The 2nd episode of the horror/comedy web series, The Scare Game, is now up and ready for viewing on YouTube. The third episode is shot and will be released in early January.
Phillip Hughes and Jenn Daugherty (another producer and the actor who plays Babs) split the writing duties. “Originally, it was feature script called The Club that shared some of the same characters and themes but once we broke it down into a web series format, there were a lot of radical departures,” says Hughes. “Also, when the actors were cast, naturally things start to develop in different ways.”
The goal of the series is to eventually find an avenue to get paid to do this work. As a filmmaker, Hughes says he’ll keep making films no matter what, but if they could get the money to focus on the work, everything improves. But, in the end, if they can’t find sponsorship they’ll have a strong calling card for their next work.
“But, that’s the fun part about web entertainment these days – the rules aren’t written yet,” says Hughes. “Some shows are getting paid and gathering notoriety while other great series are toiling in obscurity. It’s a very interesting and exciting time to be discovering new avenues of producing film.
“As an independent filmmaker, the scene isn’t what it was 5-10 years ago. Digital technology has democratized filmmaking, but now the new car smell is gone and indies are being held up to a higher standard than they used to have been. What would have been a little rough around the edges and homey on 16mm is now unacceptable on HD. Plus, with everyone making more films, the festival circuit is saturated and it’s harder to rise above the pack. Of course, this trend has been happening awhile. Look at Sundance, a little indie picture now costs like 5 million dollars and stars Winona Ryder. But of course, there is that occasional flick like Primer or Paranormal Activity that finds a way to vault up and give everyone a little more hope. At least with the web, you feel like you have a little more control over your destiny.”
Right now, money for The Scare Game is coming from donations. They’ve had one seriously generous donation that has really helped them to get started and they have a few other groups that are interested, but it’s still quite an uphill struggle. There’s a donation button on their main website, The Scare Game, in the hope that they gather more funds as well as viewers. The ultimate goal is to have the website ad-sponsored.
“Right now, we’ve mapped out 13 episodes for the first season,” Hughes continues. “We can easily make more beyond that, but it’s such a lot of work that if we can’t get proper funding, we probably wouldn’t take it to the next season, but you never know!”
The first 6 episodes work as an introductions to the main characters, while giving each a chance to develop among the ensemble while adding pieces to the mystery that will really kick start the action of the second half. It’s a bit of an experiment, but Hughes feels like this format (the web series) allows them to try different narrative techniques and take some chances because if someone doesn’t totally groove on an episode, it’s only 6 to 10 minutes long.
Check out the second episode for yourself: The Scare Game