February 18, 2008 Jill

You Suck at Photoshop is my current favourite web drama series. You can find it on My Damn Channel.

You Suck at Photoshop - Distort, Warp, & Layer Effects

So far there are six installments in the series that purports to be a Photoshop tutorial narrated by the very bitter “Donnie Hoyle”. This is far more than a tutorial. But at the same time, a pretty terrific tutorial. If you do suck at photoshop (and of course, you do) then you’ll learn some very useful stuff. If you don’t suck at photoshop or don’t even own it, you’ll still love this.

This is basic to intermediate. But for you, this is going to be stupid hard.

That’s because YSP has strong characters, funny engaging episodic stories and some arcing between the episodes. It’s funny on all those levels: funny characters, funny stories, funny arcs. And the dialogue is pretty good.

YSP is a screencast — all we see is Donnie’s computer screen as he instructs us on how to use Photoshop. But we hear his voice and those of others in the room around him, including his (ex-) wife and his boss. We also know one of his game playing buddies, sn4tchbuckl3r who calls him on Skype now and then. Despite this limited access, we’ve come to know a great deal about his world.

(You can add sn4tchbuckl3r and donniehoyle to your Skype. I’ve seen rumours on the web that they will communicate with you, but I haven’t caught them on line yet.)

Every episode has a complete narrative plot. In the first, we discover that Donnie’s wife is stepping out on him and he takes his revenge with Photoshop. In another episode, Donnie uses Photoshop to put together an e-Bay ad in order to sell her wedding ring.

The episodes lengths seem perfect for my-sitting-at-the-computer attention span. The shortest of the episodes is 3:16 and the longest is 6:15.

Episode 6 is a little heavy on the bathroom humour for my taste, but the others in the serious have me hooked.

There’s been some speculation that Donnie Hoyle is voiced by comedian Dane Cook. I don’t know if it’s true. I do know that YSP is the creation of Big Fat Brain, “an interactive and experiential creative agency”. Check out their website.

I don’t whether Photoshop is paying for YSP. I hope so.

Comments (2)

  1. don young

    great, thanks Jill. Funny and instructive on various levels. By the way, I’m in the process of another big life change (when will they EVER end, he wonders ?)..and will be moving to Toronto in the next WEEK (I am NOT on the run, by the way). So please keep me in the loop on WGC meetings and/or booze-and-schmoozes. It would be great to meet you. I’ll be making a formal “announcement” of this change on my little blog later this week.


  2. Jessica Bern

    I have posted 7 episodes of a series I created/produced. It’s about a neurotic woman’s journey through her weekly visits to her therapist’s office. I now have a lit agent who is willing to make calls on my behalf to find someone to produce new episodes (webisodes). She wants a “pitch sheet” and I am having trouble writing it b/c I’ve never done one before. Do you know where I could find samples of TV pitch sheets? The agent doesn’t have any, as TV is not her specialty (she does movies and books) Although the main character really, really is another Larry David, I have been told not to use “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or the idea that the main character is “a single woman’s Larry David” because the reference has been used over and over and yet, it could not be more true. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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