A behind-the-screen look at the making of a web comedy series.


Let’s make a TV show

Hey everyone in blog land!

It’s been a quiet few months on this blog as we try to figure out where to go with OUATIB. There are some festival submissions coming up later this year … more on this in a bit. We’ve been working on season 2 scripts as well, and have a season draft ready to roll.

But the big news is that I was approached last month about developing a TV series!

I’ve been in talks ever since for a show somewhere international. No one’s giving me details, so I can’t pass any along.

I told a few friends who were supportive — for one thing, there’s money in TV that you won’t find online (yet) — so I used the momentum to reach out to agents. My good friend Emily who used to work in the LA agency world gave me very helpful pointers (thanks again, Em!) and within a week I found an agent eager to shop the show around.

My treatment is solid and on-point, and has been getting some attention.┬áSo far we’ve had call backs from 6 major networks, as well as a few producers who’re interested in taking this on.

This is going to mean a flight (or two) to LA in my near future to meet with networks to do introductory meet & greets, then lots of haggling & negotiating as I try to retain as much of my creative vision as possible. Then a possible international deal for a spin-off waiting in the wings.

I’m not getting excited yet, but big things are in the air.

Not bad for a fun little web series.

Until next time,



The HOTTEST webseries on the internet!

Critics call it “hilarious” (IndieFlix.com) and “my next web obsession” (The Brooklyn Report). It’s “full of interesting characters, great dialogue and some hilarious plot twists” (Unleashed Video). Fans say “this is AWESOME.”

It’s Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn, the story of roommates trying to pay the bills without ax murdering each other. Find out what happens when Malik (Alec Stephens III) and Rigo (Mike Navarro-O’Brien) sublet the corner of the living room behind their TV and when Emily (Isis King) moves to Brooklyn to get over a recent divorce. Will Dave (Ben Bartolone) finally score a date with Emily? Or will Lindsay (Lindsay Hicks) ax murder them all?

Hear what the cast and crew have to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3-d8EK7yNM

Find out what all the fuss is about. Watch TODAY at www.OnceUponaTimeinBrooklyn.com!


Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn links!

A friend posted Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn on Reddit recently! Vote it up!


or just visit us here: http://www.onceuponatimeinbrooklyn.com

Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn Accepted

Begin forwarded message:

From: Web Series Channel <info>
Date: October 28, 2010 10:25:49 PM PDT
To: nblake
Subject: Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn Accepted

Hello Nick,

Thank you for your submission to Web Series Channel. We are please to let you know that “Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn” has been accepted and added to Web Series Channel. You can find it here: http://www.webserieschannel.com/once-upon-a-time-in-brooklyn/

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Web Series Channel Team
Twitter: @webseriesch, http://twitter.com/webseriesch

Staying alive

Had a good chat with a veteran salesman last night and he gave me some good pointers about price points & sales strategy. Our talk churned in the back of my head all night, and brought together many disparate ideas that I’d been mulling over for the past few months.

What excites me about interactive video is the metrics and audience/customer analysis tools it enables. By carefully tracking your audience and listening deeply to their responses you can learn a lot about what’s working and what isn’t, and how to best position your brand to maximize resonance.

Which brings me to my 2 AM eureka moment:

I help clients by making social media videos and carefully monitoring audience activity & metrics. The interactive space is no longer geeky teens looking for distraction (though that audience exists in force). With OUATIB I’ve discovered a TON of activity in the 25-35 yr old audience, second only to the 55-65 yr old audience. Young adults flock to online video, and so do their parents.

This is a sea change in the interactive realm. The burst of baby boomers on Facebook is not a silent category. Rather, these are the people with time to spare who love playing with new social media tools.

These are also consumer categories with $$ to spend — perfect for business.

We’re taking a new approach with Apartment 18. Instead of focussing on webisdoes (though we’ll certainly keep making them), we’re going to branch out with a grass-roots effort to help business gain online traction (and audience insight). This is a proven business model that will bring in some bread and butter — and keep us from bankruptcy!

We’re officially hanging our shingle. Talk to us today about how online video can give your brand exposure and critical consumer insight in these lean times.

Until next time,


Fans are calling Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn their “next web obsession.” Find out why! onceuponatimeinbrooklyn.com

Results: Summer 2010

To say that this trip has been phenomenally successful is an understatement. I’m talking to top brass at a 17-brand corporation (we filmed a spec ad last week for one of their brands). And that’s just ONE of the dozen+ leads I opened. My sales team opened another dozen and our closers are primed to make deals happen.

The A&E Digital meeting has shown me what I expected to see. Networks aren’t ready for this space, leaving this field totally open for young hot shots like me to put together cool stuff. But they know that this is where things are headed & they’re interested in future partnerships. If I can survive for a few years doing this, then I’ll be perfectly positioned to talk seriously with networks about moving their content online.

But this trip isn’t about the money or the future. It’s about what’s happening now.

The launch party was a major success. The bands were amazing, people got excited about the show & everyone left with good feelings. It was young, hip … everything I could have asked for.

After the launch party I went out for drinks with a killer producer and her crew, including a tour manager who just moved to the city from Atlanta. We stayed up late talking about future projects, how to raise funds to keep us going & next steps I’ll need to take to make a college tour happen (and realistic timelines for that).

I’m headed home now for some downtime and to keep working on the money angle to shore up business. In the meantime I hope you enjoy OUATIB!


If you like it, please share it with a friend.

Until next time,

Today has been a good day.

It started with a payment from a long-term client. It’s not mega-millions, but it still feels good to get paid. Then I did some emailing with a sales rep I shot a spec ad concept for earlier this week. He’s really excited to be working with me and is hustling to sell me in to his boss.

Then I had an interview with A&E Digital. I played them the first episode of OUATIB and explained where I’m heading. Not only did they like it & want to see more, they’re connecting me with the right production & funding people to take this show to the next level.

Afterwards Jason took me to an awesome social media-savvy restaurant on 40th & Madison called 4Food (4food.com). We met the COO and are discussing an end-of-season party hosted at their restaurant, featuring the final episode of the season running on their GIANT 2-story screen. Sounds like fun!

While there I got a call from a reporter from The Queens Ledger. We had a great conversation about what’s going on. Looks like they’ll be running a piece on Monday to coincide with launch. Then we headed back to Arjun’s to rest before the final Chelsea Loft Party tonight.

On the way back I stopped in at my favorite fashion design shop in the city — The Cast (on Orchard St in the Lower East Side). Caught up with Chuck, one of lead designers. Two years ago he made a custom suit for me for my wedding. He’s expanded their product line since then and is now making gorgeous men’s and women’s clothes. Great aesthetic, great guy. To treat myself I bought some jeans and a nice t-shirt.

Now we’re back at Arjun’s doing follow-ups … and I got a text telling me that the online video producers of the Onion Network News are coming. Sweet! What a great way to cap off my New York adventure.

This trip has been the most difficult month of my life — worse than struggling through my thesis at Reed! But good God has it been worth it. I would not have made it here without the loving support of so many friends & family — and most importantly, my awesome wife. Thank you, everyone, for looking after me and keeping me on an even keel so I could build this project & take it where it deserves to go.

Headed to Boston for a table read this week (and catch-up with more long-term friends), then back to NYC for the OUATIB launch party this weekend. Holy roller coaster, Batman!

Listening to the upcoming EP of Alec Stephens III now. Enjoying the gorgeous view of Brooklyn from Arjun’s apartment. And looking forward to getting home to see my wife SOON!!

Until next time,