--"We’re just trying to help people get back on their feet."
--"Nobody here has any feet."
--conversation between Jenna Stevens and Peri McCann, PERIPHERAL CITY Episode 1
SYNOPSIS: The first of a 12 episode, 22 min, dramatic web series -- a David Lynch meets The Wire melodrama. When Rome burned, was it normal for the people inside the fire? Did it seem just like any other day? Were they so used to the heat they ceased to feel the burn? The world of excess may be over for the few, but never even occurred for the many. PERIPHERAL CITY isn’t about the lower classes, it’s about the “nowhere classes,” a growing majority of people: fringe dwellers, new Americans, the educated jobless -- searching for meaning. A few compelling, outwardly challenged, but inwardly rich heroes, navigate this modern, inhospitable realm to fabricate their own value systems, slipping loosely in and out of "reality." Could we lower the carbon footprint on the disintegration of love by showing just how little we actually need?
--"It's different out on the streets; what you see is from the vantage point of where you’re standing. If you laying down, all you see is asphalt. That’s why people gotta’ get high."
--Kwazi Franklin, PERIPHERAL CITY Episode 3
THE GOAL: We are nearly half way through shooting the pilot. Exceptionally talented technicians and actors dove into the script within weeks of showing them the concept. An episode costs $5,000 to produce and we are going for finishing funds here on Kickstarter.com, really the coolest site in the world -- a dream maker for artists. Ultimately, we would like to shoot 12 episodes (11.5) in twelve months. But that is the next Kickstarter conversation. Any overflow goes straight to subsequent episodes.
“Most mental illness and addiction stems from a belief that you are the only one in a vast universe, that you are totally alone against the odds and that you have to figure everything out all by yourself.”
--Sam Fuller, Mental Health Director, PERIPHERAL CITY Episode 4
PERI McCANN: A charming junky on the make who, to his surprise, kicks the habit against his will, recovers faster than he can imagine, and has to decide where his loyalties lie; either with his unusual new friends who helped save him, or the "normal" world that calls him toward success. PERI is played by Josh Elrod, from Jonathan Demme's MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, and has just wrapped as lead in WHEN THE WORLD'S ON THE FIRE.
KWAZI FRANKLIN: A young, enigmatic black man who lives at home with his single mother, goes in and out of schizophrenic episodes and continually ditches his medication, thinking they are the only thing keeping him down in a world which has relegated him a single option: to be small. KWAZI is played by Jermel Howard from Neil Jordan’s THE BRAVE ONE, and LAW & ORDER.
ANYA REBELDJRA: A young, delusional Serbian woman from a loveless Immigrant home -- where her overwhelmed mother gets lost in Junk TV, her brother refuses to speak English, and far-gone alcoholic father doesn't even recognize her anymore -- is mischievously compelled to save unwilling strangers -- with a grandiose twist. ANYA is played by Jelena Mrdja, star of TriBeCa Best Pic Winner 2009, HERE AND THERE .
FIONAUGH O'HARE: A less-than-perfect, pregnant lesbian pastor of the Hilton Street Unitarian Church and soup kitchen, has to put up with an unusual amount of controversy over her unorthodox pregnancy. FIONAUGH is played by Serena Jean Southam, a graduate of The Circle in the Square Theater, and a staple in the NYC Country Western music scene.
JENNA STEVENS: Jenna, Fionaugh's fiery girlfriend and backbone of the organization, puts up with little, but in awe of Fionaugh's capacity for compassion, keeps the ball rolling with fists, laughs, and lentils. JENNA is played by Elaine O'Brien, groomed by NY experimental theater, polybe+seats and Target Margin's theater lab, and just wrapped GRANADA, at the Access Theater.
"GORGEOUS GEORGE" LANDRY: A once handsome high roller, now a down and out street person, gets a new lease on life when a young woman destined to return overseas to an arranged marriage treats George like a human being -- something he hasn't felt in a long time. GORGEOUS GEORGE is played by Circle Rep’s Robert Barnes.
EPLIOGUE: For such a new frontier, the web is vastly under-populated with provocative, original stuff. When one sniffs around online, one finds terrible pirated movies, some prime-time TV reruns, and not-so-funny DIY rom-coms and sex-romps. The advent of HD video has made the era for creating excellent, new web content affordable. So, why isn't there more great stuff out there? PERIPHERAL CITY came out of the dream that standards of artistry don't have to drop just because it's web-based, and could perhaps even be elevated.
See you on the web!
"One day, you'll wake up and you'll realize you spent all your time lost in that talking box, and -- 'Oops!' You forgot to love anyone or live."
--Anya Rebeldjra, PERIPHERAL CITY Episode 5
- (66 days)