New episodes Thursdays
It was 1968 when Andy Warhol said everyone would be world-famous for 15 minutes, and he died before the modern internet was invented–he never knew how true this throwaway line would become.
The Halifax-produced web series Everyone's Famous, a third of the way into its second season, knows what's up. Its first season followed the efforts of a man (Ryan Beil) to "go viral" by explicitly creating content with that intention, without realizing that's not how it works. Each of season two's 12 episodes is self-contained, which so far include Bill Wood and Bob Mann as sasquatch hunters, Josh MacDonald as the American president trying to address a nation in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, and Glen Matthews faking his death so as to propose to his girlfriend from the casket.
"The first season was one guy trying to make viral videos. This season, now everyone wants to do it," says producer Walter Forsyth, who created the series in 2014 with Angus Swantee and Andrew Bush. "Surprise, surprise."
In putting together season two, Forsyth says one of the biggest challenges was new ideas—the internet is endless, but it's not exactly original. "We came up with some great ideas," says Forsyth, "and then there would be a viral video about it." The first season had a core cast of five actors from Toronto and Vancouver including Beil and Kayla Lorette; season two is all Halifax, "writers and directors and on screen," says Forsyth. Cathy Jones, Bette MacDonald, Cory Bowles and Molly Dunsworth will all appear in upcoming episodes, that launch Thursdays at everyonesfamous.ca.
"When we started this it was still a bit of a wild west, the internet—a bunch of people trying to get a grip and foothold," says Forsyth. "It still goes back to if you made good content, people might pay attention and open opportunity to make more content."
It's not just the fame game that's changed—the idea of content itself has transformed from a TV versus the internet model into everything being the internet, even within the traditional television network. It's all digital now.
"Do we still call them web series? Is that idea dead?" says Forsyth. "Everything on TV is digital now, everything digital goes everywhere. The same broadcasters now are digital broadcasters. And they seem bigger than Hollywood—who cares about NBC, ABC and CBS when you have Amazon, Facebook and Netflix?"