On a quest to make a web series packed with jokes, romance and mops. - View our pilot at youtube.com/ultracleantv

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Every great project has a beginning.  The Titanic started with someone thinking “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a really massive ship?  I mean bigger than anyone could possibly think is reasonable?  We could build it and then be hubristically overconfident about the possibility of it ever sinking.  Sigh!”  The film Titanic began when James Cameron thought “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a really massive film?  I mean bigger than anyone could possibly think is reasonable?  We could make it and then 12 years later make a different massive film with blue people that earns more money than the one I’m talking about making now, but only after 3D sales are considered.  Sigh!”

As you can see, beginnings can be audacious, even crazy.  Beginnings are for dreamers.  Well, right now, dreaming is exactly what I’m doing.  I’ve come up with an idea for a web series.  If you don’t know what a web series is, have a look at three of my favourites: Wainy Days, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and Burning Love.  Making a web series is just like making long-form TV, except what you’re making is not long-form and it’s not for TV.  Imagine taking a  car and shrinking it down to the size of a much smaller car.  Now imagine cramming that smaller car full of clowns.  That’s a web series.

My idea for a web series is called Ultra Clean.  It’s a comedy about four friends who run a cleaning company together.  The concept is that each episode will be 5 or 6 minutes long and will take place in one of the houses that the team is cleaning.  Each week brings a different adventure in a different house.  The idea stems from my love of ensemble comedies like Cheers, Seinfeld and Community, and also from my knowledge that it’s damn hard to find locations to shoot low-budget productions.  I’ve always found that the easiest place to shoot a short film is inside someone’s house.  You don’t have to worry about wind, or rain, or people driving by in cars and shouting “Pinch a handful of my genitals!” in the middle of a perfect take.  Dramatically, I also like the idea of a confined space, meaning there’s no escape-valve on conflicts that build up between characters.

As soon as I came up with the idea for Ultra Clean, I scribbled down a couple of scripts, which I then fiddled with until I felt they were funny.  My scripts feature a bossy character, a wisecracking character, a ditzy character and a character who was born in prison.  This what's known as the holy quadrinity of situation comedy.  Once I finished polishing the scripts, I sent them to a director I know called John Wood.  He liked them and we met to talk about the project.

What lies ahead of us now involves casting, rewrites, art design, rehearsals, rewrites, pitching, sponsorship, rewrites, shooting and rewrites.  I may be overstating the number of rewrites, but probably not.  We’re starting this blog so we can capture all the highs and lows of a web series production, right from the very beginning.  It’s going to be quite a ride and we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.  Will Ultra Clean be James Cameron’s Titanic, raking in piles of cash, winning awards and irritating viewers, or will it be the actual Titanic, rusting away at the bottom of the sea?  No one can say.  (Spoiler: it’s the first one.)

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