From the out-of-this world mind of neophyte, LA-based content creator Ward Edmondson comes moonbound24, a comedic, sci-fi web series set to launch in October, 2013. The forthcoming title, currently in production, is noteworthy for animation and visual effects buffs due to at least two factors, if not more. It features micro-budget-conscious green screen technology. Plus, it stars the voice of Mona Marshall, a frequent fixture in animated TV series, such as South Park, Naruto, a couple of incarnations of Digimon, and various other Japanese animated classics.
Right here, the LA Animation Examiner poses questions to Edmondson about the significance of his online space exploration. The results are as follows:
LA Animation Examiner: Who or what inspired you to create moonbound24?
Ward Edmondson: With several friends in the industry spinning tires and going nowhere, I was determined to create something that would not only give them exposure, but also provide the opportunity to show their skills, especially improv, to the world. While watching David Letterman late one night, Tom Hanks came on and talked about how he had always wanted to go to the moon. And a light bulb went off. Literally, my lamp timer, turned off at 12:24 a.m. I thought it was a sign. So at that moment, I began creating what is now known as moonbound24!
LAAE: Describe your experience thus far with using green screen technology on limited funds.
WE: With today’s technology becoming, not only more advanced, but more accessible, and most important, more affordable, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to fly our very talented cast to a new and exciting outer-space world without ever leaving the studio. I figured, not only will I be able to create a fantastical world with only the only limits being my imagination, but using green screen technology would reduce our budget for set decoration and allow us to provide an atmosphere that we simply would not be able to build without adding thousands of dollars to our budget.
LAAE: Interesting! So you're actually saving money with technology, or so it seems. Now, your auditions for the project were unique in many ways: actors improvised with homemade props; a simulated spaceship dashboard was part of the process; and actors emoted on-camera sans the presence of a casting director, producer, director, and so forth in the room. Why did you conduct the talent search that way, and would you go to similar lengths for your next project?
WE: I delegated a good chunk of our budget for the audition process and for promotion. Having researched what makes a webseries become a successful TV show, we knew establishing a fan base was key. I wanted moonbound24, and everything about it, to be something that people talked about . . . for days. And people are still buzzing! We had an overwhelming 3,000 (plus!) submissions for our cast. Agents are still calling to see if we are holding further auditions. Our most recent addition, Mona Marshall, one of the most familiar voices of South Park, will be the voice of one of our four chicken pilots; yes, real chickens fly our rocket. So far, this 'unique' process, as you called it, has been very rewarding. Would I go to similar lengths for my next project? Probably not. I can’t imagine another project like this one! But who knows? I’m up for anything fun!
LAAE: What is your goal for moonbound24?
WE: Hey, ask me if I would love to see this series get picked up and have a successful 24 year run on a big network. Sure! But in all actuality, unlike many of my Hollywood colleagues, I’m not trying to get rich, or trying to win an Emmy. For the most part, I would just like to see moonbound24 make people happy.
LAAE: If you could model your entertainment career after one particular actor or filmmaker, who would it be? Why?
WE: After working with Sherwood Oaks College in Hollywood for several years, and having had the opportunity to study recorded classes taught by many celebrities there, and examine how their careers took shape and eventually skyrocketed, I find two people that I truly admire. In the sci-fi realm, my mentor is Rod Sterling. He created a masterpiece and many people don’t realize how he had to go to great lengths to get The Twilight Zone produced and picked up. In the comedy realm, Lucille Ball was the most fascinating women I have ever studied. Her talent and her business sense made her the most successful star of all time.
Both of these extraordinary people continue to inspire me deeply and constantly give me the desire to, not only succeed in this very competitive business, but to create something that will make people happy for many years to come. After all, isn’t that really what it’s all about?
To prepare for the inevitable launch of moonbound24, see the dedicated website at http://moonbound24.com/. Also, please fan the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/moonbound24?ref=ts&fref=tsp