We are super excited to be nominated for Best Comedy Web series and Best Supporting Actor at TO Webfest 2022. We had such a good experience at their Pitchfest in 2020 and then their virtual events over the last 24 months. We can’t wait to see everyone in real life this year. Jamie Hart sat down with Rodney over Zoom for a quick chat about TO Webfest and what makes a good web series.
Watch the interview on YouTube Here:
Jamie Hart: Hey there, Sloppys. I’m Jamie Hart, one of the co-creators and actors from Sloppy Jones. We’ll be premiering the first two episodes of our series at T.O Webfest presented by Web Series Canada- one of the top web series festivals in the world. T.O Webfest will be running July 22nd and 23rd this year back in person at Artscape Launch Pad in Toronto. I’m here with Rodney V. Smith, the president and one of the founding members of Independent Web Series Canada, producers of T.O Webfest, of which he is also the artistic director.
Rodney V. Smith: Yeah. That’s me. That sounds all correct. Hi! How are you doing?
Jamie Hart: I’m good how are you?
Rodney V. Smith: I’m doing okay. Just a note- Web Series Canada was formerly named the Independent Web Series of Canada, but that was a bit of a mouthful, so we changed the name.
Jamie Hart: Can you actually tell me a bit about Web Series Canada and maybe explain a bit about the history and the mission?
Rodney V. Smith: Web Series Canada, or rather the IWCC when it was founded back in 2013, was a whole bunch of web series creators who were just kind of milling about and talking to each other. It kind of started as a Facebook group. Then we stared just having these meetings in different bars and everything. We just eventually came together, because we had the same thought and the same need. The need to organize, so that we could work together much better.
Rodney V. Smith: If you’re a web series creator you know that you have to be kind of a multi-hyphenate. You have to do so many jobs. As a creator I was the director, I was the writer, I was the set dresser at times. The editor! Just occupying so many different roles. According to the different directors, to that person, they actually had different capabilities as well. So someone would be more suited for music and just editing. Someone else would be more suited for writing and directing. So we had all of these different film backgrounds coming together. So we said, “we need to work together.”
Rodney V. Smith: I was working out of New York at the time and I had a similar idea. I was saying, “You know what web series really needs to have some kind of a union.” I was talking to the guys from Toronto and approached them saying, “Hey! I have this idea!” They looked at me and said, “You know what, come to a meeting next week. We have the exact same idea.” So it was kind of the time for it to happen, because the web series at the time– this was like back in 2012– they were just getting to a point of popularity. It was exploding. It was just kind of like all of the minds meeting at the same time. We just formed the Web Series Canada group from there.
Jamie Hart: Because you’re multi-disciplinary right? You also write novels and you paint?
Rodney: V. Smith: Yes.
Jamie Hart: So you have a ton of different skills!
Rodney V. Smith: Yeah all those skills kind of came before I got into Web Series, but it actually helped to become a better web series creator.