Eric Cotti's MONOVLOG / by Declan Maloney Drummond

What is the MONOVLOG project and how did it start?

MONOVLOG is an Instagram video series featuring a new monologue from a new writer every night at 10pm on Instagram and 11pm on YouTube. 

I started this project because as an actor/director/writer myself I wanted to collaborate and develop new works with the many talented playwrights and screenwriters I knew and to create a platform to let their characters be seen. Furthermore, I challenged myself as a storyteller to make something new every day. 

What are your goals with the project?

The original goal was to do 30 monologues in 30 days for the month of April. But doing one a day has kicked my ambition into overdrive so this train is still moving. I want to continue working with more writers from around the world to keep this project going. Further goals also include: a 50 state/50 day tour of a new monologue every day from a new state as well as interconnected stories throughout each episode. 

What has your working process been like for MONOVLOG?

It started with a small group of emails to writers I have worked with or knew. They said yes and sent monologues my way. Some writers developed entirely new pieces from prompts I provided. After I receive the materials from the writers I then begin to start planning the episode order week by week. Then day by day I start to breakdown each singular monologue as an actor with the script digging into the world and building a character from the text and as a director with shots and location planning/scouting. On the day of the shoot I give myself a specific call time and schedule to film. I shoot a rehearsal take or two to make sure the framing works and I check the sound quality. Then (if the location allows) I shoot shoot shoot (if the location doesn't allow, sometimes I just get one take). When shooting I'll sometimes cut between takes. Other times I'll let it run and go multiple times. You can usually feel the groove when impulses are firing and you start finding more. Then I wrap for the episode as the actor and immediately begin reviewing the takes as a director and editor. I edit down a small handful of takes, pick the best one (every episode uses a single take) and then I create the opening and closing credit title cards. I then edit those all together. Then if I think the piece needs a musical competent I start reviewing different tracks and testing and cutting beats and moments until it feels right and delivers what I'm after. I finalize the edit and export. Then at9:50pm I have an alarm on my phone every night that goes off and I upload the new episode to Instagram at 10pm and to YouTube at 11pm. Then start over for the next episode. 

What else are you working on?

I have an upcoming audio series premiering in May about the late nights of an insomniac novelist. I am also developing a television series that takes place at a retirement community, a new play, and a new media buddy cop dramedy for either Instagram or Snapchat. 

As well as new episodes of MONOVLOG every night at 10pm on Instagram and 11pm on YouTube.