This is a weekly column by me, Alex LeMay, a series creator, director and showrunner for digital studios like Endemol Beyond, YouTube Red, as well as founder of alexlemay.com. Each week I’ll let you in behind the scenes of my latest project, DARK JOEY. DARK JOEY is a collaboration between myself and writer Jim Uhls, who wrote the major motion picture, FIGHT CLUB, as well as his writing partner Ric Krause.
This Week: What, Who, Why
DARK JOEY is less a series and more a channel. The DARK JOEY Channel will be an anthology of super short psychological thrillers, written, produced, and starring both established Hollywood talent as well as up and coming digital filmmakers. Each week, we will release a new standalone film, either written by Jim and Ric or by one of their super talented friends or even by a newcomer with a hot idea (that means you, people). It will always be executive produced by Jim, Ric, and myself. Our first film is still a bit of a secret but it deals with the world of online dating and because Jim and Ric wrote it, it will be no walk in the daisies.
Several years ago, I was introduced to Jim Uhls. I knew who Jim was immediately. FIGHT CLUB is simply, to me, one of the best American movies ever produced, so one can imagine how excited I was at this opportunity to just meet Jim. I was amazed at his approachability and blazing sense of humor- you can see where it came from in FIGHT CLUB. The long and the short of it was Jim wanted to write a digital series. WHAAAAAAT???!!!
At that time, I was producing a lot of stuff for Go90, and YouTube Red was just coming online. For Jim and his writing partner Ric, this was new territory. They had been making things for traditional studios for their entire careers. So why the change? Their answer was simple, “We know this is where the content business is headed and we believe A-list Hollywood talent should be collaborating with cutting edge digital filmmakers to create things that will reshape the way stories are told and content is made.” BOOM! Needless to say, I was in.
Jim Uhls (screenwriter): Him, you already know about.
Ric Krause (Screenwriter): Ric isn’t known outside of the Hollywood studio system and that’s the way he likes it. Ric is the guy the studios go to when their script is in trouble. Ric is the consummate fixer who has worked for every major TV network and film studio you can think of. He’s got a scary fast mind and he comes up with brilliant ideas on the fly.
Me (Director/Show Runner): I’ve yammered enough about me. You get it.
Matt Mercer (Lead): We are insanely lucky to have Matt as one of our two leads. Matt is only in his 30’s and he’s already a legend in the horror scene. He’s starring in 5 movies alone this year. He was in CONTRACTED, BEYOND THE GATE and the soon to be released, THE TOYBOX. Just check out his IMDB (http://imdb.to/2u8QheB)
and see for yourself. His body of work is incredible and we’re so lucky to have him.
Deanna Russo (Lead): Deanna is an amazing actress, best known for her roles in BEING HUMAN on SYFY, TWO AND A HALF MEN, the TV series SATISFACTION and a ton more. In addition to having a heap of dramatic chops, she also possesses a comic timing that can only be described as deadly. She is also an accomplished producer and director. When she said yes to starring in our first episode, we were amazed. Deanna’s IMDB: http://imdb.to/2u9g0Ug
Jim and Ric said it best: TV isn’t TV anymore and movies aren’t always two hours long and seen in theaters. We think we can use the DARK JOEY platform to bring new and established talent together to truly redefine what stories can be. We think there is so much undiscovered talent out there that just needs the door cracked open a little bit. We think the nexus of established Hollywood talent and gutsy creators in going to yield truly ground-breaking work. So start writing and shooting and keep doing it. We’d love to see your work.
If you want to follow this project more closely, subscribe to my YouTube channel, http://bit.ly/2wsZXBp. We’ll be posting a ton of behind-the-scenes video, cast and crew interviews and exclusive interviews with Jim and Ric. Shoot day is coming up on 8/19. We’d love to have you join us.