For the next few minutes sit quietly and read, for you are about to participate in a great adventure exploring stories created for you by storytellers from all over the globe. You are about to experience the shock and awe which reaches from the inner mind to…The IndieNet and Beyond! It’s more news and web series episodes, plus this time I chat with Travis Gordon, writer and director of the fantasy web series Spellfury.
Travis Gordon (also known on the web as tbonepearson) is a Canadian filmmaker based in Ontario, whose love of Dungeons & Dragons inspired him to create a fantasy series that he would like to watch.
Spellfury is a fantasy action web series that premiered online in August 2008. Season one had 12 fast paced episodes and currently is in production on season two.
“Spellfury is a fantasy world with tons of interesting characters. The main storyline focuses on a half-elf named Druinia (Julie O’Halloran) who is trying to find her father’s killer. She comes across a mysterious magic sword on her adventure that she seems to be able to wield pretty well! There is a lot of magic involved… swords, fighting, demons, and monsters. It is a series I would watch,” said Gordon. “I’ve always wanted a TV show like that. And I love putting puppets in there. I love old films like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. I just thought that kind of stuff was genius.”
And there are many puppets to be found in Spellfury. With the always hungry Slorf, that stands 15-20 feet tall and the dragon that appears late in season one. Surprisingly Gordon had very little experience with puppet making until making them for his own shows. He got help from professional puppeteer Matt Ficner, who taught Gordon more about puppeteering and even acted in episodes 1-3 of season one of Spellfury. You may have seen his work on Farscape or Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
“In the 90s (computer animation) destroyed the (puppet) industry. But I find (puppetry) superior in certain shots, because it is really there and the audience knows that,” said Gordon. “A lot of times no matter how good the CGI is you still know it’s not really there, but like Jabba the Hutt the dude’s there. It’s a different feeling when you’re watch it. I’m trying to work that into Spellfury as well. I think it brings a sort of magic to it.”
So why turn the story of Spellfury into a webseries, rather than a film?
“I’ve always wanted to do a fantasy film or work in that genre,” Gordon explained. “I did a lot of independent film back in the day for quite a few years and tried sending stuff off to festivals but not having to much luck with it. Then when YouTube came and I thought ‘I can go right to the audience. I don’t have to go through that whole system.’ The cool thing about the web is that there are no gatekeepers you can just make something and no one will say ‘no.’ The Internet provides tools for filmmakers to get their work seen and get some momentum. I would love to do a Spellfury film someday.”
Despite no new episodes for months, Spellfury can often be found on the top 5 most popular shows on Koldcast TV. And they can boast over 3.5 million views. Second season will have twelve new episodes. One thing Gordon has heard from fans is their desire for longer episodes, so he plans make the new episodes longer by extending each to 4-5 minutes. And he told me he is willing to keep making seasons as long as people want to watch them on the Internet. But Gordon isn’t against having Spellfury on traditional TV too.
“We are currently pitching to TV, if things go as planned, Spellfury will be on TV this summer in Canada, we’ll be airing season one and some of season 2 over 6 weeks,” said Gordon.
“I’m excited to show people what we’ve got (for season two). I’m building a big, big puppet right now. That is going to be nine or ten feet tall. I’m excited about him,” hinted Gordon. “I’m using bicycle brakes to get his eyelids and eyebrows to move. He’s going to be a big warrior. I think the fans are going to like him. I’m excited to hear what they have to say.”
With twelve episodes complete and a second season on the way, I asked Gordon what advice he would give to others wanting to try their hand at creating a web series.
“My advice is just do it, have a thick skin and ask people what they think of your show, then listen and deal with the issues,” explained Gordon. “The beauty of the web is that you can find out what’s working and what’s not pretty fast. Keep growing and making your show better, keep building your team. You have to be brave!”
Elsewhere On The Web
Last time I told you about Celebrate the Web 4, where you could watch web series pilots made in seven days (including one by our friends at KATR Pictures, makers of Vampire Zombie Werewolf) and vote the winner. The 13 pilots were shown in HD to a sold out crowd at ACME Comedy Theatre and the winners were announced. Congrats to the winners!
- Best Use of Numerical Element: Life’s Little Ultimatum
- Best Use of Graphic Element: Happy Hunting, Target Kill
- Best Use of Quotation Element: Group: The Web Series
- Judges’ Choice: The Silverlake Badminton and Adventurers Club
- Audience Choice: Relapse
Attack Of The Trailers!
Here are a few trailers for web original series that caught my eye.
ElfQuest: A Fan Imagining: Teaser Trailer
Approximately 50 seconds of parts taken from the 5-minute Elfquest Fan Trailer produced by Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes.
Find Me Trailer
What is Find Me? I’m not really sure, except it is the new big upcoming thing from BlackBox TV and the trailer really grabbed my attention.
Solo: Season 1.5 Trailer
The trailer for the second half of season one of Solo, a scifi comedy web series set in space. Scott Drizhal is chosen to go on a solo, 3-year mission to Mars as part of a reality series. But things don’t go according to plan and the show is canceled and Scott is stuck on the ship.
What I’m Watching… Are You?
I’ve been scouring the web… well really more like casually clicking away on links, but scouring sounds more dramatic… in search for new web series episodes to watch and share with you. Enjoy!
Aidan 5 – Episode 3: Chasing Shadows
Aidan 5 is a scifi web series with cops, clones, and lots of green screen effects.
Aidan 5 – Episode 4: The Enemy of My Enemy
Time for episode 5.
The Backwater Gospel
A dark animated short film that takes you on a creepy nine and half minute trip to a small town named Backwater.
Blood and Bone China – Chapter 3 – ‘Anna of the Six Towns’
Blood and Bones China is a new Victorian vampire web series is one of my new favorites. It’s fun and fast, with fangs. Here is episode three.
Blood and Bone China – Chapter 4 – ‘The Devil In The Potteries’
And here is episode four.
Haywire – Episode 5 “Duct Tape & Demons”
New episodes of Haywire, the scifi horror web series that premiered on October 29th. We follow survivors trying to figure out what happened after a flash of light over a small town in Orange County New York short circuits the brains of everyone who saw it.
Haywire – Episode 6 “Grace Under Pressure”
Here is episode six.
Mind’s Eye – Episode 16: Absent
More episodes of the family friendly fantasy series Mind’s Eye. “The Dreamweavers gear up for a day of school and realize they’re missing one of the gang. Meanwhile, Darius brings a sick friend a gift, but is faced with a grim truth.”
Mind’s Eye – Episode 17: Hide & Seek
“Missing children reports mount as Dolgrath amps up his search for Illia. The Dreamweavers prepare for battle and Darius hides a drowsy Illia somewhere safe.”
OverAnalyzers: Episode 1 BATMAN
Are you one of those genre fans that tends to over analyze movies or TV shows? Well, these guys made a whole web series out of their over analyzing. For this episode they tackle Batman and Robin… and the Bat Pole.
Vampire Zombie Werewolf – Episode 7 “The Great Vampsby”
The vampire party begins and we learn the value of gum.
That’s A Wrap
Got a web series, web comic, web… whatever, then I want to know about it. Contact me at: [email protected]
That’s a wrap for now. Take care my virtual friends. Until next time… marX out.
You can follow me on Twitter @MrMarx
Follow ScifiPulse on Twitter @SciFiPulse
Marx H. Pyle is a writer, martial artist and American independent filmmaker. A graduate of Vancouver Film School, he has worked on a number of projects including the short film he wrote and directed, Silence of the Belle. He is currently in production of his scifi web series Reality On Demand.