5 Things We Learned from Our First Audience Survey

After our first season of The Baristas came to a close, we asked (via our email list and on our Facebook fan page) for our fans to take a survey and let us know what you liked (and didn’t) about the show so far.

Here are 5 things we learned from your responses:

The Baristas Cast - Dierdre Walker (Lacey Fleming)1. You really, really love Dierdre. On a 5-point scale of “Love” to “Loathe,” 82% of all respondents said they “loved” Dierdre, which was the strongest response to any character on the show.  (Astrid came in second, which means you guys really, really like girls, too…  Speaking of which…)

2. You really, really like the girl geeks. Game Night, Poker Night and St. Patrick’s Day are three of our overall highest-rated episodes, and they also happen to showcase the virtues of “girl geek” customers Debbie, Lydia and Sienna.  (Hmm… Do we sense the opportunity for a spinoff?…)

3. Simon is the most polarizing character on the show. Some people love our hapless British marketing guru, some people hate him, and some people aren’t quite sure how they feel about him yet.  (Maybe it’s the eyepatch?)

4. We had no idea you spent so much time on our website, but you do. A full two-thirds of you come to our website every week to watch the show, which surprised us, because we thought you were all watching us on Facebook. (So… maybe we should spruce this site up a bit, eh?)

5. Everyone wants something different. Aside from “more Dierdre,” “more girl geeks” and “more Rich,” there’s not a lot that our audience can all agree on. Some viewers want more drama, while others want more slapstick. Some of you would love to see the characters go outside of the cafe every so often, while others would like to see fewer characters altogether. And while a few of you are definitely not fans of a possible Dierdre & Chase romance, we also can’t ignore the public’s request for “more sex.”  (After all, we do have room for cream…)

So, while a survey like this proves that we can’t please everyone all the time, it also lets us know that the ideas we have up our sleeves for Season Two are bound to get all of you talking when we return with all-new episodes in August!

5 Tips on Casting for Skill, Sustainability and Sanity

Whether you’re producing a web series, a stage play, a movie or a bootstrapped startup, the most important decision you’ll ever make is this:

“Whom should I surround myself with?”

During production, your cast becomes your family. You’ll love them, you’ll hate them, you’ll argue with them and you’ll be forever in their debt — and, by the time you’re done, they’ll all feel the same way about you.

Since August, I’ve been producing The Baristas for a January 2011 release. And while a handful of actors are crossing over from their 6-year run on Something to Be Desired, the vast majority of the faces I’ve surrounded myself with are brand new. In essence, I’ve known some of these people for less than a week and I’ve already entrusted them with the future of both my creation and your viewing pleasure.

Am I crazy?

No. I just have gut instincts, common sense, and the unsettling ability to divorce myself emotionally from whatever’s in front of me at the time.

Here are 5 tips on how I used those traits to assemble a cast I believe in*.

Continue reading 5 Tips on Casting for Skill, Sustainability and Sanity