Local web series premiers pilot episode

Andrew Critchelow

Greek gods and super powers are the focus of a new web series produced by local video production company Vid Monster. The show, “Epoch,” is centered around ordinary people who attain powers such as telekinesis and the ability to breathe fire.

The pilot of the series was shown during a screening at La Gala in downtown Bowling Green on Friday, where attendees could participate in a meet and greet with the cast and crew of the series, and provide donations to fund further episodes. The pilot can now be viewed in its entirety on the Vid Monster Facebook page.

Brandon Smith, co-writer and co-director of “Epoch,” said the screening left the attendees wanting a full season of the show.

“All night,  all we heard was ‘we want more, more, more,” Smith said. “So, it seemed to go really well.”

Vid Monster has created a Kickstarter campaign to fund further episodes of the series, with incentives such as autographed posters and t-shirts for small donations, as well as character naming rights and IMDB production credits for larger donations. Founded in 2014, Vid Monster offers services such as video production, photography, graphic design and branding.

According to “Epoch’s” Kickstarter page, the show is “not only a testament to low-budget episodic production, but ideally a flagship for a new and affordable way to tell stories.”

Vid Monster founder and CEO Sam Kirby said Friday’s premiere was a way to showcase the possibilities of local video production.

“You don’t see local premieres happening,” Kirby said. “That was part of the push for it. It wasn’t necessarily for the great turnout or about changing everything forever, it was about planting a seed that productions can be made here in the area, premiere here in the area, using talent from the area.”

The show was co-written and co-directed by Smith and his friend Zach Johnson. According to Smith, the second episode of the series is written, along with basic outlines of future episodes and seasons.

The majority of the scenes in the first episode of Epoch were filmed on-location in areas of Bowling Green, such as Spencer’s Coffee. The show additionally features many actors from around the community.

“Working with Sam, a large part of what their company represents is being able to do everything you need to do for film locally,” Smith said. “It was much easier for most everybody to film in Bowling Green, but I think the locations that we got all had a nice feel to them.”

Smith’s association with Kirby started when Smith was approached to act in Kirby’s senior capstone project for his degree in TV/Film Production. The project was a short film titled “Odessa.”

“He and I had a history together. I knew that he was starting up his own full-fledged production company in Bowling Green, so I just kind of sent him a text message and said ‘hey, I have an idea for a show that I want to do, let’s sit down and talk,’” Smith said. “That’s pretty much just where it all started.”

Kirby said now that they have filmed the pilot episode, the cast and crew are “warmed up” for future episodes.

“I’m really excited if we get the fundraising to go through that we’ll get to produce a second episode and see where the story is going to go,” Kirby said. “Every crew works differently together, so now we’re kind of aware how that group of people work together best.”

If “Epoch” receives the funding to continue with its goal of producing a 12-episode season, Smith said he would be most happy about seeing his vision come to life.

“It’s more about just being able to tell the story and see it come to life through our actors,” Smith said. “That’s something Zach, the co-director, and I have been talking about for years. And to finally see these characters in living color  and moving around  and doing these things on screen is really cool to us.” 

Reporter Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected]