The road to rock ‘n roll stardom is never easy. From playing in small clubs for little money to finally getting that first big hit, anyone who’s a musician knows how hard a climb to the top can be – including the new (fictional) band portrayed in the mockumentary comedy web series PODIUM, created by Gary Cross and Richard Carroll of Flop Shop Films (who both created the upcoming web series THE FLOP SHOP, premiering late next month). PODIUM premieres on September 7th on the production company’s official Youtube page with five to six episodes scheduled to air.

Unlike many web series, including comedies, Cross and Carroll decided to take a unique approach to PODIUM primarily in its casting. The show’s ensemble cast is comprised of performers who aren’t necessarily professional actors, but instead bring their talents in improv comedy and their skills as musicians to the fore, not only playing their instruments but also writing the songs featured in each episode.

PODIUM stars Sam Correa as Michael, the guitarist and lead singer of a hapless rock band whose fortunes lay in the hands of an equally dimwitted manager, Dale (Danny Moseley). Along with Michael is his guitarist and backup singer, Alex (Harry Tindall), who seems to favor playing Pokemon over playing the band’s very limited amount of hit songs (three to be exact). Rounding out the cast is Tim (Alex Taggart), the owner of a Christian church hall where Michael and Alex, sans drummer, get their start. He’s a man who seemingly knows everything about that old time religion, but not that old time rock ‘n roll.

The series follows the duo’s rise to stardom, culminating in their biggest gig yet at the Old Ticket Hall in Windsor, a popular live music venue in England. Whether it’s memorable for the right reasons remains to be seen. In addition to the show’s Youtube presence, the band also has a Twitter page, and their manager also has a blog on Tumblr. Flop Shop Film’s official Twitter page will also have updates on the show’s production.

Described by the show’s creators as “a combination of THE OFFICE and THIS IS SPINAL TAP (Rob Reiner’s classic 1984 rock mockumentary),” PODIUM is dramatically different from many comedy web series in its approach to not only its production style, but also its portrayal of the show’s characters. “The cameras are always rolling and the actors (are) always in character. We are treating this as if it was a real documentary. Although we know how we want each episode to start and end, we let the journey between them find its own way,” Cross and Carroll say.

Improvisation is also a huge part of the show’s production, another factor that sets PODIUM apart from other web series, including several that the show’s creators have worked on. “Instead of writing 20 page screenplays we outline the show on two A4 sheets of paper. This includes quotes and action points. We then have regular meetings with the actors briefing them on where we want the episode to go. Afterwards we then let them roam free to express themselves,” they say.

While Cross and Carroll hope that PODIUM can be a financial success for them, they really hope to make their series one that is a hit with viewers – and fans of the underdog. “We just want to make people laugh. It’s not so much about pretty camera angles but more about the characters being themselves. Our artistic style is not to be intrusive, (but) just to be voyeurs.”


TWITTER: @WeArePodium and @FlopShopFilms

TUMBLR: (Dale’s page):