Thursday, 11 December 2008

What is StoryGas?

In 2008, I was a writer on Season 2 of the Online Drama KateModern: storylining 157 and scripting 74 webisodes in six months. The series gained 66 million video hits - and a community response so seemingly disproportionate to the short daily episodes we were delivering.

Something else was going on, and I was getting first hand experience (guided by the path blazed by Miles Greg and Amanda - The lonelygirl15 Creators) - a transaction with the audience which is vastly different from the one we're used to in TV, Radio and Film production.

The series was being produced while the audience was able to comment, contact, contribute to and discuss - and feedback from that community was incorporated back into the series. Which, in turn, strengthened and grew the community around it.

Since the show came to an end in June this year, I have given talks on what it was like working on KateModern, and "Writing Online Narrative" more generally - and found myself referencing the same shows, links and sites. It seemed crazy not to have a place where I could 'bank' those, and update them with more news and links as I stumble upon them myself.

Welcome to StoryGas!storygas logo

The posts here are biased towards...

- Online narrative
(rather than factual or entertainment series,
such as "Black Cab Sessions"
StSanders' surreal genius Shreds,
or BBC News' "The Box")
- Live action
(rather than animations like Salad Fingers
or Charlie The Unicorn)
- 'Open' shows
(produced and uploaded while the audience are (or were) able to contribute, rather than 'closed' series which are completely produced, done and dusted, before uploading).
This is probably the biggest difference between "Online Narrative" and say, a TV show on, say, BBC iplayer. The definitions of 'ongoing' are still bedding down - a 'closed' one-off show such as Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog could be seen as part of the ongoing community around Joss Whedon's content, or the completed series of The Guild as part of a larger building of a community around that show...

So this is the blog. In the meantime I'm working on 3 commissioned online shows, and hope to share gossip from them with you here as they progress.

Feel free to say HI by clicking on anywhere marked "Comments" -- there are already others out there writing and producing online shows... with exactly the same questions as you -- we can help each other out with the answers!


You can email direct - storygas at gmail dot com

But... to be honest... the QUICKEST way to get something on to the site is to leave a COMMENT under the latest post, or right here, so everyone can see your link...

This blog is a bank of the shows I'm watching - which means there will always be a backlog.

You can really help me to help you by sending/pointing me towards:
- a nice EYE-CATCHING PICTURE, logo, screenshot or any or all of these
- EMBED CODES for the episodes you like best, or which best introduce your show to a new audience
(I avoid autoplay they are pain in butt - width bigger than around "400" is tricky too - this is why I tend to link/embed YOUTUBE vids... they just... work).
- a PARAGRAPH explaining what the show is
- all the LINKS you think a new audience would appreciate to 'get' your show.

These things really will put you at the top of the list of what to watch next!

And if you like what I've done, feel free to buy me a coffee.
Thanks for the support!


Adaddinsane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adaddinsane said...

(Deleted first version of comment)

Hi, I'm a new writer, my most polished script has done two things: Got shortlisted for the Red Planet Prize, and got me in with a major UK broadcaster for whom I have put together a pitch for online drama.

Won't know for a while whether it's got anywhere though.

So I shall follow your blog with much interest.

I'd be interested to know what you think "interactive drama" really is, I mean what does the "interactive" actually mean.

storygas said...

Hey Adaddinsane

- nice one on getting Red Planet Prize shortlisted!

I have no idea what "interactive drama" really means - much less than anyone knew what "television drama" was in 1960.

Forty years later, we know exactly what works well in that medium, enough for it to be defined as a genre.

It's such early days - I'd be surprised if we didn't look back at this time of 'multiple choice outcomes' and 'characters namechecking commenters in vision' with fondness for its naivety.

Everything made specifically for online consumption at the moment is an experiment - forays with devices.

And that's kind of why I started this blog - all the experiments are trying sustain themselves editorially while building audiences. The more we talk about the shows, the devices and the production, the better it'll become?

We'll see..(!)

Sofluid said...

Great blog! I shall be following it :) Thanks for drawing it to my attention! It will certainly broaden my knowledge and bring new developments to my attention...

Anonymous said...

It is interested very much.
Please link to this site.

Dave Beeler said...

Hey, Neill! Check out our series, SAFETY GEEKS:SVI - The 1st 3 episodes are on this page.
Cheers, Dave (aka Reginald Syngen-Smythe)

lisahickey said...

Hallo there!
Fascinating where this is all going. It's great to be one of the people who's there figuring it out, rather than waiting for things to happen.
All the best!

Ant B said...


This is great because I’m going to write a script / TV show. It’s going to be really funny. So I’ll keep you ‘posted’. I’ve got to go write now.

Katy said...

Hey Neil!

You should check out this new show called Relationships, it's going to be interactive. There's some trailers that look great.

Lumen Actus said...

Please have a look at a British style comedy

Invention with Brian Forbes


storygas said...

Hi Katy

- would love to link to your show, but couldn't find a video I could embed on here...

Let me know if there are any out there!

Sketch Comedy Team Blog
thanks for the link -- I couldn't get the pictures to work...

...maybe it's my browser, but couldn't see anything to embed here


Unknown said...


Check out our new interactive online drama series called Tempting Fates. It's about 3 gorgeous goddesses/fates sent down to a university on earth in England, with the mission of putting the fun back into fatality and the comedy back into the kill.

The official website is

You can view our trailer at

Please let us know what you think!!

storygas said...

Hi Hannah

Weirdly enough - was checking it out this afternoon -- Love the character blogs!

- wasn't even on it long enough to register its made in the UK, but have made a mark to return to it next week, so maybe I can get a proper link up to you then....

In the meantime GOOD LUCK WITH THE SHOW!


Anonymous said...

Hey Neil,

I've been avidly reading everything on your blog because I'm creating/directing a webseries and I believe it's important for one to do their research before they dive off a cliff (metaphorically).

The series itself is a comedy/drama about James (a suit and tie office worker) who moves into a share house on a street named "The Verge". James quickly realises that he is the "normal" one in a house full of eccentric archetypes (stoner/drug dealer, promiscuous young uni student, closet case homosexual Goth, tyrannical law secretary), and due to events that lead him to live at "The Verge" he must accept his fate and become a member of the house.

Our website (still under construction) is:

However we do have a "teaser" up on youtube which gives an idea of what the series is about:

I would be keen to get your feedback on whether or not it has the ingredients to become a successful webseries once it is up and running, cheers!


natasha said...

We thought that you would find our animated web series interesting :)

Post-Nup is an animated show about marriage. More specifically, it’s a show about that last hour of the day, on a night when it’s pretty apparent (at least to the woman) that there isn’t going to be any sex. Our interracial couple sits in bed, recaps their day, checks email, and reveals comedic insights about their relationship and modern, urban marriage in general.

Post-Nup is a new Web Series and we are actively employing new marketing strategies to create a larger online fan base for the show as we begin the process of streaming at different WebTV sites. So far, we have secured about 10,000 views/month. As an exclusively online Web Series, we believe in the power of online marketing as a method of increasing the leverage of online video streaming.
Our shows are low budget shorts created in Berkeley, CA.

You can watch Episode 3 of the show here:

Thanks for your time!

Party Girl Plus One said...

Hey Neil,

Check out Party Girl Plus One based on my dating diary.

I wanna chat more with you!!!

You said it allowed embeds and the post is DENYING DENYING alarm code alarm code DENYING! OMG what to do...

Well, here's the website:

Party Girl Plus One said...

Hey Neil,

Don't know if this's not showing up.
OMG not on a Sunday night!!! noooooo

Check out Party Girl Plus One based on my dating diary.

I want to chat with you. I'll email you under separate email.

Thanks for watching.

storygas said...

Hi Jen

Thanks for getting in touch -- linked to Party Girl Plus One on the blog here!


Unknown said...

Hi Neil,

I've just posted the last episode of my webseries, Goodnight Princess. This Internet play explores love, loss and silly voices in three short acts. Shortform online drama is in seemingly short supply so we have tried to do something different. We have had very positive feedback.

This is the link for Act 1

And here is the main page for the webseries on my writer's blog:

On my YouTube account ( you will also find my first webseries, The Evil League of Evil Applications Processing Office, based around my interpretation of Bad Horse's administration. I also have interviews with Felicia Day and Sean Becker from The Guild.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thank you for providing such a great resource!

Rory Walsh said...

Hi Neil,
Kudos on setting up this community, it is a great resource.
I actually filmed you giving a speech at the Celtic Media festival in Galway a few years back which was really interesting.

I have produced a web-sitcom and the trailer is just online a week here:

The first episode shall be posted online this Friday on our facebook page here: and on the wordpress site below.

Thanks for your time and for creating this site.
Rory -

mare said...

From the writer and director of the web series: The Dreamer; Seth Chitwood, Red Circles is an original web series about detectives trying to solve a series of murders that mirror each other. When Detective Sophie Arlington (Corey Arruda) discovers a woman covered in blood in her shower, as well as that woman's dead brother in the backyard, she later learns that similar events occurred in the house two decades earlier; also that Sophie's father, Detective J. Arlington (special guest star Frank O'Donnell), was the lead detective on the case. She eventually comes to the realization that that may have been the case her father had committed suicide over.

One of my favorite episodes is episode 3 of season 1, where we understand more about the relationship between the two leads as well as more about the leading lady's past:

Season 2 is premiering soon, on Nov. 20, 2011 at 9pm (EST US time)! Catch the great promo video on the web site at You can also catch all current and future episodes at or at

Anonymous said...



From January 30 the first Italian horror series, "Horror in Fiano Romano. is broadcasted on FlopTv." The series, written and directed by Simone Damiani, is transmitted from FlopTV, the famous "container" of tv pilots by Fox International Channels Italy. With the technology offered by the channel, the show is available on a large variety of platforms, from the display of mobile phones, the touch surfaces of the iPhone and the iPad, up to big screen of Smart TVs.

"The series can be defined as a strange hybrid between The Addams Family and Modern Family" says the author, Simone Damiani. "We ventured in the arduous task of making people laugh scaring them - Damiani continues - in the form of mockumentary telling the stories of a small production company of horror films, family-run. And as happens in this type of commercial activity, everyone have a lot of work to do. Even the more incapable family members. And even those already passed away".

This series is inspired to movies by Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci. These world famous director made a lot of low budget movies that were a success all over the world. “Horror in Fiano Romano” tries to re-enact the atmospheres of italian horror B-Movies produced in ‘60s and ‘70s.

The series is written and directed by Simone Damiani, a true "veteran” of italian webseries. After having realized the first Italian film in HD available for free on the web ("Back Soon"), Damiani has produced content for virtually all the Italian web TV, among these, BonsaiTv, MTV Qoob and Current Tv.

The series "Horror in Fiano Romano" is broadcasted by FlopTV (, the webtv of Fox Channels Italy dedicated to comedy and surreal. Born from the synergy between the New Media department of Fox International Channels and Fox Factory - FlopTv is really emerging on the web. From laboratory testing and publishing technology has now become an on-demand platform organized by genre, themes and performers that focuses inside the challenges of new media, entertainment, content sharing, social networking, multidevice access and discovery of new talents.

Everybody's A Comedian said...

Hi Neil!

My name is Haley and I'm writing to you to tell you about a web series called Everybody's A Comedian. I had the opportunity of working on the show during production and am now the Social Media Coordinator for the series.

Everybody's A Comedian is a sad but true depiction of a struggling comedian in San Francisco. It would be amazing if you could check out our series and consider plugging it on your site. If you don't like it (or don't love it), that's fine too. We'd love to know what you think and would so appreciate you writing us a review on an episode if you wouldn't mind.

Below is the synopsis and all the links you'll need to learn about Everybody's A Comedian.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hope to hear from you soon!

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. And Sammy Wegent proves it every day. He’s having a tough time paying his bar tab, let alone his dues in the comedy business. But he makes ends meet by teaching comedy to wannabe comedians, bored housewives, and Silicon Valley douchebags. Besides teaching and telling jokes to drunk strangers, Sammy also finds time to date. That is, when he’s not trying to win back his ex-fiancée. But Sammy’s true love is his career. Or lack thereof. Even after all the hell gigs, weird auditions, and awkward one-night stands, he wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe his major in college.