Today we are celebrating Marble Hornets, the runner-up in our big Webseries Wednesday poll, with an exclusive interview!

When we launched Webseries Wednesday on Hypable, we did a massive poll to determine the ultimate webseries. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries took first place, with the scary Marble Hornets coming in a close second.

Last week we featured Marble Hornets, introducing its Blair Witch-esque premise and exploring how the series might change since it is being adapted for the big screen.

Now we have an interview with Marble Hornets creator Troy Wagner, where he delves deeper into how this smash hit series was created.

Hypable: As shown from our poll, Marble Hornets is very popular! What do you think draws people to the show?

Marble Hornets screenshotTroy Wagner: Yeah, I’m amazed we got so many votes! I’m more than happy with coming in second place to a series as big as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, too.  Big congratulations the them for coming out on top!

As far as what draws people to Marble Hornets, I’ve gotten lots of different answers to that question from lots of different people. The overall thing, I’d say, is the mystery behind it all. The audience knows as much as the protagonist Jay does, and I think the feeling of slowly uncovering all of this with him is something people like. There’s also the people that are in it just to be scared, which is also a totally valid reason to watch. I think something we usually try to work towards is “come for the scares, stay for the story.”

What sets it apart from other webseries?

TW: I think it’s the free-flowing nature of it. No one entry has a minimum or maximum length. Some entries are a few dozen seconds, while others have pushed 16 minutes. It’s however long it takes to show the next bit of information. Besides, we figure runtime isn’t going to be something on the minds of the characters that are “shooting” it, which I think adds to the realism. That’s not to say it’s the first ever webseries to do that though. Lonelygirl15 was set up in much the same way, back when it was going on.

How have you found the webseries format working both for the story format and building an audience?

TW: Marble Hornets is set up in a very strange way, in terms of how the mechanics of it all work. The entire thing is told through the first person perspective of whoever is holding the camera at the time, and the Youtube channel that all these videos are going to also exists in the world of the story as well. It’s all really weird things to consider when writing, and it’s challenging to keep all of the rules in mind.

With television and movies, companies pay large amounts of money for things like focus groups and maximizing exposure for a certain demographic. When dealing solely with the internet, you’re able to get near instantaneous feedback from tons of different places (twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc). That’s something that definitely helps the content creators refine their stuff, to see what’s working well and what needs to be tweaked or removed. Constantly working to make it better is what will typically lead to a better product, and ultimately more viewers.

Marble Hornets

Tell us about the movie adaptation! How will it be different from the series?

TW: Oh man, I wish I could tell you everything about it! I’d definitely get in trouble if I did though. Everyone is keeping a tight lid on it for now, but it’s all going surprisingly smoothly thus far. I can’t wait for everyone to be able to see it.

After so many episodes, have you gained any insight into making webseries you wished you’d known at the beginning?

TW: It’s impossible to please 100% of people 100% of the time. No matter what you do there will always be people that just aren’t into it, and that’s completely fine. The more you stress about trying to make every single person happy, the more likely it’ll be that you’ll end up with a bland mess. It’s really important to remember that YOU should also like what you’re making. People lose sight of that sometimes, myself included.

With Netflix, Amazon and YouTube all moving in on the original series market, do you have any thoughts about how the webseries movement will affect the television landscape/industry in the future?

Marble Hornets DVD cover

TW: I think we’re at the beginning of a major major shift in how people watch things now. With internet speeds increasing, and with fiber optics HOPEFULLY just around the corner, making long form shows specifically for the internet is much easier for pretty much everyone, not just the larger companies like Netflix or Amazon. I think, because of this, television networks are now at a disadvantage and will need to find a way to change with the times. In my own personal opinion, I think a time might be coming where the line between a TV and your computer will be pretty blurred. More so than it already is now, even. What all that entails, I’m not sure, but I think it’s a very exciting time.

Thanks to Troy Wagner for participating in this interview! Check out Marble Hornets on YouTube, and head to their website to order the DVDs!

Next week in Webseries Wednesdays, we’ll feature a new webseries, so stay tuned!

With Donald Trump’s presidency looking less and less like a joke, these high-profile authors and writers believe the time for silence is over.

Over 400 authors have signed a petition to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.

The petition, titled “An open letter to the American people,” was written by Andrew Altschul and Mark Slouka. It unequivocally states that Trump must not become President of the United States, and explains why writers in particular are worried about the power of his empty words and fear-mongering rhetoric.

Signed by the likes of Stephen King, Junot Diaz, Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Cheryl Strayed, Colm Tóibín and Jennifer Egan, the open letter lays out reasons for openly opposing Trump’s candidacy, which they believe “appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society.”

The letter states:

“Because, as writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power;

Because we believe that any democracy worthy of the name rests on pluralism, welcomes principled disagreement, and achieves consensus through reasoned debate;

Because American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another;

Because the history of dictatorship is the history of manipulation and division, demagoguery and lies;

Because the search for justice is predicated on a respect for the truth;

Because we believe that knowledge, experience, flexibility, and historical awareness are indispensable in a leader;

Because neither wealth nor celebrity qualifies anyone to speak for the United States, to lead its military, to maintain its alliances, or to represent its people;

Because the rise of a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response;

For all these reasons, we, the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, oppose, unequivocally, the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States.”

While there are plenty of arguments for why Trump should not receive as much media coverage as he gets, we have to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation when some of the country’s most respected artists take such a powerful stance as this.

The petition has been signed by over 7,000 people so far, and you can add your name to the list right here.

You can find out more about the group of writers who oppose Trump on Twitter, at @WritersOnTrump.

Official pictures from the Gilmore Girls revival hint that Stars Hollow’s pride and joy went on to become a teacher. Tanc Sade’s Instagram suggests otherwise.

Rory Gilmore — high school English teacher or staff writer on The Stars Hollow Gazette? When the first official photos of the Gilmore Girls revival were released by TV Line, Rory Gilmore was shown standing at the front of a classroom with some chalkboard notes that seemed to indicate she was teaching high school English. And she wasn’t just any high school teacher, but a Chilton high school teacher.

Source: TV Line

However, while promoting an upcoming charity fundraiser, Tanc Sade, everyone’s favorite Life and Death Brigade member, Finn, gave away that Rory Gilmore is an above the fold writer of the Stars Hollow Gazette. Sure it’s a long cry from covering the parking lot pavement of Chilton, but it does not strike us as the type of hard-hitting journalism that would satisfy a girl who hit the road to cover the Obama campaign at the close of the series. This issue, dated July 19, 2016, will appear sometime in the “Summer” installment of the four-part series.

Whose to say that Rory Gilmore can’t juggle two careers at once? She was, after all, the Editor in Chief of The Yale Daily News and a star student who graduated on time after taking a semester off to have a breakdown. Maybe her staff writing position is just a hobby.

This is not the first inside look into the Gilmore Girls reunion that Sade has provided. One quick browse through his Instagram and you will be treated to tons of behind the scenes goodies! Here are some of our favorites.

A Gilmore and her LDB boys


They’ve come a long way from moving Rory out

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life arrives on Netflix soon.

Twitter announces slew of changes to give you more room to tweet, get noticed

You'll also be allowed to retweet yourself. Umm...

11:15 am EDT, May 24, 2016

Twitter has confirmed that they’ll be making a few changes to let you fit more in a single tweet. Changes to retweeting and chatting with a user are also in the pipeline.

Earlier this month we told you Twitter would stop counting photos and links as part of the 140 character limit, but it looks like the social network is taking things a step further. Not only will URLs and photos no longer be a part of the character count, but they will also stop counting usernames.

Here’s Twitter’s full breakdown of the upcoming changes:

– Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.

– Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!

– Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.

– Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.

One or two of these additions may be controversial. For example, giving people the option to retweet themselves if “a really good one went unnoticed” sounds like a cheap solution to fix the issue of tweets not getting noticed. Why should it be upon the user to do something to get the tweet noticed? It’ll look obnoxious if we’re retweeting ourselves — it’s the equivalent of asking aloud, “Hey, did anyone just hear my excellent thought?” even when everyone heard it but purposely ignored it.

Twitter isn’t ready to launch these changes today because they want to give developers time to prepare. This way, third party apps like Tweetbot (It’s great — there are no ads in it!) will be ready to support Twitter’s new rules right at the start of the official launch. Expect to see these features in a few months.

Sadly, we’re still waiting for Twitter to launch an “edit” button. It sucks to be unable to fx a mistake.