Toronto-based Lifeforce Entertainment has launched a new web series network called Lifeforce TV. In addition to housing Lifeforce’s already existing shows Byte Club (profiles of Canadian tech companies) and Men’s Room (men who love women with advice on dating, relationships, and sex, respectively), Lifeforce TV is celebrating its debut by adding two new web series to their lineup.
Angels – Local 437 (above) is a show about watercooler conversations, office politics, and workplace drama. However, this isn’t an Office Space retread here; Angels takes the job humor and applies it to a slightly different corporate environment – Heaven. If Tom Barnett and Ennis Esmer bantering about God’s crab dip at the Christmas party sounds good to you, by all means go check it out.
Table Topics, a talk show about current events, gossip, style, and whatever else the hosts want to talk about, balances out the testosterone of Men’s Room by providing some more female-oriented programming. The premiere episode has our hosts Natalie Duddridge, Jamey Ordolis, and Lily Cheng talking about Proposition 8 and Gay Marriage – as they say in the intro, they’re certainly not shy of controversy.
We had a chance to chat with about the new shows debuts and site launch with Lifeforce Entertainment President Mike Dawson.
Tubefilter: Congrats on the launch. What are some of Lifeforce TV’s goals for the next few months?
Mike Dawson: In terms of goals for the first couple of months, we’re focusing on building a strong viewership base for the site, along with a fan base for the shows. We’re also facing the challenge of guiding fans of our existing shows from their respective website to LifeforceTV.”
From the sites perspective, there are a lot of feature that we plan to integrate, but we didn’t have time to build into the current version. We’ll be focusing heavily on those over the next few months and beyond. Lastly, we’re working on building a tighter ad integration system into the site to allow for more targeted ad’s related more specifically to the shows they’re seen against.
Tubefilter: Where did Angels – Local 437 come from?
Dawson: The inspiration for Angels – Local 437 actually sparked for me when I was sitting at my office desk, which overlooks our 20-foot green-screen. We hadn’t used the screen in over a week and I was thinking about how we could use it to create a budget conscious web series. I wanted something different, but simple to shoot. It was to be our first scripted show, so it had to make an impression, and of course, be funny. I started to brainstorm ideas of what backgrounds to play around with, and an hour later I was on the phone with my star writer David Halls, saying ‘Okay, here’s the pitch – two Angels, on their lunch break, outside the pearly gates. They hate their jobs, or something like that, and they’re always bitching and complaining about everything – Okay go’. And a few months later we had a twelve episode season. We then cut that down to ten, due to budget and union restrictions and we were set to go.”
The only problem was when we did a budget for the show, our post line items were way out of whack with everything else. There was no way we were going to afford it on our tight budget. So we scraped the green-screen idea and did it practically with a painted canvas and some fake snow. And in the end, i think it’s one of the best decisions i made on the show. It allowed me to spend more money on the actors, and more time focusing on the edit, rather then worrying about comping issues. It also gives the show a great feel, and a more natural look. We’ve only launched one episode to date plus the teasers, but we all have high hopes for the show. We’re already talking about a second season. Bottom line is that I spend a lot more time gazing at that empty green-screen now.
Tubefilter: And what about Table Topics, how did that come to life? How did you find the Jamie, Natalie and Lily?
Dawson: Table Topics is an interesting case, as I felt there needed to be some more intelligent discussions happening with young women inside a show. I wanted to create an outlet for our three young women to talk about issues that are important to them, not just ‘fluff chat’ which I think gets very tiring to watch. We auditioned for weeks to find the Jamie, Natalie, and Lily, and i think their chemistry is great. The first thing I said to them, was that unlike with TV, they are expected to interact with the viewers through the Lifeforce TV site by blogging and answering emails. When I saw how enthusiastic they were about the idea, coupled with their great on camera presence, i knew we had a cast. Table Topics is as much their show, as it is ours, and it’s success will be greatly determined on their ability to connect with their audience.”
Check out both of these series, as well as the complete catalog of Men’s Room and Byte Club episodes over at Lifeforce TV.