Reggie’s Case Files is a new seven episode webseries, released semi-weekly on YouTube, and is produced by the team at Pirate vs Cowboy Productions.
The webseries follows Reggie, a mildly psychotic private investigator who thinks he’s in a classic noir thriller, on his cases, ranging from domestic drama to in-depth character profiling, as he verbally narrates his life and belittles the people he encounters.
Writer Lex Scott says Pirate vs Cowboy Productions came about when he met Jesse Gonzales (Cinematographer) and Jonathan Harris (Director).
“They had been working together for some time and I had been looking for a crew to produce a show I’d been working on for a few years,” says Lex. “I’d been trying to sell a script through the traditional channels and become disillusioned with the studio system. So I told them I wanted to start my own production company, where anyone could come in to pitch an idea and see it get made, regardless of any past experience.”
The Reggie character in the web series came about as a side character in a graphic novel Lex was working on almost 10 years ago. “He was the antagonist to a hitman who never spoke a word. As I kept working on it that project fell apart but I had come to enjoy Reggie too much to let him go. Through the years he’s gone through many different formats, but web series is his final form.”
PvC decided to produce web series “because we believe it’s the future of media and it offers opportunities that no other medium does”, says Lex. “Lots of fledgling production companies and crews are working in web series as a stepping stone or proving ground so that they can break into the more traditional media. We want to break people of that view and show them that it can, and should, be taken seriously as a viable new medium.”
The series was funded out of the teams own pockets. “In some ways it worked to our advantage, forcing us to adapt and improvise creatively to achieve what we wanted, instead of relying on a budget to fix the problems we encountered,” says Lex.
Reggie’s Case Files took about 18 months to complete. “Though the timeline from conception to release is very difficult to gauge because I’ve been working on it in various forms for so many years,” says Lex. “From forming PvC to shooting though was about six months, then editing and post production was delayed a little because we were also doing post production on the first series we shot.”
The success of the show is also due to the talents of its cast, including Jordan L Rivers and Mahalia Sinclair Parker. “We found our actors through auditions and occasionally direct requests to actors we’d worked with before or acquaintances we could ask favours of. Full credit to Jonathan for that, without his network of associates the quality of our actors would have been much lower.”
Lex says their biggest learning curve was budgeting. “We initially wanted quite a bit of money to cover just equipment and locations, but having failed with our crowdfunding we were forced to get creative and improvise. Learning what you can do without and what you can achieve on a micro budget of less than $200 has made me far more critical of people insisting you need lots of money to produce good work.”
The equipment used to make the show was standard. “The camera and tripod we have is quite good, but we didn’t have any sound technicians or gear so we ended up doing all of that in post,” says Lex. “I think all told we had about 20 people involved in the series, including actors.”
Lex says there won’t be a season two of Reggie, and it won’t be sold or adapted into any other format. “I want people to appreciate it for what it is, and hopefully see that web series can be just as good a place as movies or TV to go to for entertainment.”
The show might be entered in some web festivals, depending upon audience reaction.
For now the team is promoting the series through their Facebook page, and generally just telling everyone about their channel. “There’s already quite a bit on there, and we’re getting better every week!”
Lex believes audiences who enjoy a touch of absurdity in their shows, or anyone who likes film noir or black and white will enjoy Reggie. “One of the most praised aspects of the show so far has been the sheer visual beauty of it, full credit for which has to go to our cinematographer Jesse.”
What’s next for Pirate vs Cowboy? “Well this past January we filmed a brand new show paying homage to old 1950’s sci-fi serials that will be coming out a little while after Reggie. It’s absurd and over the top, and ridiculously fun. Hopefully our fans will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Lex says what he enjoys most about creating web series is the immediacy of it all. “Anywhere where you’ll find a show online, right there in the same space you’ll also find the community that sprung up around it. Every time we post a video our fans immediately have the ability to talk to and interact with us, and each other. Our favourite web series (and in our opinion the very best example of what they can and should be) is Rom.com by Cracked Studios. Everyone who wants to make any kind of scripted web video should watch that show.”
Lastly, Lex wants to mention sharing and commenting. “It might not seem like much but we honestly love to talk with our viewers, or even just to listen to what they might have to say. We don’t have many comment on our videos so far but we would love to see more. Also it’s the best way for us to improve! Help us make the best videos, that you want to watch and share with all of your friends.”
Watch Reggie’s Case Files at http://webserieschannel.co.nz/webseries/reggies-case-files/