Part of the fun of doing this blog is discovering the geek culture around me.
Today’s post accentuates that point, as it turns out the creators of the web series Vexika live just a couple blocks away.
A newly-wed Gilbert couple, Dan and Miranda Stewart decided that life was too short to not make a web series about clones and ninjas – so they spiced up their marriage by creating somewhat of an online sensation.
Sometimes, its appropriate to introduce shows like this with run-on sentences that use a lot of great adjectives that accurately impress the mind with certain feelings or atmospheres that the reader may expect to experience as they watch.
Other times, however, you just need to stop writing and tell people to just … watch. There’s an over-the-top-craziness factor going on here, for sure.
Oh yeah, Dan and Miranda have answered some questions for Lightning Octopus. Shall I share them with you?
Yeah, I probably should. HI-YAAH!
Ninjas, DARPA, Nanoids, Kung Fu – What’s going on here?
One of the awesome (and bad things) about making your own show is that you can put whatever you want in it.
[DAN] Growing up, I loved kung fu, ninjas, magic, D&D and medieval stuff and Miranda has the appearance and presence of looking like she just walked off the set of Kill Bill. So we weaved all that together into a master “Bible” of the Vexika Universe and we are telling the story initially through our web series with graphic novels and short stories not far behind.
And where did the outfit come from, pray tell?
[Miranda] Dan and I were out shopping and I tried it on. We looked in the mirror and both said, “That’s awesome…” and on the way home we started cooking up the Vexika character. I actually came up with the name and Dan took it from there.
How would you describe the humor of the show?
Hopefully funny! But sensitive at other times. One of the fun things we got to experience at the recent Amazing Arizona Comic Con were live reactions to the jokes, actions, and dialogue.
It’s difficult to read if something works or not when you write, perform and produce it between two people.
What steered you toward doing Sci-Fi?
We both love science fiction and I guess the possibilities of future technology. I think it’s a wonderful thing that we have an opportunity with Vexika to meld all the things we grew up on into a visual storytelling experience.
You started doing Vexika to add some adventure to your marriage. Mission accomplished?
[Miranda] Yes, definitely! Besides the fun (and challenge) of working so closely together, we have a show now with a growing fanbase of 12,000+ people on Facebook – since it’s announcement in August. We didn’t initially plan on doing any of this. Dan just made a fun video after we bought the suit as a surprise back in April of 2010. And well, one thing led to another and here we are with a nationwide audience.
What’s your favorite aspect of the Web Series format?
The best and worst part about it is that you have total control. So you can put together a web series like ours with black latex, sexiness, cloned ninjas, kung fu, aliens and technology but then if you don’t have a story – it’s just stupid.
However, a relatively unique aspect of our web series is that there’s a whole other side to it than sci-fi, ninja and nanoids, if that’s not your thing. We also release very candid “Making Of” videos of our production that show exactly how a married couple survives working together.
How far ahead have you written, or are you finding out where it goes as you film?
The entire story and “universe” has been written and half of each episode of Season One has been completed. The sulking ninja dialogue part going on down below was completed before the launch in October.
What we decide to show with the other half above (with Vexika), is being driven somewhat by feedback from the fans – from episode to episode. We deliberately jumped into the middle of the story and plan on using “LOST” type flashbacks to flesh out what’s already happened that’s motivated the current story.
Any tips for someone wanting to bootstrap a web series?
Don’t forget to have fun. Haters are going to hate. And remember that it’s the Internet. So realize that you have ten seconds to grab the viewer’s attention or they’re gone. So put something interesting in those first ten seconds so they’ll watch the rest.
A giant nanoid-infused thank you to both Dan and Miranda for taking the time to answer a few questions for us.