Hey, everyone, Ben here. I arrived in Guelph, Ontario last with Christian Doyle and Andy Dopieralski to prep the country (well, the province… the city… okay, just the studio) for our upcoming Gamers miniseries shoot. The rest of our team flies in tomorrow, including Trin Miller, Scott C Brown, Matt Vancil, Joanna Gaskell, Tony Becerra, Vanessa Driveness, and Daniel Johnston.
We left sunny, eighty degree weather in Seattle and walked into a repeat of JourneyQuest season two: rain, hail, sleet, snow, wind, and freezing temperatures. The people, however, are incredibly warm and friendly. It feels easy to make friends here, especially compared to how polite and distant Seattle can be. It’s the sort of town where you can loan your phone charger to a stranger and make arrangements to pick it up halfway across town an hour later, where they’ll buy you a round a drinks and make you listen to awesome indie music. And at least one coffee shop in town can offer Stumptown some genuine competition.
It’s not all fun and games, of course. We’ve been scouting locations, including an extraordinary city hall where we’ll be staging the final act of The Gamers: Natural One. I also just got to meet the stunt team, who’s in from Toronto for the day to do some scouting of their own. They’ll be staging a battle with Tom Gofton’s character that promises to be unlike anything we’ve ever shot before
The studio is great. The back room is currently full of gear, props, and costumes for two full shows, which means an odd combination of cyberpunk and fantasy, from ancient parchment to football shoulder pads to futuristic-looking weapons and tech. Crew members are in and out constantly as we build the production, send call sheets back and forth between here and Seattle, and do final script review and revisions
Additionally, Andy and I are making great progress on ZOE Phase II. We have most of the text written and are now deep into code and design. We’ll also be shooting video components of the pitch while we’re up here, along with a couple new episodes of Rude Mechanical. The nice thing about having all of us at a remote location is that unlike in Seattle, we’re not being pulled in twenty directions at once and can actually get our team in the same room at the same time. And if that room happens to be a European-style coffee house, all the better.
You’ll also notice that I’m posting from the ZOE web page. We’ve solved a few key tech issues with the site and are ready to make it our hub for production and interaction again, especially if the facebook and twitter integration work properly. It’s been a tough year for the site, since we’ve had to focus on getting JQ and Gamers done, but with Andy stepping in to work more regular hours at ZOE I’ve been able to get back into projects that had been on hold during 2012 and production madness. I still can’t believe we (insanely) decided to shoot two feature-length shows last year
Anyway, next steps today are to unlock the “breakfast” achievement, double-check production prep with department keys, and put in a lot more work on Phase II prep, which we’re hoping to launch in June
Speaking of breakfast, I can hear people’s stomachs from here, so it’s probably time to take a break before I start looking like the next meal.