Director of Vancouvria, Brighton West, joined Columbian.com readers Friday Mar. 2 as we discussed his new Youtube hit show. The one-hour long chat covered a lot of readers suggestions and comments. West provided humorous and informative responses about himself and the future for Vancouvria. See the full transcript below.
Log on next Friday when The Columbian's one and only Editor, Lou Brancaccio, joins us to discuss his weekly column, the paper's recent coverage, and other happenings here at The Columbian. Brancaccio has been the Editor of the Columbian since 2000 and has appeared on shows such as NBC Today and the CBS morning show. The one-hour long chat will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Fri. Mar. 9, 2012.
West live chat transcript:
Setareh Alizadeh: Welcome everyone to today’s live chat. Local Portland filmmaker and director of Vancouvria, Brighton West will be joining us in a matter of minutes. Hurry and be the first to send in your questions, comments, or suggestions!
Brighton West: Hey Setareh - I’m here :-)
Setareh Alizadeh: Hey Brighton! We will begin the live chat soon, so keep sending in your comments and questions !
Brighton West: Thanks - I’m warming up my fingers - ready to type some great responses.!
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: I’ve heard people say the difference between Portlandia and Vancouvria is Portlandia is laughing with Portland. Vancouvria is laughing at Vancouver. How do you respond to that.
Brighton West: Thanks for starting us off!!
Brighton West: I think a lot of people think that Portlandia is making fun of Portland too. I try to keep the humor riding the fence of poking fun of Portland and poking fun at Vancouver.!
Comment From Craig Sayre: I love the show. It’s exaggeratedly right on target. How about a mob scene of angry Vancouverites marching across the bridge to get our tax money back from Oregon? A scene out of Young Frankenstein comes to mind...pitchforks, clubs, torches, etc...
Brighton West: Wait - will the mob need to pay tolls?!
Brighton West: I’m open to ideas - there are lots of little funny things about Portland and Vancouver!
Brighton West: And thanks for the vote of “Right on Target.”!
Comment From Craig Sayre: hah!
Comment From Dolly England: I love the idea of spoofing Portlandia in Vancouver... I have tons of show ideas...
Comment From Dolly England: Ok... idea #1. The episode where the PDX friends finally come to their Vancouver friends house. Can I just say this is my life story! But my house is awesome for cool house party scenes!
Brighton West: Our writers circle has been talking about a similar episode. But it’s Vancouver people visiting neighbors, but the neighbors are “closet Portlanders” and they need to hide the pictures of Sam Adams.
Comment From John R Webster: I saw that Portlandia highlighted Vancouvria in one of their web posts...has this “endorsement” helped with the success of Vancouvria?
Brighton West: Yes - Portlandia is quite popular, and any mention from them is amazing. Their casting director has been in touch with us, but I’m waiting for Fred and Carrie to ask for a Cameo. Does anyone have their email addresses?
Brighton West: Portlandia has also promoted a few other spoofs. But I think Vancouvria is the best!
Comment From Jordanthompson: Imitation is the best form of flattery. Have the cast or crew of Portlandia acknowledged Vancouvria in any way?
Brighton West: The casting director has asked for Scott and Deidre’s contact info. I’ve told myself that Fred and Carrie are too busy doing interviews for the New York Times to call me. I’m really hoping that I can get Carrie into an episode. I know which park she walks her dog in...
Brighton West: Would that be considered stalking? My dog needs walks too? Is driving across town to walk the dog bad?
Comment From Van Kovacs: Good Show, Brighton! I’d like to see Vancouvria’s take on the exorbitant number of obese earthlings around here.
Brighton West: Hmmm... we are considering a food episode.!
Brighton West: Instead of “Is it local,” we were thinking “Is it a good value?” Like, does it come with dessert? Are their free refills?!
Setareh Alizadeh: I do love my free refills!
Comment From Van Kovacs: Yummy. I’ll watch it at one of our junk food stops. !
Brighton West: I did some research at Applebees on Mill Plain. The bartender said that people come in looking for something healthy and he suggested grilled chicken. But they end up choosing fried chicken anyway. !
Comment From Jordanthompson: What type of gear do you use for production and post production?
Brighton West: We shoot on two DSLR’s. Canon 60Ds. And record sound on whatever the sound guy brings - we’ve had a number of different sound guys
Brighton West: I edit on an iMac with Final Cut Studio, and throw in some Motion for titles
Comment From John R Webster: Do you have any comments/suggestions for local film makers that might help them get organized for their video projects and to get their ideas out there?
Brighton West: Youtube is a great way to get exposure. Craigslist is a great way to find actors / crew (go under gigs.)
Brighton West: My rule to make a video popular is: 1) Great content, 2) good social network to release it into 3)a good plan to get it out there. Twitter is great!!
Comment From Jordanthompson: Do you let your actors improvise? Or are the episodes tightly scripted?
Brighton West: The first episode we shot was “Did you watch?” It was improvisation and the editing was impossible. After that we went to relatively tight scripts. I understand that Portlandia did the same thing for Season 2. Of course if anyone on set thinks up a new line, we’ll film it and see if it fits in.
Brighton West: The problem with editing was that the actors repeated things in different order in different takes. I couldn’t piece it back together :-(
Setareh Alizadeh : Lou’s suggestion: Several years ago the former Vancouver mayor -- Royce Pollard -- made a famous state of the city speech where he essentially said “If you don’t like Vancouver, get out!” Might be fun to visit a family who felt driven out of Vancouver and ended up in Portland as refugees. Now, they finally feel it’s safe to come back but their year’s long stay in Portland has forever changed them, for the worse according to their new Vancouver neighbors. Let me count the ways....
Brighton West: Royce has provided some good material. Expect a coffee mug to break in an episode soon. I like the refugee idea.
Brighton West: Setareh - I’m assuming I’m gonna get a transcript of all the great ideas being generated here, right! If you’re comment isn’t being posted, you aren’t the only one, but I’ll take all the “unpublished suggestions.”
Setareh Alizadeh: of course! !
Setareh Alizadeh: Dolly is interested in addressing racial diversity in Vancouver for an episode.
Comment From Dolly England: Also... as a avid C-Tran rider... you should also probably make a music video on C-TRAN... I take the bus everyday to work in PDX... I’ve always thought about the random things that happen on the bus. I got a sweet hook up of thin mints on the bus last week...
Brighton West: Dolly - the next episode is going to have a bit on racial diversity (or lack of it.) I think it’s one of the funnier lines. And it’s not mean-spirited - our goal is to have fun and not be mean.
Brighton West: You probably won’t see C-tran. The show is based on stereotypes of Vancouver - mostly the stereotypes held by Portlanders. And Portlanders don’t think about transit when they think Vancouver.!
Comment From Albert Kaufman:Is there anything positive and progressive happening in Vancouver that you might cover in your show?
Brighton West: Albert - the first comment I got on Episode 1 was from a progressive person in Vancouver. She felt a little hurt. But a lot of people still found it funny. In the last episode we picked up the litter :-) As in the last answer though, the stereotypes are of conservative people.!
Brighton West: And I’ve gotten good reception in Hough - which is probably the most progressive neighborhood in the Couve. Comment From John R Webster John R Webster: I’m sure you don’t have the kind of budget that Portlandia might have...how do you finance the creation of your program? Are there funding opportunities in the area for independant film makers?
Brighton West: Our budget is tiny - in filmmaking it’s called “Self Financing.” But we are considering a Kickstarter Campaign.
Brighton West: In Kickstarter, a lot of people pledge a small amount of money. It costs about $400-500 per episode for food, rental equipment, gas, etc. No one is getting paid :-(!
Comment From Albert Kaufman: Is this work leading to other opportunities for you, Brighton?
Brighton West: Albert - I’m now known as a filmmaker in the Pacific Northwest. Before this, no one knew who I was. I’m hoping I can turn this into something more. I just shot a web interview for a clothing company yesterday. I can’t say that Vancouvria lead to that - but I know they’ve seen it.
Comment From Craig Sayre: “our goal is to have fun and not be mean” that’s what I really like about the show Brighton - it’s fun without malice or mean-spiritedness.
Comment From GOLFINGLY: Do you expect any return on your investment other than humor? If so what is the time frame?
Brighton West: Thanks Craig!
Brighton West: I’m hoping that this show can open doors for me. It’s kinda a calling card. When I walk into a film networking event, most people know me as the Vancouvria guy. Before, they didn’t know me. I’d love it if its stopped costing me a few hundred dollars per episode.
Brighton West: There are some ways to make money on Youtube, but there are a lot of rules that I’d rather break (like showing the Walmart logo in the background.)
Brighton West: Also with Youtube, to make money you need to post a lot of content - like every day. I don’t think I could do that.
Comment From Albert Kaufman: What’s the urban growth boundary like in Vancouver? Do they have one? What’s a sales tax?
Brighton West: I’ve heard there’s an urban growth boundary, but I don’t know where it is. Olympia? Just kidding. Someone help me out - what’s the sales tax? 6%?
Brighton West: Albert - I get it. Sales tax is what people in Vancouver pay when they buy something. It’s very confusing if you’re from Oregon.
Comment From Albert Kaufman: no, what IS a sales tax? just kidding, wished we had one in Oregon, too.
Brighton West: Albert must be from Portland - he’s wishing for more taxes.!
Setareh Alizadeh: lol
Comment From Jordanthompson: If your show is mostly about the stereotypes Portlanders have about Vancouver, is it safe to say Portlanders are your target audience? Which city has shown more interest in the show?
Brighton West: Originally, I thought Portland was my audience. But Dream of the Suburbs was well received by everyone. I was on the Victoria Taft show and she likes it - so does Lars Larson. I think now I have more people in Vancouver watching.!
Brighton West: For Albert: Victoria and Lars are conservative talkshow hosts.
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: So what’s the end game then? Any idea of trying to make money rather than just covering costs?
Brighton West: If this became a money making thing, I’d love it. Portlandia started as Thunderant which was a web series before they got on IFC. Currently I don’t see a clear path to that point. But if someone knows an executive producer, I’m all ears.!
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: So how are you making a living now?
Brighton West: I have a day job. It’s kinda common in the film world.
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: And that day job is....?
Brighton West: At best, many of my filmmaking friends have jobs editing, or operating a camera, but I’m at a desk most days playing with Excel and not doing anything with film. And my boss likes me to keep my day and night stuff separate.
Comment From Dolly England: You should also have an episode about the bridge debate... my experience with this issue in Clark Co is the younger generations support it (me) but older generations are against it (my mom). Maybe you could spoof west side story and it could be a jets/sharks kind of thing only with young people vs. old people.... there’s so many old people in Vancouver!
Comment From Craig Sayre: Great idea Dolly...I’m one of the older guys.
Brighton West: So is the west side younger? I know it’s more progressive. The bridge debate is a good one to cover. Some people loved the line about “Portland paying for the bridge” in episode one - and many people just hated it!!
Setareh Alizadeh: It looks like on the poll the readers enjoy the first episode. Which episode was the most fun to direct? !
Brighton West: Boy - they were all fun in different ways...SUV rights was fun because it was a really small crew, packed into an SUV and the main actor was yelling.
Brighton West: Put a flag on it was fun too - we had a flag handler.
Comment From GOLFINGLY: Which episode was the most challenging to write and shoot?
Brighton West: I think Put a Flag on it was most difficult. It was walking a line that could really offend people. We also wanted to be sure that conservative people had something to laugh at - thus the hipsters!
Comment From Van Kovacs: Why don’t you sell some advertising to finance future episodes?
Brighton West: I think the ability to raise funds through advertising is limited. I’m leaning toward kickstarter. Maybe one of the “prizes” can be the product of your choice is placed in the film. That way I cover advertisers and individuals with one fundraising campaign. !
Comment From Albert Kaufman: here’s an idea. on the bridge. you could have Vancouvria meet @portlandia! and each group is on opposite sides of the bridge and show just how ridiculous the debate is. I’d even offer to play Fred :) if he’s unwilling.
Brighton West: Albert - I’m not sure you look enough like Fred. But I do have a “backup Fred.” And I’m hoping they can meet in an episode. I agree that focusing on differences is ridiculous, but it’s fun.
Comment From Dolly England: Albert I love that idea.... and then the two sides should have a dance off! In true Westside story fashion!
Comment From GOLFINGLY: As you tak about PDX stereotyping The Couve we have a family friend that will not come over here unless he is playing golf at Royal Oaks Country Club..Says other than that there is no reason to ber here..
Brighton West: Glad to see so many subscribers on the Youtube channel - I think we are over 400 subscribers and it’s the best way to catch new episodes, and little clips we post.
Brighton West: I’m guessing most Porlanders don’t make it to the Couve much. Some of the crew had never been there. But the same could be said for Beaverton or Gresham. People don’t really move around that much - especially if using bikes. :-)
Setareh Alizadeh: We are winding down in time, make sure you send your last minute questions and thoughts for Brighton!
Brighton West: Wow - this has moved quickly.
Comment From GOLFINGLY: Maybe an episode about Burgerville....
Setareh Alizadeh: Best fries around town!
Brighton West: We had a short clip from Burgerville in Sh*t Vancouvrian’s Say, but we cut it. I may post everything that was left on the cutting room floor. I think there’s more potential with Burgerville.!
Comment From GOLFINGLY: local and sustainable
Comment From Craig Sayre: I like the idea about the Kickstarter project. Noodle on it and come up with something.
Brighton West: BTW, Sh*t Vancouvrians Say was a clip we posted to the Channel - not an official episode.
Brighton West: Thanks Criag - I’ve been approved by Kickstarter - I just need to design the “ask.” I’ve heard it’s time consuming.
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: Of course if you wanted to make a little fun of Portland, as you know, lots of folks move here because our schools are considered much better than Portland schools. So you could have some high school (hippie) kid move here from Portland and have no idea how to spell, write or do math. Just sayin’...
Brighton West: Hmmm... I’ve been trying to fit the schools in. I hear a lot about schools in Vancouver.
Brighton West: And I like getting digs in on both sides of the river.
Comment From GOLFINGLY: not only better schools but we can fund them
Comment From GOLFINGLY: Thanks for a good lunch break bueno suerte
Brighton West: Oh no, don’t get Albert excited about more taxes to fund schools in Oregon.
Setareh Alizadeh : lol!
Comment From Albert Kaufman: thanks for doing this, have a great day!
Comment From John R Webster: Keep up the good work Brighton!
Brighton West: As we are wrapping up - thanks for spending lunch with me. Be sure to subscribe on youtube and spread the word! And watch for the Kickstarter :-)
Setareh Alizadeh : Thank you very much to all of our readers for the comments and suggestions! !
Setareh Alizadeh : And a special thanks to Brighton for joining us today! It has been a great chat and here is the link for those who haven’t subscribed! http://www.youtube.com/user/Vancouvria
Brighton West: Thank you Setareh for setting this up! And thanks to all the Columbian readers!
Setareh Alizadeh : Tune in next Friday at 11:00a.m as Lou Brancaccio joins !
Comment From Lou Brancaccio: Hope you’ll join us next Friday as well.
Setareh Alizadeh: We hope to hear more from you Brighton and of your great endeavors!