First forced post: ‘Will Power’ photography is a wrap

by chuckofthesea

It has been a while since anything was posted here (how do you like THEM passive voice apples?!), and since I read in Blogger’s Almanac Spring 1999 edition that it’s important to post frequently, or at least regularly, I am forcing myself to compose a new entry.

I’m happy to say, for what it’s worth, that it wasn’t indolence keeping me from the laptop; over the past week, I’ve been gearing up to film a 5-part web series that I wrote, and am co-producing with my dear pal Ryan Beil, immortalized here. It stars Ryan, myself, and one of the very funniest people on the planet, Mr. Sean Cullen. In it, Sean and I play brothers, but I’m not sure if we share a believable, fraternal likeness…

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The series is called ‘Will Power,’ and it was a great deal of fun to write. I wanted to write something a little dark: in it, two spoiled, deeply flawed men listen as the lawyer of their very wealthy, dead father reads them his will, doling out his earthly possessions. A picture begins to emerge of the father as at first just bigoted and vindictive, then right-leaning to the point of at least a whiff of fascist sympathies. Each installment is about 3 to 4 minutes; we filmed the whole thing on Saturday.

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It’s the first project of this scale that I’ve ever put together on my own — Ryan and I did the whole thing like grown-ups, flying Sean in from Toronto and putting him up, doing the whole thing through proper, union-sanctioned channels (the UBCP’s ultra-low budget program, despite its slightly humiliating name, is really an immensely forward-looking and progressive bit of union language, creating the potential for the equivalent of Equity co-op productions for the digital age). On Friday, we put on a live stand-up and improv show to raise the money for our (again, ultra-low) budget. On Saturday, we got to play.

Comedy is a world in which you get to meet and work with your heroes pretty early. I’ve been at it for just over 9 years, and have done shows with half the people I grew up idolizing (that really is only a very slight exaggeration). I started listening to Corky and the Juice Pigs when I was about 16 or 17; I first got to work with Sean on a CBC 75th anniversary edition of the The Debaters in 2011. It was one of those rare moments where life lets you know, for certain, that you’re moving forward in the scheme of things: a fancy-dress, tuxedoed national TV taping with a guy you’ve always looked up to. I spent this past Saturday acting alongside him, doing lines that I’d written. Some of this stuff never, ever gets old.

Of course, Friday night, before the taping, I sat up reading the scripts, absolutely convinced that there was nothing remotely funny about them. We’ll see how things turn out once the pieces are edited; we laughed a lot on set, which is a good sign, I think. In the same way that it never gets old to work with a person you’ve long admired, it doesn’t seem to get any less terrifying to experiment by creating something, then putting it out there for other people to see. Like this shitty, forced blog post — a 4/10, at best. But what are you going to do? Not think up stuff and it on the internet? Please.

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