Five years ago today – on July 27, 2007 – the very first episode of The Guild was uploaded to YouTube. It’s hard to believe how far the show has come, and as always, on behalf of the show we want to thank the fans for the incredible support which has made the show the success it is today. Today the show is widely available on many platforms for free (YouTube, Xbox, MSN/Bing, Hulu, Blip, Zune) and for purchase/with subscription (Netflix, iTunes, Amazon DVD or VOD).
All next week we’ll be celebrating the past five years – and looking ahead to more with the recently announced sixth season, which will come to Geek and Sundry (subscribe now) this fall . Connect with us via social media as we have some some cool stuff planned including giveaways (LOOT!). Check out the post on Geek and Sundry for details on the giveaways, which start at 1pm today!
Here’s THE GUILD’S Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr, and here’s GEEK AND SUNDRY’S Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr. And please join us for more discussion on Geek and Sundry’s new discussion forums.
We asked the producers and cast to give us their thoughts on those early episodes, and the growth of the show over the last five years.
What do you remember about the first episode?
FELICIA DAY: I remember emailing 12 hours a day to blogs I read about gaming and geek stuff, introducing myself as an “actress from Buffy” and please spread word about my show. Most of them ignored me, but a few picked it up. Some of the first fans we had were Veronica Belmont and Alice Taylor with Wonderland blog. Without their spreading word of the show we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much traction as fast with the online community. But I remember refreshing the video and seeing people actually comment about our work, and realizing that THAT was what I wanted to do with me life, make things for people to react to immediately. It was a whole new life when we uploaded that episode.
VINCENT CASO: When that first episode went up, I didn’t think a whole lot of it. I mean, it was cool, and a lot of fun to see myself in this production, but who had any idea it would turn into this?
AMY OKUDA: The Guild was my first acting job, and my first day of shooting was me and the webcam so I was talking and acting to a blank computer screen and I remember thinking, “wow this is a lot harder and less fun than I thought” but the day we all shot together for the first time at Cheesybeards changed everything for me. It was the “aahhh, this is what acting is, it IS fun” moment for me.
ROBIN THORSEN: I have to be honest and say that when I auditioned for The Guild, I really had never heard of World of Warcraft…during my audition I actually said something like “AKFing,” like it was a real word instead of A-F-K-ing. I remember Felicia said after I finished, “That was good! Let’s try it again and it’s A-F-King” I was like oooooooh! Now, I think that after five seasons I have become a little more seasoned with all the game lingo.
AMY OKUDA: I also remember being super intimidated by the other cast members who had way more experience than me, but no one had an ego, no one ever ever made me feel like I was a n00b. I learned A LOT from them and I still do to this day. They’re my first cast mates ever and I feel like I hit the jack pot on my first try.
Any particular memories of the fans?
ROBIN THORSEN: I think it’s absolutely surreal that The Guild has become what it is today–a successful, well-known, award-winning hilarious show. I’m able to travel all over because fans have embraced our show at conventions. London, Australia, New Zealand . . . I mean get a grip! It’s crazy!!!!! I’m so appreciatve of our fans and the support they give The Guild. The show would not be as successful as it is today if our fans weren’t as amazing as they are.
VINCENT CASO: I think the moment I realized, “wow, this is something,” was that first Comic-Con panel when we had a room packed full, and even had to turn people away. They were just going nuts. It’s also around that time I started getting a lot of people reaching out to me online, posting on my accounts that they love the show, etc. It was an incredible experience to see the show just beginning to explode like that.
FELICIA DAY: I love all the fan art we have received over the years, and seeing Avatars of us at conventions was the most amazing thing.
Did you ever think the show would get so big, or have such impact?
ROBIN THORSEN: First of all, I can’t believe that it has been FIVE years! If someone said five years ago, “Hey! this webseries you’re on is going to become huge!” I would have been like WHAAAAA?!?!
VINCENT CASO: I’ve made connections, friends and have had opportunities opened by this show that I would have never had otherwise. It’s a lot more than just a gig for any of us, it’s been a source of incredible fun, great people, and so many chances to expand into new things in every direction. Here’s to more fun!
FELICIA DAY: I have had a lot of people I admire come up to me and tell me they watch the show, which blows my mind. The only reason I worked on Dr Horrible because I annoyed Joss Whedon with email after email to watch my web series, never thinking he would, when he DID watch, and thought of me for Penny. Stan Lee watched all the episodes after I sent him DVDs and called me personally, and last month at Comic-Con I was SHAKING meeting George RR Martin, and he said, “Ah Felicia Day, you do the Guild! The show for nerds actually written by a nerd!” I almost died.
But the BEST thing I think was at a convention last year, when a girl around 16 years old came up to me and said, “I love games because of you. I’m gonna make a game and when I win an award for it, I’m gonna name you in my thank you speech.” I cried on the spot. Thats the kind of thing I never thought about for our show, making an impact on people’s lives.
JEFF LEWIS: Five years ago, when I sat around Felicia’s kitchen table to read The Guild pilot, I had no idea what I was in store for. Since that time, The Guild has become family. I’ve done things, met people, experienced a little bit of fame that I never thought was possible. And I’ve also had the chance, of course, to have a great role in a great show and make people laugh once in a while, a dream come true. Congrats to Kim and Felicia on the show, to Sean Becker for the great direction and to my castmates and crew for making it an awesome experience.
SANDEEP PARIKH: It’s been a wild crazemazing ride, and the best part is that I actually love the company of my fellow Guildies. Felicia is a visionary and Kim is the unsung hero doing all the dirty work, and Becker, the captain of the ship. Lucky to have such great people at the helm. And for our fans, Guild of Extras, etc to be so passionate and involved? It’s really what sets us apart from all the shows that came before us. It’s truly a show for the fans, by the fans. I feel lucky to have been a part of the team. Here’s to the last five, here’s to more. <pounds morning OJ> anniversary’d
KIM EVEY: In 2007 I was an actress and the biggest thing I had ever produced was a birthday party. Now I have produced 5 seasons of The Guild, Dragon Age Redemption, and am a partner in a company that oversees 6 shows and counting and it’s all because five years ago Felicia showed me an amazing script and I naively said “let’s put it online!” We are currently assembling the crew for the 6th season and I love pre-production because it’s when we get the people together who are going to collectively contribute their talents to the show for the season. So many amazing folks have been with us from the beginning and I’ve met so many great people along the way. In between the time Felicia puts pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?) and approves the final cut, literally hundreds of people have contributed thousands of hours of time, talent and love to bring The Guild to life. I want to thank our cast, our crew, our fans, our friends and our loved ones for supporting us along the way. It’s been a life-changing experience for me and of course many thanks to Felicia for letting me be a part of the amazing journey.