A comedy for the internet about the internet.
Vlog Roll is compiled from the video blogs posted online by five characters - Peez, Bunty, Quint, Iona and Andi. These short excerpts build up to reveal a patchwork picture of their lives.
PEEZ (David Avery - Starred Up, The Inbetweeners Movie, 24) is almost finished with high school and has to grow up fast in order to deal with some life altering family issues.
BUNTY (Emily Bevan - The Thick Of It, In The Flesh, Phoneshop) finds surrogates for her distant family in the plants that she rescues and nurtures. But as her mental health deteriorates the plants are unable to reciprocate the care and attention she lavishes on them.
QUINT (Robert Cohen) is a dogmatic traffic warden on a mission against the world which is slowly stymied by revelations from his estranged son and an unlikely friendship with a female police officer.
IONA (Gabby Best - Live At The Electric, Winner of Funny Women 2012) is a teacher and a Christian. She is struggling to fill her time and clear her name after being suspended from her post at the local primary school for violent conduct against an eight year old.
ANDI (Cassie Atkinson) is kind of a big deal on Blackburn's indie music scene. Or so she thinks. The venue she works at is a crumbling mess and she seems to be the only one who cares. So delivering the audio and video tech for her cousin's wedding provides Andi with a diversion as well as a new opportunity.
As the words from their video blogs echo around cyberspace it becomes clear that the one thing all five characters share is a desperate desire to be heard. The internet gives all of them a platform, but having a platform is not the same as having something to say.
In a world where broadcasting your thoughts is standard practice how much use is the white noise that results?
WRITER | DIRECTOR | PRODUCER | EDITOR
It won't surprise you to hear that no one asked us to make this series. Vlog Roll was just an idea that we found interesting so we decided to get it done.
Making films is expensive. Making films that are more than a few minutes long tends to be really expensive. So without mountains of cash the extent to which writers and performers can explore and present complicated characters on screen is limited.
Filming on web cams meant we were able to shoot with almost no equipment, no crew and no lights. Props and costumes were mostly in situ so our costs were basically zero. On such a tiny canvas shooting a two minute story costs about the same as shooting a two hour story. So our limitations allowed us to access larger worlds than we'd normally be able to.
Our intention was to mix traits of sitcom with sketch show elements to create something else. We wanted clear dramatic arcs that were muddied by the tangents of everyday life. We wanted to do comedy laced with tragedy and we also wanted to make something that was intrinsic to the web - because so few web series are. We wanted Vlog Roll to feel like clicking down endless corridors of information, forever encountering the next thing before finishing the last, wading through limitless reserves of material that has been reduced to soundbite and stripped of context. So hopefully that's what you see.
Vlog Roll's unusual shape is sculpted from idiosyncrasies indigenous to the 'vlogosphere'. The keyhole perspective of the web cam and the unreliability of the narrators mean it's up to the audience to find connections, interpret omissions and reconcile incongruities to paint a picture of these characters' lives. We like it when audiences are active and have to work. We're of the opinion that you get out what you put in. Much like the revelatory insight you've earned by reading these few rewarding paragraphs.
Having made all eight episodes of Vlog Roll for under £100 we feel vindicated. We spent very little, created quite a lot and learned an absolute ton along the way. Which was kind of our main aim. Whether we achieved any of our other creative goals is a whole other conversation. But hey, we got it done. And it only took three years in the end.
A knock on effect of our pocket money budget is that none of the songs in these episodes have been cleared. It’s naughty, I know, but as I anticipate a total audience of approximately 38 I don’t think it’s too outrageous of us. We’ve tried to be respectful by ensuring that the content is only presented on this page so it's very clear who is responsible. If you made any of the music here and you’re cross with us for using it then please accept my instant apologies and be assured that if you get in touch it’ll be gone.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org