The boys at Psychic Bunny want you to know they are serious. Serious about their business. Serious about their production quality. Serious about their brand. And serious about the rollout of their new and first ever web series, Coma, Period. An existentialist comedy series about Dan Humford’s inner life while in a coma caused by a car accident. A show in which creator Rick Castañeda wanted to explore the idea that, “everyone’s had dreams where they think, ‘I’m never going to tell this dream to anybody.”
At first glance, this spare foray into web television may seem a bit of a tepid choice for a big splash. Dan, played by Rob Delaney, is literally standing in a white void, narrating his inner thoughts through voiceover, with the occasional surreal visits from buxom blond fantasies, to haunting doorways to unknown inner hells, to Dan’s alter-ego female self: Dan in drag. As Rick puts it, “I was trying to think of something that could be done as cheaply as possible [and yet] prove that we can do something professional.” And therein lies the true genius behind, Coma, Period.
Regardless of how you feel about Dan Humford’s dark dreams, you need to realize that there is a deep calculation going on here by Rick and his fellow Psychic Bunnies, Asa Shumskas-Tait, Doug Spice and Jesse Vigil. The group, who started as a writing team at USC in 2002, built that little creative seedpod into a self-sufficient production house originally focused on interactive consulting and animation among other web-related things. And are now taking it to the next level.
As the success of their firm grew, they began reaching back to their creative roots and started developing original content for the web. A few short films followed, posted on YouTube, then the production of a low budget horror feature, The Echo Game, currently in post, and now the eventual launch of their first series on the web, Coma, Period. With in-house post and effects facilities, skills honed from their freelance work, office space for development, and a relationship with Ringleader stages, Rick says they wanted the series “to use the production house to its fullest extent…to show the tools at our disposal.”
And with the series completely shot on greenscreen with a Panasonic HVX200 camera, shot to P2 cards, and completely posted in house, they have done just that. Why? Because they’ve seen what’s out there, they’ve seen the shot-in-your-uncle’s-garage web show and they want to be better than that and they want to brand themselves as professional creators with a point of view.
That determination is what drives great decision-making like the casting of the very funny and talented Rob Delaney as the show’s main character Dan Humford (You may know him from the hilarious Comedy.com video, Warner Bros. Responds to Christian Bale Tirade). And other decisions such as creating word of mouth before even launching the series through a Dan Humford Facebook page (friend him folks, you’re guaranteed to be added), and thoroughly exploring distribution options before even launching the show.
Speaking of which, Rick says that there is no definitive launch date, however late April seems like a possibility. With ten two-to-four minute episodes in the can and three ready to post the first day of airing, then one each week, they are ready to go, but as with every choice regarding their entry into producing original content, the boys are making calculated decisions, “We are talking to distributors and showing the series around to see where it might belong or be able to go.” And as far as further episodes, “We have more written, but are awaiting distribution and audience reaction to determine next steps.”
Having looked at the show and spoken to Rick at length, it’s clear that no matter what the success of the darkly funny Coma, Period is, Psychic Bunny will prove to be a force to be reckoned with in the web television and original content landscape. With such scrutiny of every facet of their business, their audience and the attention to detail with such a simple concept as Coma, Period, it seems impossible that they won’t succeed. They seem to have done so already and they’ve only just begun. If only to support intelligence and thoughtfulness in our burgeoning medium, take a look and check back soon for the launch of Dan Humford’s dark dreams in Coma, Period.
UPDATE: The Facebook profile for Dan Humford has been removed. Facebook isn’t known to be a fan of faux-profiles.