A new liveplace/workplace comedy web-series, All Over It, has hit the inter-webs this month and it is worth a watch. Set and filmed in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia (what up City of Brotherly Love?!), the scripted series follows a group of creative people that live together and work together on marketing campaigns for companies such as car washes.
MTV vets and college friends Ted Pauly and Melissa Silverman, who originally shopped the series around as a 22-minute pilot before dividing it up and releasing the story on Vimeo, created the series. It follows the members of the Batatat Collection played by Kate Dearing, Alex Malaos, Chris O’Brien, Nadia Quinn, and Jim Santangeli and guest stars H. Jon Benjamin (recognize that voice? It’s Bob Belcher!) and Ben Sinclair. Check out the trailer for the show below…
The series, though it has sprinkles of outrageous moments and characters, really is able to keep the story realistic. Stripped down, the series captures the struggle that creative people have while trying to make money. In addition to telling a realistic yet still laugh out loud entertaining story, the series really captures Philadelphia very well. Philly is filled with DYI creative people and the team of Baratat Collection really showcases the essence of artist in Philadelphia, I should know since I live just outside Philly and went to Temple University (#TempleMade).
I was able to catch up with Pauly to chat about the series and the future of these characters, check out the interview below:
AGtM: This series has a bit of an “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” feel, what influenced you to develop this story with these characters?
TP: The story and characters sprouted from all kinds of seeds. The Batatat Collective’s live/work arrangement grew, like a weed, out of a desk I was renting in a graphic design company’s loft when I wrote the first draft (there was a bike you could ride around in there, a la David Byrne), but it also reflected the Knights of Columbus hall my band used to practice in (Les Savy Fav lived there!), the ex-lounge our friends used to live in, the upstairs/downstairs apartments and office Melissa and I shared for a few years. The characters themselves are a collection of composites of flailing creative people we came across over the years, along with our flailing creative selves. I love Always Sunny, but it’s miles more liberated and absurdist– while I wish we had that talent, I think we both feel more comfortable grounding Batatat’s world in something closer to reality. That said, we still scripted Finn (guest star Ben Sinclair) and Darren (Jim Santangeli) in a way that would let them get away with doing or saying anything.
AGtM: What made you choose Philadelphia, the Fishtown area, for this production? What was it like filming in the City of Brotherly Love?
TP: Shooting in Philly turned out to be as excellent and slightly iffy as things always were when I lived in Philly ages ago. In the end, it all came together better than we could’ve imagined.
Melissa and I both live in NY, and when we created the show, it wasn’t set anywhere in particular. I grew up in Wayne, and lived in Philly after college. I was and continue to be in love with the city. So when our producer suggested Philly and showed us pics of the Girard Hall Collective’s loft, we were sold. We partnered with a Philly production company called Backseat Conceptions to get us crewed up, and to lay out and manage our days, and they delivered.
AGtM: The series was originally shot as a pilot, what made you decide to create a web-series from the material?
TP: We got frustrated trying to sell the pilot ourselves – we ran through our meager network connections pretty quickly – but we loved the performances and the vibe of the show and really wanted it to be seen. It felt like it was a lot to ask of people to seek out and sit through the full 22-minute pilot online; but we felt like maybe they could be drawn in with shorter bits. In that sense, All Over It is not a true “web series” of self-contained episodes. It’s a simple story that’s been serialized into 9 parts– some of them sweetly, maddeningly short. And while it can hopefully be rewarding to take in Part 5, you really have to start at 1 to understand the storylines.
AGtM: I personally really enjoy these characters and did fair amount of laughing out loud when watching, what are your future plans for the series? Will we be getting more?
TP: Thank you for that, that’s really nice to hear. I need some numbers on what a “fair amount” is. There are no clear plans for the future of the series — we’d both like to make more episodes if the show attracts enough of an audience online, and if the cast are up for getting the band back together. Batatat, with Darren included, contains infinite possibilities for new alliances, dalliances, and conflicts. I mean, not literally infinite, but figuratively, yes.