One would think that it would be easy for a web series to get lost in the hubub at Sundance, with A-list talent cozying up to press and agents huddled around coffee in freezing temperatures.
But if that web series was created by Craig Brewer, the force behind Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan? And if that web series had the backing of MTV? Then one has $5 Cover, another blurring of the lines between reality television and fictional storytelling, and it’s “sneak peak” at Sundance on tonight at New Frontier on Main.
Brewer’s series follows the lives of musicians in his hometown of Memphis, looking for stardom, fame or, at least, rent, while trying to negotiate their own love lives and personal demons. Mostly improvised, with the real-life musicians themselves rather than actors, the series appears to have the “documentary” feel of much of MTV’s newer “reality” programming.
With a crowded cast (15 characters are featured on the official site’s Cast and Crew page), it sets the stage for the true star of the show to emerge: Memphis. Brewer shot both Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan in his childhood hometown, and the trailer now up at both MTV.com and the official site seems to indicate that a large part of the series will be dedicated to replicating the energy of the Memphis music scene.
Tonight night, though, that energy will be in Park City, as Brewer unveils clips from the show. He is scheduled to be joined at the event by musician Amy LaVere and actress Clare Grant, two of the show’s stars. $5 Cover will debut in mid-March with a 15-episode season, and as we noted earlier, there’s still time to get up to speed on them before the hype kicks in full steam.
Brewer will also be taking part in a panel discussion today at Sundance, entitled “What’s Next? Web Content – Where Are the Big Ideas for Small Screens?”