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Dropped Pie is a new web series from the creators of the revenge comedy short film Vajazzle.

Dropped Pie was co-created  and co-directed by Phil and Nat Boltt of Rodrigo Films. The series’ first three episodes were crowd funded and are available to watch now. We talked to Nat about their latest project.

What can audiences expect from Dropped Pie?

Audiences can expect satire. We are taking a very plush and wicked poke at food snobs whilst showcasing burlesque dancers and drag queens. It’s colourful and camp – definitely not boring!

How did it all come about?

Phil Boltt of Rodrigo Films and I were discussing someone having a ‘face like a dropped pie’ and through our usual twisted thinking found ourselves discussing pie that has been dropped but is THE thing to eat because some critic has hailed it genius. It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes – set in a Wellington cafe. So the theme of food abuse has reared its ugly head again –  those who watched our short film, Vajazzle (www.rodrigofilms.com/vajazzle) will delight in the continuation of this theme, whilst also recognising the two lead characters, Charrlotte (sic) and Kitty. They are as over the top as they were in the film but in Dropped Pie time has passed and they have gone BFFs to worst enemies and the series will reveal why.

“Rodrigo Films prides itself on making fresh, funky content in a fast-paced guerrilla film-making style.”

What was the goal of making Dropped Pie?

Dropped Pie is an exploration into the wonderful world of the web series – short, punchy episodes that tell a story in deliciously chewable chunks that leave you wanting more. We wanted to test our efficiency as film makers – we shot three episodes in three half days. That’s fast. Rodrigo Films prides itself on making fresh, funky content in a fast-paced guerrilla film-making style. And we feel we succeeded in that with Dropped Pie –  the production quality is high so we didn’t sacrifice anything there – but we gained skills that we can use for any future projects, from web series to feature film.

You successfully crowdfunded to help make the first three episodes, even so the show looks very ‘sumptuous’ for a small budget series!

Thanks, yes we are very proud of that ‘sumptuous’ look. We’ve become very good at amassing sumptuous props on the cheap from op shops and art directing each shot so that it feels lush and full. Phil and I also love a really rich look for Dropped Pie and so we chose a colour palette that expresses this. Phil is a post-production genius and puts a huge amount of effort into creating a finish and grade on everything we make that is hugely visually appealing.
In terms of the crowdfunding, it’s the second time we’ve been successfully crowdfunded. We went with PledgeMe on Vajazzle and Kickstarter on Dropped Pie. We used the process to raise small amounts of funding – only $2500 for DP  – I don’t think raising large amounts of money through crowdfunding is very easy.
We also used the crowdfunding to test whether people actually liked the idea. In both cases the answer was yes, but there is always a point where the donations slow down and you think people hate it. But then you continue to post on social media and cajole and ask nicely and ask a bit desperately and in the end we got over-funded on both. It’s tons of work and stressful though it can be fun and obviously very rewarding!
My advice on crowdfunding is build your stamina, make your rewards as simple as possible – posting rewards is not ideal as it gets expensive – and get your head around the idea that you have to be strong on social media. Make update videos and make them fun. Comedy sells!

“Web series content is so much more relevant and cutting edge than your average broadcast fare.”

What’s next for Dropped Pie? There are nine more episodes to come?

We have nine more eps plotted out and ready to go. Funding is always the big question and NZ On Air was completely overwhelmed with applications this year – so we’d need to see whether they have the backing to deal with the massive increase in applications before we approached them again.
If not, we would look for financial partners who benefit from having their products promoted by being part of our mouth-and-eye-watering cult series.

What were the challenges and highlights of making the first three episodes?

Challenges: crowdfunding, audience building, and planning the shoot.
Highlights: amazing and talented and wonderfully helpful people. From cast to crew to people who helped us with locations and getting the word out; we adore them to pieces.

As an attendee at NZ Web Fest – what inspired you from the event?

I loved Hahana, White Man Behind a Desk, and If These Walls Could Talk. The makers of Nothing Much to Do are just amazing and I loved Claris Jacobs, the speaker, who is clearly such a go-getter. There was so much love and effort put into the work shown.
There needs to be more recognition  and support of web series and their makers. The content is so much more relevant and cutting edge than your average broadcast fare. It was great for everyone at Web Fest to feel the buzz and know that their efforts are appreciated.
More NZ Web Fests for sure!

Watch Dropped Pie on Web Series Channel:
http://webserieschannel.co.nz/webseries/dropped-pie/
www.facebook.com/rodrigofilmsnz
www.rodrigofilms.com/

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