Jaleel White talks about new web series “BPOV” (aka Broke People on Vine)

Jaleel White is known best for his role as Steve Urkel in “Family Matters”. But Jaleel has been one biggest guy over the last few years going from “Dancing with the Stars” to hosting his own reality series on Syfy “Total Blackout” to guest starring on “CSI” this past January. His latest gig is a absolutely riot called “BPOV”, which stands for Broke People on Vine. It is a new web series that airs on YouTube weekly. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jaleel about the show. the craze of Vine and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with Urban Hombre Media?
Jaleel White: I am a partner in the company along with Andres Izquieta, who is the CEO of Five Four Clothing. Five Four is an online based men’s club clothing brand. They put their clothes on everybody. So rather than have me be a brand ambassador for them, Andres reached out to me about branching out into production on the internet. The internet is something that we cannot ignore these days. It is bigger than just tweeting stuff. You need actual content on the internet. But this is a fun company and we are going to have a lot of good things coming up.

MG: I love the title for the show, “BPOV” (aka Broke People on Vine).
JW: Some people have said why call it “BPOV”. I really like the acronym because it is about a point of view of broke people because rich people on Vine ain’t funny [laughs]. Our director whipped up the logo, with a “South Park” version of me, which is cool. It is a great collaboration and we come up with the ideas collectively. So we are just keeping it real and having fun and we are going to keep pumping them out.

MG: So what is it about Vine that has people so hooked?
JW: A lot of my friends and people that I am familiar with are on Vine. I find myself at night just watching Vine on my phone like it is TV show. It is crazy really. After a long day, you are just lying around checking texts and emails and then you skip over to Vine and get stuck there for a half hour. By the time you are done, you aren’t going to watch TV; you are going to do to bed. Sometimes my daughter will come in the room and I will find something that is kid appropriate and we will then sit there and watch the same Vine like 15 times in a row [laughs].

MG: How many times did you have to watch these videos during shooting?
JW: What is really cool about the show is that I actually don’t get to see the Vines beforehand. Even if I like one and submit it for consideration, when the guys put together the top 10 reel I have no idea which ones are in there. If you watch you will see my eyes glance down sometimes because they want me to respond and react in real time. I am watching them for the first time right there. So even if it is one that I submitted, you are still getting an immediate and unknown reaction within the flow of the shot. When we did “Worst Job Interviews” episode and they guy was just hired at Krispy Kreme and does the back flip, that was an honest reaction from me and that was the first time I have ever saw that. We wanted my reaction to be the same reaction that you are viewers will experience. So that makes it fun.

MG: I love how the episodes run three minutes each; quick, tight and effective.
JW: It really channels to people’s attention spans right now. I don’t watch a half hour TV show every night before I go to bed as I would back when I was young kid. I will spend some time on Vine and that is it.

MG: How often can we expect new episodes?
JW: We are looking to keep putting them out, I think every Monday. Then down the line, we are looking to expand and putting them out even more. We will do some year-end stuff as well. It is just one of those things that it out there, it is what I do and I am big fan of Vine. I prefer to cover it then do my own Vines. To get to share these with people is just funnier for me personally. So that is the show man! Check it out and spread the word to your friends!

 

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GWAR’s Michael Derks aka “Balsac the Jaws of Death” Talks “Blood Vomits”

Michael Derks aka “Balsac the Jaws of Death” guitarist for the rock group Gwar has a new project coming out titled “Blood Vomits” which is a puppet based adventure series that was fully funded through the internet donation site Kickstarter.com. Mediamikes.com had a chance to catch up with Michael to talk about the project and how he came about using Kickstarter.com

Adam Lawton: How did you first become involved with the “Blood Vomits”?
Michael Derks: I didn’t really know too much about it at first and I don’t really know why. I knew about the idea as Davis Bradley who basically came up with the idea and built the puppets used to tour with Gwar and was one of our Gwar slaves. After he left the band he was working on some other weird little projects and one of them was these puppets. A friend of Davis’s by the name of John Brennan had written a script about three Mexican banditos with one being a priest and the other two being completely evil. Davis took that script and adapted it to the puppets he was building and then had Dave Brockie and Todd Evans do the voices. I hadn’t really heard about it until I found it on YouTube. This was a couple years later as nothing had really been done with it except for the skit being put up on YouTube. I went to Davis and asked him what he was doing with the puppets and Davis told me nothing really become of the project so I asked why not? As I thought it was really awesome. I asked him if he had a problem with me using the puppets and writing some more stuff. The only problem was Davis didn’t have any money for the project and couldn’t really afford to do the project just for fun. A short time later I saw Chris Gethard from “Upright Citizens Brigade” on his comedy tour and I got a chance to talk with him and he told me about how he had funded the tour he was on through a website called kickstarter.com. I thought that sounded perfect for what I wanted to do so I asked Davis and he said sure and we just ran with it from there. We had a budget of $5,000 which is nothing but we were able to save a lot of money due to all the in house talent we had with the band.

AL: Other than writing you also did some of the voice work as well correct?
MD:  I added some writing and a few additional voices but not a whole lot. I decided that since Todd Evans wasn’t around anymore we had to recast other than Dave Brockie’s character. I thought it would be a cool idea to get a super group of Richmond, VA metal bands together and have them do something other than play music. I was able to get Randy Blythe from Lamb of God as well as Tony Foresta from Municipal Waste. It’s kind of become a collaboration between the three of us.

AL: What were your first thoughts when you reached your budget goal on kickstarter?
MD: We put it up there as kind of a test. The original idea was to do more episodes so us reaching the goal kind of gave us hope that once we have the first episode done there will be interest to do more and keep funding those episodes.

AL: What are the release plans for the project?
MD: It’s almost edited. Davis had thought it would take around a month to have everything edited but unfortunately it has taken closer to 3 months. It’s almost done we just have to get together and do the final tweaks on everything and make sure everyone is happy. I’m guessing within a few weeks we will have it out.

AL: This being just the first film/episode what are the future plans for the project?
MD: We are hoping to do a full 12 episode television season. We want to release it on YouTube for people to watch for free and just see how it goes. We want to get the funding before we make the next episode so if people like it and want more they have to help us. (Laughs) As we go along we want to get more celebrities involved doing different voices and such. When we are on the road with Gwar we run into a lot of our rock star friends so the idea is to give them the lines and record them right on the bus.

AL: Do you have any other projects your working on right now?
MD:  I have a couple things that I am sort of working on. I am thinking about another puppet based series but that’s still in the development stages.
For more info on “Blood Vomits” you can go to www.gwar.net for all the latest info.

GWAR’s Dave Brockie aka “Oderus Urungus” Talks “Blood Vomits”

Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus has a role in the upcoming kickstarter.com funded puppet adventure “Blood Vomits” Mediamikes.com caught up with Dave to talk about the project as well as some of the other things he has been working on lately.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your role in the “Blood Vomits” project?
Dave Brockie: I didn’t really do a whole lot. I offered some moral support as well as doing the voice of Mad Dog who is one of the lead characters. Pretty much Davis Bradley and Michael Derks were responsible for getting all of the elements of the story together. I just came in and did my voice. For once I wasn’t running the show. I really enjoyed the hell out of coming in and just being a supporting player! There just is so much talent in the Gwar camp that it was nice to sit back for a change. I have been doing a lot of the publicity and informing the fans about the project which has been great.

AL: Had you heard of Kickstarter.com prior to this project?
DB: No I hadn’t. Mike brought that idea to everyone and it’s really an amazing thing. We were very surprised with how well we did. Originally the guys were going to only ask for $2,500. I told them to just go for it and ask for $5,000 and we ended up with $7,000 so we were really happy with it. I’m sure we will be using it again in the future as it’s a really awesome tool for artists.

AL: Can you tell us about your book that was released recently titled “Whargoul”?
DB: “Whargoul” came out on Dead Eye press which is a division of Eraser Head press. I had written the book about 10 years ago and had it up on my website for quite awhile. This company got in touch with me and was interested in putting out the story in a real book form. I said “Hell Yeah” they set everything up and it has been doing pretty good. It’s also available in a Kindle version as well. They have asked me to write a sequel but I don’t know if I can write a sequel to “Whargoul”. I did leave the character in spot to where a sequel could happen but I don’t know. “Whargoul” took a really long time to write and it was a struggle. I want to write another novel but I’m not sure I want to write a sequel just yet. At some point I think I could though. People have been really supportive of this and the other side projects I am involved in which has made me work harder. Gwar fans are tremendous and support us in everything we do. I just finished a short story for a zombie anthology which is titled “Bone Manner Revisited”. I had written this story for one of my creative writing classes in college and similar to “Whargoul” it sat around for a few years. I was contacted by a publisher about doing a zombie type story and I remembered that short story from college. I did a re-write on it and some buffing up and it should be coming out pretty soon.  I also have my blog on rvanews.com which continues to tell the story of Gwar’s inception. I definitely plan to compile that for a novel one day as well. When I finally get into my last days of decrepitude I can totally see myself writing a lot more.

AL: There has been a lot going on in the Gwar world lately with the news of the Gwar B-B-Q line up and a fall 2011 tour. There also has been gossip of a new band member. Can you tell us anything about that?
DB:  It’s getting out now that Casey Orr has left the band. Casey has played Beefcake a few different times over the years. The split was something that didn’t come as a surprise as we knew that he would eventually be moving on. Basically the economy right now is really rough and Gwar is not the easiest band to be in. It’s especially difficult for guys who don’t live in the Richmond area. All of Casey’s family and projects are in Texas so the strain of holding those two different lives together got to the point where he had to make a decision. The split is completely amicable and we love Casey. It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t end up working for us again at some point. I know for a fact next time we are in Dallas he will be back stage drinking all of our beer. We all play characters in Gwar and there have been 3 different Beefcakes with Casey playing the role twice. The characters are defiantly bigger than the musicians who play them. The new Beef Cake the Mighty will be debuting at this year’s Gwar B-B-Q but we do wish Casey all the best and we will miss him.

AL: The Fall tour is being dubbed “Return of the World Maggot Tour” correct?
DB: Yes! We recently moved into a new slave pit and when we were moving we went through all the old costumes. We came across the World Maggot and it was still in pretty good shape. We are always getting asked when we are going to bring that prop back. Because we didn’t have time to build a whole new show and we don’t have a new album out we decided to bring out a bunch of the old characters. It’s going to be a cool tour as we will be out with Every Time I Die as well as playing a few shows with Ghoul and Warbeast. We are really looking forward to get back out there!

AL: Are you involved at all with the Gwar “Dim Time” book which is being compiled by former Slave Pit/Gwar members Don Drakulich and Chuck Varga?
DB: They have asked me my opinion about stuff but it’s been Don and Chuck who have been sorting that stuff out. Everyone is really starting to get their own side project niche now and this is one of those times. I trust that they are going to do a great job. Don was with us from the very beginning and he has a lot of really amazing footage. It a story that needs to be told however I don’t really need to contribute that much because I lived it! (Laughs) Anything about the “Dim Time” is going to have my mug all over it.

For more info on all things Gwar you can head over to Gwar.net and you can follow Dave on twitter @therealoderus and also read his blog at rvanews.com.