A weekly Thursday night of tabletop gaming leads to a life-changing experience in NIGHTS AT THE ROUND TABLE, produced by RedShirt Films, (creators of the completely badass web series I AM TIM), written, edited and directed by Jamie McKeller, and premiering today on Youtube!
The show stars Arron Dennis as Max Turtleson, a man who lives a humdrum existence, but who also lives for his favorite night of the week – when he and his friends Miles (Cal O’Connell), Phil (Jack Hobbs), Millie (Jennifer Jordan), and Harmony (Amelia Tyler), get together for their weekly role-playing fantasy games. Soon, Max’s life changes when his best friend from school, Sam (James Rotchell) re-enters his life, a man who, unlike Max, has a steady career and love life, both of which are turned upside down, leading him back home, and leading both not only towards a search for the perfect fifth player for game night, but towards re-establishing their friendship.
McKeller developed the series, innocently enough, after a cast gaming session during filming of I AM TIM. “One night some of the cast were playing a board game (Zombies I believe) and I had the idea of creating a show based around the social aspect of a gaming group. We shot a pilot in a night, I released it online a few months later and it proved successful, finding 3000 views in the first couple of weeks. After that we launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the funds needed to purchase lighting, sound kit and other filmmaking things. To date we’ve shot 8/10 episodes, (and) are gearing up to start the marketing campaign right now.”
Fans of I AM TIM will spot some very familiar faces in the cast of NIGHTS AT THE ROUND TABLE, and McKeller’s familiarity with each of them benefitted the show’s production immensely. “Most of the actors had worked on I Am Tim, who in turn found me through the audition and casting for that show a few years ago. Amelia saw the first season of Tim and got in touch to offer her services as an actor. The crew all come from the extensive pool of filmmakers who live in the city. About a year ago someone organized us enough to establish links between the dozens of little companies that work in the city, and as such crewing became a total breeze!”
Along with its unique brand of humor, the cast and crew’s professionalism and experience is another factor that sets the show apart from many other web series, something that makes a huge difference artistically, McKeller says. “A lot of shows stumble on a silly thing, like the sound mix or the grading. We’ve had experienced hands at every step, from the writing and development, to the talented cast, to the hours of post production to make sure that it goes out as polished as possible.” Despite some stressful moments, from the hot weather, to filming in the living room of his house with as many as 15 people, the overall production experience, was, as McKeller succinctly describes it, “lovely.”
Although I AM TIM has had a “REALLY small but loyal audience” as McKeller describes it, he hopes to aim for a larger, yet more specific audience for NIGHTS AT THE ROUND TABLE. “Nights has a specific audience, and we’re going after them. The idea is to get an audience there before the first episode launches. A group of hungry gamer comedy, romcom fans who are waiting for the episode to launch. From there, we’d like to see loads of views, people talking about the show and interacting with the social networks. A lot of work has gone into the show, and we’d really like to see that work appreciated by as many people as possible.”
ON THE WEB: www.redshirtfilms.com