Friday, April 19, 2013

"Buddy System" in Action: Jake Paque & Trevor Dallier's StagNation Productions

Buddy System – the web series created and starred in by Wide Eyed company members Jake Paque and Trevor Dallier – launched on April 10th with a public screening at Manhattan’s Stone Creek Bar and Grill. We caught up with Jake and Trevor to discuss current and upcoming projects for StagNation Productions, their film and media production company. Be sure to check out Episode 1 of Buddy System on youtube (you can also watch it below)! 
  • Please tell us about how this web series was conceived. What inspired you to create Buddy System
JAKE: Trevor and I started kicking around these characters of BB Roo and Trent Dulcimer and we loved their dynamic: BB, this music video writer who gets fired and doesn’t really know how to do anything else, and Trent, a person who works for a fictitious company called Buddy System that helps people re-enter the workforce. We spent hours riffing on situations these guys could get into, so with the help of our director Kurt Rodeghiero, we built a home for them in our web series Buddy System. We also desperately wanted an opportunity to work with some friends whose work we really respected, but the industry doesn't always provide that opportunity. So we just did it on our own and it was immensely rewarding. 

TREVOR: I think Jake’s point about wanting to find a venue in which we could work with as many of our favorite people as possible was a huge draw for me. And that is to say, that our company, StagNation, was also formed with the same hope in mind. We thought that this concept would allow us to write scenarios fitting each person we know specifically. After completing filming on another project, we were hooked and knew we had something good going for us in StagNation. 
  • This worked out to be somewhat of a bi-coastal creative process for your team. Can you share with us some of the technicalities of that? Would you say it worked in your favor? 
JAKE: We had all of our post done in LA. It was a decision we made with Kurt, knowing he wanted to work closely with our editor Jeremy Bird. Once we decided that the edit would be done out there, it just made sense to have the rest (color correction, sound etc.) done out west as well. The experience was actually pretty cool. We were able to stay updated by watching edits and adjustments via private youtube links and videos stored in Dropbox. We were in the loop every step of the way. Saw dozens of versions of the episode and were able to make adjustments. It definitely worked in our favor and allowed us to establish relationships with industry pros we might not have met otherwise. 

Photo by Lauren Marsh Photography

TREVOR: We also had our hearts set on making sure that Kurt was able to direct. This was a tough decision (upping the cost of the production), but we really felt he was an integral part of both the storytelling and the production as a whole. He had such a huge influence on the production, from script edits, to story ideas, to helping us find a great crew and working closely with our DP, Nolan Maloney, we have to give him major props! 
  • Can you tell us a little bit about your plans for future episodes of Buddy System? What’s the next step in the production process for you? 
JAKE: We have the next few episodes written and in pre-production. There is a ten-episode arc that we'd love to be able to produce all of. The first episode has already helped expand our audience base and we're really pleased with all the feedback. We also hope that Meet and Greet intrigues potential financiers that would be interested in investing in Buddy System or future StagNation Productions. The immediate next step is acquiring further funding, locking down locations and booking the crew/talent for episodes two and three! 
  • You produce the Stagnant Thoughts podcast. Can you tell us it about that? What inspired you to create a podcast? What excites you about it? 
JAKE: The Stagnant Thoughts podcast is an opportunity for us to check in with our friends in the entertainment industry and let others know what they're up to. The podcast medium has always excited me. I love the back and forth, riffing and storytelling that comes out of each episode. The unspoken goal of the Stagnant Thoughts podcast is to bring to light some of murkier elements of the entertainment biz. There are a million places you can go to hear what famous people are doing, but the majority of artists are struggling, scrapping to get the next project. I wanted our podcast to discuss the successes and failures of the emerging artist, while making sure the guests talk about things that are important to them. We love the opportunity to share our friends’ voices and hopefully give people a laugh. For instance, the Goro Fighting reference in our most recent episode...

TREVOR: Adding on to what Jake said, podcasts are a perfect venue to describe what independent producing is like for us as a personal experience. I feel like when I was younger, I would have latched onto a program like ours to get a feel for the real world of independent arts. I hope we can both inspire and educate our listeners. I also hope they laugh with us in our rants about Goro fighting and “fixing things in post” (which will never happen, by the way). 
  • Can you tell us about other projects you have in the hopper? 
JAKE: We have a ton of things we're interested in producing… sketches, shorts and ultimately a feature. These are each on individual times lines, but I'll say for certain, our youtube channel will be filling with content very soon. The response to Buddy System has been phenomenal and we promise to continue bringing that level of entertainment. 

TREVOR: All I can say is that I am extremely excited to be working on our upcoming projects, in all facets, and I hope to learn and grow as a producer and an artist. Our viewers will not be disappointed!

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