Awards season for web series is in full stride right now, and now that public submissions for the Streamy Awards have closed, attention of show creators has turned to wooing Academy members who will do much of the tough voting for the top honors in web TV. Two independent series teamed up to host an unofficial ‘Academy screening’ (that was also open to the public) in Hollywood last night, with comedy Blue Movies and drama The Fall of Kaden teeing up on the big screen at Cinespace.
Kicking off the evening, Kaden creators Matt Doubler and Adam Leiphart matched up with Blue Movies creator Scott Brown to show a surprise “For Your Consideration” video (above), poking fun at the precarious business of web series. They tapped the omnipresent Shira Lazar to ‘host’ the video which stars a smattering of each series’ lead actors. The screening theater was packed, with scant standing room space in the back.
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First on the docket was porn-biz comedy Blue Movies, screening in its entirety while still keeping its episodic form. Each episode opened with its staple trailer for an upcoming Pornamount Studios remake of a well known blockbuster. (My personal favorites: “G.I. Ho” and “Indiana Bones“) The 5-episode series flowed seamlessly, each one coming in around 7-9 minutes, unfurling the story of unassuming new hire Tom (Beck Bennett) coping with the unexpected reality of his new job in the adult film biz, a barking porn director Max Chapan (Jareb Dauplaise) and an ambitious young co-worker (Anna Sascha Alexander,) all trying to make the best adult film ever made.
(For more, see our in-depth review of Blue Movies from this fall).
Between the two series was a trailer for upcoming comedy series Appleseed Elementary, a workplace comedy complete with actual elementary school kids and a cast of misfit educators.
The Fall of Kaden opted to cut one continuous screening together, taking all 10 episodes from the debut season as one 55-minute piece. A dark drama that explores the corruptive animalistic nature of man, the room fell quiet as the story of Kaden (Adam Leiphart), a flawed loan shark lending money to a degenerate gambler (Brian Troyan) unfolded on screen. There really is something about watching drama unfold on a big screen with a professional AV setup of the theater lets the deftly crafted sound design—Jeremy Sohl is up for consideration here—pull the audience into the tension.
The tone afterwards was that of a marked success for both series, both in terms of turnout and audience reactions. Sure, not every web series can arrange for live screenings in major cities, but the idea of a few series pairing up to program an evening is something I hope to see more of. These are after all filmmakers, ones that chose the web as a platform to tell their stories, but who’s work, if done correctly, always shines brighter with large screens and rich sound. The web is where these shows live, and where their audiences find and connect with them, but every now and then it doesn’t hurt to take them out for a dance.