Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kickstart This! Suspension of Disbelief

Hey gamer/LARPer types! Have you ever wondered what the local residents think about all the hapless heroes parading through their city? Suspension of Disbelief: A Fantasy-Comedy Webseries by Benjamin Boardman is the series for you!
In the town of Arbrontith, a Hellmouth stands wide open to the living world. The Dark One fights to escape and rule the world with an iron fist. Only the heroes who populate this small, frontier village stand in his way. This is totally not their story. The Salvagers are are quartet of women trying to find a life in the midst of this chaos. They do not fight, they do not take sides. They pick up after the temporarily dead and keep themselves alive in a town full of zombies, ineffectual thieves, tentacled horrors, selfish heroes and sentient watermelons.
Sounds really fun, right?! I haven't done any LARPing, but it's always intrigued me. But when I'm playing a game, whether it's an MMO or RPG or whatever, I'm always struck by how funny it is that the AI for the NPCs doesn't allow them to have truly human reactions to things happening around them. I'm thinking of a particular event in Guild Wars 2 where a town's buildings catch on fire and you have to run around gathering water to put it out. Meanwhile, the town residents are just walking around like normal.
The show started with a few sketches about the crazy things that happen in, really, any fantasy game as seen from the NPCs point-of-view. We had a few generic townies standing in as our protagonists watching as people were assassinated in broad daylight, corrupted the basic fabric of reality and came up with the dumbest character names.

What I love most about this series is that they decided to do some gender-flipping and it only makes the story that much more awesome. The cast looks excellent, and the story looks fun.
We knew we had something special after the initial table read. We filmed the shorts over a long weekend, building the exterior porch and interior of our own Last Chance Tavern. As we edited the shorts, we began sketching out future adventures. The story took a life of its own, growing into its own fleshed out fantasy world. The more we saw of the work our cast had done, the more we knew that this show deserved more. After much deliberation, we came to the conclusion that a few short sketches wasn’t going to be enough for these women, these characters or this new world we had discovered. Taking what we had already filmed as a proof of concept and the centerpiece of the first season, we began rewriting in earnest, introducing more characters, more intrigue and more monsters for our special effects department to play with.
I can't wait to see how it all turns out!


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