Loving the Webseries Form – An Intro to the Why and How of Bomb It 2
As some of you might know – Bomb It 2 launched last week on Babelgum. What is Bomb It 2? As I mentioned in the intro to Simon Pulman’s post last week on this blog, its not another feature – it’s a web series – part of a growing – dare I say – transmedia extension of the Bomb It experience.
The idea originated simply. I started travelling to a number of foreign locales introducing Think Outside the Box Office and holding workshops on the topic of distribution and marketing. Many of these places were cities that I had not travelled to for Bomb It, but still had vibrant graffiti and street art communities. Some cities were places where I had no idea what kind of graffiti culture to expect (Singapore especially). I approached Babelgum to see if they would be interested in sponsoring a new series of episodes to expand Bomb It further out into the world – and they agreed. (With the extra footage of the original Bomb It we had created a similar series of episodes for Babelgum.)
What I really loved about creating these webisodes, besides meeting new artists around the world, was the ease of the form. I travelled by myself producing, directing, shooting, doing sound – for the most part as a one-man band (I had a PA/driver/coordinator in Copenhagen, a translator/coordinator on the West Bank, and a shooter in Melbourne who I enlisted to help when I got sick). The liberation of shooting on my own provided the extra benefit of being very intimate with the subjects.
In addition – not having to worry about creating a perfect 90 minute narrative – which as anyone who has made a feature can attest to. (This is not to say I don’t seek to perfect each individual episode as my editors can attest to!)
I ended up travelling to Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Palestinian refugee camps on the West Bank, Perth, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Chicago and Austin. I ended up filming over 30 artists including Klone, KnowHope, GreatBates, Zero, Darbotz, Killer Gerbil, Bon, Alex Face, Sloke, Husk Mit Navn, Ash, Phibs, Stormie Mills, and Beejoir.
Not only did this process keep me active creatively as a filmmaker while I was out promoting my book and teaching other filmmakers about distribution and marketing, it provided me a way to see a side of the world that I wouldn’t have if I was travelling as a tourist. More importantly, it provided me with an incredible opportunity to meet extremely interesting, artistic and fascinating people with incredible stories to tell.
As Bomb It 2 is released on Babelgum over the next month and a half, I will write a series of posts addressing the unique qualities and circumstances around each of the individual cities and some of the ups and downs of filming this series – stay tuned.