A local film company launches its new web series this week, according to the show’s creator Will McGrath.
The Internet series is called “Extragalactic Black,” in which McGrath plays spaceship Capt. Black, a character lacking a lot of common sense and getting his crew members into a lot of “sticky” situations.
“The story is very basic in that it’s a story about a crew on a spaceship,” McGrath said. “But the captain is captain by luck. The crew doesn’t really think he knows what he’s doing. They don’t really respect him.”
McGrath said he had James Perkins, who is the director and plays the captain’s right-hand-man, in mind for director of the series from the first stages of planning.
“I don’t think I would have run with it if anyone else had directed,” McGrath said.
Perkins added, laughing, “My character, Rodge, is the captain’s oldest friend and they have a love/hate relationship. We ended up realizing we didn’t have to get into our characters; we just had to bring them out of us. We really are each other’s counterparts.”
Perkins created the show’s film company, Robot Lemonade, with the show’s editor and camera technician Gabrielle Vigil.
McGrath said cast and crew members have put 12-hour days into creating the show almost daily since August, taking two months to build the main set, a garage spaceship made from recycled/donated wood and cardboard.
Perkins said the show’s Facebook page has 200 friends and cast and crew members have had good reactions from audience members when previewing the show on youtube.com and at Eastern New Mexico University.
“No one thought it was too stupid but (it was) really funny,” Perkins said “My mom was like ‘oh, cool, it’s going to be an action-packed space sci-fi’ and I was like, ‘no, it’s just really stupid.’”
McGrath described it as “extreme sarcasm and very slapstick.”
Perkins and McGrath said other cast members include Wade Martin as the medic, Wyatt; Ani Lutnesky as the navigator, Heston; Jeremy Gardels as the antagonist, Capt. White; and Garrison Marricle as the effeminate engineer, David.
The two creators said they also plan to enter the show into a New York competition being judged by “Shaun of the Dead” Director Edgar Wright.
“It’s a huge competition, but we’re pretty excited,” Perkins said. “We’re optimistic because these people are right up our alley; they’re comedy writers.”
McGrath and Perkins said the first six episodes of the series, each seven to 10 minutes long, will be up on two different websites by Saturday.
“I’m terrified nobody’s gonna like it ‘cause we love it,” Perkins said, laughing.
“After building this set and putting so much into it, we can’t back out now,” McGrath added. “We are very passionate.”