In a world where so many are connected by rapidly evolving technology, and where people endure the hectic pace of daily life, it’s easy to understand why we sometimes lose track of the natural beauty and opportunities for adventure that can be found right in front of us. In fact, it’s those seemingly overlooked aspects of life that often make for some of its most memorable experiences.

Combining scripted comedy with reality TV/mockumentary style production, the new series CLOSE ENOUGH follows three friends (played by former BMX biker turned actor Kurt Yaeger, plus professional photographers Huy Doan and Jon Beck in exaggerated versions of their real life personas) who witness just how memorable and fun those moments can be – even if they turn out to be far wackier than expected.

Produced by Yaeger and Josh Gillick’s production company ArtistFilm for General Motors’ Chevy line of trucks, and for the company’s Drive the District promotional online content initiative, CLOSE ENOUGH’s 2 current episodes are now streaming on its official web site and via Yaeger’s own Youtube channel (see more links below).

10011397_641039592708568_827460124995119834_nThough there’s no definitive amount of episodes currently scheduled for its first season, Yaeger plans to continue production on CLOSE ENOUGH, and to expand the geographical scope of its adventures through filming overseas. It’s something that he hopes can attract further viewers and fans from all over the world towards his series.

“I think it could be massive for our international friends to see us adventuring in their home areas as well,” he says. “Plus, we might also make it a little bit of a tour, so we can meet fans and spend time with good people.”

After overcoming a devastating racing injury that forced the amputation of his left leg below the knee, Yaeger began a successful acting career with roles in the hit shows SONS OF ANARCHY, WITHOUT A TRACE, NCIS and the upcoming Cinemax drama QUARRY.

As he explains, the theme of, as well as the inspiration behind CLOSE ENOUGH is simple: you don’t have to go very far to explore and discover your world.“The series was developed to show what fun there is to be had right outside of your front door. ‘Just go out and explore’ is part of the messaging of the series,” he says. “You don’t need a ton of money, or much in terms of travel. Just a couple bucks for gas and some good friends.”

It was that message that gained CLOSE ENOUGH both the attention and backing of Chevy and General Motors. “After talking with a representative of Chevy and Drive the District, they decided that the idea fit within their marketing ideals and helped us out with the budget. It was really an organic process that was fun to be involved in.”

10941446_641039602708567_7988393165400886775_nWhile most would consider the involvement of an auto giant like GM in a web series to be something where obvious product placement opportunities would arise, or with story content being dictated by a corporate sponsor, Yaeger, his cast and his production team operated without fear of creative interference.

Yet, he knew that they all had to hold up their end of the bargain when it came to making a quality series; one that both they and GM would be proud of.

“…The amazing part was they trusted us and gave us free reign. It’s a very hard thing to do for a company of that size because if we did a bad job, or put content together that was of a questionable nature, they would be held liable or at least culpable for whatever we shot, or whatever story we told,” Yaeger remembers.

“That’s why keeping a good relationship and trustworthiness is the most important thing. They trusted us with a lot, and I believe we delivered,” he adds. As it turned out, Yaeger and his crew accomplished that goal convincingly, and the benefits of their collaboration with GM were manifold.

“The benefits were that we got funding to do a project with the potential of doing more. Another benefit is (that) we at ArtistFilm proved to everyone that we can work with a giant like Chevy and GM with a lot of trust in us to deliver, and we did more that we said we would in a way that is positive and uplifting,” he says. “It’s great to work with businesses that let you run your show, not the other way around. That can be a nightmare. You have to be careful about who you work with.”

10346362_641039492708578_8172235375996144342_nWhile the automaker has only funded the pilot for now, Yaeger says that the incredibly positive reaction to CLOSE ENOUGH could provide further opportunities for enhanced promotion of his series. “If they did the whole campaign with us for the whole series, they would put some marketing might behind it and it would take off,” he says.

Simplicity is perhaps the biggest thing that sets CLOSE ENOUGH apart from other web series comedies that blend classic “mockumentary” production aesthetics with a primarily scripted narrative. In fact, Yaeger says, the series’ emphasis on comedy and situations everyone can enjoy is also a key element of the show’s success.

“This show is different because it’s simple, because the humor is pretty clean especially compared to what’s on the net, and because the show is a faux-documentary series,” he adds. “It’s sort of like THIS IS SPINAL TAP or BEST IN SHOW. The actors are portraying real people in absurd circumstances.”

Given Tinseltown’s reputation for being a hotbed of aspiring and established actors, it can be a tough task for any casting director/filmmaker to find the best talent among that crop. In the case of CLOSE ENOUGH, though, Yaeger’s existing friendships and connections with fellow actors helped make the search for his cast a relatively easy one.

“The main cast are my friends, so that was a no brainer. Jush Allen, the crazy massage therapist at the end (of the series’ second episode) is also a good friend and the two massage therapists, Katie Oliver and Violet Smith, are great actresses who were perfect for the roles,” recalls Yaeger. “When you live in Los Angeles, you get to know many good actors and actresses, but the good ones are hard to find.”

1795693_641039559375238_6188740015177479918_nOf course, the hard part of any production is just that – the production. With a limited budget to work with, Yaeger knew that putting CLOSE ENOUGH on film was perhaps the most complicated aspect of the entire venture.

Because he’s also the series’ show runner, Yaeger oversaw all facets of CLOSE ENOUGH’s production – both on set and off. As anyone who’s ever worked in that position in TV or new media can attest, it can be quite a juggling act.

“I ran the show and it is hard to do. You have to be on top of story, concept, money, location scouting, permits, contracts, payment, payroll, and so much more,” says Yaeger, who adds that despite those increased responsibilities, he (and any show runner) knows that staying on top of a full scale series production is truly a team effort. “It is very hard to manage on your own, which is why having a good team around you is the only way to make it happen.”

Combined with comedy that’s both hilarious and tasteful, and with a highly memorable premise, CLOSE ENOUGH truly has something for everyone – even if they are or aren’t the adventurous type. “Everyone who I know that has seen it loves the concept and the idea. However, the best part is young adults and parents can laugh about these times without being bombarded with curse words and a bunch of negative influence,” adds Yaeger. “Just clean fun is our motto.”

Most importantly, though, Yaeger says that CLOSE ENOUGH proves a very important truth for anyone who’s ever embarked on any adventure, regardless of its outcome: “The overall storyline of the show is the simple concept that the destination isn’t important, but it’s how you get to wherever it is that counts.”

(Note: Regarding closed-captioning, Yaeger says: “Many of my videos on my Youtube channel are closed-captioned already. We’re working on this for Close Enough so everyone can enjoy the show.”)

Watch episode 1 of CLOSE ENOUGH here:


YOUTUBE (Kurt Yaeger’s channel):