We’re in for some scares November 18th with Ghost Town: The Web Series, a new kid-oriented web series starring teen star Alyson Stoner (Cheaper by The Dozen, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody). Ghost Town follows two teenage ghost hunters, Jacob (Zach Cumer) and Marley (Gabriel Basso), who form the group ‘The Para-normals’ to track down ghosts in the mysterious coastal town of Arcade Bay. Joined by Tina (Alyson Stoner) and a skittish teen ghost, Bones (William Corkery), the team tries to get to the bottom of a recent string of bizarre occurrences following an accident at the Arcade Bay Tunnel Project. The series is a fast-paced well produced kid thriller with plenty of wisecracks and goofy antics for comic relief.
Ghost Town is the first independent web series from SunnyBoy Entertainment, an entertainment marketing and production company known for visually stunning promos and specials for studio features and network tv shows. “We decided to do this ourselves,” says Craig Phillips, the series’ creator-writer and co-owner of SunnyBoy Entertainment, “we went all-out on Ghost Town.” And it shows. Mike White’s stunning visual effects spare nothing, and the show has the look and feel of a network television series.
In fact, Ghost Town was originally produced as a 22-minute pilot presentation pitched for network television, but creators Phillips and White along with director Harold Hayes, Jr. quickly saw a distribution opportunity on the web. “The web is a platform with endless potential for viewers if you can get some buzz,” notes Phillips. White adds, “word of mouth is still the best way to spread information. And on the web, a handful of people can quickly grow into a full audience.” With the trailer up only last week, the show has already received some interest from advertisers and potential sponsors. The team plans to leverage Stoner’s and Cumer’s prolific web presence to gain some traction once the series launches.
As for the show’s inspiration, the SunnyBoy gang notes that being kids in the ’80s had a lot to do with it. “The series is an homage to The Goonies and The Lost Boys,” says Sonia Winesett, Ghost Town’s producer. According to Hayes, “we loved edgy kids shows of the past that didn’t hold back any punches—today’s shows are too P.C.—we wanted to give kids a real scare and have some fun.” Phillips adds, “there’s not a lot of kid content out there. It seems everything is directed at the Funny Or Die crowd. I think we have something fresh here with Ghost Town.”
We got a sneak peek at some upcoming episodes, and the show is certainly fun, if not terrifying (hey it is a kids show after all). The writing is tight with quick pacing, though each episode does seem a bit short. SunnyBoy did a great job with casting—Cumer and Basso have great brotherly chemistry on camera, and Stoner (whom Phillips met as a writer on Disney’s Super Short Show) is a natural talent.
Ghost Town: The Web Series premieres on November 18 with new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday until December 18.