Teasers for two new shows.

Holy what-do-you-know! Some tops people helped me make TWO entries for Movie Extra’s Webfest contest. Prize is $100,000 to make your show, so I figured, “yep”.

Arran McKenna and Adrian Calear in "Pickups".

Arran is a cartoonist, actor and all-round happy chappy, so I cast him as a gangster’s aide who is secretly an undercover cop. Aidzee is a comedian, comedy producer and YouTube star, so he plays the colleague who will kill Arran once the pair of them have taken care of a number of cash “pickups” for their boss, Renn (Renn Barker). The seven episodes would see Arran and Aidzee visit six criminals in one very long day. How long before Arran realises his head’s on the chopping block? Without any means to contact his fellow cops, can he escape Aidzee and Renn?

It’s (kind of) dramatic, and it’s live-action, neither of which I have any experience making. I rewrote the script several times, including on the day when Azza had a very good idea. Luckily I had the help of an experienced video producer, Dave Oakley, who made the shoot very smooth indeed. Things I will keep in mind for next time I shoot live-action:

  • Have someone around to shoot stills of what’s going on.
  • Have someone around to do the lines the characters hear over the phone. I was doing the lines myself (later rerecorded by Renn), and as a result I couldn’t pay attention to directing the actors. Luckily, they were good without my input…
  • Know how the hell the sound will be recorded before arriving at the location! Turned out we needed something with more juice than my Zoom H2 to make the lapel mics work. This almost killed the day.

But I think it came out good, all things considered.

Bret and Sally in "The Bret Braddock Adventures"
Bret (Adrian Calear) and Sally (Katrina Mathers) in "The Bret Braddock Adventures".

This one is, of course, more my speed. A horde of great designers and animators helped with it, namely: Sandra Chiang, Daniel Luke, Paula Hatton, Marta Tesoro, Christien Clegg, Astri Setiono and Kathryn Parker. And it still took me a whole year to finally finish off my shots!

Obviously it’s based on the comics I’ve been doing about working for a jerkoff in the TV biz. Adrian Calear does the voice of Bret Braddock. As always he is a champ. Katrina Mathers is Sally. Both of them were in my old film, Herman, The Legal Labrador. I love the fact they’re both still up for doing stuff with me after all these years; really hate the fact I still can’t pay them for it.

I think we’re inching closer to the day when that changes. Of course, if we win this contest, it comes a lot sooner.

Hint. Hint.

Go here to check out Pickups.

Go here to check out The Bret Braddock Adventures.

We worked very hard on them.

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