Imagine a moose suffering an existential crisis. Now imagine that moose on a mission to end his crisis with suicide attempts that cause all kinds of havoc for celebrities on the highways of Newfoundland and Labrador. That’s the premise of Suicide Bog Donkey, a new comedy web series being developed by Martine and Isaac Blue.
“The concept and title originated as a short fiction story I wrote,” Martine explains. “In the short story, a wise old moose tries to preach civil disobedience to a crowd of younger headstrong moose who are sacrificing their lives by standing on the highway as a form of terrorism to humans.”
After the couple attended a panel featuring the creators of the self-financed web series, Letterkenny at The Whistler Film Festival, the story’s title popped into Isaac’s head and he mentioned it to Martine.
“Isaac reworked the Suicide Bog Donkey concept from my short story into a depressed moose trying to commit moosicide on the highway and killing celebrities in the process, and we decided to go for the Independent Production Fund Program,” Martine says.
The Independent Production Fund (IPF) provides equity financing for content creators of original Canadian drama series created for the web or mobile platforms. The competition is stiff and occurs in two phases. Applicants must successfully make the Phase 1 shortlist to move on to Phase 2, and that success is partially based on viral momentum.
To garner the vital social media metrics to move to the next phase, Martine and Isaac created a DIY YouTube teaser with a small team. Shot near the RV Islander store on the edge of the westbound TCH, the teaser features an opening animation sequence with a theme song composed and sung by Andrew March from the band Winterhearth.
The teaser also features a moose cam Isaac designed and built with a mix of real moose horns, a kayaking helmet, a plumbing pipe nose, an old faux fur coat, spray paint, and a GoPro camera. Actor Norm Karlik is the voice of the moose, and Ruth Atkinson offered her story editing services.
Now the team is relying on you to help them move forward with the series.
“The number of YouTube views, thumbs up, and comments goes into the Independent Production Fund’s evaluation of a project to recommend it to phase two of the application process,” Martine explains.
“So, if your readers would like to check out and help support our bid for funding, they can find our teaser on YouTube and give it a thumbs up, rave about it in the comment section, and share the link to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The IPF jury will tally up the social media support the teaser has over the month of March and will calculate it into their funding decisions about a month later.”
The deadline for social media buzz is March 31st. If the series receives funding, they hope to shoot in late summer or early fall.
So, see you on YouTube?