Mercury Men - production designThe 2nd Annual Streamy Awards are April 11, 2010. That’s 180 days until the winners are announced live on stage, and we thought it’s never too early to start handicapping the field. So it’s nice to see that The Mercury Men posted a behind the scenes look at the pulp sci-fi web series’ production design.

Mercury Men creator Christopher Preksta released the documentary video (above) as part of his “Mercury Mondays” weekly production journals. “Design is really important to me,” said Preksta in the video, “It’s another tool that I as a filmmaker have to support my story and set the tone, the world and bring a unique vision to the story.”

In the video we learn that Mercury Men design pulls from three separate themes—the 30’s/40’s sci-fi pulp (Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon), 1950’s sci-fi movie’s noir, and the early 60’s US Space program. Costumer Ricky Lyle, who also worked on Preksta’s Streamy-nominated Captain Blasto, gets credit from Preksta for nailing that uber-researched style that he was looking for.

“The phrase that I used a lot in our design was that we were working an analog world. This isn’t the digital world of today. “Our story takes place in an older time when their technology was more archaic,” he added while showing off an antique walkie prop with a 6-foot anteana.

Mercury Men - still 2“A lot of time in the indie film world, they neglect design, because a lot people think that you need a lot of money for good production design,” said Preksta. “That’s just not the case, you don’t need a lot of money for elaborate sets or expensive looking costumes.” “Half the stuff we got was cheap off eBay or at flea markets,” he added.

There’s something to be said about creating presentation materials, or in this case a video, that profiles elements of the production. Last year’s Streamy winner for Art Direction, Kim Bailey for Tiki Bar TV, put together an impressive “for your consideration” page on his site that detailed the before-during-after of his impressive SS Tiki set. No doubt that Academy voters had it fresh on their minds when casting votes last winter.

The trailer for Mercury Men was released in August, and the series is still working out a distribution plan, hoping to release later this year. That of course is one thing that would have to happen to make it eligible for a Streamy come April.

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