Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Safety Geeks: SVI at The Streamy Awards, Season Two will go 3D and John Cleese to Join Cast!

One of the highlights of my Streamy Awards adventure was to finally meet some of the cast and creative team behind the comedy web series Safety Geeks: SVI, which chronicles a CSI-like team that investigates safety accidents, leaving a swath of comedic chaos and destruction in their wake. According to Dave and Tom, the comedy team who created, wrote and produced the series, imagine Inspector Clouseau as a team of people, trying to make the world safe, and ironically making it more dangerous. Add in a dash of Adult Swim sensibility, and that is Safety Geeks: SVI.

Season One of Safety Geeks SVI is directed by Roger Tonry and introduces P.O.S.H. (Professional Occupational Safety Hazard) team, which is made up of offbeat characters Dave Beeler as Reginald Syngen-Smythe, a retired at birth trillionaire, Tom Konkle as Budwin Yacker, a former head of O.S.H.A. with a safety-scared childhood and Brittney Powell as Dr. Randi Minky, a curvaceous and beautiful former stripper turned abnormal psychologist, Mary Cseh as Sparky Van Der Graaf, the computer expert hub of POSH control and Benton Jennings as Hopkins, the ever faithful and condescending butler to Reginald. In the first episode, the P.O.S.H. team intercepts an emergency call of an unfortunate accident at a warehouse, which sets off a series of more unfortunate accidents that are inadvertently caused by the P.O.S.H. team.

The cast are all professionals in LA who put their heart and souls into this web series on deferred salaries because they believe in Dave and Tom and the project. Safety Geeks was a  nominee for Best Visual Effects and was a winner of two awards in Special Effects, Comedy or Drama Series and Special Effects, Comedy or Drama Series in the Los Angeles Web Series Festival 2010. The show was shot entirely on green screen and all of the backgrounds are either CGI, photo plates or 2D for 3D composites. The visual effects were created by Thor Melsted and Mike Smith who also worked for free and for long hours using their own equipment to create some 1300 visual composite effects shots – more than the first three Star Wars movies combined, very unusually, that's in a comedy. A number made more impressive by the less than $10,000 budget and post-production team of three people.

The series premiered in HD exclusively on Koldcast.TV and was recently released as Koldcast's first web TV movie that reassembled all the episodes into a continuous web movie. Watch it in HD in it’s entirety on KoldCast.TV at:

In this short video from the 2010 Streamy Awards, I caught up with some of the cast and crew of Safety Geeks: SVI, including Dave Beeler, Brittney Powell, Benton Jennings, Mike Smith and Thor Melsted, who shared some exciting news about Season 2. They told me that they are repurposing Season One as a 3D and will be shooting Season Two as a full stereoscopic 3D experience. To their knowledge they will be the first web television series to pioneer this technology. The other exciting news is that new cast members will be joining show, including the great John Cleese, who is actually a fan of the show. Missing from this interview is Tom Konkle, who like Elvis, had already left the building.

Since I missed Tom in this interview, I contacted him and asked him to share what's in store for Season Two, and his thoughts on the evolving web television space. He had this to say:
"I think most important for the Safety Geeks show is exploring the characters now that we know them as an audience and build more absurdity into the situations they find themselves in while creating real relationships between them. This season will be about the team as family and how they work together as a dysfunctional one and how relationships might blossom, especially unlikely ones such as the one Randi and Budwin might find themselves in and destructive ones like the one Reg finds himself in over his head. Adding some exciting new characters and hopefully a few names you'd recognize might up the game as well.
We have a lot of ideas that we are excited about with regard to the production, storytelling and character aspects of the new season. Will they be able to keep the team together? Will he see that he is being manipulated? Can Budwin and Dr. Randi stop more accidents happening and will they be together? Can an OSHA inspector shut down the team? Having to put aside petty differences with Sparky, and using Hopkins knowledge of Reginald’s past as a guide and trap, season two takes the team balls deep into industrial intrigue, a new arch nemesis, and possibly losing forever the founder of the team to the sexy allure of hazardous, workplace practices.
The space is evolving fast. We want to stay in the game and make a decent enough income that we can still do this. Views aren't enough we need our fans and we want to interact and create new fans. I think before big business totally takes over our fans and creative spirit will be the only think that makes them take us at all seriously and we hope they do because we love doing these shows." 
- Tom Konkle Producer/Actor/Writer/Director

Tom also forwarded a few links for all the Safety Geeks fans out there: