The web series Written by a Kid, which has filmmakers bringing children’s off-the-cuff narratives to life, debuted in July and spread like crazy. Appearances by Dave Foley and Joss Whedon in that first episode didn’t hurt, and neither did the fact that the series is executive produced by actor/producer Felicia Day (The Guild) through her Geek & Sundry channel.
Now Written by a Kid is taking to Vancouver for its upcoming Halloween special, Zombie Spider. Even better, the episode is directed by VFS instructor Nicholas Humphries with a crew almost entirely made up of VFS alumni from programs like Entertainment Business Management, Makeup Design, Film Production, Sound Design, Digital Design, Acting, and Writing.
Nicholas was the director of the award-winning The Little Mermaid installment of the Compendium project, and when it came to assembling the crew, that was the starting point. ”Having made some pretty cinematic shorts through Compendium, I knew all I needed to do was assemble a team of the best VFSers I’d worked with so far,” he says. “I spoke to my producers on The Little Mermaid and proceeded to assemble the crew and plan the shoot.”
One of those producers was Entertainment Business Management grad Lindsey Mann, who calls the shoot “the most ambitious and satisfying project” she’s worked on since graduation. “The excitement level of the cast and crew working on something that Felicia Day is involved in, not to mention making this episode as a Halloween special, is more than monumental for me,” she says.
The shoot involved everything from scale miniatures to prosthetics (thanks to key makeup artist and Face Off contestant Sarah Elizabeth) and… spiders. Lots of spiders, including a live arachnid, life-size giant spider legs, and an articulated puppet built and performed by Film Production grad and Foundation Visual Art & Design instructor Chad Costen.
“The result is going to be epic,” Nicholas says. “There was definitely an overall feeling that we were making something pretty special. And it was exciting to know that what we were creating was guaranteed to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. We just can’t wait for October for this thing to go up.”
Lindsey echoes the sentiment. “I have seen the dailies and to say that we have upped the ante is an understatement,” she says. “I cannot wait to see this thing put together and show all the world come Halloween!”
We don’t want to reveal too much – but we’ll definitely be hearing a lot more about the Written by a Kid Halloween Special in October! Stay tuned. For now, enjoy the earlier episodes, beginning with the first: