Sage is an actor, writer and director. He may look familiar because you’ve seen him around my blog before. We went on a Chinatown adventure together that he vlogged about. He wrote a guest post about meeting his rock idol. And of course, Sage still holds the title as the best thing I ever got out of online dating. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the guy. If I was a total cliché I’d assume he was mad at me, that I’d done something, that -OMG- he was avoiding me. Instead I just asked. “Dude, long time no see! What’s up?” Good thing I asked because I learned about the incredible project he’s undertaking.
Sage has written a parody of the TV show 24. It is aptly titled 12. The twelve (surprise!) episode web series will be available for anyone to watch on Youtube. Here is the trailer for it, shot on location in Times Square.
I asked him some questions about his experience thus far:
What’s it like to shoot in Times Square? That must have been crazy!
It was. I almost got shot by a police officer doing it.
Thinking back on it now, the idea was absolutely insane. Somehow I managed to pull together 40 extras to play tourists, all of whom had to be fluent in different non-English speaking languages, find 7 assistant directors, build two fake prop bombs from starch, secure equipment, find some PA’s and rent a van all in about two and a half weeks.
And then there the entire idea of trying and “steal” a the very long, uncut shot, in one take, with a very good chance of me going to jail, or worse, being one of the consequences. I was so nervous before we did it that I was shaking.
Thankfully, I am still here. I did not get shot. A police offer grabbed and read me the riot act for shouldering through a group of Russian tourists. What the officer didn’t know was that that those tourists were my extras. And since we didn’t have any permits, I sure as heck wasn’t going to explain that to him.
Once I apologized the officer I got all of the actors ready and took of running again. The GoPro camera that was mounted on my chest had never stopped recording. And we “got” the shot. The officer yelled after me and tried to catch up, but by that time we had gotten what we needed.
I singled to all the actors to disperse, and there was nothing the cop could do. He couldn’t chase 40 people who were moving at the same time. All of whom disappeared into see of faces of a crowded Times Square.
I never, in my life, thought I would say this but… thank god for tourists.
I don’t watch 24. There’s probably no point in me watching your parody then, right?
Only if we’re not funny! Everyone can enjoy 12. If you like edge-of-your-seat thriller shows like House of Cards, Scandal, Homeland, and Breaking Bad, then you’ll fit right in with 12. There are a bunch of jokes in the script that are aimed at the genre as a whole. Plus the plot and characters are easy to follow. Besides, it will be filmed on location in NYC, and I know you love watching anything that showcases this city.
Sage is producing this project. This is his baby. He’s in the middle of an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $50,000 to make this web series a reality. He’s going about it in a unique way: trying to get as many $1 donations as he can. An ultimate example of crowd funding, something that is never easy.
The pitch video for this campaign is really the best I’ve ever seen.
Do you know 50,000 people?
Boy, I sure wish I did. I’d probably be sleeping a bit better.
The answer is no, I don’t know 50,000. But I do know that there are millions upon millions of 24 fans “out there.” As well as the fans of the other shows I mentioned above. The challenge, the thing that has been the hardest, has been trying to connect with those people in an open and honest way. That has been, thus far, very difficult.
Which is more frustrating: Moving in New York City (most New Yorkers agree moving is the worst) or crowd funding $50,000?
This crowd-funding campaign, without doubt, has been the most stressful and frustrating thing I have ever done. I could move four times in NYC in three weeks, two of those places could have bed bugs, one could be roach infested and it wouldn’t even come close what this has been like.
How much does it cost to see a movie in NYC? How much is a Netflix subscription? How much is a cable box? And how much does it cost to watch your web-series?
A movie in NYC – $14 to $16. $21 for IMAX.
Netflix streaming – $8.99
Cable box – Honestly, I have no idea. We haven’t had cable in my apartment for 3 years now. We stream everything through Netfilx. Time warner still charges us $64.50 a month though, for pretty terrible internet service.
12 – 12 will be free for everyone to watch and enjoy.
Funding 12‘s creations – As low as $1
I believe everyone should be able to enjoy stories. That’s why, when people donate $1 to 12’s campaign I send them fun making-of video.
This video is supposed to be only for donors, but I’ll share it with you guys. If you like it, please donate $1 to $24 to our campaign:
Why is giving you my $1 better than giving it to the mariachi band on the subway?
I mean, those guys’ hats are pretty cool.
The whole idea for 12 is that it’s a low-cost investment with a long term and entertaining reward. That fun and professional shows can be made, for everyone, by everyone, at little cost to donors. The end result would be creators with 100% percent control and, hopefully, some very happy viewers.
Also, those mariachi guys are with you for about one or two stops. Let’s say that’s about five annoying minutes. With 12 the end result will be about 96 minutes or gripping and funny content. That won’t make you think violent thoughts! It’s a lot more bang for your buck.
Can I really donate just a dollar?
Yes! Just a dollar. Or more, if you’d like.
The only thing I ask is that after you donate you tell everyone what you’ve just done on Facebook or any other form of social media.
If the word does not, “get out,” then 12 will definitely not get funded. If it does not get funded I will not be able to make it.
Yeah right. I’m gonna have to sign in a bunch of information and then get spam from IndieGoGo forever, right? I bet there’s a fee for donating. Ugh, I don’t have time for that.
There’s no fee for you to donate, you can select not to receive updates from IndieGoGo. The only email you will get from us at 12 will contain links to our behind-the-scenes videos.
I’m actually the one who gets charged a fee. If you donate through Paypal, they take a percentage. If you donate with a credit card, well then, you rock extra hard. IndieGoGo also takes a cut from me after the campaign is over. It’s not fun but that how the game currently works.
What is a great story about a connection you have made so far because of this project?
It’s more of an experience.
Making our pitch video was difficult. It was the middle of winter in New York City. It was absolutely freezing. Getting New Yorkers to stop and talk to us was not easy.
But the look on peoples faces after we explained what we were trying to do and how we were going to try and do it was incredible. If you add in their responses to the Times Square chane video (I recorded everyone watching it on an Ipad or Iphone) it was almost magic.
Everyone was soaked, cold and miserable. But somehow, these complete strangers, of all different ages, turned into little kids right before our eyes. Their faces would light up, full of energy and undeniable life, all because of what we had shown them.
Those were very powerful moments.
It’s becoming more apparent every day artists must produce their own work. Sage does this more than anyone else I know. The amount of hard work and dedication he puts into all his projects is really, truly inspiring. If you want to support an NYC artist, consider tossing him a dollar https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/12-the-series#home. Or show his pitch video to your friends who love 24. I can’t wait to see what he does with this web series, I know the will be worth watching. In fact, I so believe that, I’ll back it up with a guarantee. If you donate a dollar and end up being disappointed I, Mary Lane, will personally refund your $1. Now you have nothing to lose!
Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!