Online filmmaking network Indy Mogul is returning to its California roots—sort of. Its flagship web series, Backyard FX, the do-it-yourself indie filmmakers’ cheat sheet, announced today it has found a new host after an extensive talent search that began in early January to replace its founder and longtime centerpiece Erik Beck. Los Angeles-based filmmaker Zack Finfrock will be taking over for Beck, who will shift his focus to overseeing the growing Indy Mogul network as a whole.
Web series fans will recognize Finfrock’s work, most notably as part of the Streamy-nominated team that crafted the visual effects for The Crew, along with whipping up storyboard art for The Legend of Neil. Last fall Tubefilter sat down with Finfrock to chat about his own web series pilot, Emerson Wild, a monster laden throwback that stood out for its remarkably striking (and oozing) creatures.
“We were overwhelmed by the strength of the 60+ video submissions that we received when we launched our search for a new host of Backyard FX but Zack was by far our leading choice,” said Beck. “Zack is an established filmmaker in his own right, and we’re thrilled to have him host the show, and bring his vision to the DIY online video community.” A self-professed “longtime fan of Backyard FX,” Finfrock brings his filmmaking and design team at Wayside Creations— Julian Higgins, Kevin Brooks and Vince Talenti—on board for the new iteration of the hit series. His debut on the series will be May 17.
“Erik’s helped to build a unique online community around indie filmmaking and I’m honored to join the team,” added Finfrock. “In my new role as host I plan to stay true to the spirit of the show while bringing my own vision and unique techniques to the projects we do.”
As for those California roots, Beck had initially founded Indy Mogul in April 2007, with Backyard FX as its only series. The show was literally shot in Beck’s backyard in Los Angeles, before moving to New York City later that year. Now some 200 episodes later, the show is the heavyweight in the Indy Mogul lineup, which as a network cranks out over 4 million views per month with over 177,000 YouTube subscribers.
Beck will remain involved in the series, staying on as its Executive Producer while also spending more time working with other Indy Mogul series like Bobby Miller’s The Reel Good Show and 4 Minute Film School.
Check out Finfrock’s “audition episode” from earlier this month where he and his Wayside team show us how to create a flying Star Wars droid (without spending $1 million!):