Last Sunday I spent the entire day filming four pilot episodes of a comedy web series I’m helping to produce called Guy’s Guys. Kes Baxter is producing and starring, and it’s based on a Dutch series called Meisjes van Thijs (Thijs and the Ladies), which follows the main character’s unfortunate love life – each episode featuring a encounter with a different woman, which the likeable but hopeless Thijs manages to screw up.
Our English re-version, made with the blessing and assistance of Blackframe who created the original, varies in that our lead, Guy, is gay and so each episode he’ll encounter a new guy and cock it all up in an amusing way. Compared to the number of gay themed web series being made in the US and Australia, there doesn’t seem to be too much coming out of Britain along similar lines, so we thought there seemed to be a bit of a gap in the market crying out to be filled.
As it stands my job on this is filming and editing the episodes, which is pretty exciting as I’ve not help make a proper narrative video for about five years. My interest in making things like this goes back over twenty years. From the age of 13 to 17 me and a couple of friend made a series of laughably ambitious sci-fi type short films, which although look quite primitive now, I’m still pretty proud of them.
There’s a trailer for them here…
After college, real life got in the way of making much more than the odd little short – one of them being Simon and Simone which won a Transport for London competition that they organised as part of the publicity for the launch of the Cycle Hire Scheme.
So, back to the recording of Guy’s Guys last weekend. It was a new experience for me technically, as it was the first time I’ve properly used a DSLR for filmmaking. All my previous efforts have been with autofocus camcorders etc which have given amateur looking results, but my Nikon with the shoulder mount and focus pull dial is a different beast altogether. It took a bit of practise getting the focussing techniques right, but finally I was pretty happy with what I was doing, and the shoot went very well.
We started at 9am, with a crew of four, we filmed four episodes in four locations with four fantastic guest actors and were done by 9pm. I couldn’t believe how smoothly it went. We didn’t run out of time, the actors (mostly) didn’t forget their lines, nobody lost anything on location. The worst we had to cope with was a drunken heckler in Queen’s Park!
Here’s a mini wrap party selfie. Or groupie, whatever.
Me and Kes have been editing all week and now have rough cuts of all four shows which we’re pretty happy with. The next step is to get another handful of episodes in the bag before we start to think about publishing them later in the summer. Its all very exciting!
To be continued…