Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year, New Episode of "Anyone But Me"

Several years ago one of my New Year’s goals – I don’t use the “R” word – was to make a career transition from journalism to film and video production. With the debut of the third episode of Anyone But Me in this first week of 2009, I’m starting the new year with a renewed confidence that setting New Year’s goals truly can make a difference.

Becoming the producer of Anyone But Me has undoubtedly been the apex of that career transition. I am overwhelmed by how quickly the show has caught on with audiences across the World Wide Web.

I knew when I joined the Anyone But Me team that I had had the good fortune of hooking up with excellent writers, a director with a vision, and a cast of committed, creative actors. I also recognized that the scale of the production and the quality for which we were striving would constitute my biggest challenge so far as a producer and could be the career-changing experience I’d been working toward.

Nonetheless, I had worried a bit that, in the infinite landscape of the Web, our little show might be the tree in the forest that no one heard falling. So, it was an exhilarating close to 2008 when, within a week of our December 8 launch on StrikeTV, not only were we heard, we were resonating with viewers around the globe.

First, Exec Producer/Writer Susan Miller was profiled in the Philadelphia Gay News by writer Larry Nichols, who said of Anyone But Me, "It's refreshingly apparent in the first episode that this series isn't cut from the same cloth as most of the teenage dramas on television, instead delivering a more realistic depiction of teenage issues compared to the oft-escapist TV shows populated with vapid and privileged youth."

Then we got huge props from blogger The Linster, who wrote, “A new web series called Anyone But Me brings awareness of the challenges of growing up in a generation that doesn’t remember life pre-9/11. ... I was glad to see the relationship between Vivian and Aster treated as a non-issue. ... And the chemistry between the two girls is undeniable.”

When subsequently selected Anyone But Me as an Editor’s Pick video, we were off and running.

Since then, Anyone But Me also has been featured on Web sites and in blogs as diverse as TubeFilter News, Tilzy.TV and CliqueClack, which review Web-based shows; the Brazillian blog;, which aggregates film, television and video content; the Broadway Bound blog, which reviews film & video, television and theatre; and numerous others.

This week a front-page Q&A with Miller and Writer/Director Tina Cesa Ward on exclaimed that the series “has found its way into the lives of excited fans across the country,” due in part to “the stellar acting, writing, and producing.”

The response has been so gratifying, and our entire cast and crew are ever-grateful for all the positive feedback. But even had Anyone But Me been a tree falling unheard, I would feel no less blessed to have connected with Tina Cesa Ward and Susan Miller. Being a part of their team has been a personal high-point as well as a career high-point; and I can’t think of a better way to start 2009 than working with them on more new episodes for the new year.

--Leslie Jaye Goff

Editor's Note: Countdown, Episode #3 of Anyone But Me, premiered on StrikeTV on Tuesday, January 6. Tune in again on Tuesday, January 13, for the debut of Episode #4! And please join our StrikeTV Forum to let us know what you think, ask the cast questions, discuss the episodes with other fans, and more!

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