Happy New Year!

I know I’m not alone with this feeling, 2012 has been the best year for the blossoming new industry of web series creation. In 2012 we’ve seen a staggering growth with the launch and return of so many new great shows, that are better than ever. I’m also pleased with growing audiences, and proud of the sense of community among web series creators.

I love tradition; and in keeping with tradition, my last post of the year is a look back at Out With Dad’s greatest milestones. Take a walk with me down memory lane…

Our first big milestone of the year was in New York City, at the 3rd Annual Indie Soap Awards. Out With Dad was honoured with eight nominations – including Kate Conway for Best Actress in a Drama, which which she won. This is one of Out With Dad’s first really big wins. I’m still beaming with pride.

Shortly after, we launched our first episode of the year, as season two continued right where we left off in 2011. Our first two episodes back after our hiatus, were Out with PFLAG, Part I & Part II. I was quite nervous that after such a long wait, people would be disappointed because they featured very little of our main characters and didn’t advance their story forward very much. Yet, to my delight, the feedback was very positive – many consider these to be our most profound episodes.  They also saw the return of “The Girl in the Washroom”, Claire, played by Caitlynne Medrek. Many predicted her return, and they were right! It was a tough challenge to keep Claire until their release. The night we launched 2×07, I hosted a party at my home. In attendance were  Nick Montgomery and Candice Lepage of Limited Release. Nick interviewed Will Conlon and I, which I’ve recently learned has gone on to be their most downloaded podcast!

Shortly after the return of season two, or 2.5 as I sometimes called it, The 2nd Annual Indie Intertubes Awards nominated us for eight awards, and honoured us with two wins: Best Actor for Will Conlon and Best Writing in a Drama for myself. The awards for 2012 didn’t stop there, we were an Official Selection at the LA Web Fest in April, at which they honoured us with several awards, including the Grand Jury Prize, which meant we were going to Marseille, France, for the 2nd Annual Marseille Web Fest.

Friday, July 6th was a bitter sweet day for us, as we premiered the season finale in style. Lindsey Middleton and Eric Taylor tirelessly organized a screening/concert fundraising event. We were joined by some of our alumni bands: Late July, Gavin Slate, The Mittenz (now The Anti-Queens). It was a great event, lots of fun. The money raised by the event is going directly to our third season production.

The Marseille Web Fest took place in October. This was an incredible experience of international community building.  It was a festival showcasing 22 web series from 11 countries. I attended the festival in the beautiful south of France with my wife, Natalie. As luck should have it, Kate Conway was touring Europe at the time and was able to join us too. At the end of the festival, Emilie Flament of France Télévisions made a special presentation naming Out With Dad as “Prix Coup de CÅ“ur de France 4”, roughly translated as “The Prize of France 4′s Heart”. Along with this award is a cash prize, which we’re putting towards our third season budget.

Also in France, although the deal had be in the works for many months, we finally got to announce the tremendous news that Out With Dad has sold distribution rights for France Télévisions for their new online platform Studio 4.0.

In November, the International Academy of Web Television unveiled the nominees for the 2nd Annual IAWTV Awards, in which Out With Dad has been honoured with a Best Ensemble Performance nomination. In December, We Love Soaps have shown their great support of our show once again, with nine nominations including Best Drama. We look forward to seeing them again this coming February.

This year saw tremendous growth of viewership. In 2012 alone, Out With Dad has been watched 7 million times (over 11.5 million since we began). Our rate of viewership continues to grow with over half a million views per month, and nearly 14,000 subscribers on YouTube. Our Facebook group recently climbed above 5000 fans, thanks in part to our most popular posts of the year, the Team Vanessa vs. Team Claire poster, which are still being commented on, liked and shared regularly. You guys sure are passionate about this! We once asked Lindsey Middleton (Vanessa) and Caitlynne Medrek (Claire) which team they’re on, their answers were surprising and charming (be sure to click to watch!).

Perhaps the milestone you’ve most wanted to hear is this one: thanks to YOUR SUPPORT and the France 4 deal, we’ve raised enough money to go into production of season three. However, it’s only enough money for filming. It’s not enough for post-production (when editing, visual effects and music happens), that’s why we must continue our fund-raising campaign. With the kind of support that’s been shown, I’m optimistic that it won’t be a problem.

There was one thing missing in 2012: we never did any filming, which totally sucks. We love production so much. Everyone involved is so passionate. We’re like a big family.

2013 will be an even greater year. If for no other reason, because we’re all going to get back together again in April to film season three. I’ve got many other projects on the horizon that I can’t wait to share with you. Even with these other events & projects going on, my aim is to have the first episode released probably at the end of July. Mind you, that’s not a promise! But that’ll be my goal. Of course, one must remember the people who have donated $50 or more will get to see it three weeks early.

If you’ve read all of this – that means you’ve had something to do with making 2012 the best year of my life.