If you never thought that quirky summer job with that very idiosyncratic employer could find you fame and fortune, think again. Sam Harris has taken what is a rite of passage for many coming of age and turned it into a side-tickling series of stories that he hopes are destined for the big screen. An Ara Foundation grant is helping to turn this dream into a reality.
Hailing from the Ara Institute based National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA), and now currently in his third year, Sam says the inspiration to create a digital comedy series arrived in the form of Two Productions Theatre Company made up of former teachers from Toi Whakaari in Wellington.
“We are thinking about using our series as a pilot to show everyone our idea so we can get support to turn it into a feature film.”
“We had a devising block with them where we worked on a series of sketches. Through this experience, I realised I liked devising and the writing side of things, instead of just acting. The grant from Ara Foundation is an opportunity to get my own work out there and show off all the skills I’m being provided through my course. We are using it towards a four month project which involves creating a three part comedy web series called Odd Jobs.”
The title is a double entendre, referring to jobs that are casual and, quite literally, odd. With shooting taking place in July/August 2018, the series will first air on Youtube and Facebook as three 5-minute sketches, telling the story of protagonist, Jason, played by Jamie Swarbrick – also co-writer of the series – who is trying to save money to fund his university studies.
“I play the weird people that he does odd jobs for to make loose change. James Murray, our Director and Cinematographer, is looking for opportunities for us to enter the series in to competitions like the TVNZ New Blood Series,” Sam explains. “Eventually, we would like to apply for Lightbox. We are thinking about using our series as a pilot to show everyone our idea so we can get support to turn it into a feature film.”
Ara Foundation provided Sam with $2,500 to help towards production costs for the creation of Odd Jobs.