finally time to give you guys a few answers. As I said last time, feel free to leave more questions in the comments, especially if I didn’t get to your question this time.
And now, Q’s plus A’s:
1) What all have you been up to since the hiatus?
GamerSushi! Nick, Jeff and I help run the video game blog and even recorded a few podcasts. We’ve been on a bit of a break from that (for reasons I’m about to list below), but they’re a good time and worth a listen. We’ve got a video podcast going up soon if Nick can ever pull himself from his beard long enough to do things.
In terms of other stuff going on, Daniel and Nick have both been out in Los Angeles, working for the man and making some money with various productions. They are currently working on a pilot for Dan Harmon’s Channel 101, an original piece they crafted with Jace called Street Justice. I’ve seen the script and I think it’s going to be awesome. As soon as it’s online, I’ll direct you guys over to it. Daniel’s also been updating a design blog, Done Well Is So Much Better, at times. It’s neat.
As for me, I’ve been working on the second draft of my novel. I’ve also taken a freelance writing gig with Rooster Teeth to help on Season 10 of Red Vs Blue. It’s kind of cool. I wrote a tad more about it on my blog, if you’re interested.
2) Do you guys miss working on content for Smooth Few Films?
Yes and no. I don’t think any of us miss the exercise in tedium that was Leet World, or the ridiculous daily grind that made up Web Zeroes. Much less doing all that work for no pay. The experience taught us a lot about ourselves and about what we like to do, but we’re not itching to go back to that formula of lots of work and no lives for no compensation.
That being said, we do get that itch and miss out on the fun part of storytelling. There’s nothing quite like writing or producing something and knowing that thousands of people are going to see what you’re working on, and soon. Everything else since then has felt like working in a vacuum. So yeah, we get nostalgic about the platform that we had to show people our stuff. But that’s about it.
3) Will you guys make anything in Counter-Strike: GO?
This is a tricky one. I don’t want to say never, but I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep either. As of right now, I’m not in love with the character models of CS: GO, and I’m not sure it would translate all that well for a fun little updated TLW short.
In addition, I’m not even sure what kind of machinima opportunities would even be available with the updated engine. It’s one of those things where I’d have to play it for awhile and see if there was anything we could do. And on top of that, we’d all have to want to do it.
I think my big worry would be releasing a one-off short, and then having people go nuts and demanding more. That’s a good problem to have, to be sure. But it’s still an issue to consider.
4) I was thinking of using Roxio Game Capture for the PC to capture footage, do you think this piece of hardware is a good buy? Or should I use an actual capture card?
I’m not the expert here (that would be Daniel and Nick), but I’d recommend a dedicated capture card when you can, if your concern is maintaining the quality of the original. I’m guessing going through a box like that is adding a stop for the footage, which just gives it another spot to lose quality. Also, I haven’t read great reviews of that particular piece of Roxio hardware. If nothing else, and you decide that you don’t want to invest the kind of money in a dedicated card, I’d always recommend hardware over software.
5) Can I make TLW DVDs for my own personal use?
Go for it. The reason we never made them is because we can’t sell them. Download the episodes and go nuts! You can’t sell them either, by the way. So don’t do that.
Gentlemen, we had a good run. Smooth Few Films is on indefinite hiatus.
This update has been a couple of months in the making, and I apologize for not doing it sooner. To be honest, I didn’t really know how to say it, and I was kind of heartsick about even writing it. I’ve also been busy with a lot of stuff in my personal life from work to writing a novel and I avoided it because I knew it would pain me to write it. But now that comments have come over to my personal blog queue about this site I felt like it was time to do something. So again, I apologize to those of you who have checked back here every day hoping for an update. I know there are quite a few of you (thanks to the wonder of Google Analytics) and it for real means the world that there’s that kind of dedication to our bumbling Internet troupe.
The reasons for the indefinite hiatus are fairly easy to explain. For one, Daniel moved to L.A. a month or two back in order to follow his dreams as a film dude. Him and Jace are living together and doing awesome things. I fully expect them to hit some big successes out there, and will probably update this blog to let you guys know about them whenever they happen. Daniel was always the talented one, so him leaving was what really solidified the decision for us.
Beyond that, we really did burn ourselves out from 2 plus years of throwing everything we had at Smooth Few Films. It may not have looked like much, but we gave up the majority of our free time, thousands of dollars and sacrificed a few opportunities and friendships along the way. We did all of that because we loved telling stories, and tried to do our best to tell a couple of fun ones.
Truth be told, the most fun part of the whole thing for me was seeing the way you guys, our community, really latched on to what we were doing and how you reacted to it each and every step of the way. I seriously go back through comments of old Leet World episodes sometimes, just to relive the excitement you all had for the stuff we made. I can’t speak for the other guys, but for me, that totally made it worth all of the time we toiled.
Is this the end of us working together? Not by any means. As I’ve maintained (and why I put this post off), we’ve got lots of things we want to do… eventually. What the magical conditions are and what stars have to align for that to happen is anyone’s guess. When/if the indefinite status changes, you guys will be the first to know. Believe me, I’m rooting for it.
Without being cheesy, all I can say is that I love you dudes and I’ve always appreciated the love you’ve thrown back our way, when we really didn’t deserve it. You guys are awesome.
Well, it passed. Leet World ended just a little over a year ago. A nutty show, and a nutty ride. You guys are nuts, too.
I’d write a big thing about my thoughts about the year since, but I’d rather hear more of what you guys think. What are some of the highlights and lowlights of you for TLW? I’ve got a few of my own.
Highlights: Mendoza’s arc. Both season finales. The “can of worms / Council of Elrond” episode, S2E11, where most of the mysteries were spilled (still feel like we pulled that off decently). S1E7, because I feel like it was the first episode where we “got it” and the formula and quality for all subsequent episodes clicked.
Lowlights: I know a lot of people will boo me for this, but S1E1. The fact that we introduced Mendoza so late. Probably the only true “filler” episode we did, S1E6. The faceposing in Season 1. Not having the time to utilize the comrades/SWAT Bras more fully.
Go ahead and share yours.
In other news, we’ve been told from a Canadian friend that Day in the Life of a Turret was shown/referenced on TV there. While we’re unsure of the network (though it might have been G4), it seems the context wasn’t entirely positive. Still, we’re curious if anyone saw this?
Also, if you were planning on checking out Daniel’s panel appearance on Rooster Teeth’s Best of Machinima Panel this weekend at Fantastic Fest, that has been officially moved to Sunday at 2:30 PM. This is a bummer for me, because I was going to drive down for it on Saturday, but now I can’t. Sad. Face.
Man, it’s been quiet around here lately, eh? Since Web Zeroes ended a few weeks ago, the wheels have been turning a bit slow around the SFF wagon, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped altogether. The biggest and most frequently asked question that we’ve seen in the last month or so has been: what’s next? I wanted to answer for that you guys as best as I could so you know that we haven’t hitched a ride on dragons out of the country or something.
The short of it is this: we’re not quite sure what’s next. That’s not for a lack of ideas at all. In fact, we actually have a surplus of them. The tricky part is narrowing it down, which will only come with time to weight out their pros and cons, and also time to chill out a bit. For real, we’re just starting to get used to having our weekends back for the first time in several years, and we’re going to enjoy that for a bit before we throw ourselves onto the content skillet again. It is a hot and buttery place. OK, that metaphor got kind of weird.
Anyway, the only thing I can really tell you is this. Our next ideas aren’t exactly small potatoes. They’re big. Orca fat, I guess you could say. Up until now, we’ve done everything without a budget and without a huge supply of time. Everything has been quick, free and dirty. The last episode of Web Zeroes is something we were able to throw a bunch of time at, and I think the effort really shows. As a result, we’re going to make sure that whatever we do next we tackle with both time and money. Just think: if we’ve pulled off the stuff we’ve done so far without a budget or ample time, it’s tough to imagine what we could do with just a little of both. Or a lot of both, which would be preferable.
And no, these do not include TLW. In conjunction with wanting to do our next project with the aforementioned time and money, we also want to be able to own it. TLW is the opposite of that, as we’ve discussed on many a fine occasion.
So, stay tuned. I promise more info is coming, along with regular updates. Some things that we’re hoping to have on the docket in the next few weeks include more lost TLW factoids, some Web Zeroes features and other cool things I can’t say just yet. In the meantime, check out GamerSushi, where we’ve got cool gaming news and podcasts.
In other machinima news, have you seen this Gears of War 3 trailer created by a variety of producers including The Duo Group, Treadster Media, Kootra and Sound Wizardry. I love it.
After a couple of weeks off to catch back up on the show, we now return with Episode 24 of Web Zeroes, Adverse Effects. In this episode, we see the guys deal with the surprise of incorporating ads into their show, and what all that means for the road ahead. Naturally, there are schemes and jokes, and things continue to progress with Alex’s co-workers as well, which will lead up to a spectacular season finale, if I do say so myself.
Many big thanks to JJ, who penned a great episode yet again. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Miguel, who plays Scott, and did a fantastic job. Give those two guys a hand, as well as Jace, who always kills it each week on the musical front. These people are like ninjas at their crafts, so it’s cool that I know ninjas, I think.
And now for some news…
The season 2 finale (Episode 25) will also be the finale of the show itself. Next week will mark the end of Web Zeroes. We’ve known that’s how it was going to be for a month or so now, but couldn’t really talk about it until the release of this episode. I wish we could have told you guys sooner, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. I think it’s important to note that ending the show is our decision, mostly because it has just been too exhausting to do the show as a part time job in addition to our day jobs. We’re thankful to Revision3 for the opportunity to broadcast this show to a much bigger audience than we had before, and for allowing us the privilege of being their first scripted series. Continue reading →
As I said last week, we’re going to be off from releasing new episodes of Web Zeroes until next Wednesday, May 19th. We’re still hard at work on the show, though, so it’s not a total break for us. There might also be some Halo Reach going on in the meantime, but really, can you blame us? I’m a Halo fanboy, what can I say?
In addition to the Halo Reach beta madness, I was wondering if you guys had seen the news about Counter-Strike: Source getting a new beta, a big update and some achievements? Pretty interesting timing for that. It makes me wonder if they’re getting ready to return to that old CS well for more multiplayer goodness. To be honest, if they ever did that, I would play the junk out of that game. The Counter-Strike series still remains the best multiplayer gaming experience I’ve had, so I’d be excited for a new one. Then again, this is all speculation on my part.
Confession: I spent an hour today going over the TLW TV Tropes page. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a very insightful breakdown of some of the major tropes, themes and characters of that show. I almost went back and watched a few episodes because of it. Almost.
Speaking of Leet World, sometimes I do the voices on set of Web Zeroes. Sometimes, the camera catches me doing this. See the example below…
These little behind the scenes snippets may start coming more regularly. Kthx.
In what has been a weird week for us here at SmoothFewFilms, I regret to inform you guys that we’ve got some bad news. Throughout our years as content creators on the Internet, we’ve always worked to deliver quality comedy material. Sometimes, this included legally gray areas such as machinima, where we utilized someone else’s intellectual property for a laugh, or in the case of The Leet World, an entire series.
Regretfully, we have finally pushed things too far. Due to our parody of an “Avatar parody”, Fox has sent us an actual cease and desist letter. It wasn’t just the Avatar parody that lead to this, but also the suggestion that Fox would send us a cease and desist letter in Web Zeroes Episode 14 that lead to the actual cease and desist letter. I know, it’s both terribly confusing as well as ironic, but this is sadly not a laughing matter for us.
A few things are changing. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have to remove Episode 14 of Web Zeroes, as well as any other outstanding works on our site that use other intellectual property. No we’re not yet in trouble for those, but this is what our legal counsel has recommended for us to do. This will include our Halo shorts, Day in the Life of a Turret, Leet World, and any episodes of Web Zeroes which use even images or brief shots of video games, which is quite a fair bit.
Sorry to have to tell you guys this, it bums us out just as much as it will you, if not more so. We’re not really sure where to go from here, because this is admittedly disheartening. It seems not even our live action endeavors kept us out of legal trouble. Maybe next we’ll work on stick figures or something, but who knows. We could always just send carrier pigeons straight to our fans because the Internet is a big and scary place.
Anyway, if you want to review the actual cease and desist letter, the link is right here. Maybe you guys can help us out.
Here is Episode 14 of Web Zeroes, and the start of Season 2, Going Viral. In it, we find out the fate of Ray and the guys, and what is next on the docket in their attempts to be Web famous. It might involve something you all are familiar with. Or not. Plus, there are Avatar jokes.
Whereas last season took a few episodes to launch us into the story proper, we’re getting things going right off the bat this time around. And it only gets more ridiculous from there. Also, I’d like to point out that a couple of cast members appear shirtless and/or pantless in this kick-off, so yeah, it’s a party. Take off your pants too, if you want. We’re not here to judge. Well, maybe I am.
Special thanks to RoosterTeeth for appearing in our goofy show again. And much thanks to Jace and Alex for wrangling the music and sound over the weekend. They are wranglers of the finest sort, and they also work for free, so that’s cool.
Hello friends, dudes and trolls. I thought I would give an update about the status of Season 2 of Web Zeroes. Last we spoke, I said we didn’t have an official release date nailed down yet, but we finally locked it up. The Season 2 premiere is going to release on Wednesday, March 24th. We’re pretty excited about this, and we hope you guys are, too.
There will be a brief hiatus on production as we go out of town this weekend to hang out in Austin for South By Southwest. We’ll be attending the live DiggNation filming on Saturday night at Stubb’s, so if any of you guys live in Austin, are of age and want to drop by, please do.
In other news, I saw this pretty slick Modern Warfare 2 machinima, created by YouTube user Michael Barnes. He’s done some Call of Duty 4 stuff as well as GTA 4 stuff, so I’d definitely recommend checking out the rest of his work as well. Anywho, give it a watch.