Meet the Mayfarers

The Beginning of the End

 

Today we launch the beginning of our final season. Hard to believe that it’s been over four years since we started shooting. This family lasted together far more than their original year.

To help celebrate the launch we’re releasing the first two episodes of the new season.

Given that we’re launching today I thought it made sense to explore where we’ve been, before we see where we’re going.

I wanted to explain the different seasons of “Meet the Mayfarers” – and how they came about.

Season 1: Season 1 of the Show is perhaps the most “Traditional” of the seasons. I wanted to create a show that had a new episode every week for a year. And while we didn’t get a whole year’s worth, we got pretty close. I wanted an ensemble story where the characters were all forced together. The story would continue week by week. I also wanted the ability to focus on different characters, if some actors weren’t available. Lastly, the show for the most part took place in “The real world” – that is – yes, there is crazy situations and sex, – but it could mostly be true.

 

When we shot the first halfof the season, I decided to do two things. The first was to create Bonus or Holiday episodes. Much like cartoon shows, I wanted these stand alone episodes to be outside the continuity of the show – to have the freedom to explore any bizarre idea or situation. And this lead to the Halloween episode, the Bunny Chronicles, and of course “A Very Mayfarers Christmas.”

The other thing was I wanted the freedom to take the story anywhere. The whole reason I started the show was born from a frustration with the challenges of feature filmmaking. Doing a webseries was freedom incarnate. So I thought – “Well, why not create a few episodes with Nick and his agent and his struggles on the penguin show?” If I felt like zigging, or zagging, I could do so. And that freedom was infectious. It was the epitome of what I wanted to do on the web.

Season 2: In season 2 I decided to do three things. One was to bring back the reoccurring new characters, such as Randolf, (my favorite character) and continue the tension and plotlines from season one – including the dastardly Isobel plot in “A Very Mayfarers Wedding.” The second thing was instead of season long story arcs, I wanted to do “mini-arcs” – so stories lasted three or five episodes.

And third – I wanted to really embrace the bizarre. Instead of having the “Crazy world” only be in Bonus episodes I decided to put them into the main storyline. This lead to the plot of Claire’s Invisible Friend, as well as the visit by Magnus the Knight, and the Adventures of the Cowboy Prostitute. I thought – Heck, we’re on the web, let’s embrace the bizarre, and let’s have fun!

The season ended with a cliffhanger – with Nick and Clarie discovering they are adopted.

For a long time I thought of ending the show there. That was the intention. And in fact we took a good year off of shooting.

But then a funny thing happened.

The show was being watched. A LOT.

I shot the show as a creative outline from creative frustration, and so it came as a pleasant surprise to see us featured quite a lot, and to have a growing fan base. Not only were people enjoying the show – but the strategy of releasing one episode a week for a year worked!

I immediately went back into brainstorming and production mode to capitalize on this. The only challenge was – it takes a long time to write, produce, and edit these shows. I wish that we hadn’t waited so long. But in doing so – I was able to go back and explore these characters I love so much.

Season 3: This is the bizarre season. The crazy season. The “Let’s not only jump the shark, let’s have the shark for dinner!!” season. I wanted to fully embrace every crazy, wild, odd idea. It lead to the family hiring an male actor to play Claire, to Mort trying to kill Nick, and to a crossover saga with an animal dressing mafia in Hollywood.

Since we now had so many episodes, I thought it best to focus on shorter, one shot episodes. Instead of the season long stories, or even mini-stories, these were either one offs, or two parters. And they were for the most part, self contained. Sure, we concluded Barb’s storyline, but I wanted each episode to stand alone.

Funny how the editing process works – we shot most of season 3 after season 4.

Because of the crazy nature of the show – some of these episode, particularly “The New Claire Chronicles” are, in my option, the funniest.

Season 4: I knew the show couldn’t last forever, and so I wanted to go back to the beginning for the end.

I felt I had explored every direction I wanted to explore. The bizarre, the tangential, and the crazy. I wanted to go back to the roots of the show. I wanted to end where we started. And so Season 4 is a full season’s story arc. It takes place in “The real world” – or, as much as the “real world” as the Mayfarers allows. I wanted to take everything I learned from all the seasons and put them into one final show.

Even so – there are difference. I feel like with this coming season, I finally struck a balance between all the different tones of the show. So, while it feels like Season 1 – you’ll see the influence of the previous seasons woven together as well. In many ways this season is where the show has been heading all along, and we just discovered it along the way.

I wanted to end the show how I wanted a show to end. I hate getting invested in shows and not feeling some kind of satisfaction in the end. To that point, I wanted to bring back as many of the characters as I could – to tie up many loose plotlines, and to try to think outside the box in the most organic way to end the show – and also hopefully the most unique.

I am really proud of this season. We’ve been working on the show for so long that now I can’t imagine a time where the show didn’t exist. I couldn’t have done it without all the cast and crew over the years. I watch the show and it seems like yesterday we shot it. I can’t believe that many of the players are now scattered across the country, doing their own projects, and most of all, that Candace is no longer with us. There are still times in the editing room where I want to shoot her an email, and let her know the progress of the show. I wish she could have seen the rest of the show.

And so – here we are. Two and half years after we first launched the show.

The final Season of “Meet the Mayfarers!”

I hope you enjoy.

 

Lasts updated on March 21st, 2012. Tags: , , ,
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The Future of the Mayfarers

This week we’re releasing the conclusion of “The Mort Chronicles.” The show will take a small hiatus for a month before we release the Season 3 Finale.

This summer the show will take a small break for the first part of the sunny months. Then, in mid-summer, somewhere around the show’s two year anniversary of being online – we’ll launch Season 4 –  our biggest season yet – and also – the Final Season of “Meet the Mayfarers.”

Originally I had intended to release one episode a year for the whole year. However, somewhere near the end of the editing process, I decided to merge episodes together, which worked creatively, but lessened the overall amount of episodes, thus causing the need for a break.

But it won’t be a totally Mayfarerless start to the summer. We’ll also have a few remaining sketches from our vault, ready to unleash onto the world.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the zaniness of Season 3. This season has been a big, broad, fun, sugery, candy like season, small bite sized stories pushing the “Reality” of the story about as far as we could go. The next season ties everything together – with one full, feature length story that will answer all the questions of the family.

Thanks so much for your support and viewership throughout the years. I hope you enjoy this week’s episode – and look forward to the new season to come!

Lasts updated on May 24th, 2011. Tags: , , , ,
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Meet the Mayfarers Returns

The Mayfarers are back  - finally back. Not just sketches, or bloopers, or small one offs – but the whole show. Starting today – and every Wednesday for the rest of the year they’ll be a new episode released.

Some of them will be small stories, some of them will be an entire season story arc, some will be epic adventures in Hollywood,  - some will be goofy, some will be…well, they’ll all be pretty goofy.

The early part of Season 3 will be smaller stories about individual characters, while the final part of the season will be one 16 episode story arc, involving the return of almost all the characters – and leading to a surprising conclusion to the series – revealing who will finally get Porter Mayfarer’s money.

I want to thank everyone who has watched over the years. Being involved in this show has been so fun, and fulfilling.

I hope you join us this year as we embark on our final year of Mayfarers fun.

Lasts updated on March 2nd, 2011. Tags: , , ,
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A Mayfarers New Year

And….we’re back! After many sketches, some involving Baristas, animal mascots, and raw meat — the family is back with a real-honest-to-god New Episode.

It wasn’t supposed to take this long. As I mentioned before, the original goal was for the show to launch and new episodes would come every week for a full year. We almost made it. But filming new episodes, and just life in general got in the way. But we’re going to make up for it.

So – what does the New Year look like for the Mayfarers? We’ll have a special sneak peek episode of Season 3 – starting this week with “A Very Mayfarers New Year.”

January will consist of a few more sketches as well as a re-release of some of Season 1 & 2.

Season 3 will launch on Wednesday, February 2nd – On Groundhog Day. Sadly, This will not be a Groundhog Day episode. My apologies for that.

Once the show is relaunched we will have new episodes – every week for the rest of the year. (Perhaps taking the month of August off – if the Europeans can do it – so can the Mayfarers)

Thank you everyone for your patience and I’m looking forward to sharing these new episodes with you in the New Year!

We’re Back!

Today – after many months on hiatus, the Mayfarers are back!

But this isn’t the new season. For the next few months we’ll have sketches, behind the scenes, and general tomfoolery every week, for the rest of the year.

I’ve written many times before how making this show brought back my love of filming. How we all feel like kids in the sandbox making this.

As someone who had been use to the rigorous world of independent film making – creating a webseries was a revelation. When we started doing this we found ourselves finishing early. We not only “made the day” but we’d find that we had hours and hours of daylight still available. I was used to 20 hour film shooting marathons, so this was a welcome surprise.

So – knowing this – I started writing small sketches. Just little goofy pieces that have nothing to do with the show. And so, as we shot the show over the year – when we finished early, and had an extra hour or two, we’d all just do these little shorts. Fake commercials. Parodies. As long as it was fun, we tried it. There are no rhyme or reason to these. Nor do they tie into the plot of the show at all. They’re just for fun. Same actors, different material.

For me I find it special watching these, in particular – as I can see, on screen, me falling in love with filming once again.

So – with that in mind – take them for what they are. Goofy little behind the scenes vignettes of what we do to have fun – on a shoot where we’re already having the time of our lives.

Lasts updated on October 19th, 2010. Tags: , , , ,
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Where are the Mayfarers?

After a long time – much longer than anyone thought – the Mayfarers are coming back.

Starting this week, we will begin to release new material online. It won’t be new episodes of Season 3 – not just yet – but sketches, behind the scenes, and much more, every week – for the rest of the year.

But then the question: What took so long?

A lot of things.

The plan all along was to release a year’s worth of episodes. “One family. One year.” But along the way, we were all pretty excited about what was going on with the show online so we jumped back into filming last fall – expanding the show far, far beyond the original one year. Throughout fall and spring, we shot many more episodes, more than what’s even online now. My plan was to edit them this summer – and continue the release pattern, barely stopping for a break.

Then, we lost our star, and matriarch of the show – Candace Hopkins, as the summer began.

For me – I had to stop editing. Having her loss be so close to the freshly shot footage was difficult. There were hours and hours and hours of footage to go through. I just couldn’t edit it at the time.

So we all went off to other projects.

Now – months have passed, the show has been dormant. As fall started I slowly started to assemble the footage again. And I found the experience to be far from a sad one.

I found it joyful.

Joyful because there are hours and hours, episodes and episodes of discoveries. There’s still so much of Candace out there – so much for her to still be a part of the show. I found myself laughing during her scenes, and smiling at the good times we all had.

Every editor knows the feeling of knowing an actor even if they don’t see them over a long time. Months can pass, editing a film, but an editor sees the actor on a daily basis on the screen, so much so that they feel they are with them every day. The same holds true in this case. There have been moments when, while editing footage, I think of something I want to email Candace, and switch over to my email, to compose a message. Reality sets in, as it always does.

But it is a testament to how much Candace is still part of the show. How much of her is still left on the screen, to share with her friends, family, and audience at large.

I’ve found the past month or so of editing the new footage to be filled with warm memories. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Lasts updated on October 17th, 2010. Tags: , ,
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The Light of our Show

Candace Hopkins, who played Maggie in the show, has passed away. It seems so unreal, as we were just shooting episodes with her six weeks ago. She has been fighting her battle with cancer for years. I’ve been amazed at her strength and perseverance over her ordeal. But, even more amazing – her enthusiastic embracing of life. The days with her on the set echoed with her infectious laughter and upbeat spirit.

What many people didn’t know was that she has been going through chemo the past few years, and was in such pain. I kept saying to her – “Candace, you don’t have to come to the shoot, seriously! I can write around you.” But she wouldn’t have it. In fact, as the show progressed, she was in the show just as much as before she was sick. Most times, because of her upbeat attitude, it was easy to forget the hell she had been going through. Only brief moments, small signs and hints of pain would show themselves, after a particularly long take standing up for instance. It was at these times I tried to get her to sit down. She said, “I want to be here.” She was enjoying herself so.

Candace said the most amazing part of watching the show as they were released, was seeing her physical transformation as the show progressed. To see her weight loss, and then see her as she battled cancer. It’s easy to forgot how much time as passed. A running joke with all of the cast members over the years has been the duration of the shoot. (On and off, for two and a half years) I kept saying to everyone, “We’re almost done, we’re almost done! Keep at it!” I think Candace was glad that she was able to finish out shooting the series. I am proud to have had those moments working with her.

I am saddened today. I feel privileged to have worked with her these past few years on the show. And I am inspired by her strength.

She will be missed.

Lasts updated on June 2nd, 2010. Tags: , ,
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The Mayfarers will Return

img_1055It’s been a few weeks now since we wrapped up Season 2. Strange to have a Wednesday go by not releasing episodes. But not to worry, “Meet the Mayfarers” will return. Season 3 will be double sized, bigger than season 1 & 2 combined. My initial goal was to release the show every week for a full year, uninterrupted, but in thinking it over, I eventually decided to take a step back, spend time editing all of season 3, and then come back in the fall with another full batch of episodes.

That’s not to say the show, or our site will be taking a break. Starting next month, we’ll have sketches, shorts, and bloopers released on a regular basis. They won’t be episodes, but hopefully they’ll be able to have little bites of the Mayfarers Madness, to hold you over until the full course this fall.

I’ll be posting more details about the summer schedule as the weeks go back. Thanks so much for watching the show!

Lasts updated on May 26th, 2010. Tags: , , ,
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More Mayfarers Madness

We’re shooting new episodes of “Meet the Mayfarers” all weekend.

It’s great being back on set – with all the actors and crew. Everyone knows their characters, and is already “in the groove.” Also – we’re having a few new additional characters as well. So far its been a lot of fun.

The nature of our show’s release pattern is strange. We’ve been laughing about the fact that the episodes we’re shooting today won’t “air” for another year – and that the episode that’s up this week we shot a year and a half ago.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

I’ve been saying for a while now that this weekend is the “final Mayfarers” shoot – and, for the most part, it probably will be. Once you see how the show ends – you’ll see there’s a lot of possibilities for spin offs about individual characters – so, who knows what the future will bring.

But one thing is certain, this will be the last time the family will be back together, shooting our shows in a cottage by the sea…

What is a Webshow Season?

So Season 2 of “Meet the Mayfarers” launches today.

Of course, this being on the web, there’s really no pressing need for “Seasons.” The only time it really matters is if say, a show is launched for a few episodes, then they stop for a long period of time, get new funding or ad sponsorships, and then come back.  But this being the web – there can be all sorts of different approaches.

I set out to show “a year in the life of the family” and I shot a year’s worth of content. So then really, why did break I it up? Shouldn’t Season 2 be “Year 2″ of the family – after they do, or don’t, get the money?

To be honest I’m just trying to test this out.

For my part, I know that I always feel I miss something if I jump into a show late into the game. Even if I know the characters and plot, when I see the number 16 or 20 it always makes me think I should start from episode 1. And then there’s never enough time to watch all the episodes, they keep piling up and soon you find yourself never watching that show. So some web shows I never get around to watching simply because they have episode numbers in the hundreds. I feel as if I will never catch up.

I don’t want this to happen to Mayfarers, so I decided to reboot – and start episode 1 of season 2. My thinking is that it would be easier for new people to jump on seeing “Episode 1″ in the title rather than “Episode 24.” But I could be wrong. This whole online releasing shows thing is overall an experiment.

The other thing I’m trying this season are smaller story arcs. So by the end of the season instead of being on episode 16 again, they will be smaller arcs – it will only go to episode 8 or so, with the rest being three or four part stories.  Again – this is all experimenting. What methods do you like?

In anycase, however you watch it, I hope you check out season 2 of “Meet the Mayfarers.”

And really, if you are totally crammed for time – you don’t need to watch season one. The plot’s simple really. If you haven’t seen the show, all you need to know is that the family is forced to be together for a year to get an inheritance – and my character, the son, had a one night stand with his dead grandfather’s fiancee, on the day he died – which she uses to blackmail him……..

hmmm………

On second thought…that does sound fairly wrong. Maybe you should just watch the Recap.

Lasts updated on January 13th, 2010. Tags: ,
Posted in blog, Mayfarers | 4 Comments

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