The Commentary is a collection of articles written by creators of the video content on iThentic and industry experts alike, giving you an insiders access to the film and media industry.

With a variety of perspectives, these candid articles include the creative, technical and business aspects of creating content today – the dirt, the glamour, and everything else you’d expect from those in the thick of it.

Commentary: Rich Mbariket Networks Web Series

Rich Mbariket

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with Rich Mbariket about his extensive experience with web series and his thoughts on the medium. Rich is continually expanding the network of web series to better connect creators, audiences, analysis, advertising and news coverage, both digitally and in traditional print. He is the founder of, the foremost social networking platform for web series creators and viewers to form a community and which also offers exclusive tips and news on web series as a medium. Rich expanded on the site and the exposure of web series by launching the Web Series Magazine earlier this year – the only print publication about web series, also available online – for which he serves as publisher and editor-in-chief. He is also as a consultant and content creator. You should definitely follow Rich on Twitter: @RichMbariket. Enjoy the conversation and Rich’s astute insights [...]


Guidestones Production Diary 6 – Directing (Less Is More)

Jay Ferguson, Director of Guidestones (Production Diary 6)

The Emmy Nominated web series Guidestones have begun documenting their experiences through the journey of creating Guidestones Season 2. This episode of the Guidestones Production Diary Jay Ferguson discusses his approach to directing, the tools that are available to filmmakers, and how sometimes it’s better to use these tools sparingly in order to give actors room to shine. “With directing you have lots of tools at your disposal to tell a story: you have cinematography , script, acting, you have music, score, sound effects, you have all of these tools and its quite a rich palet. One of the biggest mistakes that I think happens a lot is that directors over use all of this stuff. ” -Jay Ferguson


Guidestones Production Diary 5 – Working With Light

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The Emmy Nominated web series Guidestones have begun documenting their experiences through the journey of creating Guidestones Season 2. In this episode of the Guidestones Production Diary, Guidestones creator Jay Ferguson dives into the often misunderstood art of lighting in cinema. Many of Guidestones’s acclaims to date have circled around the production value of the series, and what many people don’t quite understand is that lighting is one of the most crucial factors in aesthetic performance of any film or video. Jay talks about the many tricks he used throughout season 1 and how sometimes the magic hour saves the day. “I always say its about the eye. Not the camera but the eye thats in the camera. So the first thing you need to do is think about what you’re framing and what you’re shooting and how you’re using all the tools that any camera has to offer.” -Jay Ferguson


Guidestones Production Diary 4 – Cinematography with Rob Barnett

Rob Barnett

The Emmy Nominated web series Guidestones have begun documenting their experiences through the journey of creating Guidestones Season 2. Jay Ferguson speaks with the very talented cinematographer Rob Barnett about the shooting process and how to creatively handle some of Jay’s larger than life expectations. Jay and Rob explore the trials each have endured in the business as cinematographers, and relive some of their more challenging experiences while shooting Guidestones Season 1. Jay discusses some of the qualities behind Rob’s cinematic style that he appreciates and touches upon the trust existing between the two and how important that bond is when shooting with such high stakes.


Guidestones Production Diary 3 – Getting Feedback with Jeff Kassel


Guidestones web series creator Jay Ferguson and the Guidstones team have begun documenting their experiences while creating Guidestones Season 2. Jay Ferguson speaks with Jeff Kassel about the writing process and his inevitable self criticism on projects like Guidestones. Jay and Jeff explore the personal dilemma’s writers and content creators face when seeking outsiders advice on the creative works put forth. The guys walk through the process, when its ok to tear apart someones work, when its productive to deconstruct concepts, and when it is counterproductive to criticize. “It use to be hard for me.. to spend all of this time to build something and then for  people to criticize it and its probably legitimate… the whole time people are critiquing your work you are justifying that what they are saying is not right… and now i find that i can sit pretty straight faced through some pretty nasty commentary on my stuff, searching for the kernel there thats going to help me make it better.” [...]


Guidestones Production Diary 2 – Returning Calls with Jeff Kassel

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Guidestones web series creator Jay Ferguson and the Guidstones team have begun documenting their experiences while creating Guidestones Season 2. In the second instalment of the Guidestones Production Diary Jay speaks with longtime friend and filmmaker Jeff Kassel about one major difficulty when trying to develop a project. With a little bit of humor the two dive into the philosophies surrounding the often empty abyss of outgoing email and industry calls. Take a look and let the team know about your craziest industry phone experiences!


Guidestones Production Diary 1 – Writing an Interactive Web Series

Jay Ferguson | Guidestones Web Series

Guidestones web series creator Jay Ferguson and the Guidstones team have begun documenting their experiences while creating Guidestones Season 2. Jay begins his diary by reflecting on the writing process and what that means when approaching an interactive web series. Due to its transmedia format, the journey through Season 1 has been unlike anything the award-winning filmmaker has experienced to date and now with Season 2 underway, Jay reflects on the pressures to up the ante. The Guidestones Production Diary will follow Jay and the Guidestones team as they embark on Season 2. Many of the diaries will focus on the different roles each collaborator is responsible for and what that means technically when contributing to the series. The Guidestones Production Diary will also provide insights into the personal challenges and sacrifices that occur when bringing a web series to market. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Guidestones Production Diaries.


COMMENTARY: Jay Ferguson Gives Web Series Tips

Jay Ferguson | Guidestones Web Series

We were fortunate to sit down with Jay Ferguson, director and co-writer of the new interactive, transmedia web series Guidestones. He offers insight into working on such a large scale with a relatively low budget and what he feels web series brings to the table as medium. Jay is an award-winning filmmaker who has contributed as a writer, director, producer and cinematographer to over 15 feature films. His work with institutions such as The National Film Board of Canada has garnered him several awards, including the top cinematography award at the Atlantic Film Festival (Animals, 2005) and from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers (Inside Time, 2008). He was nominated for a Gemini Award in 2005. Guidestones launches in early February! What is it about web series that made you interested in pursuing this platform? When I first had the idea to create content for the web, I understood the episodes [...]


COMMENTARY: Joshua Funk Talks New Media Production

Joshua Funk | iThentic

We were fortunate to have director, actor and improvisation coach Joshua Funk talk with us about new media production and marketing with an emphasis on viral videos. Joshua Funk has worked for The Second City since 1994. After three years on The Second City Detroit main stage, Joshua became a resident director for The Second City. He received Joseph Jefferson Awards for “Best Director” for Holy War Batman and “Best Production” for Pants on Fire, as well as directing The Second City’s first tours to Asia and a USO tour to Sarajevo. As an improv director/coach, some of his film & television credits include MTV’s Wild n’ Out, Katt Williams: American Hustle, The BET Hip Hop Awards and multiple pilots for both FOX and CBS. As an actor, some of his film and television credits include Reno911!, Short Circuitz, Wild n’ Out, 3lbs and Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant. Joshua currently [...]


COMMENTARY: Wilson Cleveland and Branded Web Series

Wilson Cleveland | Suite 7

We were lucky enough to discuss the topic of branded web series with Wilson Cleveland, a creator whose work in this field is among the most varied and successful. Wilson Cleveland joined CJP Digital in 2001 and currently oversees the firm’s Digital practice, which he founded in 2006. CJP’s Digital practice creates integrated, award-winning digital marketing, branded entertainment and social media programs for clients, including web series. As an creator, producer and actor, Wilson has had a hand in the following branded web series: The Temp Life, Suite 7, Leap Year, Bestsellers and The Webventures of Justin and Alden. The Temp Life, created for Spherion Corporation, was ranked among the Brandweek magazine’s “Bright Ideas of 2008” and has received over one million episode views across a network of sites as well as TiVo. Could you speak a little about how the relationship with the sponsoring brand was developed for the [...]

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