The classic Hollywood swashbucklers of yesteryear sprinkled with the modern adventures of Indiana Jones converge in the new action-adventure web series THE SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURES OF PETE WINNING AND THE PIRATES, which debuted on February 8 on various platforms, including Youtube and Koldcast.TV, with a four episode first season (with plans for an eight episode second season). Created by Jason Leaver (creator/writer/producer of OUT WITH DAD), and series star Mike Donis, and written by Donis, James Christopher, and Aaron Tsang (who also serves as the series’ music composer), Donis plays the titular protagonist, who along with his crewmates, ex-pirate Eva (IN THE KEY OF Z’s Saffron Cassaday), and Remy (Robert Nolan), journey from the West of Canada towards the East, as they band together to prevent the evil Queen from gaining control of a map that could start a world war, a perilous trek where Pete reluctantly joins forces with Victor Rathbone (played by Youtube singing sensation Terry He), the man who killed his lover, Carmen (Dani Barker, of the hidden camera reality web series STARVIVAL), in order to save the world from the Queen’s wrath. Shawn Devlin and Sandra DeCosta round out the cast as two tax collectors, who, in the Queen’s employ, serve as guardians of the docks.
PETE WINNING began as a short film, but the emerging growth of original content for the web led Donis, Tsang and Leaver to continue the story as a web series. “The short was a serial-style, even though it was intended initially to be a one-off production. The thought of making more episodes and continuing the adventures kept at coming back! So especially after playing at several film festivals and getting very enthusiastic and positive feedback, we decided to start expanding the world the characters lived in and designing a story that fit inside it,” according to the creators. The series, filmed in Toronto, raised almost $12,000 on the popular crowd funding web site IndieGoGo, and while the casting process was relatively problem-free, the production itself had its own share of challenges (“very wet” according to the series’ producers), but overall, the cast and crew became even closer throughout the filming of the series. “The whole cast and crew really developed a camaraderie. True friendships were made and, in spite of the crazy shooting schedule, everyone was always in a great mood and really gave it their all. It was really something else. And something we can’t wait to relive!”
Donis, Tsang and Leaver compare their series to some of the all-time classic Errol Flynn adventures of Hollywood’s Golden Age, along with modern favorites like the cult classic TV series FIREFLY, along with STAR WARS, the second entry in Mel Gibson’s “Mad Max” series THE ROAD WARRIOR, and even romantic films. They feel that PETE WINNING provides something for everyone, with storytelling befitting the tradition of old Hollywood. “We hope we can give our audience a world they can fall in love with, characters they can relate to, and a thrill ride they haven’t experienced since they were children. We really want to bring that childhood glee back to fully grown adults! And financially speaking, have you seen this show? It’s epic! We hope we can financially have what we need to bring that epic scale to the screen without any creative compromises.”
ON THE WEB: www.petewinningandthepirates.com