Video Lens: A Conversation While…

I realize I’ve mostly focused on the internal goings-on of the Production Maverix team and our projects, but trust me, there’s so much more going on in the wide world of the internet. Seriously, check it out some time. Have you heard of this new “Google”? It’s going to be huge. And I hear there’s this new “Facebook” out there. It’ll never be bigger than MySpace or anything, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

Anyway, Video Lens is a new aspect to the blog, wherein I tell you about something cool and (usually) new that I’ve found. Sometimes I’ll talk about a web series, sometimes a new film, maybe a TV episode or something. It’s a “lens” through which you can all discover “video”, if you will. This instalment, Video Lens is about a series floating its way around the tubes. It has intelligence, humour, and (believe it or not) existentialism. It’s called A Conversation While…created by St. Jake Productions (composed of director Stephen Boatright and the writing/acting talents of Kevin Joiner and Jason McMahon).


It’s billed as an “existential crime drama”, which sounds much more intimidating than the final product. At its heart, it’s a conversation between the St. Jake brothers as they go about their less than reputable business. While they’re burying a body, or lifting merchandise from a loading dock, they talk about life’s big problems. It’s a row about Russell, an argument about Aristotle, a…something about Sartre. I don’t know. It’s good.

And don’t think you need a masters degree just to follow the script, it’s neatly laid out, the language is clear and concise, and there’s a certain layman quality to the way the scenes are written, as befitting a couple of criminals trying to make some sense of their world.

So far there’s one season of the show. Each episode is (roughly) 5 minutes long, cramming a thought provoking premise into a (mostly) unrelated action. Whether it’s discussing the ideas of soulmates and love while counterfeiting a drivers license or ruminating on the ramifications of communication in the digital age while using a stolen credit card, it’s both thought provoking and subtly hilarious. It’s in, it’s out, and you’ve accidentally digested a miniature university lecture that’s been trojan horse’d into an entertaining web short.

It’s a wonderful little series that I whole-heartedly recommend. They’re incredibly talented guys, and they’ve got a Mobcaster page to raise money for a television pilot. In a world where Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory can get 6+ seasons while Arrested Development gets cancelled, we can definitely use some more intelligence on the airwaves.

It may not be the full length, killer television show we need to reboot the broadcast landscape. There’s still going to be the reality television and easy to digest sitcoms that deliver exactly what sells for the lowest cost, but it could at least start the conversation…