Kickstarter launched in Australia and New Zealand last week with 1,700 projects. One of particular interest out of Grey Lynn in Auckland is a web comedy series involving a tuatara expert with serious delusions involving his love doll girlfriend. The other characters – a reptile handler from Queensland, a failed social worker from New York and a mutinous mother from Pitcairn, hinder more than help his recovery. The 8-episode series will be shot mocumentary style (think Angry Boys meets Lars and the Real Girl).
We caught up with Ush de la Croix and Josh Borthwick - the creators of the show.
Why a love doll?
[Josh] Ush actually came up with the idea after a friend and I were joking around about how funny it might be to take a doll into a cafe and interact with it while surreptitiously videoing people's reactions on an iphone. Next thing I knew she'd drawn-up character profiles and a whole story idea around our main character's delusion.
What was the casting process like?
[Ush] It was fine up until we blew-up the doll… literally! It was a few days before we were due to shoot our Kickstarter pitch video and I had Tina (the doll) laid-out nicely on the floor and I was busily inflating her with a foot-pup when – bang! One of her arms was still deflated when it happened.
[Josh] The poor girl at the adult store where we got her had only just started and the one rule they had for her was no refunds, under any circumstances! Clearly they don’t want these items back once they’ve been used.
[Josh] After some backward and forward around various stores we were out of options. The only other dolls they had were open mouthed.
[Ush] There was no way we were going to have an open-mouthed doll on set. Even though the idea of a love-doll is a little risqué – I really wanted to ensure we treated her and the subject matter respectfully.
[Josh] Then the guy at the last store came up with a genius idea! We must have looked at 15 different winky faced dolls and Ush was about to have a Director meltdown. And the guy (nick) suggested we fill her with sand! What an inspiration.
[Ush] Of course sand was too heavy, but 25kg of beans did the trick. That and some pillow stuffing…
[Josh] The rest of the cast came together really well. We’d already decided on Andrew Thompson (one of the writers) for Ted and Simon Eskow (another writer on the team) as Simon. When the four of us were sitting around and refining scripts etc – we’d do read-throughs and these guys would just absolutely nail it. They got the characters because they’d spent so much time with them in the writing process.
[Ush] And they can both act.
[Josh] Who knew?
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