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Jessica Leigh SmithI’m guessing that at least one resolution this new year for many of you probably had something to do with self-producing your own starring vehicle. I love that we live in an age of the industry where if no one else is going to hire me, then I can just hire myself! If, like me, part of creating your own show starts with researching other web series, then take a look at this list for a few to check out.

Last year I did a two part interview with the female co-creator and star of an excellent and highly successful web series called Submissions Only. Today I would like to highlight a few lesser known shows that should be on your must see list.

I purposefully chose shows from my home in Atlanta because I want to highlight the wonderful talent here. And I ask that you join in the discussion by using the comments section below to promote your favorite web shows that hit close to home for you—let’s promote each other.

I did not, however, purposefully choose shows that are helmed by women creators. But as you will see from this list, that happened organically and I think that alone is something to celebrate.

1) Horror Hotel

This is one of my favorites anywhere because it is so unique. As their website says, “Horror Hotel is an anthology series featuring suspense thriller tales inspired by Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” This series, with executive producer Debbie Hess, has been accepted into many film festivals, was an award winner at the Atlanta web festival in 2014 and the L.A. Web Series Festival in 2014, as well as a nominee for best Atlanta web series for the 2013 Georgian Entertainment Gala. There are six episodes currently released, with casting and production happening regularly here in Atlanta. Please help support such unique programming; visit http://www.horrorhotelwebseries.com/index.html 

2) Becky & Barry

This series is one where I feel each episode is too short, but only because they have done such a good job of making me want more. Becky & Barry was created by and is produced by actors Matthew Cornwell and Brooke Jaye Taylor, two very funny people who also happen to be married to each other. They write and star in this vehicle that is now into its third season. This show revolves around a married couple, Becky & Barry Thompson, who are actors in Atlanta. I know, yet another show by actors about our industry. But Matt and Brooke have created two wonderfully quirky characters that you can’t help but watch (like a car wreck) as they frustrate everyone who has to encounter them, such as their agent or the local casting director. Each episode is short enough to watch a season in one sitting, so check it out at http://blip.tv/beckyandbarry#ShowDescription

3) The Adventures of Lizzy Belch

I’m currently a big fan geek of Erin Elizabeth Burns, AKA Lizzy Belch. She’s an Atlanta actress with loads of talent and she has inspired me by creating a very simple series for one of her characters. Lizzy Belch is an aspiring actress who doesn’t quite realize that she isn’t all she purports to be. She has a lot of great confidence in her abilities and is usually very confused when others do not. And most episodes are under two minutes, so it is really easy to fly through all 12 currently on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDarwFnhzfkerrTjGnV8Fww

4) The Dinner Project

The last show I want to tell you about it a bit of a shameless plug, but it’s only coincidence that it is mine. The Dinner Project is an educational series for the actor. Casting directors and other industry leaders are put around a dinner table with four Atlanta based, working actors and they simply talk about the industry. The actors ask questions of the guests, which in turn ignites candid conversation. The first goal is to educate actors on the business, with a specific focus on the southeast market. The second goal is to allow the actor a look into the personality of the guest so that a casting director such as episode 1’s guest, Mark Fincannon of Fincannon & Associates, is no longer so mysterious. Five episodes have been filmed, with two having been released to the public in 2014. And each episode is about one hour in length. The series was recently nominated as Best Independent for the 2015 Georgian Entertainment Gala and can be found here: http://thedinnerprojectshow.com/

Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit about the talent coming out of Atlanta. Please give me your recommendations in the comments section below for excellent web programming, especially if it is yours. And Happy Self-Producing!

Jessica Leigh Smith

About Jessica Leigh Smith

Jessica Leigh Smith can currently be seen running around town in her yoga pants, toting her two little girls everywhere she goes. Being a mommy has played into Jessica’s latest projects, Mommy Parodies. The first is a parody of a song from the movie Frozen, which has reached almost 40,000 views (and climbing) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86FY-AEdizA. Jessica’s most notable acting roles are co-starring roles on One Tree Hill and Drop Dead Diva. Coincidentally, Jessica was toting her daughters in those roles as well, since she was pregnant both times. In addition to acting, Jessica has co-produced an educational series for actors, called The Dinner Project, putting actors and casting directors face to face. Episodes can be found at http://thedinnerprojectshow.com/. For more about Jessica, the actress, please visit her website, http://www.jessicaleighsmith.com/, and follow her on Twitter, @JessiLeighSmith.