The Guild: The Official Companion Review, a Tale of Heroes
If you are one of the proud fans of ‘The Guild,” who can say that have been around since the beginning, then I don’t have to tell what an amazing journey the cast has been on for the last eight years. If you are a more recent fan, or someone that is just now starting to realize how terrific the series is, then I’m jealous of all you have to discover.
The Guild was the creation of now cult-favorite Felicia Day (shown on the right), a woman that has managed to climb to the highest peaks of subculture popularity. Despite the fame, her and her cast-mates have always seemed so amazingly approachable and relatable. ‘The Guild’ was Felicia’s creation, but over the last eight years her perfect cast and quirky writing style has made the series something bigger than a just a Felicia Day project.
The show itself can be a bit misleading depending on how you discover it. The cast continually puts out small side-content, often times hilarious and entertaining side-content, on almost every outlet that exists in social-media. If you were to just catch just one of the show’s music-videos or shorts then you may be left thinking the group only hosts comedic music-videos, or the group is only a ramshackle improv-troupe. Fans already know of the premise of the show, but for anyone that doesn’t I’ll sum it up. The Guild is the story of a group of gamers (who are members of a Guild), who meet in real-life and began to share their actual experiences together. The setting is simple, which allows for some terrific writing by Felicia Day and wonderful moments with the diverse cast. Also starring in the series are Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), Jeff Lewis (Vork), Robin Thorsen (Clara), Amy Okuda (Tinkerballa) and Vincent Caso (Bladezz). There are of course other regulars that appear from time to time (including the pop-icon that is Wil Wheaton (or Fawks), but this is the core-cast for the series.
The Guild isn’t just a bunch of shorts on social-media sites, but the clips are shared so often and there is so much content that branches off from the original series, that again it may appear to be that way. I urge everyone to watch it from the beginning, it’s so easy to get hooked. The Guild wrapped up its sixth season and has come along way from its humble roots of online donations and fan-supported subsidizing. Now the show is a full on entity, appearing on Xbox Live, YouTube, Netflix and other sites with real sponsors and earning real money as the result the cast’s years of hard work.
I’m giving you this brief history lesson, because no matter how long you have known the actors of The Guild, or even the show itself, there is so much more to explore. That’s what was awesome about “The Official Companion”. Doing press-tours and working with PR clients all day throughout the year, I’ve been lucky enough to speak with many of the industry’s giants that I look up to. Just like fans of the show; Felicia Day, Robin, Sandeep, Jeff, Amy and Vincent aren’t just popular celebrities to me, but they are the hometown heros that I’ve watched succeed.
I’ve spent the last few days pouring over all 160 pages of the book, each page filled with chapters about the actors, about what it took to get the show publicly available and the process that the group goes through to get the episodes done.
The book opens with a terrific introduction from Felicia Day herself, where she talks about the early beginnings before the show took-off. “There was no logical reason that we ever had the resources or persistence to make more than the first two episodes we filmed on borrowed cameras,” she said. “The idea that the show would last five years, fill Comic-Con halls with more people than multi-million dollar TV shows did, would have been absurd to contemplate.”
Behind the scenes photos, personal notes, outlines, sketches and scripts are just a few of the treasures that dot the gigantic pages of the book. There are perfectly detailed biographies of each of the cast-members, talking about their lives prior to the show, and what the series’ success has allowed them to do creatively and professionally.
The book goes through each of the series’ seasons, outlining the cast, the obstacles that they came across, as well as the guest stars and even some of the tough decisions that everyone had to make along the way. The book is a personal guide through the show, in every single-facet that you could hope for. The book is not only terrific for anyone that is a fan of the show, but if you ever thought of making your own web-series, this book is an encyclopedia of information and ideas that led to this show’s connection with fans.
From directing the series, to editing the content and even marketing the show, the book details the long, sometimes painful process of putting everything together. There are chapters on battling the gaming industry in general, and details each of the cast, while explaining their own joys and hardships along the way.
The book is really a wonderful collection and something that I think brings the beloved characters of the series a little closer to home. The book will come out on July 16, 2013 and it is currently on sale thanks to Amazon’s ‘Popular Summer Book Sale’ below.
more info: amazon, watchtheguild