Hello, Watchers! I wanted to share a few things with y’all as an update on the world of Mark Does Stuff, so you should read this because of reasons and also because I have some surprises for you!
First things first:
Tour is Done!
Many thanks to the 1,000+ people I met over the course of the longest tour I’ve ever done in my life. It was more than just a success. IT WAS RIDICULOUS AND SUPER FUN. Boo to the people in Minneapolis and St. Louis who confessed to me after the event that they were sick and came to the event anyway WHILE BREATHING THEIR GERMS ALL OVER ME. Sorry to the folks in the cities where I was sick, did not hang out after the event, and lost my voice. You can be mad passive-aggressively with me! Otherwise, I did not have a single bad event. I had a blast, my events were absurdly fun, and I am very grateful for the support and love that y’all gave me. I definitely did not make back the money I spent on flights, train tickets, hotels, and venues, but I kind of don’t care? IT WAS THE BEST, and I will do it again. Soon.
More on that in a bit. I just want to thank the many people who helped me along the way, either providing a ride, a place to crash, a few dollars in the Pigfarts Jar, or who helped set up a venue. Y’all are amazing. Thank you to each and every one of you, and I’m thankful to have had the time with you!
More Events! San Francisco, Portland, LONDON/EUROPE!!!, Texas
Touring is not done for 2013. I will be going to MANY, MANY, MANY places in 2013. First of all, if you live in the Bay Area, I will be hosting a live reading/event at Borderlands Books on Valenica on Sunday, April 21 at 5:00pm. Please come hang out, meet your fellow community members, bring terrible fanfic for me to read, and buy a signed copy of Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! YES, I WILL HAVE COPIES FOR Y’ALL!
I can also announce that I will be at both the Portland and London LeakyCon conventions. BOTH CITIES WILL ALSO GET MARK DOES STUFF EVENTS OUTSIDE OF LEAKYCON. This is for folks who might not be able to afford registration! I’ll make Facebook events for both dates once I have my schedule solidified!
OH MY GOD, I AM GOING TO LONDON! My boyfriend is currently working out whether or not he can take one week or two weeks off, and this will dictate whether I do a UK or a Europe tour. Either way, there will be multiple events once I cross the Atlantic because WHY NOT! So, I am curious where y’all would like me to come in Europe! Please suggest cities and upvote threads if you’re interested in attending a Mark Does Stuff event somewhere. Venue suggestions would be nice, but I’m more interested in:
2) Suggestions on traveling. What’s the cheapest way to get around? What are good hostels that my boyfriend and I could stay at? Any help would be appreciated, as I’ve never gone to any country aside from Canada.
I will also be at WorldCon 2013 for BOTH the convention and the Hugo ceremonies! I will have multiple panels at WorldCon, and will be a puddle of tears and feelings all night while I wait to find out if I won the Hugo Award for Fan Writer. There will ALSO be a non-convention event in San Antonio, too! I AM SO EXCITED.
Finally, I want folks to know that I am the special guest at the first ever Camp 9 and 3/4! If you want to go camping with a bunch of Harry Potter nerds and listen to me read terrible HP fanfiction around a campfire, you should come out!
This is not the last announcement concerning Mark Does Stuff events. I will be doing brief tours on the west coast, in western Canada, and elsewhere throughout the year. I don’t know that I could afford another month-long tour in 2013 because it was super expensive and, as you can see, I have a lot going on. That being said, I want to pull off quite a few 4-5 date tours to get to some lovely cities I need to return to, and to visit places I’ve not been. You are free to suggest away if you’d like me to come to your city for an event, to speak for your club or group, or to give a lecture at your school! You can also contact via email if you’re interested: markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com.
What’s Next on Mark Watches
I realize I just started two huge shows (both about MURRICA), but like I did over on Mark Reads, I’d like to publicly announce what I’m doing next. As a gesture of gratitude for the folks who came out on tour, I told those people what I’m about to tell you. (And a huge BOOOOOOOO to the people who, after I told them not to put this info online, still put it on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. I TOLD YOU I WOULD FIND YOU.)
Anyway, I’ll finish Friday Night Lights (with the 2004 film) on October 27th. If you follow me on Twitter or you’ve peeked at the Master Schedule, you know what starts on October 28th: Mark Watches Supernatural. Yes, I know half of you just cheered and half of you just groaned, so let me get this out of the way: DO NOT TELL ME NOT TO WATCH THIS SHOW, AND DO NOT POST EXPECTATION SPOILERS ABOUT SUPERNATURAL. I know you want to. I know it. I know the fandom is terrifying! I know that the show isn’t a perfect social justice fantasy! I know about Wincest. (Funny story about that: My first interaction with the Supernatural fandom occurred when a person quite honestly told me that I should “understand Wincest as a twin, but since I don’t, then I have clearly been lying about being gay this whole time.” I wish I was making that up. But at least the bar’s been set for horrifically homophobic nonsense, SO I THINK I’LL BE FINE.) I also know that I need to see Misha Collins’s face. So there. SHUSH FOR NOW.
EDIT: Yes, I will watch the original version of season one so that I may get the original songs that go along with it.
It’ll take me a year or so to get through all seven seasons of The West Wing. It’s a long show! But when I’m done with that, I will cover a project for Mark Watches that (by someone’s calculation) will take two and a half years to get done. And I don’t care. It needs to happen. In 2014, Mark Watches Star Trek will happen. And I do mean ALL FIVE SHOWS, IN AIRING ORDER, AND INCLUDING THE FEATURE FILMS. Yeah, I’m doing it, so THERE.
So, last year, I pulled off a couple of what I referred to as “Double Features.” I covered another series in a set of bonus posts that went up at 8am west coast time. I was happy to cover both The Legend of Korra and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. (For the latter, this was a particularly joyous experience because over a hundred of you tweeted, texted, or tumblr’d me after I finished it to yell at me for ruining your whole lives with that lovely show. NOW I KNOW WHAT YOU ALL FEEL LIKE.)
Anyway, I am happy to announce that due to putting Mark Plays on the back burner and spending three months learning to manage my time due to my lovely boyfriend, Double Features are coming back.
Now, I reserve the right to delay posts for a week during travel time. As you’ve seen above, I have many convention appearances and tour dates planned for 2013. I like to write posts before I travel so that I don’t have to deal with the logistical horror of commission videos while on the road. I will always announce these on Twitter, designate it on the Master Schedule, and tell you in the reviews themselves. But my intention is to just keep these going, so that you’ll get two posts a day on Mark Watches every weekday. The regularly scheduled reviews for The West Wing and Friday Night Lights will not be affected at all. PARTY PARTY PARTY.
Anyway, Double Features begin on April 22 at 8am PDT. I’m giving myself a couple weeks to start that so that I don’t immediately have five new reviews to write and because I really need to decompress from tour and spend time with friends, family, and my boyfriend. Plus, I’m working on the thing I’ll announce in the next section and OMG S;DFJK A;SKDFJ A;SKDFJ.
The first project I will tackle is the Bryan Fuller universe. In the following order, I will cover the entirety of Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, and Pushing Daisies. I told a story on tour about how I’d always put Pushing Daisies on the rejected list because I’d been spoiled for it. I found out before tour from a close friend that the show about carnival people who travel to an alternate universe in a hot air balloon is definitely not the show Pushing Daisies, so there we have it. I don’t know what show that is (it’s not Carnivale, which I’ve seen), but it’s currently believed that I made up some show in my head. Because no one knows what the fuck I am talking about.
Since those are generally fairly short, we will be moving on to another show that’s a bit longer after those three: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Many lovely people have commissioned videos for that series, so it’s about time I get it done! I am aware there is a manga and an “original” anime before this, and I am also aware that by choosing Brotherhood, I’ll be angering people in the fandom who will say I’m doing it wrong, but I had to choose something. And ultimately, it came down to the fact that people commissioned Brotherhood, not the others, that made me go with that version. So! That’s what we’re doing.
Finally, due to recent events, the other show I’ll be covering in Double Feature posts is the much-loved Veronica Mars. I’ve not seen it. I know that I love Kristen Bell’s face dearly, so that’s good enough reason to finally do it. I’ll be plugging these into the Master Schedule as I get closer to starting them, so feel free to bookmark that to keep up-to-date on the posting order.
Oh god, this year is going to be so fun, y’all. You can claim a Mark Watches video for any of these shows here and also see what’s been claimed already.
So, as I’m sure you’ve seen, we have moved to Dropbox for all Mark Watches videos. My Vimeo files are now permanently gone because Vimeo sucks, so I’d like to take this opportunity to explain and publicly tell y’all how much I despise that company and you shouldn’t use them if you are doing anything that has to do with copyright ever.
Essentially, Warner Bros. filed a Digital Millenium Copyright Act notice to Vimeo, claiming that three of my videos about Fringe were the actual episodes. Y’all know they’re not, and so would anyone else if they spent half a second watching them. This triggered an automatic process that isn’t anywhere in the site’s rules or Terms of Service; the videos were deleted, and because three of them were deleted in my account’s history, this means that I was then automatically and permanently banned from Vimeo for copyright infringement.
When I wrote them about this, I initially sort of resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t get my videos back. I was pissed, though, that I was a paying customer who’d just handed over $60 for a Pro account for a year, and Vimeo gave me no recourse to get a refund for a year of Vimeo that they were banning me from using. (I can report that they did refund me for 13 months worth of a Pro account.) However, once I inquired about getting my files or my account back, the following absurd cycle began.
1) Vimeo insisted that I had to file a counterclaim to Warner Bros., providing them with all of my personal information (including my address), and I had to then CONSENT TO GETTING SUED IN FEDERAL COURT BY WARNER BROS. IN CASE THEY WANTED TO DO THIS. Not only that, if Warner Bros. filed a court action within 10-14 days after I submitted this fucked up consent form, then Vimeo would never give me my files back ever. So it was a lose-lose-lose-lose situation for myself.
2) I refused to do such a thing, and implored Vimeo to take a five-second look at my videos to see that they were not the episode uploaded to Vimeo.
3) They directed me to do #1.
4) I told them that I refused to do it because I’m not consenting to getting sued by Warner Bros. because I AM A POOR WRITER, AND THEY ARE A MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATION, and then insisted that they just delete the Fringe videos and give me my account back.
5) They tell me that they cannot, since I uploaded three infringing videos, and that means my entire account of 250+ videos must be deleted.
6) I tell them I did not upload infringing videos, and nowhere in the sites’ rules does it say that after three copyright claims, your account is deleted permanently.
7) #1 starts all over again, and I want to slam my head into my desk until I’m dead.
So, fuck Vimeo, fuck them refusing to take a modicum of time to support an independent creator by taking five seconds to check and see that Warner Bros.’ claim was valid, and fuck them for treating me like a child. I was a community manager for years before I moved to doing Mark Does Stuff full-time in January 2011, and I have dealt with countless DMCA notices. You know what you can do? Refuse a DMCA notice if the content is not infringing. I did it ALL THE TIME. And not once did a company or organization ever sue anyone or go after us as a company. So yeah. Fuck you, Vimeo, and an extra fuck you to Warner Bros. for not even recognizing that I was promoting your goddamn show.
EDIT: The lovely Margaret T. did something Vimeo never did: Actually explain to me what was going on. So, while I’m leaving my hate-filled rant up, I’ve been corrected on a few things that you should read, too, as it’s not as cut-and-dry as I thought it was. Though I still believe I shouldn’t have to have this explained by one of my own fans MONTHS AFTER THE FACT before it makes any sense.
Anyway, I have Dropbox now. I’d like to re-assemble an index of all my videos! I’ve gotten emails from a few of you that have them, and I’ll be responding soon. I’ll create folders for each show, and I’ll label the files with the proper episode number, and we can try and replicate the joy of my Mark Watches videos! So, if you have any on your computer, please let me know, and let’s be the best community ever and assemble a library of me punching myself in the face because of plot twists. Mostly Whedon plot twists, but still.
The Future of Mark
So, as you can see, I’ve got a lot going on in my life. A LOT. Thank y’all so much for the support you’ve given me because I know for certain that Mark Reads and Mark Watches would not have been sustainable without the commissions and purchases y’all have made. The same goes for tour. I admit that it probably looks like I’m rolling in dough, since I have so many video commissions these days, but I assure you that the Mark Does Stuff Tour I just went on wiped out about $4,000. I am doing well, though, so this is not me complaining or freaking out. I am just so flattered by the constant love, affection, and generosity y’all have shown me. I never once thought my life would end up like this, and I have you to thank. Thanks for reading. Commenting. Supporting. Being a WONDERFUL PERSON. So, I’d like to share with you one last thing. This has all been some chaotic, fabulous dream, and it’s honestly what it feels like half the time! It’s such a surreal experience for me, and it’s about to become even better. As of the end of my tour, I am now one-third of the way through my first fiction novel, and I plan on taking time this month and the next (before traveling starts in June) to ideally finish it. It’s a YA thriller, set in a high school, and it’s the first of a trilogy. BECAUSE WHY NOT WRITE YOUR FIRST NOVEL AS PART OF A TRILOGY. I WILL BE RIDICULOUS UNTIL THE END OF TIME. Without what y’all have done to me, I wouldn’t have found the self-esteem, the motivation, or the money to sit down and do this.
It’s happening. And I owe it all to you.
Mark (Who Does Stuff)