With today’s modern technology it’s easy to be your own writer, director, and star, but it’s a much more daunting task to create something people are watching. I suggest lowering your red flags of caution to check out Aaron Hilliard, (Life and Times of Tim, All That) who manages to pull off all aspects of the creative processes effectively with Grass Roots.
Hilliard, who has an impressive list of writing-producing credits to his name, decided he wanted to showcase his directing and acting chops. He self-funded the project through his Yard Hill Films outfit and took on any additional roles he could that would save costs. And you will discover he’s a decent producer as well, with production values up to par and considerably ample even with the small crew.
Grass Roots follows Miles and Harry, two volunteer staff members on the campaign trail for state senate trying to get Jim Clarkson elected. Hilliard plays Miles, a socially awkward type committed to over achieving and whose performance airs towards a Rainn Wilson (The Office) vibe. “He is sorta anti social, just to the point where he can’t say anything right, and is completely lacking in self-censorship. He doesn’t even realize the things he is saying are getting a bad reaction by the people he’s talking to”, Hilliard describes.
Miles mentors Harry, played by Kirby Heyborne (Fox’s improvised sitcom Free Ride), on getting the vote out with faux guerrilla campaign tactics. The contrast of Kirby’s naiveté and Miles’ over confidence makes for big laughs. While the two have good intentions they end up causing more trouble than votes.
The show has fun guest appearances from Jerry Minor (Mr. Show, Carpoolers) and Nick Kroll (Sit Down, Shut Up, Life and Times of Tim). The series quickly penned a distribution deal with Koldcast TV, can also be found on Blip.tv, and their official website www.watchgrassroots.com. There are six episodes that run around five minutes each, rolling out on Wednesdays.