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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