Have you ever felt like you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time? Have you ever felt like you’re in way over your head? That’s the scenario that a clumsy 1950’s era detective faces in the new comedy web series OUT OF PLACE, created by Jay Ruzicka, and set to premiere its first season of 5 episodes this September on its soon to be launched Youtube channel.

OUT OF PLACE follows the misadventures of Jack Boone (played by Marco Salerno), an often idiotic gumshoe who accidentally time travels to the year 2013, where times and crime solving techniques have changed – but he hasn’t. Working with him is his younger, smarter sidekick, nicknamed Kid (played by David Picariello, from the web series TITLED), a no-nonsense junior detective who’s separated from his partner – and from any opportunity to set him straight.

Among the colorful characters Boone faces are ‘Clownface’ (Chris Masih, also from TITLED), and his girlfriend ‘Towel Girl’ (Ali Sarnacchiaro), whose apartment the hapless detective crash lands into when he arrives in the present day, much to the chagrin of the latter’s significant other (as Ruzicka explains, like the ‘Kid’ character, both ‘Clownface’ and ‘Towel Girl’ are nicknames). The show also stars Amanda Rodriguez as Claire, a young woman in a futile relationship with her boyfriend (played by Mark Pezzula of SUPER KNOCKED UP). Claire befriends the lost detective, and instantly takes a liking to him. “She helps Boone try to find his way back to 1951, though she realizes over time that may not be what she wants,” Ruzicka explains.

OUT OF PLACE was originally developed as a short film that took a film-noir approach to the modern day whodunit, but without the time travel element – and for a time, as Ruzicka explains, without Salerno as its lead. “We were going to shoot in Albany, N.Y. and SUPER KNOCKED UP’s Mark Pezzula was going to play Detective Boone. I’ve worked with Mark on about a dozen projects so we both penciled him into my next project per the usual. Since then, Mark got married and has been working pretty hard on SKU and the timeframe didn’t match up. (Ruzicka says Pezzula will appear in a smaller role in the show’s fourth episode). After Mark and I kind of got busy with other projects, the film sat dormant until I moved to the Boston area and revived it as a web series.”

Salerno took a decidedly different approach to his portrayal of the show’s protagonist, and his unique take on the character instantly won Ruzicka over. The casting process for the show’s other roles also proved to be easier than expected. “I saw Chris Masih and David Picariello in the web series TITLED and thought they were hilarious, so they appear in the first episode. You’ll actually see David briefly in the second episode as well, and we’re hoping to have both of them a bit more going forward. They were friends with Ali Sarnacchiaro, who is a local actress and singer, who I met before shooting and who I thought was just so multi-talented.” The show also features young British actress Holly Payne-Strange in a small, yet key role (in episode 1) that will have major significance throughout the series.

For Ruzicka, filming each episode of OUT OF PLACE was something of a family affair, with his very small crew including his fiancee, Jacqueline Bono (sound), and her sister Gabriella, who will also be appearing in one of the episodes this season. Even though his production crew was small, and even though filming had its own set of challenges, Ruzicka says that the experience was a rewarding one. “I’ve worked on projects that had a cast and crew that totaled closer to two dozen in the past. For this we had a pretty small crew– maybe 4 or 5 people. For whatever reason, shooting Episode 1 was one of the easiest and smoothest projects I’ve ever directed. My crew were full of great ideas that we were able to work together to solve any issues or problems that arose,” he says.

OUT OF PLACE is unique in the sense that it not only combines the popular sub-genres of futuristic time travel and detective stories, but that it also portrays the story of a man from another era who struggles to adapt to both the surroundings he finds himself in, and the ways of 21st century society – making for some awkward and humorous moments for a detective who finds himself torn between the past and the present. Says Ruzicka: “Really, this isn’t a classic detective story. Will there be a few mysteries? Yes, but it’s really about a guy who looks like us, acts like us, talks like us, but (he) comes from a place which is very different. He changes out of his classic detective garb and into jeans and a t-shirt. He discovers the Internet and other modern devices, but wants to go back to a different time where he still is that traditional classic detective solving crimes and moving up in his career.”

(Note: while the show’s first season will not be closed-captioned, Ruzicka says that he’s considering that option for its DVD release).

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