While everyday life can often be filled with humdrum moments, the world of fantasy role playing games offers many people the chance to enjoy being in an exciting, fun atmosphere – if only for a few hours at a time.
For one young woman, the life she leads as a gamer proves to have a significant impact on her life in the real world in the romantic comedy web series GAMER CHICK. The series, which first premiered in 2011 with 11 episodes, launched its second season of 8 episodes in March 2013 on its official web site and Youtube page.
Produced by the husband and wife team of Sarah and Jeff Moore of Romeo’s Foe Studios, GAMER CHICK stars Sarah Moore (who created and wrote the show) as Gia, a coffee shop worker, baker and “pencil and paper” gamer who excels in the competitive fantasy world of tabletop gaming, but also finds herself struggling to recover from her breakup with ex-boyfriend Colin (Brandon Berk).
Luckily. Gia’s fellow gamers, including her best friend and new member of the group Nina (Amanda Maul), plus Kelley (Ed Bronowski), Brendan (played by Matt Blissmer) and Tom, the “GM” (or game master, played by Mario Dongu) help her get through the difficult aftermath of her last relationship. Along the way, each of them accompany Gia on a series of interesting adventures that help her move on from the pain of her breakup.
Season 2 continues Gia’s journey, and her personal growth both inside and outside the confines of RPGs; settings that soon prove to have a considerable impact on just how she manages to act in the real world. The series’ cast also includes Scott Plant as James, Gia’s seemingly all too perfect potential boyfriend, and Amanda Flahive as his overly selfless sister, Lily.
A mother to two young children, Moore’s desire to return to her passion – acting, as well as a lack of professional opportunities, were what inspired her to create and produce the series.
“I had two kids under the age of 5 and I was itching to get back into performing,” she remembers. “The options that I had in my area weren’t really exciting me, so I decided to dive in and attempt to make something I could really be passionate about.” Even more interesting is just how she managed to convince her fellow actor friends to join the cast.
“At the time that I created the first season, I was doing a lot of gaming and a lot of baking,” she adds. “I took about a month to throw all of my ideas onto paper and then lured all of my actor friends over under false pretenses for a table read. By the end of reading the first episode, they had all signed on. I think the brownies that I made helped solidify that choice.”
With a cast comprised primarily of Jeff and Sarah’s real life gaming group, plus access to other talented performers, the casting process for GAMER CHICK was simple and efficient.
“We also have connections with the local theater and improv communities, which gives us lots of great options to help fill smaller roles.”
Compared to the relative ease of casting, the production process for GAMER CHICK’s first season was a much harder task to accomplish. It was something that both producers sought to avoid as season 2 approached. “We pretty much said, ‘we don’t ever want to make a show that way again.’ It was a long and drawn-out process, which was exhausting for everyone (especially since we were not able to pay anyone for their work),” he adds.
Learning from their experience on season 1, the show’s production team streamlined the filming process for season 2 of GAMER CHICK. That decision gave the series’ producers a much needed morale boost on-set. “Effectively, we grew our confidence by going through the process with the first season. That gave us the guts to step it up for subsequent releases,” he recalls.
As a result, viewers instantly noticed the improvement in its quality. “We wrote fewer, more narratively effective episodes and planned our shoots better,” the show’s producers say. “We also upgraded our physical capabilities with some new gear; I think this upgrade is what strikes most viewers when they go from season 1 to 2 for the first time. We get a lot of comments/compliments,” he says.
Both producers say Season 3 of GAMER CHICK is currently in post-production, but given the highly stylized visual nature of the series, and the small production crew it employs, that process is understandably harder than most web series.
“Once we have a picture edit, it moves to visual effects and sound design; both of these can be fairly time-consuming, especially with such a small post-production team,” he says. “We hope to have a few episodes finished before we start releasing so our fans don’t have to wait too long for the next one.”
Amid all the eye popping visuals, strong characters and story remains at the heart of GAMER CHICK. The show’s producers hope that the series will continue to appeal to viewers precisely because of its substance. Says Jeff Moore: “I hope most that people enjoy the story’s presentation. I want the show to hit home without the production getting in the way.”
GAMER CHICK is a comedy that demonstrates just how important and how crucial it is to have friends you can count on, no matter how difficult things can be. Even more so, it proves that if you believe in yourself, life can be fun and rewarding.
Says Sarah Moore: “I just wanted to show that sometimes it’s hard to find balance in your life, but that if you rely on people who love you and trust yourself, you will get to where you need to be (and probably laugh a lot along the way).”
(Note: Regarding closed-captioning of GAMER CHICK, Jeff Moore says: “The show is not closed-captioned at the moment, but only because we have never had any requests for it. We certainly have the ability to do it, and we would be happy to include it if it seems like a feature that our viewers would appreciate.”)
ON THE WEB: http://www.romeosfoe.net (Romeo’s Foe Studios site)
The second season premiere of GAMER CHICK can be viewed below: