Locust Street Entertainment is a Pittsburgh-based artists’ co-op that focuses on producing emotionally-driven horror and drama films. They’ve done well for themselves in the short time they’ve been together, making a name and winning accolades. In this video diary they tell Film Courage, about making their long-time dream project: Theo & The Professor – now on Amazon Prime.
Lance Parkin: Hi, I’m Lance Parkin, producer, director, co-writer and co-star of Theo & The Professor. And this is Matt.
Matt Schultz: Hi, I’m the co-star and co-writer of Theo & The Professor.
Lance Parkin: And this is Jeff.
Jeffrey Smee: Hey, I’m the director of photography and the editor of Theo & The Professor.
Lance Parkin: And this is Ruthy.
Ruthy Draper: I’m the producer and actor in Theo & The Professor.
Lance Parkin: And finally, this is Dominique.
Dominique Kirchell: I’m the lead make-up artist and creature designer on Theo & The Professor.
Lance Parkin: And this is our Film Courage video ‘5 Things We Learned Making Our Low-Budget Web Series Theo & The Professor.’
Matt Schultz: Theo and…
Ruthy Draper: Theo & The Professor.
Jeffrey Smee: That was cute.
Lance Parkin: First what is Theo & The Professor guys? It’s our web series and what else about it?
Jeffrey Smee, DP and Editor
Dominique Kirchell: Theo & The Professor is a monster movie, horror comedy, it draws from a lot of like 1970’s horror.
Matt Schultz: I play a professor at college and Lance plays a graduate student. But the secret is, that’s just their cover job. They really hunt monsters and ghosts and fun stuff like that.
Lance Parkin: Spooky stuff sometimes. Sometimes funny stuff. That’s magic.
Jeffrey Smee: Sometimes both.
Lance Parkin: And now it’s available. Where can you find it guys?
Jeffrey Smee: Amazon Prime.
Matt Schultz: Amazon Prime.
Jeffrey Smee: But we’re here to talk about how we made it and the challenges that we’ve had and to help you guys not make the mistakes we made along the way.
Lance Parkin: So anyway, that’s the point of the show. Let’s get to the bones of …(wait, what would you say)?
Matt Schultz: Let’s get down to brass tax.
Lance Parkin: Let’s get down to brass tax.
“Let’s get down to brass tax, shall we? Bottoms up!”
“Hey…hey…leave some of that for me, man. I’ve got to drink it too.”
#1 – Build The Playground Before You Play In It
Lance Parkin: First, before you go into making anything, you should take some time to build the playground before you dive right into to playing in it. Right guys?
The Group: Yes.
Lance Parkin: I think what I understand from a lot of people who are trying to build a web series is I think they just think I’m just going to do it and it’s going to happen, which is not how it works.
Ruthy Draper: Yeah, I think so.
Jeffrey Smee: It’s good to have that kind of drive, but you have to have the pre-production planning in place, too. Or else, it’s going to crash and burn.
Matt Schultz: I think it’s really important, especially if you’re going to do a really character driven kind of show is that you want to have the character really drawn out and understood to the point where you could put them in any sort of situation and understand exactly how they would react and interact with one another. Which is where we really felt that the characters we created would have gotten to.
Lance Parkin: We didn’t plan out the whole series from the start but we definitely ready for what we were going to do with months to spare. We had a plan.
Ruthy Draper: Yeah, a lot of groundwork I would say. Like every department has groundwork (Watch the video on Youtube here).
More on Jeffrey Smee:
Jeffrey Smee took his first steps in the art of visual storytelling when he picked up his parent’s VHS camcorder as a child and instantly fell in love with the potential it provided to capture and share stories. His love of the camera continued through high school and college, where he studied video and film production and honed his skills on small productions around Pittsburgh, PA. In the summer of 2013 he met fellow filmmaker Lance Parkin on the set of a local 48 hour film project and they soon formed their production company, Locust Street Entertainment. Together with Lance as Director and Jeffrey as Director of Photography, the company has now produced several award winning short films, as well as the self-proclaimed “naively ambitious low budget Horror/Comedy web series”, Theo & The Professor which was released on Amazon Prime in late 2017 and has since been touted as “better than it has any right to be”. Apart from his work with Locust Street Entertainment, Jeffrey keeps himself busy with his videography business specializing in commercial and event videography (JSVideoWorks.com), his YouTube channel (YouTube.com/0scraps0), and by working on local films including the upcoming documentary “Will Work For Views: The LoFi Life of Weird Paul”, directed by Emmy award winner Eric Michael Schrader. Of his work, Jeffrey states, “Documentary work taught me to anticipate the stories unfolding around me and to be prepared when the decisive moment arrives. Narrative films taught me the art of crafting cinematic images instead of simply recording the action. This combination of cinematic and documentary styles has become my signature on the videos and films I produce today, which have garnered multiple awards and been featured on Amazon Prime, The TODAY Show, and in film festivals worldwide.”
WATCH THEO & THE PROFESSOR ON AMAZON PRIME
WATCH THE BTS OF THIS VIDEO
CONNECT WITH LANCE PARKIN
CONNECT WITH MATTHEW SCHULTZ