As part of a funding requirement for a new branded web series my production team are developing, we were required to put together a trailer outlining what the series was about and to demonstrate it’s potential monetizable audience. Like all good investments, you try to minimize upfront costs to get money to invest in the good stuff. In our case, that meant getting things for free or at a very low cost in about 3 weeks. Ambitious.. yes? Crazy? Mais non! We managed to do it and deliver a pretty funny and interesting trailer for our deadline. Although it did create a few hilarious lessons that I thought I’d share with all of you fine folks.

The Casting Process

Our adventures started out early in the casting process. Who would have thought trying to cast a guy in a simulated, yet humorous S&M scene could be so hard? Don’t most male actors jump at the chance to be on all fours in leopard print undies with a dominatrix whipping them from behind? Apparently….not.

Takeaway: The lesson we learned in this situation is to have back-up for your back-up. Three actors in, a number of false starts and we finally found an awesome lead that was willing to do everything we asked and more, in the lovely and talented, Paul Huggins.

Location, Location, Location

Another interesting tidbit that we learned is that sometimes executive suite hotel rooms can be smaller than you think… like a lot smaller. Think practically doll-sized. So small in fact that we had to send some of the crew home because we couldn’t fit everyone simultaneously inside the room.

Takeaway: The lesson we learned here was to always, always ask the dimensions of any hotel room you plan to shoot in.

Transport Trauma

If you are looking for a thrilling ride when you are in a hurry to get to your next location, might I suggest not asking a cabbie to take you to your car parked in an underground parking garage? (Where upon reaching your destination you will of course find yourself with an $80 ticket from the night before) Apparently for some cabbies, parking garages are new and unfamiliar territory and thus you will find yourself in the backseat silently praying that the cab driver eventually learns to stop braking going up on the parking level ramp while mouthing apologies to bewildered drivers going in the opposite direction.

Takeaway: Prepare ahead for every eventuality.

All in all, we had a great time creating the web series trailer and anxiously await funding to appear in order to be able to produce future episodes. In the meantime, take pity and watch the trailer here. (Warning: some scenes NSFW).