ArtyParti – Uncommon, the Web Series
Written by Jay Sykes on 21st September 2017
On this week’s ArtyParti – the upcoming web series Uncommon. At the time of writing, the group’s Kickstarter campaign’s support figure reads £1,799 – that’s a few hundred pound shy from reaching its £2,500 target needed. And with three days to go until the campaign closes, the race is on for the team behind Uncommon to make sure their dream project becomes a reality.
Yo. Please excuse the god-awful technical issues on this week’s ArtyParti. Really wasn’t on my A game this week. Just, like, skip the first five minutes, trust me. Unless you fancy not hearing our live guests over the music. (But hey, it’s damn good music!)
Uncommon’s team includes Uncommon’s Writer & Director, Connor Langley:
“It’s been nerve-wracking ever since we started. It’s not enough to just put a link online to a campaign any more, and expect people to donate – it’s surprising how much creativity needs to go into getting people interested in the project.”
Both Connor, and Uncommon’s Producer Michael Rowlands, are currently studying an MA at the University of Sunderland.
“I’m really pleased that I’ve come in to the University, and had the opportunity to collaborate with Connor. University isn’t just going into lectures – we’ve got free reign for the next few months to work on this project. That’s the best thing about it.”
Also joining ArtyParti live this week was Rahul Kohli; a prolific comedian who’s performing as the lead character “Riz” in Uncommon. Rahul has pentiful advice for emerging comedians throughout the entire episode. Here’s one such gem:
“Immerse yourself in as much as you can. I watch as many specials as I can, read as many books as I can – it’s not going to wait for you, get yourself out there. There’s not too many places to do open mic comedy in Newcastle for example, but if you can’t get yourself onto Long Live or The Stand, there’s plenty of gigs on Hilarity Bites in the North East.” – Rahul Kohli, Comedian & Performer
“There’s a lot more comedians and a lot less work going around. So to keep yourself afloat in such a saturated market you’ve got to do something different. You need a unique comic perspective.” You move with the times, or you get crushed by them.” – Rahul Kohli, Comedian & Performer
On advice for creating a kick-ass Kickstarter:
“The problem with Kickstarters now is there’s such a surge in their popularity, people will set them up for practically anything. To get people interested in a real project, you’ve got to do something really special in promoting the Kickstarter itself – which is like writing a script before you start writing the script for the series.” – Rahul Kohli, Comedian & Performer
“Our Kickstarter was about a month in the making. We’ve had concept art commissioned, four promo videos, some opening titles, Connor gave a great piece to camera. And just coming up with the rewards, and making it look professional to the quality that will represent the work…” – Michael Rowlands, Producer
“Everything’s got to be over and above, and you’ve got to sell your whole media package. It’s all about pushing and engaging with the audience we’ve already built, and encouraging them to share as well.” – Connor Langley, Writer & Director
On advice for emerging filmmakers:
“We start with a character, and put them in an unusual circumstance, and then add more unusual things – that’s where the comedy comes from. It starts writing itself. We wanted to write a piece about someone who was really self-indulgent, and it evolved and evolved from there.” – Connor Langley, Writer & Director
All your characters, and even your theme, they all need to have a reason to exist in your film’s universe.
“In a good horror film, the monster’s there to help develop the characters. Like the Babadook, for instance.”
“With 403 Forbidden [Connor’s previous film project], I overshot everything. I got far too much coverage, more than I could possibly work with, and it just wastes so much time. With Uncommon, we’ve set ourselves really brief windows to get all that we need.” – Connor Langley, Writer & Director
“Part of that is down to the locations as well; each episode is based in a certain location – we’ve had to work meticulously to wangle getting castles and other big locations. So we don’t have the luxury to keep going back to locations – we’ve had to be very organised.” – Michael Rowlands, Producer
“You’ve got to value collaboration as a filmmaker. Nobody’s a one-man band. You need your audience to tell you if you’re any good, you need feedback.” – Connor Langley, Writer & Director
“It’s very much a team. If one of us has doubts, we’ll reassure each other. We’ll read through scripts together, and make sure everything is the best it can be. It’s about throwing ideas back and forth, and making sure everything’s to the highest quality we think it can be at.” – Michael Rowlands, Producer
If you fancy helping out this group of passionate, emerging and massively talented group of filmmakers and performers, please consider donating to their Kickstarter – and grabbing one of the many rewards for yourselves too!
ArtyParti was produced & presented by Jay Sykes.