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Digital Filmmaking

Toying With Jerry Web Series Launch

April 9, 2012



Toying With Jerry, a new web series produced by several CDIA alums, launched last week. Written and edited by Digital Filmmaking instructor Rich Volin, TWJ centers around sweet but stymied Jerry Krinkleman, a 40-something who still relies on the advice and camaraderie of his childhood toys. In the first three episodes, online now at toyingwithjerry.com, Jerry contemplates how to approach long-time crush and cute coworker, Sam (played by CDIA alum and co-producer Tara Garwood). As he ponders his options, Jerry enters the familiar world of his toys, who are more than happy to offer their opinions.

Entering Jerry's toy-world requires green screen compositing techniques which, as filmmaking students at the DC campus know, often means a trip to the green painted wall in Studio D. "It was a bonus and a huge time-saver to have that resource at our disposal," notes co-producer and CDIA post-production instructor Colin Heichman, who tips his hat to instructors Kevin Good and Barry Gribble for spearheading the painting and setup. "The wall is pretty much lit with the flip of a switch, which lets us focus on subject lighting and the task of directing."

In these early episodes, subject lighting and directing involved only a few on-camera humans - veteran actor, David Volin, who plays Jerry, and principals Kurt Elftmann and Garwood. "Then we had to light and shoot the toys," adds gaffer and co-producer, Micha Czogalla. "They were mostly cooperative." Czogalla also designed the opening titles to the show, using kinetic text and stylized graphics in Apple Motion.

TWJ enlisted current and former CDIA students to assist with production and web design for the dedicated site. The opening theme song was composed and performed by local musician John Rowles. Area rockers, The Fisherman Band, composed and performed the closing title song, which is featured more prominently in Episode 3.

TWJ is being produced by Volin's Strumbum Films LLC under the SAG New Media contract, which union member Garwood facilitated. "It's a little more paperwork, but it really does open up the production to a wider pool of talent . . . like me!" Garwood added.

Now the task is promoting the series, and producing more episodes. "Getting eyes on episodes 1, 2 and 3 is our primary goal right now," says co-producer Monica Mingo. "There's plenty of content out there competing for an audience. But we hope, and believe, this series stands out."

Episodes 4 and 5 are currently in post-production, and should be released in May. "In the next episodes, we meet some of Jerry's human friends," Volin says. "It definitely steps up the conflict."

You can "friend" Jerry on facebook (facebook.com/toyingwithjerry) and follow the series on twitter (twitter.com/toyingwithjerry). More details can be found at toyingwithjerry.com.


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