At this point you have to really look at Machinima as a mega-network. There are so many shows and videos coming out of the 2.5 billion-view behemoth YouTube channel—plus another 8.5 billion from channels in its network—that this is one massive fire hose. Of course we’re talking about Machinima, the network with a big M, and not to be confused with litte ‘m’ machinima, the much broader term for game engine based storytelling that inspired the company’s name.
Their latest original comedy web series Supremium is anything but machinima. The live-action send-up of The Office, IT Crowd and Extras sets itself in a modest boutique gaming studio called Supremium, where the five leads illustrate their many oddball ways of avoiding working.
Creators Robert Welkner and Hailey Bright, longtime collaborators in web video land through their hosted gaming series COIN-OP TV, pitched the show to Machinima who has been hungry to expand beyond its core hosted game recaps and classic machinima fare.
“We initially pitched the idea to Machinima last year when they didnt have much in the way of ‘live action’ content (as their channel has mostly been gameplay footage with commentary and spoofs featuring video game footage)”, Welkner told us. “The creative deptartment over at Machinima was always hip to the idea of the show concept and characters and knew me and Hailey from years of working together on COIN-OP TV. We have been working closely with them to try to make a show that would fit into their audiences tastes—which are skewed more on a younger side and people who love all things video game related.”
Buzzfeed has some deeper breakdowns of the characters, but basically this is a bunch of office nutjobs. Nicolas (Michael Cornacchia), the wacky, intense boss; Vicky (Holly Meowy), the sexy one-dimensional PR girl; Marvin (Alex Sanborn), the clueless programmer who fakes his nerdom; Cindy (Hailey Bright), the hardcore gamer intern (with sex appeal?); and State (Blake Hogue), the ‘I’m so bored of everything’ hipster pretending to be the lead designer.
“We wanted something fast, hip and fun that could be shot on a weekly schedule with a core of 5 characters – with one being Hailey as the intern,” added Welkner. “In addition to writing the story and episodes we also had to come up with a ‘fake game’ for the cast of characters to talk about making in the show — so there’s a large backstory of things that will unfold as episodes progress.”
Machinima found success with previous stabs at scripted comedy on its network, releasing >Bite Me as its first live-action web series last December. The initial 5-episode order took in over 14 million views in the eight months since its debut.
More recently, live action drama Mortal Kombat: Legacy has been a breakout hit on Machinima, showing how the network’s fans will actually stay engaged with a scripted drama. The nine-part series held strong with an baseline 3 million viewers per episode, peaking with over 13 million for its first.
UPDATE: For clarification, Supremium was produced independently of Machinima, which acts as the distribution channel for the program. Machinima is also the distribution channel for Mortal Kombat: Legacy, which was produced by Tim Carter at Contradiction Films.