In need of something to do this weekend? I have a comedic web series that will be well worth your time. THEPOPFIX received the opportunity to speak with Scott Kieffer Johnson, the creator and executive producer of the web series, “Project Hollywood.” We also got to chat with producer/cast member Kristin Larson and executive producer Laura Garcia.
THEPOPFIX: The full first season is available now on your website. For those who have yet to watch, what can they expect from the series?
Scott: I like to think of it as the anti “Entourage” where it deals with more of the low budget end of Hollywood, instead of the glitzy successful part of it and the not so beautiful. It’s a funny comedy for people that like comedy. If you like shows like “Arrested Development” or “Community,” then this show is right up your alley.
Laura: Its revolving around three guys who are really great friends and each one has their own different personality. So you pretty much get a very well rounded romantic love story with the douchey guys, the dorky friends…it’s a good comparison to the vibes you get from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”
THEPOPFIX: Scott, being the creator of the series, are any of these stories inspired by your own personal struggles in Hollywood?
Scott: I wrote the pilot three years ago when I was crashing on a friends couch and I was super broke. It’s definitely a mash up of a couple break ups. It was just a case of not really being sure what I was doing with my life and I kind of just wrote a TV pilot about it.
THEPOPFIX: In producing a high quality web series, especially a full season, it’s not very cheap. How did you go about fundraising the project? I heard something about an 80′s prom night?
Kristin: We started a Indiegogo campaign, where we received most of our funds, but we also did some special events. We did a fundraiser screening some of Scott’s short films, where we raffled off some prizes, and an 80′s prom. We had friends and family that had been donating towards Indiegogo. We were very fortunate in that we had an amazing cast and crew that were willing to work for cheap or even free in some cases. We shot for 27 days spread throughout almost a year. It took a long time to get the show done, but everybody was really behind it. They were willing to take a pay-cut or no pay at all, because they were passionate about the project and were excited to be apart of it.
THEPOPFIX: In season one we witnessed the struggles behind making it in Hollywood, but also balancing those romantic relationships. Do you think there is a certain key to juggling both of those, successfully?
Laura: (Laughs) Not really, it’s defiantly a juggling act. As a girl when you are working twelve, fourteen, or sixteen hour days on set…you kind of just wanna unwind. Finding the dating time while pursing a passion, you have to pick your battles on how far you can go with both, the relationship and the job.
Scott: I find it very hard to date someone outside of the industry, because I’ve had girlfriends who don’t work in the entertainment business and they just don’t understand why I work twelve to sixteen hour days sometimes and don’t have time to go out to dinner, or the money!
THEPOPFIX: Mark Nager who plays the main character Jake Coleman in the series, I read that he is currently living in Australia. Will there be any major changes in casting for season 2?
Scott: No, he’s actually going to be back in town in another couple of months. We definitely plan on bringing him back, I worked with Mark on a couple of things. He is one of my favorite actors to work with. I honestly think he’s gonna wind up being a big deal one day, because he’s super talented.
THEPOPFIX: What else can we expect from the second installment of the series?
Scott: I definitely think that the first season was all about figuring out his place in the world and just finding that balance between friends, career, and girlfriend. The second season, largely the theme of that one is kind of like dealing with that first stage of success and the ramifications from that. So all of the characters go on some really exciting journeys during season 2.
THEPOPFIX: For season two are you going to continue any of those same fundraising tactics?
Kristin: (Laughingly) NO!
Scott: Crowd-sourcing is great, but we cant keep going back to friends and family. We’d like to find one main investor, because there’s a lot of bigger ideas as well in season two. We’d like to expand the universe so to speak and take us out of that apartment a lot more, so we need a bit more money than we did in this first season.
THEPOPFIX: Congratulations on being selected at LAWEBFEST! Some consider this the Sundance for web series. How does that make you all feel?
Scott: I’m excited to be apart of it, it’s definitely an honor to be selected for any film festival and we actually had our first screening Wednesday evening here at the festival. It went over really well and people loved it and people laughed a lot. I had a lot of people coming up to me after the screening and asking me where they could go see the rest of the show. Even some of the festival workers themselves were pulling me aside and telling me how much they loved the show. There’s a lot of really talented filmmakers in this festival, we saw a lot of really good web series yesterday. Its very international even too, yesterday I saw shows from Germany, Canada, and Ireland. Its global and its amazing watching all these talented people come out to this one festival in Los Angeles.
Kristin: We find out on Saturday at the awards ceremony if we’ve been nominated or up for anything so, keep your fingers crossed!
THEPOPFIX: With these web series, what do you think is so special about them and why they are becoming the go to market for filmmakers and actors?
Scott: What I love about web series is the internet in general is still kind of a wild west for filmmakers. Even ten years ago a guy like me would have a hell of a time tyring to break into the business. Now anyone with an iPhone can do this and put it up on the web, its just a great opportunity for up and coming filmmakers to get their stuff out and seen by people. It’s just the way the business is slowly moving. With on-demand movies now available, when a movie opens you can either go to a theater or press a button on your TV at home and see it in the privacy of your own home. Its giving a lot of platforms the chance to see a lot of great stuff outside the traditional studio system.
THEPOPFIX: Whats your fix?
Scott: I’m a massive nerd, so I’m really into the Marvel movies at the moment. “Captain America 2,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Game Of Thrones.”
Laura: I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, I would totally watch any romantic comedy, it would’t matter.
Kristin: I definitely fit in more with the romantic comedies, I’m looking forward to seeing “The Other Woman.” I’m so busy with life that I don’t have the chance, so I can live through their romantic experiences.
Check out the “Project Hollywood” sizzle below!
Click here to watch the Pilot episode of “Project Hollywood.”