What do you get when you mix fantasy, digital media, and famous personalities? A magnificent mash-up beyond your wildest dreams.
I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube lately, as well as listening to the Welcome To Night Vale podcast, supporting indie projects on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and other fundraising platforms (I gladly gave money to Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles’ Always Keep Fighting campaign, Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s new web series Con Man, and I will be purchasing Oscar’s Hotel for streaming), and generally taking more of an interest in the stories told via web.
I still love television, but more and more I’m realizing that the most creative, diverse, inclusive storytelling is happening online. Now, more than ever, people who have been in the Hollywood arena are willing to take a chance on a web series. There’s a lot less meddling and a lot more creative control to be gained from branching out and away from television and film.
While the industry lags behind, people like Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee), Joss Whedon (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Paul Feig (Other Space), Felicia Day (The Guild), Alan Tudyk (Con Man) and others are moving away from strictly Hollywood projects and experimenting with digital media, often choosing to dabble in both worlds indefinitely.
This serves as the background for my excitement regarding Oscar’s Hotel, which is a six part web series coming to Vimeo in September. The premise is that a man leaves his nephew to care for the fantastical creatures at a hotel while away on business. Hijinks ensue.
It’s an instantly fun premise — what sort of capers will the magical creatures get up to? How will the poor boy survive? And what “business” does his Uncle have that takes him away from this fantastical place?
The team responsible for bringing these creatures to life? None other than The Jim Henson Company. Growing up watching films like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, as well as the entire array of Muppet movies, I am thrilled at the thought of being introduced to a new bevy of creatures.
Not only are we getting a fantasy web series, brought to life by The Jim Henson Company’s Creature Shop, we’re getting a fantastic human cast from various parts of the globe and media. There’s a long list of YouTubers who will be appearing in the film as various hotel guests: Phil Lester and Dan Howell, Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, Olan Rogers, and more. The hotel attendant is none other than Chris Kendall. These people have been hard at work making their own brands, so this is a rare chance to see them all in an ensemble. Add to that the Repossession Fish, played by Alfred Molina and Sir Patrick Stewart.
Times are changing. Artists are no longer tied as tightly to the industry. There are many more platforms available, and storytelling is evolving to fit the format of podcasts, mini-series, YouTube videos, and Vines. I can’t wait to see what the next evolution brings, but for now I’m looking forward to watching PJ Liguori’s vision of Oscar’s Hotel.
Watch the trailer for Oscar’s Hotel here.Image Credits: New Form Digital